A funny little thing about memory a couple of hours ago – a madeleine-equivalent but not to do with taste or smell. I happened on a mammoth yard sale which turned out to be loaded with interesting stuff. An old-fashioned wicker dolls’ carriage was the first thing I spotted, with old-fashioned doll dresses in it, plus a stack of handmade doll bedding in a pretty fabric. A couple of slipper chairs with purple velvet seats, an oddly-shaped floor lamp – and table after table after table full of dishes, costume jewelry, tchotchkes, toys – all sorts, and much nicer than the usual yard sale dreck. Hoarder-like in quantity but not in quality. I settled down to take my time and look at everything, because it was worth looking at.
So I got to a table with a box on it full of costume jewelry on cards, and I picked up a card with a pair of earrings with tiny shells – tiny shallow bowls surrounding a rhinestone – and zoom a memory shot out of the vault, one I’d never retrieved before. I had a kit or set of some kind when I was a child, to make costume jewelry of that kind. It must have had pieces like those tiny shallow bowls. The weird thing is that I don’t really remember the pieces, but looking at those earrings prompted a very real (yet vague) memory. I think you glued them onto things (but what things?), and you could make pins and earrings.
I looked at the rest of the stuff and then went back to the table with the box with the earrings to look at them again, and they had the same effect. It’s a bit eerie.
I’m pretty sure I hadn’t remembered that kit since childhood. It was interesting having it pop up like that – not unlike a popup ad, actually.
I have lots of available memories of toys – toys I can summon easily just by thinking of “toys I had as a child.” A tricycle, a red wagon, a Davy Crockett pistol, a rifle, a cowboy pistol with a holster. A little red table with two benches for dolls. A china tea set. Several dolls. A cardboard playhouse.
Mostly though I played with the outdoors. Trees, bushes, the brook, the fields – they were all my toys.