Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hardware Memories

It is funny how some of the most random places can bring back nostalgic feelings.

Yesterday, I went into a hardware store to run an errand for my editor. I don't remember the last time I stepped foot into a hardware store, but as soon as I walked in, it was as if I was eleven years old and shopping for supplies to make one of my 4-H projects.

The smell of the fresh cut wood, the plumbing fixtures, the paint...I felt the excitement I used to feel when it was time to gather parts for my model rockets and woodworking projects.

It was always about this time of year that I would really be buckling down to work on those 4-H county fair entries. I had the whole summer to work on them but always seemed to end up starting them the first week of August, only two weeks before fair time.

It still makes me proud to think of all of the things I built by myself and entered to be judged at the fair. Model rockets were the projects I was most proud of. I started out simple, but by my final years in 4-H, I was building complex multistage machines. And I was a girl, which made me all the more proud.

The most exciting part about building those rockets was shooting them off in my backyard. In order to be entered into the fair the rocket had to have been launched five times. My entire family would troop out to the alfalfa field behind the house and make a big production of it.

One year, one of my multistage rockets shot so far that it landed in the cornfield across the road. I was so upset that I might have lost a project that had taken me so many hours to build that I walked the rows of the field for hours, searching for it. Finally, just before I gave up looking, I spotted it. I don't know if I've ever been so elated to find something in a cornfield.

It is so amusing to think back to these times. It wasn't even that long ago, but I feel as if I haven't thought of those moments in ages. Just caught up in the moment, I guess. It's nice to be reminded of a different more innocent time though.

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