I'm working on my second book in the Memphis Cold Case series and my heroine, Kelsey, discovered a croquet set in a shed from her childhood home. So of course, the hero--Brad--challenges her to a game.
I don't know about you, but it's been umpteen years since I played a game of croquet. But YouTube to the rescue!
And before long Brad and Kelsey were engaging in a hotly contested game of croquet.
So what happened to croquet? And some of the other games we played?
And Jump Rope?Or Kick the can, for that matter.
I asked a couple of kids at church about Kick the Can. They looked at me like I'd lost my mind and asked, "Why would you kick a can?"
I started to explain that it was a game I played outside when I was their age, but I gave up when they rolled their eyes. Then, it dawned on me. Kids don't play outside unless it's organized sports. And that got me to thinking about other games, sayings, and not only games but things that we used, like a dial phone. Here's a list:
- Sandlot baseball - a ragtag group of neighborhood kids choose sides and find a vacant lot and play baseball.
- Cowboys and Indians (I was always an Indian) And in the same vein, sheriffs and bank robbers. I bet I ran a thousand miles every summer, riding my stick horse...or just pretending my legs were horses. Whoever was the robber went in the house and got one of their daddy's handkerchiefs to fold in a triangle and tie around their face.
- Rolling down the window. Kid's nowadays have automatic windows rather than the crank ones I grew up with.
- Double Dutch..
- Riding in a car without a seatbelt. I remember stretching out in the floorboard or on the backseat or standing in the middle on the hump in the floorboard. I even remember standing up in the back of a pickup as it breezed down the road. Maybe somethings are better now...or at least safer.
- Watching the radio. Just like it was a television, only there was no picture.
- Leaving the house after breakfast and coming home at noon just long enough to wolf down a sandwich and then go back outside until my mom yelled it was time for supper. And then going back outside to play kick-the-can or tag or hide-n-seek or catch lightening bugs.
- Dialing a phone...or being on a party line. I can remember on Sunday afternoon listening in while some of the old ladies talked. I bet they were all of thirty years old. So how about you?