Wheels changed my life! A doll buggy instead of a cradle. Rolling in a Radio Flyer! Pushing dump trucks through the yard.
My favorite toys were round and moving. Very young I got trucks and cars for the dirt and mud that grew around our house. Then Mom bought me a multi-colored train set. I pulled and pushed it around the front room with sound effects. It had a blue engine (like The Little Engine That Could) with a bell that rang. The red caboose, plus a yellow coil car, a green gondola, and an orange boxcar made up the rest of the line. It didn’t need a track so it could go anywhere. I probably wore down the wheels driving on rough concrete. I loaded it with springs, jewelry, marbles and little dolls in the cars. The coil car came with two boxes and milk cans already in it. Fun to invent ways to anchor things to the cars. The orange box car door really opened. Another place I stashed lots of incredible things. Some of our “lost” items may have been in my train.
Wheels put imagination in my life, and these were the best. My train’s wheels went around the kitchen, under the beds, on the porch - even around the Christmas tree. They were replaced by trikes, bicycles and eventually a car but the train was perfect for me. I even married a railroader.
This story is in response to Ariele’s request for 200 to 300 words on a favorite childhood toy.
Laura Knudsvig grew up in the Seattle area and still lives in Washington with her railroader husband, and family not far away.
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