The things we leave behind.

Last month my sister and I were talking about libraries and we suddenly both looked at each other and said, “REMEMBER THAT TURTLE WE USED TO SIT IN?” and our kids sort of looked at each other like we were crazy, and we are, but not about this.

I think everyone has at least one thing that they loved as a child and that they wish they could find again, always searching for it at thrift shops but never finding it.  For us, it’s the yellow turtle.

We spent hours each week in school libraries and on bookmobiles but twice a month our mom would take us downtown to the big library in the next town.  It was enormous and the children’s section was a large room in the corner that smelled of old books and new bindings and cellophane, and it was quieter than any other place on earth.  It had a muffled, reverent silence like a church and it made everyone speak in a whisper even without knowing it.  But that wasn’t the best part of the library.  The best part was the turtle.

Technically the children’s library section had several animals present, all made to sit on while you read.  All shaped out of a hard hollow plastic.  The second best animal was the giraffe (the size of a baby giraffe) that had a hollowed out space in its backside where you could sit and read and rest your head against the neck of the beast and your swinging feet became it’s tail.  But the best was the turtle.  It was low to the floor but enormous (to a child’s mind anyway.)  In my head it’s as big as a boat but probably it was 3 or 4 feet long and only a foot or so off the ground.  It was made to perch on top of as you read (like a giant mushroom with no stem) but we discovered that the underside of the turtle was concave, so we would flip it over on it’s back, crawl inside the turtle, and rock while we read.  I can still hear the welcoming thud that the turtle made when it flipped over and I can feel the smooth, cool surface of the underside and the bumpy textured surface of the shell, and the gentle motion of rocking as if I was safe in a cocoon…in a ship that cradled me, amid a sea of stories and of quiet that beckoned you to read.

I wasn’t surprised that Lisa remembered the turtle but I was surprised to find that both of us had been looking for one for years.  Presumably for our kids, but deep down I think we both would have bought it for ourselves.  We’re too big now to comfortably hide in the deep recesses of the turtle with a book but we still feel it beckon us.  And perhaps the memory is enough.  Maybe finding it would ruin the magic.  But I suspect we’ll both keep searching.

It made me wonder if everyone is like this.  If everyone has a thing they search for…something from childhood that they never got, or want to recapture.  A physical thing…like a book long out of print, or a toy a neighbor had that you always wanted, or a song that you knew but now you can’t remember, or a silk blanket that your grandmother had that you loved and that disappeared and you never found another blanket that comfortable or comforting again.

I have lots.  Some books that I’ve found again at thrift shops and now treasure.  Some that I still can’t even identify enough to search for them.  Some songs that I’ve found.  Some that are lost.  Some things that were better in my memory, as things often are.  Some things that are talismans that take me back in time.  But still I search for the turtle..carrying the memory of it inside me just as it once cradled me.

475 thoughts on “The things we leave behind.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I’m still looking for a Captain Kangaroo album I had as a child in the 50s.

  2. I have been looking for a cribbage board that is table for decades. It reminds me of my grandmother who is gone, and my grandfather who just turned 100. We spent hours playing cribbage on that table with twigs as pegs–two pegs would still have bark and the others stripped to make black and white pegs. I look but don’t search because I think the magic is in the search and the memories it brings up for me.

  3. Our library had an orange kangaroo rocking chair… I loved that thing. In fact, they still have it – even after several renovations. sigh I also have a book in my mind that – like you said – I can’t remember enough to try and track down… and maybe that’s just as well because it probably belongs in the past anyway… and to find it might cast a bit of a pall on it. So I just smile with the memories.

  4. yes. there was a series of red, hardbound books that had stories in them, and there was one particular book that had several stories that I wanted read to me over and over again. One was about a boy who never wanted to clean his room, and the wise woman down the street told his mom to just let it get messier and messier. So one morning he came to breakfast with the shape of a toy impressed into his cheek, and another day he stepped on a toy and hurt his foot and one day he literally couldn’t get out of the room. I loved that story. Never been able to find it.

  5. Beautifully written, and so true. We’re all looking for something like that.

  6. A stuffed, white, Fox Terrier that in my memory was much whiter and bigger than it was in reality. In fact, after a series of relatives died and an old stuffed dog turned up and my parents tried to tell me that this yellow, sad dog was the white Fox Terrier that I’d cuddled in my grandma’s living room, I knew they were just crazy.

  7. The children’s section in my childhood library had a sunken section like a mini-ampitheatre with cushions to lounge against. I loved it there. One thing from my childhood that I loved was the Fisher-Price barn that mooed when the door opened. I found one for my son at a garage sale when he was little and he loved it too.

  8. I occasionally buy toy groceries for myself because a girl I knew when I was a child had a play kitchen with toy canned goods, eggs, etc. My mother recently bought me a box of wooden macarons.

  9. There’s a book. I don’t even remember enough about it to begin searching for it. It was about a boy, and maybe a wizard? I don’t know if the wizard was good or bad, but he had a house, and it had a hallway where the doors opened onto different worlds. The boy was either hiding in, or searching through the different rooms/worlds – one was all water, one had machines…. I would love to read that again.

  10. Two books, which I now know I can buy because this post prompted me to look them up:
    Pardon My Fangs by Elizabeth Starr Hill and Empty World by John Christopher. Two of the books I read as a kid that have stuck with me my entire life. Soon after I moved on to Stephen King and Helter Skelter. These books are responsible for that.

  11. For me, it’s Certs. Remember them? They were like Lifesavers but better, and my grandmother always had them in her purse, and her handkerchiefs always smelled like them. I have a few of her handkerchiefs but that smell is long gone, and I’d give a lot to smell it one more time.

  12. I completely understand this post. For me, it’s an old AM radio from the late 1960s. It was white plastic, with a gold dial on the front and it resided next to my bed. I used to fall asleep listening to Justin Wilson telling stories. I loved “The Cooking Cajun” and his funny tales always lulled me. I was only 5 then, and that radio is long gone. But I keep looking for it, just in case…

  13. My stuffed dog, Coco. I had her as long as far back as I can remember. She was white, made of some kind of real fur, I think, and was made with little stubby front legs, and no hind legs. When I was three, I gave the fur on her ears a haircut, because I was sure the fur would grow back. She lost an eye and I replaced it with a similar thumbtack that almost matched. Her tail had to be sewn back on more times than I can remember. I loved her more than any other toy I ever had. One trip home from college, my mother discovered that my stored plush toys had gotten moths in them, and that half Coco’s wool felt face had been eaten away. She persuaded me to let her throw out most of the toys, including Coco, and I very tearfully agreed. I have regretted that decision ever since. I have enough sewing skill, I could have repaired her. Even now, more than 30 years later, I still want her back. I’ve looked over the internet for something similar, and never found anything like her.

  14. The book one of the Anonymous posters above referred to is a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle story.

  15. That turtle sounds like a perfect reading cocoon. I still miss Stretch Monster. I badgered my mom for Stretch Armstrong’s mutant twin for years and she finally relented one Christmas and bought it for me. I then proceeded to take a kitchen knife to it because I just had to know what kind of anatomy this thing had to make it so elastic. Of course, the goop got all over the living room carpet and my mother justifiably reminded me why she had been hesitant to get it for me in the first place.

