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Friday, October 7, 2011

Life's Treasures

When I was a little girl, one of our favorite neighborhood games was "Pirates." We even had a ship! In reality, it was a pear tree that grew alongside of what was sometimes used as a chicken roost with laying boxes built on one side. Of course, other than the egg laying boxes, the chicken house wasn't really needed during the day, and if foxes or possums had made a recent raid, might not be needed during the night!

The tree had some low hanging branches, making it easy for us "country kids" to climb up our "ladder" onto the ship's landing (ie, roof of chicken house). Several in the group had read Treasure Island and we were also well-acquainted with Peter Pan, giving us true insight into the ways of pirates. In our game we were the "good sailers," travelling the Seven Seas and attempting to regain treasures that had been stolen by pirates! Someone would be in the Crow's Nest on watch and would call out "Ship ahoy!" after spying the dread "Skull and Crossbones" and we would all spring into action! Now, this is possibly the reason I occasionally have ankle or knee problems today:
With our knives in our mouths and our swords at our sides, we would jump into the sea (about a 5 foot jump anyway!), swim to the pirate ship and climb up and over the side (scale the only lasting side of an old storage building across the way!) and fight our way to victory! We would invaribly find treasure beyond imagining (for anyone but children, that is) and would make all the pirates walk the plank, then leave with our newly acquired ship and "booty." Yes, we knew that meant treasure. No one ever referred to people's behinds as "booties" during our childhood! Sometimes our treasure was absolutely in our minds eyes, and sometimes we would sneak some of our mother's costume jewelry out to play with. . . a real no-no! In either case, treasure was our goal.

Fast forward about a zillion years: In my adult life, our children became my treasure. They were more precious to me than anything in the world. And as life is, they were grown before I could blink! When our youngest left for college, I was bereft. My world had been built around the kids for so long, and then "poof," gone. The "treasure chest" was empty, and I thought, "What am I going to do?" But just in time, God's time, life changed again. Our "in town" daughter-in-law came over with an unexpected gift; I opened it, and there was a pacifier! GRANDCHILDREN began arriving! Those two "littles" whose picture I've included are the "babies" among the eight who fill our lives with all the treasure anyone could ever imagine. "Ahoy, Maties!" Life is good!
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