I tried very hard to make some sense of that garden plot, digging and rearranging the annuals to suit my sense of order. This was a small portion of our backyard, but I was determined to achieve some semblance of landscaping in that very tiny space.
I had to remember not to touch Mom’s lilac tree. While it never did bloom in that spot, it was not to be disturbed. A gift from our brother, the tree sprouted few green leaves but was precious, especially so since his early death.
I worked around the stunted tree, loosening the surface and digging with my trowel to rework the soil and ready it for some annuals. The dirt wasn’t bad, just very tamped down from lack of attention. I shoveled a bit deeper and to my pleasant surprise, uncovered a yellow popbead!
My landscaping came to a halt as my mind wandered back in time, conjuring up the old days in that backyard; all the hours passed in the garage (long since replaced by a carport); and on the swing set (another item long since removed except for the old stepping stones in the grass that still marked our swing positions); the longer I gazed at the now faded bead the more moments came flooding back to me.
Visions…the kids around the block, the games we used to play, including swapping different colors of beads to make up new bracelets and matching necklaces. I held the popbead in my palm and remembered how very important it was then to own the latest, marketed toy; so that a kid could “fit in”. While many once popular items came to mind, it was a collection of different colored popbeads from which peers were made.