  16. I have to tell “Anonymous” I know what book she’s looking for. It’s one of the Mrs. PIggle-Wiggle books by Betty MacDonald. They are still out there in the libraries~ I loved them, too!

  17. There is a book I read in fourth grade. I can’t remember the name of it and I have never been able to describe it well enough to have someone tell me the name. Maddening.

  18. Josephine the short neck Giraffe- and the “whistles” (small comfy Matte one person sized shaped like whistled). I miss the days of Libraries holding countless of exciting books that I could read (and re-read) to my heart’s content.

  19. We had an inflatable raft in the shape of a turtle on its back, perfect for reading in the pool (as long as nobody dumped you out!) My brothers and I eventually wore it out from too much rough housing, and I’ve never found anything like it since.

  20. I’m looking for a book that I read in the library when I was a kid. I don’t know the name. I just remember that it was filled with science fiction short stories and that after every story there was a recipe based on the story. My Mom & I would make the recipes and talk about the stories. It deepened my love of SF & began my love of cooking.

  21. I’m always searching for a smell! Clay, damp wet clay, from my primary school basement arts and crafts room. I loved it. I so loved this post. We’re always searching for those feelings from the best parts of our childhood.

  22. My sister and I read “The Summer Snowman” until it fell apart. We probably bought it for a quarter at a library book sale.

    When I got pregnant she upped her game. She found one in some corner of the internet and gave it to me immediately. All is right.

  23. Two books, one for the kids called “Fortunately,” wherein a boy has good luck / bad luck. One for my sister Lizzie and me called “The Mirror,” by Marlys Milsheiser (or close to that), about a woman who is transported through her dressing room mirror. Plus about a million other things. We all tend to buy back our childhoods.

  24. I was in an antique store many years ago and there was a red toy cash register. I have no interest in cash registers or in antique toys. But I had to have that register. I don’t remember having one as a kid, but I think I must have… or perhaps wished for one. The little register just touched my heart. I have probably had it now for 30 years. It sits on my bookshelf with my favorite books. I still love it.

  25. My second grade classroom had a “book boat”. It was a wooden boat shaped hollow thing that sat on the floor and the inside of it was filled with mounds of pillows. I only ever got to sit in it once. It was wonderful. But my favorite reading spot ever was the tent I built in my backyard with some rope tied between two trees and an old blanket and some bricks to keep the blanket from blowing away. I read all of Robin Hood in there one summer. If I ever have kids, I’m definitely building them a tent like that.

  26. Mine is the balnket on my bed as a kid. I kept it for years and dragged it it whenever I was sick as an adult. It wore clean through from it being folded in half for over 20 years. It was so soft, nothing fancy but it was mine. It was green and yellow with dolls on it, sort of like Holly Hobby but it wasn’t her.

  27. I lived in the library as a child. It was a very old building and the children’s section had very tall and very narrow rows of books. This was before books had such pretty and catching covers to them. Some had no jackets at all. There are some that live in my memory but can’t be found when searching. Sometimes I feel like I have left pieces of myself along the way that I will never be able to recover. Sometimes missing them I feel I cannot be whole.

  28. Could it have been the modified top of a turtle-shaped sandbox? I mean, IDK what the library budget was, if they had the funds for a giraffe chair and all… but if the current management of your library can’t dig up any records on the manufacturer or where it was purchased, maybe we have to MAKE our own turtles…

  29. Hey ananymous #4 that’s a Mrs Piggle-Wiggle story! From the first book. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald. That particular short is called The Won’t-Pick-Up-Toys Cure. There are four books total. Mrs P, Mrs P’s Magic, Mrs P’s Farm and Hello Mrs P. Thry are still available to buy on thriftbooks.com Go forth and enjoy!!

  30. due to an incident in my childhood i had to move abruptly. there are elements of the city of my youth that i am not always certain are factual but i live there now as an adult and occasionally i find a place and it’s real. i suppose some of the ‘memories’ are made up or from books, particularly beatrice potter, but some turn out to be real. it’s not so much that i’m looking for something missing but that sometimes i’ve found something concrete.

  31. I used to try and find a particular book but I couldn’t remember enough details to describe it to anyone. The summer that I was 10 or 11, I had a reading list from the library for all the books I read. I wish I still had that list so that I could see what I read that summer and perhaps reread them.
    I miss card catalogues. I’ve been reading some of Neil Gaiman’s speeches recently and he reminded me of how fun it was to look through a card catalogue for something to read. Computers just can’t match the experience of randomly opening a drawer and looking for a book.

  32. Y’know I tried to think of a thing, and mostly I could just come up with feelings or places I desperately miss.

    And that makes me sad, because there are no garage sales for that.

  33. Yes. An old, metal dollhouse. I spent hours upon hours in my room, quietly playing with that dollhouse. Ive seen some that are similar, but not exact. It brings up memories of being in my room, quiet and safe, hearing my mom in the kitchen. The peaceful contentment of those dollhouse hours…Ive never been able to recreate them. Ive had great moments mind you, full of joy…but nothing like the 7 year old me, playing with my dollhouse.

  34. For me it is Douglas Chester. It was a little baby boy doll that had a soft cotton bald head and a flowing white baby blanket/dress. You stuck your hand into the blanket and put your fingers up in his head kind of like a puppet. My grandfather (also Douglas Chester, a bit of a narcissist) would cuddle me on my bed and we would talk about the stuff the doll would do the next day. I would slowly drift off with the little guy in my arms and we would fly off into dreamland. I lost my grandfather last year and Douglas Chester was the one thing I asked my grandmother for. She can’t remember where he went. So, I will just keep looking for him and hoping that he someday finds his way back to me.

  35. Anonymous #4–that series is in 17 volumes—The Children’s Hour. I still have them from my childhood; my two brothers took my parents’ sets of encyclopedia. I definitely got the better end of the deal!

  36. Yes. The Denver zoo had a long jump where you could see what animal you could jump as far as. I loved that thing. I became obsessed with creating a growth chart for my kids like the long jump. It lead to hours of research into animal heights and after two years I said fuck it and I just glued a bunch of animals up our wall. The kids love it. We have since discovered a wingspan chart at the NC zoo that is very reminiscent of the original long jump. My kids like to check their wingspans each time we go to the zoo now. Good memories all around.

  37. I’m very lucky, as my most cherished things I would look for are already in my house. My stuffed lion, Rose, that I got when I was 5 and loved to tatters. My Dragonsong-Dragonsinger-Dragondrums trilogy of books that my dad gave me for my 10th birthday (with the scratch and sniff stickers I put in the front cover).

  38. Funny you should mention turtles…I grew up in Washington, D.C. and I swear there was a park with big turtle statues that you could climb over and sit on. It was my favorite park. Also remember a series of young adult sci-fi/fantasy that I just cannot find again. Beginning to think I just dreamed them up.

  39. There used to be mechanical riding horses (small sized for kids) outside grocery stores and Kmart. You would put a dime or a quarter in the coin slot and get a two minute ride. I think my mom let me ride one once, but my dad was always too busy later. I remember that there were some shaped like seahorses, but my memory could be wrong. I don’t see them anymore, but whenever I get the chance, I ride on adult sized carousels – the kind with horses and mirrors and carnival music.

