Sunday, June 12, 2011
When I was a kid, my mom organized big backyard summer carnivals with all the neighborhood kids on the southend of Beacon Hill. We gathered together and made the prizes in living room craft sessions, stringing beads, making pom pom dolls, more. It was a glorious mess of paper, markers, crayons, glue, fabric, wires, pipe cleaners and kids of all ages.
Goerge's Store (local Mom and Pop) chipped in for prizes a few times. The money we made went to The Children's Orthopedic Hospital and orphanages in Viet Nam and Korea. One year we received a thank you card from Korea. Tucked inside was a group photo around a sewing machine they had bought with the money. That is when I realized a little about giving. Up until then I thought keeping the money made more sense. Like my allowance was paltry.
I was 15 at the last one. My guitar playing boyfriend painted a sign for me (and he used a lot of green glitter) because that summer i was the fortune teller. I had a really cool book on palm reading as my guide. According to feedback, i aced it a few times.
The carnival went up in our front and back yards. We had a fishing pond game, spin games and bean bag tosses. We put on little skits and other performance things, sold Kool-aide and cookies, it was good times.
Much later I realized that all kids were not so lucky. At the time, it was just something we did, not that special. Now I recognize how it has added to my feelings about the world.