Friday, August 5, 2016

Even TV Commercials Prompt Memories

Every time I see this Geico commercial I am reminded of the summer days my sister Betty and I whiled away playing in our sandbox.

It wasn't when we were very young - more like the ages we were in this school picture....Betty, second from left in the back, fifth grade, and me next to her, seventh grade. You can see how she had a growth spurt and nearly caught me in size. This was probably around the same time I quit picking on her and began treating her as an equal because she could finally get the best of me now and then.



This sandbox is an earlier version of the one we had in later years, but the same idea - four boards nailed together. Photo is of a distant cousin from Illinois, Cheryl Sterns. Her Grandpa and mine were first cousins.
The sides on our later sandbox were all the same size - 4 to 5 inches high and about four feet square.





Lest you think we were a bit old to still be playing in a sandbox, you should know our play was more about using our imaginations and making up stories. First we divided the sand box in half - her side and my side. Then we landscaped our properties by sculpting the sand, 'planting' trees, etc. Once we had the stages set we took turns describing our beautiful estates.

Beginning on that 'road' between our dream villas, we drove our dime store cars up the long, curving driveways describing the lush surroundings - each trying to out do the other. I remember adding a pond using a jar lid filled with water. Once the car was parked outside, we could then describe our mansions inside and out.

Which is why that Geico commercial reminds me of our sandbox days - the one guy is building your usual sand castle while the one pictured above is sculpting the Taj Mahal - much like our gorgeous homes were just mounds of sand in reality, but impressive manor houses in our story telling.

I don't remember what Betty's car was like, but mine was a green convertible, not quite like either of these two, but metal. I know I had mine for a long time and that later I painted it black. I wonder if my little brother ended up with it?

Making up story lines and acting them out was something I always liked to do. I would say my part and then tell my little sister what she was supposed to say next. That only lasted so long before she wanted to make up her own lines, even though the ones I wanted her to say were so much better.
Just like my pretend sand estates were so much fancier than hers.

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