    Some of us have had difficult or strange childhoods, but there are so many magical childhood memories. Yours sounds like a twofer – strange animals and books at the library.

  40. I find myself always on the lookout for kitchen items similar to what my grandparents owned. I’ve found the table, and I have their old lazy Susan. I also have a replica of a chair I used to sit in as a child. Some of my happiest memories were made at their table, or when I was sitting in the kitchen on that stool.

  41. I search still for a recipe that I discovered in home EC class. When we moved one of the many times back then, it was lost. I still look in old Betty crocker(and the like) cookbooks but can’t find it.

  42. This made me cry, it is one of the most beautiful post you’ve ever written. I hope you find your turtle. Hugs.

  43. Oh yes. One of my biggies is a book totled “Can I get There by Candlelight”. It was about a girl and her horse who after moving into a new (for them) home find an old sidesaddle in the barn and subsequently a locked and overgrown entrance to an adjoining property. Upon making their way through the girl and her horse Candlelight encounter a victorian era girl who it ultimately turns out is a ghost. There is of course a bit more to the plot and it was one I cherished in my school library. There were beautiful greys ale watercolor illustrations and being a lifelong equestrian, artist and follower of all things ghostly absolutely LOVED this book. I searched for years and finally found it a couple of years ago on Amazon. I could hardly contain myself waiting for it to arrive. I was not disappointed. Keep on with your search and I dearly hope you find what you are looking for and that it brings the same happiness for you upon its arrival back in your life.

  44. My sister is the absolute best at this. She is an eBay treasure hunter and found a New York City Ballet beach towel just like the ones she and I had received for Christmas when we were kids. She surprised me with it for my birthday. Also, my mother gifted me with the wooden handled sugar scoop and Ace serve spoon spatula that I coveted as mementos from my childhood. Definitely some of the most precious gifts I have ever received.

  45. krissy, and anonymous#4 – that IS a Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle story, from the first book, and if my mother hadn’t saved the book (which was hers as a child), I’d be searching for it too. I used to say, “Mommy I can’t understand you, you’re laughing too hard,” and suddenly I was reading the stories to my own children and laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe…

  46. Mine was a book called Piper Pipe that Song again. My little poetic heart cried when I read the poems. I don’t have much of anything from my childhood but I have that book.
    Lovely blog post. 💜💜💜

  47. I used to have my mothers copy of 365 Bedtime Stories by Nan Gilbert the 1955 edition that was illustrated by Jill Elgin

  48. A large, very colorful book of fairy tales that I took with me the night my mom decided to leave my dad. She took us to a hotel. I remember reading that book for comfort, and I don’t remember seeing it after that night, so I think I left it in the hotel room by accident. I’ve thought of that book a lot over the past 38 years. Funny how that works.

  49. I would love to find the frayed, yellow blanket my mother told my grandmother to throw away after I left it at Grandma’s while visiting for a weekend when I was four. Apparently my mom didn’t think I “needed” it anymore and I continue to remind my mother that yes indeed I still NEED it (I was very attached), It was one of those blankets that had the silky edges I would rub between my fingers at bedtime to help me fall asleep. Maybe that’s why I developed insomnia at a young age…good luck searching everyone!

  50. The one that I’ve never been able to find was a mystery about a group of siblings, I think there were five of them who get sent to their grandparent’s farm for the summer. All I really remember is that they’ve been looking for a missing book/story/journal? and toward the end of the book they realize that there’s a little book sewn into one of the old quilts. When they open the quilt and find the little book the answer to the mystery is somewhere in the book. It might have just been pages sewn into the quilt not a book book, but in my head I imagined it as a tiny novel that would fit in the palm of your hand. I think I read it around grade 4-6. It might have been a Canadian author. I loved that story. My Mom was not thrilled when I tried to open up my own comforter and stash a book in there.

    Anyone else remember that one?
    Claire

  51. Mine is a small doll. It stands about 8″ tall. Has a line-up key on the back and when you wind it up, it’s head turns gently and it plays a melody that I connect with my childhood. It is a harlequin type clown. My mom had the doll but got rid of it, and I find it hard to forgive her. But that’s mine.

  52. I’m still looking for a toy I had when I was four. I had a weeble wobble haunted house, and my favorite thing that went with it was the weeble wobble ghost that glowed in the dark. I’m also still trying to figure out what I did with my Monchichi.

  53. i went back to my childhood library and sat in the tiny chairs and drank from the short water fountain. i asked for my favorite childhood book (Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack) and they went and found it for me and said, “We will ALWAYS have this book.” Sometimes you can go home again! (At least that once, they’ve torn down the library since but I know the new one still has my book!)

  54. I looked for this story for years, and I just found it a couple of months ago…”The Dolls’ Awakening” by Josephine Scribner Gates. It’s about all of the dolls in this little English hamlet coming to life for, I suppose, the summer. I loved it as a kid!

  55. The Children’s Bluebird by Mrs Maurice Maeterlinck & Illustrated by Herbert Paus

    I loved the orginal plate illustrations and the fantastic story and would hide for hours in the closet (I wasn’t supposed to be handling the ancient book) to pour over the picture details and later to read and reread the story of their quest for happiness.
    As a child with undiagnosed depression this quest echoed in my hollowed out heart and assured me that no matter what hell I was in, one day I could venture out to find happiness. It would be a long journey, I should take friends, beware of betrayal, trust that I would survive it; to know that there is merit in both the comfort of our lives and the adventures that take us away from them and that sometimes we have to come full circle to appreciate what we have and that’s ok. More than that, it gave me hope and escape.

    I later found and bought copies for myself and my nieces: http://www.rarebookcellar.com/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=115246

  56. I have a lot of smell memories I try to reproduce. Sea & Ski from the 1960s. They revived it in the ’90s maybe and I still have a bottle from then. Still a bit of a scent there. I love walking into old apartment buildings where the scent transports me to my grandmother’s apartment in the Bronx, circa 1968.

  57. I spent so much time trying to find a book for my daughter. It was my favorite book. It was one of those books they have in schools but I got mine from Grandma’s house. I don’t know where she got her books but she had the best ones. I kept searching for a copy of “Can You Imagine?” And I found it on ebay! It’s still the best book and “A Good House” is the first and best story in the book.
    I also spent a good bit of time trying to find a record earlier this year. I remembered the song, but I had some of the lyrics wrong. When I finally found the song on youtube I cried. It was the perfect intersection of another magical find from Grandma’s house and the title made me think of Pappy. With the title and artist I found the same record that I had and played on my Rainbow Brite record player. There’s a really neat sound with records you don’t get with digital. I miss that sound.

  58. omg yeah the edward goery pop up books i was late 20s does that count??? had just grad cambridge with my dual phds and qualified for my md many yrs later i was able to buy a set of them for my son and daughter to enjoy for a small fortune LOL there are others music a..

  59. I have the memory of a cemetery that I swear existed and that I went to more than once. I remember there being a road that circled back on itself and I have dreamed about it more than once but no one in my family seems to remember it.

  60. I missed my stuffed lion that looked like simba as an adult from the lion king and was half my size as a 3yr old. I got gum in his hair and my mom tossed it and I can never find him again.I took him everywhere and we use to play for hours. As an only child he made me feel less alone and now he’s lonely in a dump somewhere 😢 if only I could see him again.

