The Importance of a Toy Box

When I was a boy, maybe 8 or 9, and my father a young man, the two of us went shopping at Derbyshire’s Unpainted Furniture. My sister and I needed a toy box. I recall meandering around the store, looking at book shelves, desks, and tables. The air smelt of freshly cut wood. All the furniture pieces were smooth and soft. I liked sliding my hand across each desk and table top, knowing I wouldn’t snatch my hand quick away because it was bit – a splinter.

Once a we found a proper toy box and placed in the back of our blue, wood-paneled station wagon, we brought it home. Dad spread newspapers across the garage floor, set the box upon it, and began to stain it, a brown stain, deep and rich. Finally, after a few coats of stain and a few more coats of shellac, our toy box rested alone in the garage, drying and waiting. It wanted to be filled with toys and a few days later it was.

For years, I ran to that toy box, opened its lid, and rummaged for the desired treasure: a matchbox car, a Star Wars action figure, a baseball mitt. Every joy I could think of was in that wooden chest. Today, 35-years-later, that toy box still rests in my parents’ home and it’s still heavy with my old toys.

A few hours ago, my wife and I returned to Derbyshire’s. We purchased bookshelves for my son’s room. He’s nine now. The same age I was when I first inhaled the welcoming aroma of wood, when I felt its soft, smooth skin.

My dad and I - Christmas 2012.
My dad and me – Christmas 2012.

My dad, near 70, stills talks about Derbyshire’s. It’s a great place to buy furniture, he says. His hair has turned white. Mine is graying more and more each day.

It was good to return to that furniture store, to smell and feel the wood. It was good to touch the memories of a toy box and a great dad who filled it with toys for me.

11 thoughts on “The Importance of a Toy Box

  1. Tom Summers

    These are great memories. Your comments brought a broad smile to the face of both your Mother and I. Thank you for this walk down memory lane.


  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt:Groundhog Day | Danny James

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Groundhog Day | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  4. Pingback: Would I really want a chance to do it again? | Hreodbeorht's Surf Report

  5. Pingback: Housework: Doing It And Doing It And Doing It Well | Edward Hotspur

  6. Pingback: The Camino Plan | Your Backpack Is A Portable Laundry Line: Washing Clothes on the Camino

  7. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves (Unfortunately) | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

  8. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves (Unfortunately) | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  9. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Home | The Wandering Poet

  10. Pingback: Daily Prompt; Home: I just hate it! | Words 'n Pics...

Say something!! Please?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s