Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"The Boxcar Children" - of Texas

The Box-Car Children, based on the writings of Gertrude C. Warner,  was absolutely my favorite book as a child around eight to ten years of age. It shaped my way of thinking in so many ways that as I think back on it now I wonder what might have been had I not read this wonderful series. Of course, the books I read were the "re-write" of the popular childrens' books. I never actually thought to look for the books as an adult. One day as I was checking out of a store I saw a stack of The Box-Car Children books for sale. The art work was updated. My first inclination was to snatch up the books and take them home, but then I thought.. no, I loved the way I remembered the series. A group of parent-less children living in an abandoned box car with the oldest child in charge. That was about all that I remembered. Not much to go on, but then, being the oldest child in our family I took my position seriously.

The older sister of a neighbor friend of mine also took her position seriously. She would gather about five or six of us together, load up a little red wagon with snacks, sandwiches, mason jars of ice water (I remember now that I wrote about this a couple of years ago!) and off we would go for the day to the park that was probably about a 15 minute walk from our neighborhood. There was a cluster of trees that had two trunks that appeared to have grown together... it made the perfect "couch". We swept the ground removing leaves, twigs, pebbles and we drew our houses in the sand . Now I pause here in my bestest childhood memory to guide you to *White Spray Paint, entry August 4, 2011, where my dear friend and neighbor, Laura, recalls a childhood memory just as dear to her. Back to the park: We placed little rocks on our lines, leaving an opening for the front door. At this point we were a blend of "The Box-Car Children" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" and all their young brood. We even had names such as "Archibald" and "Sissy". We were in the land of make-believe for hours. This escapade would occur probably every two weeks or so. We never, ever tired of this game. It's such a precious memory for me and Laura triggered those memories when she wrote about her cousins. Please be sure to visit her blog and enjoy what she has written.

Some of the girls in this picture were privileged to make the trip to the park with us. That is me in the back with the hat and the "beard" made of burned cork. ... which inspired my interest in theater makeup... but that is a story for another day!

* White Spray Paint


Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

...wonderful story and memories!

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

I had forgotten about The Boxcar Children. I loved those books, too. Love your story!

Laura said...

Thank you Karen-
Your memories are always wonderful .

White Spray Paint

Ellie said...

What fun childhood memories. My fourth grade teacher read "The Boxcar Children" to us (in 1953). I loved it then, and still do today. Then I grew up, and became a fourth grade teacher. And, I continued her tradition for 40 years. Thanks for sharing.

NanaDiana said...

I absolutely loved those books when I was about the same age. They just fascinated me.

We used to play house too and laid out whole houses out of stones. It is one of my favorite childhood memories and I do believe it was the beginnings of my rehabbing houses career- xo Diana

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What a lovely memory!

Theresa said...

Sweet childhood memories! I also built houses with my Mama out of straw! We would line the outside of the house and rooms with pinestraw! Love remembering these things and hope I never forget!

Have a blessed evening, HUGS!

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

I have never read those..sounds too cute! I didn;t read much as a child..but I'm catching up now!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I read every book in the Boxcar series as a child.

Our silver plate flatware set is "Grosvenor" by Community Plate. It first began production in the 20's. You can easily find pieces on ebay.

Kathy said...

great post Karen how's your summer going girl?

Nancy's Notes said...

Karen, I do love reading about your childhood! Your photographs are always just precious. I have missed reading your awesome blog and glad I'm back! It's been a busy summer!

Hugs sweet friend.