  61. Yes. I’m always searching for things in my early childhood like this (I’m still quite young) but I have a strong sense that I don’t really want to find them. It’s just that the act of searching for them somehow makes the memory more vivid. Like when you imagine something but the act of writing it down really makes the image come alive in your head. I don’t know if that’s just me but I can definitely relate!

  62. When I was seven or eight and troll dolls were a HUGE fad there was an adorable one at a store in my hometown. It had pink hair, and a blue jean dress with a pink and white checked shirt. I fell in love with it. Every time we went into that store I saw it and just oooohed and aaaahed over it. I knew I couldn’t have it because it was a silly waste of money and my parents didn’t have a lot of extra money for things like that. And I knew I didn’t need it. Then one time we went into the store and it was gone. I was heartbroken, even though I had known I would never get it. As long as it was there, it was a possibility and now that possibility was gone.

    Then my birthday came. The last box mom and dad gave me contained that troll doll in all her pink, frilly glory. I was so happy because I knew Mom and Dad had listened to what I had to say and sacrificed a bit so I could have something I so clearly loved but never asked for.

    They moved out of my childhood home recently (and that’s another thing that I miss I’ll never have again) recently and when they were cleaning out their basement Mom asked if I wanted to go through my left over stuffed animals to see if I wanted to keep any. I said no, it was all right, it was time to let them go. What I DIDN’T realize was that the troll doll was in there. I was heartbroken when I found out she was gone. Not because I still love trolls, but because to me that silly doll will always be a physical symbol of just how much my parents loved me and wanted me to be happy.

  63. One of mine is a redware teapot. Coveted that thing. It sat in my mother’s china cabinet. I could see it but not touch and when I did get to touch it, the moire pattern was fascinating. A few years ago my Mom gave that teapot to me. She still had it. She had no idea how much I loved it. It sits atop my mantel in a place of honor amoung 5 other redware teapots. They make me so happy.

  64. To Alyssa, above: might your book be “The Lives of Christopher Chant” by Diana Wynne Jones? He doesn’t exactly get to them through a hallway but the main character is a boy who goes to different worlds, one of which is a waterworld with mermaids and one is a world with machines instead of magic. He eventually is apprenticed to a powerful enchanter as well.

  65. For me it’s foods. There are things from my childhood that are really quite easy to find, like cotton candy and fudgsicles,but they don’t taste the same in a grown-up mouth

    I guess it’s the innocence and excitement that are missing.

    Sigh.

  66. Yes. There was a board game which was shaped like a house and you had to get to the attic. I think you had to clean the rooms. I loved that game. I have no idea what it was called and it was probably made in the 50s or 60s since I played with it at my grandparents in the 70s and I bet they got it at a garage sale.

  67. I can think of several things. I remember seeing the Sinclair dinosaur at the service station, and begging my mom to buy us the toy version while the guy was filling up the tank and cleaning the windshield (remember that). I also adopted a piece of seal fur that was at my cousins’ house that I loved rubbing on my face. Other things I don’t want to find again, but I don’t have the slightest idea of what came of them. One was a small ring snake that I remember putting in a plastic case that my Erector Set came in. The other is a rabbit I kept in a small hutch in our backyard. I still have nightmares that I forgot to feed it, so let’s hope that’s NOT what happened.

  68. Janet Smith- I know that smell! When I work with clay, it takes me back…
    Fizzies, the little tablets you put in water that fizz and flavor it.
    My Winnie the Pooh that had a music box inside that used a key to wind it. Lost the key, music box died, but he was so loved that he was floppy and some of the fuzz had worn off. Mom got rid of him and left me bereft ( I was 6 ).
    I also always wanted my own horse, and asked for one every Xmas and birthday. Vowed that I would have one when I was an adult, and worked with other people’s horses until I finally got her, my Hope.

  69. For me it was a book by Ella Young called The Unicorn with Silver Shoes. That book awakened a life-long love of mythology. It took me decades to find it, and then a long time to be able to afford it. I have it now, and feel that the circle is complete.

  70. Mine is a lipstick my mother had that I used to “steal” and wear when she wasn’t home. I can’t recall what brand it was, and I know I’d never wear that shade now, but the taste of it – kind of waxy and perfumy at the same time…it sounds kind of gross, but to me it represented adulthood and a future when I might be free from that unhappy house and on my own. Hope, basically. I’d love to find it again.

  71. Every time I went to my grandparents’ I would re-read a book called The Patchwork Cat. It was about a cat who became lost from his family and had to fight off dogs and garbage trucks until the milkman came to return him to his family. I’d curl up in the only sofa I remember my grandma ever having and re-live the terror and ultimate relief of that poor cat. That’s just how I felt at my grandma’s– complete relief and security away from a sometimes terror-filled world.

    I kept the book after she passed.

  72. I have two things I wish to find…one is a sponge in the form of a tug boat…I remember my sister and I being in the bathtub in the late 1950’s or early 60’s and having this colorful tug boat sponge float around and we would put our bar of Ivory soap in the back of the boat…it had a spot for the soap…it had to have been a story book character cause it had eyes and even an nose which one of us had bitten off! And the second thing I would like to find is a hard plastic ivory “lady” in a hoop skirt that fits over a round box that held my grandmother’s body powder and big puff. I remember it vividly and I am 62.
    Funny how even if we had difficult childhood’s, there are things we still find comfort in from back then. The smell of bleached clothing is one of my favorites. That same grandmother always had clothes hanging in her basement and I spent as much time as I could with her (to escape from the perils of being at home).
    Years ago my husband and I were leaving an antique shop and I spied a “Lassie” dog and had to have it eventhough we were super poor and the dog was $23. I just knew it had to do with my childhood. Sure enough, going thru some photos of when I was really little, there it was, on my bed next to me, surrounded by other stuffed animals. Amazing how our memories work….especially since now I can’t even recall what I just had for dinner last night!!!

  73. I forgot one. There was a specific sandalwood oil I had in my twenties that I loved…helped me so much when I was going through a really anxious patch. Once I ran out though, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I still have the bottle, and it still has a hint of that smell, but I haven’t found anything that smells exactly like it.

  74. Wow. That actually could be her….it’s being sold in Wisconsin where I’ve lived my whole life.

  75. Mine is related to food or smells:
    The taste of fresh blackberries in heavy cream from my grandmothers yard.

    The smell of my grandmothers closed in back porch where she slept. No A/C – the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle with a hint of rose wafting through the window.

    The smell of my Aunt’s cornbread and chicken dressing – celery, onion, butter, chicken and sage – I can make it but somehow it never smells like hers.

    The yellow buttery mashed potatoes that Mom made – the house filled with that aroma – salty, earthy and butter. Mom passed away 1 year ago today…. My heart aches.

  76. There was this one Little Golden book I had when I was tiny. All I remember about it, besides the fact that I loved it, was that there was a little poem about tying your shoes and it ended “Because my thumb gets in the way.” I’m a librarian now and have looked but just can’t remember the title of the book!

  77. There’s a song from the early 90s that I would try to catch on the radio when my parents weren’t paying attention. We weren’t allowed to change the radio to “secular” music stations, but I’d heard it at a friend’s house and I loved it so much. So I would close my bedroom door and turn on my boombox radio really quiet and scroll through the stations, trying to find it.

