When I was little, Grandma Jennie had an empty cardboard flat that would have held sodas (or beer) that was filled with toys. It sat under the chair that was next to her rolltop desk. When we cleaned out the attic spaces I grabbed a few of the peg board for pounding and this awesome toy:
Matthew now plays with this 1948-49 Elsie's Dairy wagon that also sat in that cardboard box. I don't ever remember it having the bell or pull string or the glass cartons that were to go in the back by the time I played with it, but it never bothered me. It definitely shows its age and one of the wheels and an axle have been replaced and one of the hammers doesn't work now, but Matthew still thinks it's as great as I probably did.
Anyway, back to the toys. So my favorite toys were these 3-4' long strands of plastic beads that grandma kept in the toy box. I think they were leftovers from some hippie-style beaded doors that my uncles/aunt/dad had. Sure, they were fun to wear as a necklace or to twist around, but the absolute best thing to do with them was the lay them on the floor and shake them/drag them back and forth. Little plastic diamond-shaped beads dragged and shaken into snakes across those floors were inexplicably awesome, though my parents never, ever thought so. To our young ears, the scrape and clatter of beads on the super hard floors was magical. To my parents, this was to be a game avoided at all costs.
When we rearranged toys, Matthew rediscovered this necklace that his Uncle John had given him on a visit some time ago. A beautifully long strand of blue beads . . .
perfect for dropping and dragging across the kitchen floor.
I found that strand of pink, plastic, diamond-shaped beads in attic this summer. You could barely tell they were hot pink or diamond shaped because the edges had been so beaten, scratched and worn down from all of grandma's little visitors. Though I loved those beads, I went ahead and threw them away because in my memory they were far more awesome than they looked as I held them again in their aged state.
Now when Matthew drags his beads over to kitchen floor I still drift back to sitting on the floor of grandma's, in front of the chair by the desk, and shaking those little pink beads like crazy . . . and then I count my blessings for a softer floor and round beads because dang, it's kinda loud!
Then I hear my mother's voice in the back of my head working it's way to my lips pleading "stop that! Don't drag the beads on the floor" and totally get where she was coming from. Parenting karma sucks :-)