I discovered the meaning of life, as a child of 4. Living on a tree lined street, neighbors that had been there forever and where the greatest possible crime spree involved the toilet papering of one's property on Halloween, I started my daily visitations and wanderings at that tender age. I had little use for the kids of the neighborhood. I did not feel like I was above or below them, I just had made the transition of realization that to feed my need, to get my jollies and to get the monkey off of my bank, that befriending fellow kids was defeatist. Befriending little old ladies, on the otherhand, was to reach the bonanza, hit the vein and rest at the foot of the Holy Grail. Little kids did not give out candy, little old ladies not only gave it out, they MADE the stuff of dreams , by golly.
I'd begin in the early mornings while the grass was still dewy and the air misty. I'd wander over to Mrs.Copeland's house and sit at her table and drink homemade cocoa and fresh snowy capped potato doughnuts. She'd eventually shoo me off as she had to start the daily housework, and I'd go back over to my yard and start on some archeitectual wonders in my sandbox.
Only being able to tolerate x-amount of sand grains invading through the elastic bands of my underpanties, by ten a.m., I was ready to strike out again in the main body of my quest. Onward and upward to Mrs. Lough's...for a hug and a kiss and a plate of mashed potato candy. A quick fix of creamy goodness. Sated, I'd flop onto her blue velvet art deco couch and help her wrap yarn into balls , as we watched the Mike Douglas show.
Finishing my tasks there, I'd wave good bye and amble across the two vacant lots dividing Mrs. Lough and Mrs. Myers. Arriving at Mrs. Myers, I would self -importantly stroll into her house, without a knock or hell and announce" Boy, do I have something to tell you!" At that point I would be coerced to the kitchen table and a cold glass of milk and 2 pieces of divinity placed in front of me. I'd soon be prompted then with"You were saying my little dear?" At this point I'd search my brain for some tasty morsel to share with her, true or not,like "My sister got caught in the frontroom yesterday with her boyfriend and something happened with some pet, but we don;t have any pets so why was Mama telling KAren that she shouldn't be doing any petting...."( a fact that still confuses me) I quickly learned that the more I disclosed , the more the pieces of divinity would appear on my plate. Thus my first experiences with the bartering system.
After running out of titillating tales for the day, I'd excuse myself and skip on down the road to Aunt Ruth South's cottage. Ceremoniously knocking upon her door, I was always met with an extended handand a paper "Church Sermon" fan. Always a perfect hostess and possessed of a British upbringing, I was convinced Mrs. Aunt Ruth South was a member of British royalty. She was the weaver of tales of princes and angry stepmothers and puppies named Reginald or Seraphina. As I'd take the slurp of Earl Grey tea, like magic simultaneously, a cookie jar full of chocolate chip cookies and a tin of peanut brittle would materialize before me. .after listening and gorging, noon would be approaching and I'd scurry back up the street for lunch.
Now more to my point of this post........who remembers Mashed Poatato Candy, besides me?