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I just don’t know....it was a fall afternoon. The big oak tree outside of my front porch was loosing its huge leaves of brown and rusty orange. Acorns were laying everywhere along the walk to the driveway. Well....my new best friend and I were just being silly, I guess. We were pretty good at using our imagination. Creation was always a part of our play.
I was turning 11 that coming winter. Terri was my age, her birthday was a month before mine ...minus four days. It was one of those nice breezy Saturday afternoons, we were sitting on the porch, thinking of what to do with ourselves. It was almost every weekend that either Terri spent the night with me, or I stayed with her. I have to say with wonder that as often as we were together, our minds did not stay idle for long.
I can’t say for certain how it began except we started to pick up the acorns and just played with them in our hands as we did our small girl talk. You know...talk of who is the cutest boy in class, and how Lisa’s breath always smelled like onions and Brenda’s big feet always got in the way. Soon the idle gossip left us as we slowly scratched at the acorns with our nails. Then I scratched a face into one and shared it with Terri as I giggled, “Look, acornperson”!
I can’t even say why it was funny....but we just started to giggle over it. Then we decided we need tools..........
So off inside I dashed to retrieve a nail file and a butter knife along with some toothpicks. It wasn’t long before Terri and I had organized our tools and knew which ones worked the best. We continued to giggle as we gathered more acorns and made a village of people. Oh so carefully we would peel off the wooden acorncap, draw hair and replace the cap like a hat., then separate the baby acorns from the teenagers and adults.
Being the charming little girls that Terri and I could be, we continued to get down in the leaves and dirt and play out, in our acorn village, scenes from our own little Peyton Acorn Place. I will say that we were not very soap opera like, but we did reflect the time of our society. And as I try to sit here and remember this moment in my life, I lightly recall all the acorn people getting together for a rock concert, and the neighborhood boys spying on Terri and I as we played.
We must of knocked off two or three hours playing in our acorn world. It really did not matter what Terri and I were doing with our acorn people to pass our time. Instead, it came down to how Terri and I fed each other with sweet joy and contentment. She was always making me laugh and I in turn would spread a smile on her face with my goofiness.
Sometimes as I recall this acorn moment with my best friend, it is as if I brought out an acorn from storage and ate the meat of the nut so to feed myself, once again, some of that same sweet joy of childhood laughter.