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We Need Joy... And Ding Dongs

Today started off with a melancholy tone when the kids told me that nobody is allowed to play in the snow at school--and this is elementary school.


They get in trouble for climbing the snow piles, for making snow angels, for rolling snowballs, for stepping foot off the plowed blacktop into the snowy playground area: apparently, for anything that resembles fun in the snow.


If what they're saying is indeed the case, would it hurt to let the children actually play? My daughter says they just stand around on the blacktop waiting until recess is over to go back inside.


I guess, really, I feel sorry that so many children have even more joys taken away after a year of what has felt like a prison sentence in some ways for people used to being free to enjoy nature and experiences with real, live people whose smiles we can see and hugs we can feel.


Joy is a crucial ingredient to a fulfilled life.


Enough on that. I'll get grouchy if I think about it more.


 
Ding Dongs
Joy comes individually wrapped.

Kara brought in her Valentine's Day treats for her class. The party is on Friday, but they have to sit in quarantine at school for a few days so the Angel of Death can pass over them.


I remember what fun it was to have all sorts of sweets at those class parties that were different from the normal run my mom would buy. I've turned into my mom, pretty much buying the same run of sweets, if we do have sweets.


For this year, Kara took in heart-shaped Ding Dongs... which automatically reminds me of Uncle Dave.


Uncle Dave was the fun uncle at the family reunions. He's actually my mom's uncle, so my great-uncle.


He was the one who brought boxes and boxes of Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Ding Dongs to the yearly reunion. He also had stories and jokes for days and a smile to chase away any kind of gloom.


Since Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Ding Dongs were out of the regular run of sweets that Mom would have on hand, we looked forward to this treat every year from Uncle Dave.


Now when I see the boxes of Hostess brand fancied-up sugar on the shelves at the grocery store, I think fondly of Uncle Dave and those foil-wrapped Ding Dongs melting in our little hands on hot, summer reunion days in Grandma's huge backyard.


It was like Christmas in July.

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