    I cannot to this day remember what the song is, who it is performed by, or even any of the words to the lyrics. For a long time, I thought it was a Janet Jackson song, but after listening to every song she ever did, I was not satisfied. It probably was her, but I think I am trying to capture that essence of rebellion again rather than the song itself again.

  78. I have been searching for years for a copy of “What Happened to George”, about a pig who loves to eat–too much and meets an untimely end. The end of George is left unspecified, but his grandfather thinks “He just plain burst!” Good lord! I loved that book, as did my siblings, so although a number of our childhood books remain, that one I think we just plain wore out. Unfortunately, any I find online are upwards of $90. Guess I’ll just have to satisfy myself with the few pages that are in this link: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.ca/2009/04/survey.html

  79. This brought back memories of how much I loved to go to the library as a kid. It was like a huge treat to walk in and smell the books and hear the silence and relax and read. BEAUTIFUL post Jenny.

  80. For the longest time, one of my favorite children’s books was out of print (Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like) but it’s back now so all is well… except that I can’t find a proper copy of my favorite book ever, which was/is Watership Down. This was the print with Hazel on the cover, crouched amid tall yellow grass… all other copies are somehow not as good, and I can’t explain why.

    Plus my dad still owes me a mogwai, but I’ll let him handle that.

  81. mine was more of a toy i decided I HAD to replace 15 years after i burnt it to ash. I accidentally burnt down the playhouse i shared with my little two sisters. Our dad was a carpenter so it was huge, beautiful and held almost every toy we owned. In our early 20s I asked my sisters what was something they missed the most from our 1980s toys that were destroyed. They both said “Water Pets”. There was a red cat and blue dog (or visa versa, i think). After a year of hunting down in weird obscure auctions I found them used for $40 each. Without a thought i got them them both.

  82. Yes! There was a book I read when I was about nine. It had a tree and a squirrel, but I can’t remember the name, or the author but whenever I am in the library I search around for it. I guess these are the things we’ve lost, and if we could find them perhaps we could find a bit of ourselves that we have lost too.

  83. My sister and I both remember reading a story or a book about a girl whose father sent her to visit her aunt, but it turns out the aunt is a werewolf and has for a symbol a golden flower, and she makes a wine of those flowers and the girl drinks it and dreams memories of the werewolf power of the family– or something like that? It’s a long time since we either of us read it. It was a powerful and amazing story, actually, unlike my flippant description of it. And neither of us can find it. Every time I’m in a library I’ll do some searching for it, but I’m guessing neither of us will find it now.
    And I wonder– if I did find it, would that make me happier than having this shared mystery with my sister? This one thing that makes us sometimes look at either in a shared frustration, both of us knowing exactly what we’re thinking about, but can never find? I wonder.

  84. Andrew Henry’s Meadow by Doris Burn was my favorite picture book as a kid. It was reissued for it’s 50th anniversary, and I bought one, and a Kindle version as well!

  85. Mine was a board game that I only played a couple of times. It was among the small collection of toys that lived in the camper, so the only times I played it were when we were camping and the weather was keeping the six of us cooped up in a little 15′ camper trailer.
    What I remembered about it was that it had a graveyard theme and involved placing hexagonal tiles to make a path. Nobody in my family remembered having played it or even seeing it, and the a game with no board and hex tiles seemed out-of-place for the late seventies, so for several years I thought I’d imagined it.
    Eventually, after combing through hundreds of hex-tile-based games in the BoardGameGeek database, I discovered that it was called Trails to Tremble By, that it was published by Whitman (publisher of many of the coloring books and jigsaw puzzles I devoured as a tyke) and that it was fairly rare.
    After a couple years of searching, someone alerted me to a copy of it on eBay. I bid on it, but the bidding quickly rose above the amount I was willing to pay for it.

    A couple weeks later, I discovered that while the bidding had risen above the amount I was willing to pay for it, it had not risen above the amount my wife was willing to pay for it. The copy I now have had never been played; many of the cardboard pieces were still in the sprues. And, frankly, it’s not a very good game. But I’m happy to have it nonetheless.

  86. My sister and I shared a toy we loved. It was a wooden apple, about life-size. The top part came off; the bottom was hollow, and held a small wooden teapot and, I think, four teacups with attached saucers. The top had a piece of wood across the opening that was painted to look like a tablecloth, so you could turn it upside down and set it on the bottom piece to make a table for the tea party. We sold it in a garage sale, along with other things I now long for, but didn’t care about at the time.

  87. My childhood was harrowing. I’m the Black Sheep of the family, the round peg trying to fit in the square hole. I remember seeing Disney’s Ugly Duckling short film and it made me cry. Still does. If I ever find the perfect, beautiful edition of The Ugly Duckling it WILL become mine. I’ve looked at many copies, but they just don’t speak to me. Someday, though, I will see a beautifully illustrated copy that makes me cry and I will spend every penny I have if necessary.

  88. Someone make this woman a turtle! Stat! (A turtle to sit in and read, not as in “turn her into a turtle.”)

  89. It was a cassette tape of The Limelighters singing kid songs for adults. They visited our local area about 6-8 years ago and brought some of them for sale. Yes I bought one!

  90. For me it’s anything related to Winnie the Pooh and, specifically, a bean stuffed Eeyore toy I had as a kid. It was gray felt and already bald in a few places with a detachable tail. I loved that toy. To this day The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is my goto movie when I need to find my happy space, it is the one move I will always make sure to have on my phone.

  91. For Anonymous who remembers the stories of the boy with the messy room. I think you are remembering the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories. I’ve been reading them with my boys and there is one that fits your description. Hope this helps you find it.

  92. What a wonderful memory! I would be searching for that turtle, too. I absolutely feel all of us have some “velveteen rabbit” we cherish and miss and desperately want back in our lives. Some are things, some places, some foods or smells. More subtly, perhaps, we want something I call “feeling-quality” which makes no sense but is the kind of feeling you have in a time or with a person, not the actual feeling perhaps, but that type of feeling that is so elusive. Like the kind of feeling from blanket forts, or a summer’s day when all you needed to do or think about was to lie in the grass and look at clouds or the stars.

  93. I have been looking for the book BIRTH OF A FOAL for years. I took it out of the library at least twice a month from the the time I was 4 until I was around 7. It might be a Danish book, I’may not sure anymore, I just know that I would love a copy of that book.

  94. A unicorn book, whose title I cannot remember, but whose stories were my favorite. I took it out of the library every time we went. I’ve searched and searched and even bought other unicorn short story books hoping they would turn out to be the one–but I’ve never found it. I just lives on in my imagination ❤️

  95. My parents divorced when I was in kindergarten, and I have very VERY few memories of them having ever been married. One that I do have involves my dad coming home from work and putting “The Muppet Show” on the record player, and doing gymnastics with me on the living room floor. Our favorite “song” was always “Gonzo Eats a Rubber Tire”. We searched for that song for YEARS without success, and when I got married almost 11 years ago, a friend found it for me and we played it as a surprise for my dad for my dance with him at my reception. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

  96. Moving and so true. Thank you for all you write. Your words ring the truth of my mind and heart.

  97. At the top of the Comments about a boy stuck in his room with the toys. The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury, By Betty MacDonald. There’s a story called “The Won’t Pick-Up-Toys Cure” Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives down the street. The boy gets trapped in his room. I read the stories at my Grandmothers house and the one that stuck with me is “The radish cure” . This one is about a girl that wouldnt bathe so they put radish seeds on her and they grew on her skin. One random day while shopping at the bookstore, I found the with all the stories.

