On rainy days in rural Massachusetts, our mother would tell us to use our imaginations to find things to do to entertain ourselves. This was before all the electronic gadgets came in to entertain children.  We had to imagine and invent games to play and things to do.  We played hide and seek in the upstairs attic in Sturbridge.

Using old newspapers, we cut out paper dolls and made fancy clothes for them. We fashioned furniture using cardboard boxes and played in imaginary kitchens.  With no television to watch, we listened to radio plays with intriguing sounds such as The Lone Ranger and The Shadow.  We also played card games like Old Maid and Authors.  Our parents read books aloud to us.  My first few glimpses of television were on a black and white screen about 12″ wide.  We watched the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and later political addresses during which I learned the term soap box.

My childhood was magical with plenty of outdoor play and roaming through our woods.  We were happy and content with what we had. When the weather allowed, we made our own campaign speeches standing on makeshift soap boxes in our back yard.  We cheered for baseball teams as well.  Win or lose, we learned at an early age to participate and to be a part of the process.  These early lessons formed the basis of who I am today.  We learned to work hard, be positive and hopeful for the future.

School began in first grade where we learned to write cursive and play outside on the playground during recess until the teacher signaled time to return to the building with a big bell she had in her hand. We learned to read by phonetics.  Our writing pencils were big, thick and tall yellow pencils.  Our reports cards had the letters S for satisfactory and U for unsatisfactory and spaces for citizenship.  When we did receive letter grades, they were A, B, C, D or E (unsatisfactory.)  The grade F for failing did not exist.  We recited the Pledge of Allegiance and marched in parades for holidays.

Today as the United States transferred power to the new president, I watched on color television and took photos with  an  iPad.  To me, this is a national moment of celebration for our democracy.  No matter which side of the aisle people are on, we come together every four years for this civic  sacrament and peaceful transition.  Ever hopeful, I imagine peaceful times ahead.

Credit to Sally for some of the photos from Costa Rica.



This entry was posted in childhood play, citizenship, cursive handwriting, imagination, Massachusetts, reading aloud, Sturbridge and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Imagination

  1. A delightful walk down memory lane. I too grew up with no television and on rainy days had five siblings to help entertain ourselves. It is amazing how far we have come from the good old days.
    I also watched President Trump take office today. It doesn’t matter how I voted, he is now our president and I will respect him as such. I hope he does a great job and wish him well.
    Great post, well done.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I truly appreciate your kind remarks and agree that no matter who is President, we should respect him/her and the office. It was a peaceful transition of power which we in the US are proud of doing. We share our democracy with the world. We somehow survive our childhood, don’t we. Those were the good old days! I forgot to include my one mile walk to the school bus in Massachusetts. I survived that as well which really wasn’t too far at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily says:

    Awesome post I really loved it. Quite a memorable day as well. Love the stories and photos you shared. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bernard25 says:

    Bonjour ou bonsoir
    Par des mots simples

    Je viens déposer sur ton blog

    Quelques mots de bonheur et te donner de le joie en cette fin de semaine
    Vois-tu je t’ emmène sur des chemins

    Je les ai tracé pour toi principalement

    Sur ces chemins j’ai découvert
    Une pétale de rose pour effacer ta peine
    Un sourire d’enfant contre une larme
    Des mots que je dis à ceux que j’apprécie
    Dont tu fais réellement

    je te souhaite un bonne journée ou soirée

    gros bisous


    Je tire ma révérence LOL tu me troubles que j’en perds mon équilibre

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Arno Bode,cologne ,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    eine wunderbare Darstellung Deiner unbeschwerten Jugend und Deines Zuhause in der Dich eine fürsorgliche Familie behütet hat.Erinnerungen ,die man aus der Entwicklung der Zeit sehr gut nachvollziehen kann.Mein Vater ,der ja bei Euch zu Gast sein durfte sprach immer von den USA, als das Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeinen und dem ” American Dream “.Ich hoffe inständig , daß der Amerikanische Traum in seiner Vielfalt erhalten bleibt und die unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten allen eine friedvolle Zukunft ermöglicht.
    Ich bin zuversichtlich ,daß sich Dein zuversichtlicher Geist auch in Deinen weiteren Veröffenlichungen wiederspiegeln wird.Mit Deiner christlichen Haltung und Nächstenliebe und Deiner Einstellung für ein Leben in Frieden und Freiheit bin ich hoffnungsvoll ,daß es Dir und Deiner Familie auch in Zukunft gut gehen wird und Du Deine Leser weiterhin begeistern wirst.
    Alle Liebe und Gute aus Cologne
    Dein Arno.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Arno. Your father was accurate in his assessment of America as a place of possibilities and being able to live the American dream. It is also a huge country geographically speaking. You would need 4 long and hard days of 12 hour driving to drive from NY to California. Many people who visit and rent a car don’t realize that at first. Even from NY to FL would take more than 24 hours of driving around the clock to reach destinations. That’s why most people favor flying from one place to another. I appreciate the fact that you look forward to my posts. Each one a bit different and all part of life. We have another mild day today with more snow in the forecast for tomorrow. I am not complaining though. From Upstate NY to Cologne, Germany, greetings for today and the coming week ahead. Mary Ann


  5. Annika Perry says:

    Thank you for sharing your magical days of childhood with us – pure idyllic days! Also refreshing to read a calm and positive reflection on Friday – whatever there was an election and democracy reigns strong. Which is much more than many countries can celebrate! From a very cold UK!! Warmest wishes to you, Mary Ann. 😀♥️

    Liked by 2 people

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