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Jamming in the Sandbox

by Donald Price
page two

After work I thought of our barn as I pulled the car into the garage. Dirty, Mickey had called it! Maybe he painted it? I joked to myself. With that, I immediately looked out the garage window to see if he had! The wall getting the sun sparkled curiously but not from new paint, I was sure.

As I went in to change my clothes and read the paper, I noticed someone had left open the drawer where I keep some of my cherished treasures.

"I'm home, Mick," I said.

"Okay," he said.

He was in his room with the door shut

"Wanna build that corral before supper?" I asked

"Okay," he said again.

He never came out, though. I changed my clothes, perused the newspaper, and later woke up from a drowsy spell.

"Hey, Mick, did you work on the barn today?" I said.


"Let's go see your progress?"


"May I look it over myself, then?" I asked.

"No. Umm, okay."

He had made barn walls of marble--with my antique marble collection. I went right back to confer with him.

"Mick?" I said knocking on his door.

"I took your marbles," he said.

"Yes, and you sure did make beautiful walls with them."

"Are you mad?"

"No, I'm pleased. Thanks for making me an elegant barn."

That was the day I learned to share my toys, too.

We went on to make a whole ranch with marbles. Soon we used all of mine and Mickey couldn't find his so we ordered a whole semi-truck load in three different varieties: Purees, Cat's-Eyes and Swirls.

Mickey heard the truck coming before I did. He stood still, watching for it. He waited and waited without moving.

"Gujga-gudjgagaga. Gudjga. Gurrrgudjga-gurrrrgudjgauuuurrr," it sounded as it left the creek bottom timber and came into sight. The purees, contained in cells like eggs in an open carton, had been placed on top. Their deep semi-transparent hue formed a rainbow of red, blue and purple.

"Gudjgah. Bbbbbbruuuuuuurbbbggg" The driver backed off on the throttle as he approached a series of bumps.

"Brand new marbles, exciting, huh?" I said.

"Pretty," he said.

"Yes, those pretty ones on top are called Purees."

"Do trucks have names?"

"Pardon me? Umm oh, yes. That one is a Hold on 'til it gets closer."

It was a Peterbuilt truck--in glistening maroon, chrome wheels and dual chrome stacks. Somehow, the driver seemed to match his truck with his T-top showing his washboard stomach.

"Where's your forklift, Pard'ner?" he said as he hopped out.

"In the" Oh, he wasn't talking to me.

He and Mickey had the whole truck unloaded quicker than I could say union. When they finished the driver offered Mickey a ride to the highway.

"Shall I follow and give you a ride back?" I asked as Mickey pulled the tractor's starter lever.

"Pop pop putta putta pop-pop," Mickey approached the empty semi-trailer's ramps as the driver directed him.

Well, we did finish the ranch and even named it The Flying Marble. But when we finished putting up the first cutting of hay, I had a feeling Mickey wanted a break from ranching.

"Dad, can we get some Peterbuil's?" he asked.

The first day we opened our trucking company, we got some business. Mickey wanted to haul my collection of Matchbox cars over to his friend Jason's house so they could try out Jason's auto car service center with a parking ramp and a loop-over-loop road. I had to haul a load of logs to the mill. But before either of us could depart, we had to make the roads.

We were tired when we finished making a complete Interstate highway system. We debated whether to nap, load-up and go or to just load-up and go. We loaded up and went. Yes, we skipped our naps and were about to learn a hard lesson.

"Break one-nine," Mickey said. "I had a wreck."

"Oh, no, are ya okay, Yoda?" I asked using his favorite CB handle.

"Yes, go get the wrecker."

"Will do, Yoda. What's your location?"

"I'm aside marker a hundred."

"By the way, what happened?"

"I fell asleep. These roads are too boring."

"Hmm How come the rumble strips never woke you up?"

"'Cause we forgot to make'm."

Mickey was quiet as we rode along in the wrecker, towing his truck. He appeared to be looking at the scenery--probably out of gratitude that his brush with danger was only a brush. However, I wanted to make sure he understood the importance of naps and rumble strips for preventing future brushes.

"Should we take a rest and then install the rumble strips?" I said.

"No, let's make roads with curves and scary stuff, ok? Then I won't ever need to take a nap again.

"Hey, Dad, look at the golden leaves!"


"Look at the golden leaves. There's oodles and tons of'm."

"Oh, umm Yes, the leaves are changing.

"Hey, let's put pretty trees around your scary roads, too, ok?"

Right then and there we began the planning stages for "Stay Awake Pass." As we planned, the sun was going down and we felt the chill of autumn. We rolled up the wrecker windows and asked ourselves, Can we finish the pass before winter sets in?

When that early rush of autumn broke, we grabbed our plans, teamed-up and got to work. I made a formidable rugged terrain and Mickey installed roads going under, over, through and around it.

We were almost finished when, from out of the blue, a snowstorm joined our team. We found some mittens and finished the job. We took an end-of-summer look at our work and went in for hot chocolate.

What? Darn! Yes we did forget to put up the "chains required" signs.

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