  98. When I was a little kid, I had a picture book called The Dragon in the Clock Box. It’s about a little boy (like me!) named Josh (like me!) who is very sensitive (like me!). He comes downstairs for breakfast one morning with the box from a clock all taped up and claims there’s a dragon egg in it, but the egg has to stay in complete darkness, so he can’t show it to anyone. Eventually he says the egg hatched and there’s a baby dragon in the box, but he still can’t show anyone. I loved the book and even took a small box I found, drew a picture of a dragon and cut it out, put the paper dragon in the box and taped the box up.

    The book is long out of print, but about 10 years ago, my mom tracked down a used copy and gave it to me for my birthday. I seriously cried when I unwrapped the present and saw what it was.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Dragon-Clock-Box-Jean-Craig/dp/B0006AY0I2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495566243&sr=8-1&keywords=the+dragon+in+the+clock+box

  99. Way way back when I was 3 or 4 I went to a nursery school that had this really great wooden teepee. I was about 6ft tall, 4 sided and had holes cut in all the sides so you could climb to the top or crawl through the bigger bottom hole to sit inside. The wood was so smooth and smelled like fresh cut wood. It always felt cool and quiet inside.

    Years later, my mother found the building plans for it. She had volunteered at the nursery school and had received a copy. My now ex-husband got “volunteered” to make one for my boys when they were little. I love it so much that I won’t part with it. The boys are taller than it now but I just adore it. Luckily it has hinges so it folds flat and stores well.

  100. I was the kind of a kid whose mother would catch her at 11:30 at night, huddled under the covers reading by flashlight. And she always told me “That will ruin your eyes.” (And…she was right.) But she also taught me to love reading. I was also the kid who took her new reading book home from school and read every story in it the first night (and then was agonizingly bored all through reading time at school…because I’d already READ THEM ALL!) When I went away to college my mother (who taught elementary school) took all my books to her classroom, for her students to read. And they read them to death. When I came home from college…at the end…I came home to a room empty of my books. I have been spending the last twenty years trying to replace them all…and it has been, occasionally, impossible. The one I wanted most was The Giant Golden Book of Elves and Fairies. It had wonderful little stories about pixies and leprechauns and fairies and gnomes…and great illustrations. I found one on line, but it was $150. (A little too steep.) Finally, years later, I found another one – not a first edition – that I could afford. I bought it, and devoured the stories (although they weren’t quite as fascinating as I remembered and the illustrations weren’t exactly worthy of a Sotheby’s auction….but I loved re-acquainting myself with them anyway.) I treasure all my newly-recovered, hard won childhood books. I just wish I had daughters and granddaughters to pass them on to.

  101. I found one of my childhood books at a Goodwillthat I lost 15 years earlier when my dad died. It still had the inscription from my mom and dad on the inside even! I broke down into a sobbing puddle in the middle of a Goodwill with even my toddler looking at me like I was nuts!

  102. Mmmmcmmm, yes. And just like that I got lost in thought. I landed in the upstairs bedroom at my grandparents farmhouse, a makeshift office for my grandmother’s Tupperware empire. And I want my Mickey Mouse talking phone back, right now. At 8 years old I ruled the world with that phone. I took calls for orders, handled complaints, scheduled the now infamous and revolutionary Tupperware parties, planned meetings; essentially did all the heavy lifting while my grandmother just schlepped the goods. Ah, the good ol’ days.
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/223619643/vintage-mickey-mouse-talking-phone-from

  103. Cyntha #46, If you ever make it to Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois please stop in to a Meijer store. They still have mechanical ponies. Her name is Sandy and she only costs a penny to ride. Whenever we go in people have left pennies just waiting for kids to ride.

  104. What a great post. It brought back the memory of the fabulous excitement I used to get when my sister and I were allowed to buy 1 book from the list of book choices on the back of the Weekly Reader flier that was passed out once quarter at school. We were dirt poor but my parents always let us choose 1 book when the flier was passed out on Monday. We had to decide by Friday and turn in our choice and money. It was the hardest most thrilling decision I could imagine at the time. Thanks Jenny.

  105. I spent probably 2 decades looking for the books that had paper houses that could be punched out and assembled with tabs. I remember setting up full villages as a kid. I did eventually find one (At the store Five Below if anyone else is looking), but the magic was gone and it ended up just being more paper around the house. : (

  106. I’ve been looking for this book on the holocaust that I read in the sixth grade. it was for young adults and it followed one girl through the camp. I recall how she envied this couple who had a house inside the camp grounds. the cover was a watercolor of her standing in front of bobwire and she wore a kerchief on her head. I wish I could remember the name on that book.

  107. This is lovely, Jenny. I still yearn for a really really heavy cotton quilt that my grandmother made that was extremely heavy, and yet cool at the same time. It was only as an adult that I discovered that heavy blankets make my anxiety diminish greatly (you mentioned this in a post not long ago), but this was the first thing that did it for me. I would do anything to have that blanket again, it fell apart long after I left home and I’m sure was thrown away.

  108. Books that truly touched me. I LOVED Madeleine L’engle’s books (“A Wrinkle in Time”, “A Swiftly Tilting Planet”, “A Wind in the Door”). Also, the book “Kick a Stone Home” by Doris Buchanan Smith. But the one I loved best was “Saturday the Twelfth of October” by Norma Fox Mazer. I’m saving them all to see if my daughter will be as enraptured!

  109. A Holly Hobbie bake oven, shaped just like the old wood stoves with warmers above and cooktop/oven below. But only the oven cooked anything. I made many culinary masterpieces with that, and bless my mother for trying every one with a smiling face. Some of them must have been TERRIBLE!

    We moved when I was 10, and it somehow didn’t make it. I didn’t notice right away, but I’ve missed it for years.

  110. This reminds me of my old library. No fun animals, but the silence and the smells are dead on. I love the smell of books, both old and new. I’m not searching for anything, but my dad used to have this huge leather-bound dictionary. The pages were rice paper and I always felt it was a valuable book. It held all of the knowledge and I have specific memories of looking up words to understand what I just heard. I also remember spending time curled up in his recliner, reading the dictionary. If I could learn the words maybe I could figure out what part of me was broken. He threw the dictionary away when the Internet became a thing. I was and am so sad about that.

  111. I did search out a library book I used to read at school and oddly enough found a discarded library copy to buy. I haven’t read it again, but just to have it is nice. The library I went to as a child was gutted, and actually my childhood theatre group is housed there now but I won’t go back. Too much has happened. There’s a time capsule out front. And my mom took me to the sealing ceremony when I was very little. But stupidly they’ve put an impossible date on the thing – the year 5,000 something. There’s no way that building is lasting that long. Will this earth even last that long with this climate denial? But I always used to point to the plaque that’s there and say I was there when it was put in. But that was another life and I can’t go back.

