A Ghost From Easter’s Past

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I have often wondered what happens to things one hides in their yard for a variety of reasons over the years that never get found. Specifically, Easter comes to mind, not only because Easter just happened but also because while hiding Easter eggs for my 3 and 5 y/o nieces I found a little piece of yard history. Many moon ago I can remember hiding a certain tractor for my son when he was quite a bit younger. There is no doubt that he had found it because from that day forward he would ride it evverywhere, including inside the house when nobody was looking. Then, as years pass, interests change, and he used it less and less. Then, it disappears but nobody really cares or misses it. This weekend all of that changed.

After loading and counting the 347 plastic eggs of various shapes and colors, my son and I set off into the yard to hide them for my nieces. Now that my own children are “too old” to hunt eggs, they typically help hide the eggs and escort the young ones around helping them in their search. As we moved around the yard placing eggs here and there we made a strange discovery where the grass hits the woods. Indeed, we had found the long lost tractor which I never knew was lost in the first place. Oddly, it was like finding an old friend. Who knows how long its been out there but both of my nieces claim they never saw it before and my son didn’t even remember leaving it out there.

How did the hunt go? It was fantastic. My two nieces tear-assing through the yard in their matching white dresses did not disappoint, they found both of the muddy spots where they stopped off to make pies. This didn’t bother me at all but their mother was a different story. Did you know I single handedly ruined their dresses that they had year to take one picture in for memories sake. Boo hoo, its just mud. After the hunt we made a grave discovery, 6 of the plastic eggs are missing in action. After a quick survey before the sun began to set we were only able to locate 2 of them. Oh well, I will probably come across them when I now or clean up the yard, and if not I might find them next year. I must have found a few real sweet spots in the yard or they are so damn obvious that they are actually in plain sight somewhere. Who knows. Better yet, who cares. In the end, my nieces used the old dirty tractor to tote their cache around the yard until their mother decided fun time was over. All in all I consider the day a success, we ate well, had fun, and there were no trips to the emergency room. Makes me wonder when little girls were expected not to play in the mud. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

What Is Your Idea Of Quality?

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Is there a true difference if something is made in the USA versus if something is made in China? Anyone that has handled a product made in China and compared it to something made in the USA knows the difference. Why can’t Chinese products usually compare in quality to those products made in the USA? Does it matter what you spend your hard earned money on? Do we live in a world where the term “disposable” has become everything we buy? Do we not buy anything for long term anymore? Is the price of something a considerable factor knowing you will have to replace it more often?

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This post is purely observational as my nieces (3 & 4) were visiting last night and they both had a small toy they were playing with. One of the trucks was about a year old and was bought at a dollar store. The other truck was a metal Tonka truck that was mine from the 70s and was given to the 4 y/o because she saw it and would not take no for an answer.  Both trucks were worn, beat up, but still their favorite toy of the moment for the choices available. The one from the dollar store was missing all of its parts and basically could only be called a truck simply because I saw it when it was brand new. That old Tonka truck (40+ years old) was still going strong, it still had all of its parts, and I know when she is done with it I will once again put it up on the shelf. Where as the truck from the dollar store with end up in the trash. The old Tonka truck has been through me, all three of my kids, and now my young nieces. I have no doubt it will remain the survivor.

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I suppose this is my point. Sometimes the quality you get is based on where the product was made. If you would have asked me when I was 5 if I thought the shiny new truck I was playing with would one day, 40 years later, be displayed on a shelf I would have told you “only if it can survive 100,000,000 more jumps off the roof of the shed into the sand box pit”. As time goes on I find that relics of the past are harder to come by because our past is being swallowed by the future. As technology moves forward kids don’t want trucks anymore. I would say my parents got their money’s worth back in the day.