Behind the barn sat an old truck. It may have stopped working there after one last load of grain was hauled from the elevator or perhaps it was pulled there by Dad on his old Ford tractor. It wasn’t planned as a play structure. Anything moving or not became a game or toy for the five kids in our family.
The old style of door handle was shaped like a loop. The semi-circle made a perfect design for tying a jump rope, one girl would twirl and the other could jump. With the tailgate up was a great spot for hide and seek and when it was down we made pirates walk the plank. We climbed to the roof and we were out of reach of pesky little brothers and we could see down the rows of corn.
My younger brother practiced his driving skills by the hour, three years old and already accomplished at driving a stick. A sister learned the dangers of smoking, when her pretend cigarette caught fire, it didn’t really catch fire, her finger just sported a really interesting burn pattern for several weeks. Mom took the lighter out of the dash after that particular game, but Jeanie never did take up the smoking habit again.
My last memory of the old truck was the warm afternoon Mom, Dad and all the big kids searched the farm for my younger brother. He’d wandered off. We looked in all the barns and storage sheds. The longer we searched the more frantic our calls. He was finally found sound asleep in the truck, the perfect place for an afternoon nap.