  112. We went to the Ohio State Fair once, and one of the big buildings was dedicated to displays from not only companies (think “Sham-Wow!”), but also cultural and international groups. Tourism boards and the like. Well, there was a booth sponsored by something from the country of Tunisia. And hanging at the back was this incredible textile/wall-hanging thing. It was huge and beautiful; I remember peacock colors, but I don’t know if it actually had a peacock on it or not. And it was instant love. Also, it cost $10,000. Just a bit more than my allowance. I still think about it with a deep longing, though. I feel certain I would recognize it if I ever saw it again, just from the feeling, because I don’t really remember what it looked like, other than those vibrant colors.

  113. I’m looking for Dirty Old. Yup, that was his name. He was my stuffed tiger, my security, my best friend. I left him in a restaurant. When we went back, Dirty Old was gone. I have a picture of him with his paw in my hand. That’s how I carried him around, by the paw. That was a lifetime ago but seems like yesterday.

  114. Mine was a Barbie doll dress my sister and I used to fight over when we were kids. I recently found it and had it framed for her. It now lovingly resides in her beautiful closet.

  115. I’ve been trying to find an “educational” video on.. greed, maybe? That was shown in school, for about 31 years now. All I remember is it was stop motion, and the kid saw an add for a toy and basically turned into a little all consumed monster screaming “I want it, I WANT IT I WANT IT!” And yea, I want it. There are a few other things, too. A book about a mouse who ran a cafr, with lovely illustrations, I specifically remember cute red and white checkered table cloths and Cafe chairs. And the rub a dub doggy I asked Santa for for yeears. 😂

  116. Mine is that old tan fisher price record player then three of the records one was the smurfs one was Disney songs and one was an adult CD that several years ago my favorite song from the record was on the radio title and band not said so it was like landing back in time on my belly in what was our very 70s very blue dining room with the lights out listening to it and moving the needle back to play the song all my record player memories are in that blue room just me Disney and smurfs during the day laying in a sun beam. Randomly my hand made second birthday gift of ragidy Ann and Andy lamp.

  117. A wind-up toy! It was a green plastic cow that was wearing a milk bottle (imagine like the characters wearing barrels) and her green feet stuck out the bottom. When you wound her up she would shake – possibly to indicate a milk shake? I was too young to know. My little cousin over-wound her and I suspect that at some time my parents threw her away. I would love to find this toy.

  118. I am a Youth Services Librarian – and this post just fills me with so much joy. I am grateful to have a job where I can be a part of creating safe spaces and honoring memories like this. In addition to the space, I have had many adults over the years come up to my desk with memories of specific books just like some of the ones shared in the comments. Sometimes, we can find the books they are thinking of, and it is genuinely a delight to see their faces when we can track down an old book and let them read it again. Many even stand up to time.

  119. Mine is a place…I dream of going back to the lake we lived by and spent so much time at. Walking and swimming our dogs, hiking, canoeing, fishing, throwing rocks down the spillway. The funny thing is, I only live 4 hours away. I have yet to make the drive. I’m afraid it just won’t be the same.

  120. For me it was the “Mad Scientists Club of Mammoth Falls” book. I loved that book, but it didn’t survive going to college and moving out. I mentioned it to my husband (ok, I probably went on and on about it) and when he spotted it in a charity book sale he snapped it up for me. So many memories.

  121. I used to have this big red dog (could have been Clifford but not sure) that I was given (along with all my other cousins) at Christmas one year back when I was still pretty young. I carried that dog around everywhere. It was probably a good foot+ long, extremely floppy and I kept leaving it places. Uncertain if I lost it or it was retired quietly by my parents. They didn’t do that often with our toys (still have so many of my past treasures) but I always want to find that exact stuffed dog. I feel like I must have lost it somewhere cause one day it just wasn’t with me anymore but I never remember how it vanished. :/

  122. I’ve been trying to find a replacement for my stuffed rabbit that I’ve had since I was a child. She’s so thin and threadbare now that I’m afraid to damage her. Her tag is long gone, and I’ve given up hope of finding her match so that I can give one to my future child to snuggle. sigh

  123. I would love a Skip-It. I played with mine until it broke and I had to get a new one. I know I’d exercise if I had a Skip-It. I liked to see the counter roll back around to all zeros.

  124. I wanted a Lite-Brite but never got one. I periodically look at them and then tell myself it’s stupid for a grown-ass adult to still want a Lite-Brite but…

    We started building a dollhouse but never finished it and I am sure that, eventually, when my Mom cleaned out the house when she and my stepfather divorced, it got tossed. But I’d love a dollhouse like your haunted dollhouse, Jenny (don’t know where I’d put it…)

    I have a huge poster that you colour that I’ve had since I was about 14 and I’ve worked on it on and off over the years but it’s still not finished. And now, for some unfathomable reason, my brain has become fixated on the notion that IF I ever finish it, I’ll die. As if it’s my life’s work and completing it will mean that I’ve fulfilled my purpose and have no further reason to exist. Which my RATIONAL mind knows is a total crock but I’m still afraid to finish it…

  125. The penguin staircase! I grew up in a family of four kids and we would sit around that thing for hours. It was so obnoxiously loud and annoyed my parents to death, but there was something about watching those penguins hop their way up the stairs and then slide down to the bottom again that soothed our souls. My sister and I found it at a garage sale and bought it for her two year old daughter… we are now the adults that must endure the obnoxious sounds of her entertainment. I have a video of my niece penguin watching”, but I don’t know how to attach it to my comment…

  126. I’m 48 years old. I’ve looked for two books since I graduated in college that I read over and over from my elementary library. I found one online about 10 years ago, but never managed to find the other (couldn’t remember the title). Your article inspired me to try again. I found it! I’ve missed it for 36 years and it’s winging it’s way to me right now. Thank you!

  127. I wish I could edit my comment.
    This post is exactly why I won’t give up my “baby blanket”. It’s missing the edging and my dad burned a hole in it with a cigarette but I still love it. It’s threadbare so it’s not as perfect as it once was, but I can’t get rid of it because there is no replacement.

  128. I loved The Boxcar Children book that had only silhouettes for the illustrations. Also had a set of books that included “Surprise in the Tree” and “Mr. Pines Purple House”. Looked on Amazon and the “Mr. Pine” book was freaking $70 bucks for some reason. I gotta dig around in my basement….I have a feeling that I may still have them. (Also, something that was not from my childhood, but my kids was this very weird old kid’s book called “Pickles the Firecat”. It LITERALLY had the worst illustrations known to man, but for some reason I became very fond of that book. Yes, I still have that one. For some reason, the most precious things from my childhood were books………..

  129. Another success story I had was a few years ago, a friend was telling me how one of her kids lost a stuffed bear years prior and still brought it up occasionally. I asked her to describe the bear and realized that I owned the same/different bear. She took it home to her son, then 10 years old. He had long ago ‘decided’ he was too old for stuffies. He opened the bag and she said that he had tears in his eyes and that he said, “Mrs. Stoker is alright.” Huge praise from that child. Later she found the bear propped up waiting for her son on his pillow.

  130. Kathy #102 – I had that wooden apple and tea set as well! I had completely forgotten about it until I read your comment, but I don’t remember the table cloth.

