Those were the days, Mr. Machine, Slinky, Sea Monkeys, Silly Putty, Tickle Bee and  TumbleBug. I still have my Mr. Machine, only because my grandfather liked it so much.  When he died it was one of the toys I found he had kept, so it was one of the few things I got. It still makes the connection. My grandfather was a big kid for such a little man (5 foot tall on a good day). He’s been gone since the early nineties, but when I think of him it is like he’s just out of sight somewhere. Yeah, Mr. Machine was a favorite.

I thought of this today when I finally caught up on my Popsci mail, coming across a story on Pleo, the toy that thinks. I have to wonder, by the time I am a grandma, what will my grandchildren be playing with, when so many children are into video games with few links to a simpler time. The thing is, I have passed on some of that “simple stuff “to my children, so I can count on them handing certain things down to their children. Candyland and the Game of Life may not be around by then, who knows, but sand buckets never go out of style.

I have mentioned before that on one of my children’s (16th) birthdays she received a package of sand toys, purchased at Walgreen’s no doubt, since they are one of the few to carry such fun packages. These are the plastic toys we used to wake up to on Easter morning, along with the plastic rakes, cheeps, and giant chocolate bunnies. Those were the days. We seemed to have bunnies for the coop, too, somehow. The things we remember.

Some (Madison) friends called last night from Naples, Florida to let us know they were leaving there today and heading to Charleston. I am glad they’re having a great time. Since all my vacations are vicarious, I asked for a few seashells and maybe a little sand. Of course, I am just as happy to be able to walk the riverfront and find a snail’s shell, to pocket a small piece of my own private little “vacation” spot close to home. My mind wanders as I think back to days spent with my own children on the beach, and with my mom at the lake not far from where we lived. Sands of time link my thoughts and “machinery” forever.

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