A bunch of childhood memories are creeping into my consciousness of late. They are mostly about school, my horse, crazy imagination outdoor games, and when my mom was sick. It seems like the stories want to get out, so I'm going to write 'em here.
Story #1: Time Machines
There were two time machines near my house.
The crab apple tree in the front yard was the more straight forward of the two. My elder sister discovered that when you climbed high into the tree and sat on a select branch, buttons would rise out of the knotty bark. The magic branch was thick and shot out the of trunk at roughly a 60 degree angle, it kinda hurt your butt to sit on it and you didn't want to stay too there long. I was too small to climb the tree on my own, so my dad nailed some boards into the trunk for me to use as stairs. The tree bark felt rough and strong, a little cold, and really REAL when I climbed. We used the buttons to program how far back in time we wanted to go; they made loud juicy beeping noises.
After programed, the tree would shake violently sending all those nearby into a violent spin and eventually knocking us down with dizziness. When the clouds and tree branches stopped spinning we had arrived in another time. Then we would wonder around looking at everything with new eyes, marveling at how much THE SAME everything looked. This game just faded away until we were in "normal" time again and we moved on to some other amusement.
The other time machine was more of a dimension shifter. I discovered this one myself - it was mine. There was a windbreak in the neighbor's yard made of a row of thick luscious pine trees. When I squeezed between the trees, there was a moment when I was totally engulfed in the surprisingly soft needles. In that second, I slipped into another dimension. When I emerged on the other side I was in a world lurking with fantasy danger: dragons, dinosaurs, sorcerers, tiny gnomes, and other adventurers. In this world I ran a store (in the sandbox). My most valuable commodities were ultra-soft sand collected from driveway ant mounds and cottonwood tree seeds. It wasn't uncommon for me to mix up magic potions, mostly for protection from dragons. I had to leave this dimension by going back through the pine trees again. My mother must have wondered why I ran away before returning home after she called me for dinner.