Day 21 SLOLC: Those Were the Days

When I was little, we used to have this gigantic wooden spool in our yard. That spool became many things over the years: a pirate ship, a table for tea parties, savior from the hot lava waiting to boil the flesh from our bones, and many different types of vehicles. I don’t remember where it came from, only that it seemed to always be there. We didn’t  have many neighbors as property was large and people were few, but the ones we did have loved that spool.

It didn’t take long for one of the inner boards to become loose and fall out. We quickly broke out a few more boards and discovered we could crawl inside. A new hide out was discovered. This was fun for a while but as we grew, so did our desire to move beyond the stillness of the spool and experience something more dynamic. With the spool being round, it was as if it was on wheels and wheels were meant to roll. At first, it was oh so difficult to get it upright. The neighbor kids each took a section and we pushed and pushed and pushed. It’s amazing the amount of planning and working together children are willing to do when they want something so badly and are sure their parents would say a definitive, “nope, not safe!” After the daily righting of the spool for several weeks, my brother and I had it sorted so we could quickly right what my mother had wronged the night before, with little to no help from the neighborhood pack.

Once the spool was up and ready, someone would climb into the hole and brace their legs and arms against the sides. The rest of us would put our weight into getting the spool going. Oh how that spool rolled-especially down a hill! The person inside held on for dear life, too focused to scream out or say anything in objection. There were many who stumbled out of the interior chamber, unable to stand and crawled their way away from the spool just in time to deposit their morning breakfast into the lawn. We would laugh and laugh and laugh. Dust ourselves off and go ahead.


  1. Ona

    We had a giant spool in our backyard when I was a kid too! I think we only used it as a table though… I haven’t seen one like that, or thought of that spool in forever!
    Thanks for sharing this memory!

  2. Rita DiCarne

    What a wonderful memory! Those were the day – days when life was so much simpler. Your description was great; I could picture every moment, and feel myself spinning in that rolling spool. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Suzanne

    This is wonderful! You tell the story with just the right touch of magic! My kids remember sliding down a mountain at my father in law’s cabin (I was not there) on a car door! We are the adventures we make, as long as we survive them!

  4. Kristi Lonheim

    I worked at a school that had an outdoor education site up in the mountains. There was an area that we would let the kids play. Knowing that different adults have different levels of tolerance for what free play looks like, we intentionally paired classes according to their teacher’s philosophy. My partner and I enjoyed sitting on the hill, overlooking the area, and observing what unfolded before us – some scenes were very parallel to your spool rolling. Thanks for the nudging those memories to the surface.

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