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The Grandma Diaries

Posted Saturday, August 13, 2011, at 4:41 PM

My 5-year-old grandson gets help in hooking up an old John Deere disc to an even older Ford tractor, both dredged up from my basement. The toys have been waiting 30 years for a little boy to come play with them again!
Recycling the old toys

Years ago, I visited my Aunt Mary, the oldest of five sisters in my mother's family, and I was impressed by one of her bedrooms, which was decorated with the toy cars from my cousin's youth. I stood in rapture, looking at large cast metal cars from the 1940's.

As I gazed into Aunt Mary's vintage bedroom, I thought, "When I have children, I am going to save their toys for my grandchildren to play with!"

My mother never had the opportunity to save our things. We moved too much--Missouri, Texas, back to Missouri--leaving a trail of old toys and childish "treasures," pitched in the trash or (if they were worth something) left with...you guessed it--her sister Mary. To walk through Aunt Mary's mausoleum of a house was to see my old elephant toy box or my brother's bouncy horse.

Now I am my aunt. Well, I take that back--I do not have a mausoleum for a house. I just have a house full of junk! Instead of throwing the kids' things away, I just boxed them up and took them to the basement.

This weekend, when my 5-year-old grandson Evan was bemoaning the fact that he could find only three tractors to dig out of the toy box in the living room, I thought, "Aha!"

It all came back to me--that hour or two I spent, scrubbing a large muddy Ford tractor I had stuck back in a corner of the basement. It was no easy task. The last time my son played with it in the big mud hole beside the house, he had gotten it hopelessly mired in the red clay mud that is native to our hill.

I had my reward, though, when I saw the delight with which that old battered tractor was greeted! My grandson was as pleased as if the tractor were fresh off the shelf at Kids R Us!

I think the tractor is all the more special to him, because it belonged to his daddy.

As I watch that little boy play on the floor, where his father used to play, I feel a great joy well up in my heart...

Dear God, thank you for giving us grandchildren and a second chance to watch our children grow up before our eyes! Maybe this time, we can get it right!

Life is good!

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Life is really good when you see a little boy or girl smile.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 6:49 PM

It's excellent to see those old toys come out again for the next generation. My daughter loves to play with those old metal tractors at her Grandma and Grandpa's house that were my husband's once upon a time. There is something special about toys that were stong, made to last, and have been played with for generations!

-- Posted by farmwife2 on Sat, Aug 13, 2011, at 8:36 PM

I love, love, love this post!

-- Posted by cheers4dhs on Sun, Aug 14, 2011, at 11:05 AM

Look at his little face, bent over to watch the hitching process! He's absolutely fascinated! So, so sweet!

Grandchildren are a gift from God!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Aug 14, 2011, at 12:00 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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