  131. My gramps had ODOL breath freshener that me my brother and sister used to hold contests to see how many drops you could take (it was concentrated) and we did not see this for YEARS! My gramps had a pharmacy in NYC and it was pretty unusual. Well thanks to the internet – my brother sent me a bottle a few years back…:)

  132. I’m searching for that feeling of immortality that I had on a hot, summer day, when I would sit atop the monkey bars, lifting up my shirt to see how dark my suntanned skin was against my chubby belly. The sun’s rays made everything golden and I surveyed my queendom and thought that I would always feel that sense of triumphant peace, when life was simple and I only needed to listen for my mom calling my name at twilight.

    And Mrs. Beasley! I had a Mrs. Beasley doll and some little twat up the street stole her and to this day, I want to beat the shit out of her.

  133. Not something I ever look for, but in elementary school our library had a giant “hot air balloon” to read in. It probably held 4 or 5 kids comfortably in the “basket” part and was full of pillows and super comfy. I remember on library day it was pretty much a race once you made it to the library to find a book and get in that hot air balloon because there was a limit on the number of kids that could lay and read at a time. I miss that hot air balloon.

  134. I’m still looking for an old shirt. I dream about looking for it. I know it’s gone but It comes up regularly.

  135. @Katie H: Oohhh…one of my very first field trips was going to see a live play of “A Wrinkle In Time”. I was possibly as old as seven, but no older. I don’t remember much about it, but I’ll never forget the colors and jaw-dropping glory when Mrs. Who’s, Mrs. What’s and Mrs. Which’s true forms were revealed. Even now, when my kids are twice as old as I was then, I can’t help but go, “Woooowww…”

  136. I have to say, right here, right now: I have found my tribe. I love you people. Thank you Jenny, for bringing us together.

  137. I actually have copies of a couple of books that I read years ago, but I loved them so much I’m afraid to read them again because I’m afraid that I’ll lose the magic. For now, I’m content just to own them.

  138. Yes! There’s a few books from my childhood that I can’t remember enough to even search. But I did finally find one I had been searching for – Alexander and the Magic Mouse by Martha Sanders & illustrated by Philippe Fix. (I still love this book!) Thank goodness for used book sites like Thriftbooks, Alibris, and BookFinder!

  139. I’m not really sure what I would physically look for, but I do know what you are talking about with the library. I loved the library as a kid, still do as an adult, My mom just called it my second home actually. lol. I used to go to this one library, and look up the adult books, (as a kid, not like the “adult” books, just dreams, horoscopes, and books I loved) and sit in the row where they were, and I remember it being kinda dark, but I was able to be alone, with the smell of the library, the books, and I loved it. I guess I do search for being that comfortable calm feeling. I have yet to fully capture the way I felt back then.
    By the way, I hope you are feeling better, and I hope you find your turtle. xo

  140. Looney Tunes by K-Tel records. I used to listen to that record over and over again. Little Red Riding Hood, The Streak, Hello Mudda Hello Fada Here I am at Camp Granada, The Witch Doctor, and a whole bunch of other silly one hit wonders. I’ve actually looked for it intermittently on ebay, but no luck. Oh, I miss that record…

  141. The kids section of my library had old claw-foot bathtubs that had been carpeted on the inside. I felt the same way about them you did about the turtle.

    I’ve been searching for 15 years for a book I loved as a child that doesn’t seem to exist. I borrowed it from an aunt but even she doesn’t remember it, and we’ve scoured her book collection to no avail. I’ve also not been able to find it online, not even its title. It was about several toys, including a stuffed cat named Bellerophon, who journey to find a fellow toy, I think a kewpie doll, who was washed away in a river. I thought the title was “The Caves of Kingaroo” but that has revealed nothing. I’m beginning to suspect I made the whole thing up. Danielle

  142. The song Greenfields by the Brothers four. Took me forever to track it down. Anything by Linda Ronstat my mom played her all the freakin time and drove me out of my mind but now that’s she’s gone it makes me feel like she’s still there when I hear the songs. But most of all I miss my moms cooking. I wish I could find that.

  143. I wish I could find my childhood diaries to share with my daughter, when I have one. I also wish I could find photos of myself as a toddler that I misplaced years ago.

  144. I feel like I had a turtle like that in a preschool classroom when I was little. Also, did you even know today is world turtle day?!

  145. My public library, way back in the sixties, had these perfect white spheres on a single pedestal. The insides were upholstered in soft red fabric. Think of the metaphor for that. The best thing was crawling into one with six or seven books and cradling myself inside with one leg dangling outside and my foot touching the floor. I could use my toe to spin in lazy circles while I read. And the librarians never once told me to stop spinning. Thank you for reminding me of that.

    http://acatontheghettobox.blogspot.com/2017/05/i-am-not-my-son.html

  146. When I was about nine or ten, Universal Studios in Hollywood had a theme park area for kids. It was Fievels Playland from the Movie an American Tail. We had season passes that summer and I LOVED that play area. One year, say when I was about 14, it was just gone. Even as a teen, I missed it.

    I read non-stop as a child. Helped me deal with a not so great childhood. I wish I could find some of my favorite books, but now I just can’t remember them.

  147. Omg, LeighTX! That instantly brought memories back! That smell of mints and pressed powder and whatever other sundries my mother always had in her purse when I was a child. There is a book that I remember from my childhood/tweens that I know had “fox” in the title. I always think it was “The Grey Fox” but have never been able to find out under that title. I just remember a little girl who had a fur muff and loved the fox. The descriptions in it were so beautiful.

  148. Precious memories of books that stay with us forever are why I became a librarian. I always loved books and escaped in them throughout my childhood. My favorite librarians were my high school librarian and a Episcopalian nun who ran a little librarian in our poor neighborhood. She was do unorthodox in her approach to libraries because we could read and checkouts as many books as we liked. We had plays and lots of fun too. She made cookies and popcorn for us too. Her habits always flour on it from baking for us. I spent many happy hours there reading and snacking. I grew up and became a librarian like her, totally unorthodox too. Thanks Deaconess Sims for being my role model long after you were gone from Kansas and back in Arizona in your church home. You always encouraged me and empowered me to be my very best. She came to do this in our poor neighborhood on the wrong side of the tracks and she succeeded too.

  149. Mine are mostly books. I want to reread a book that I read a thousand times when I was young. It can be a shock though. Summer of the sky blue bikini was a loved book and when I found it and read it as an adult. Eww, creepy grown man “dating” a 15 or 16 year old girl. Very different read from the adult perspective!

  150. I have a book of poems from my childhood called, “Just Around the Corner”. It’s still one of my favorite books!

  151. A blue willow children’s tea set. My grandmother and I had tea parties and my mother was NOT INVITED. When my daughter got old enough, I was NOT invited to the tea parties my grandmother and mama threw. I think one of the most joyous things was the tea party names. I cannot remember granny’s name, but I was Miss Black Velvet, mama is and shall be Miss Satin Sheets, and my daughter is Miss Peach Blossom. Good times.

  152. My parents died when I was 14 so the list of things I’ve lost and searched for, and in some cases, found, is ridiculously long. Beautiful blog post Jenny. xo

  153. I am lucky to have my treasures: My old blanket that my daughter now sleeps with. My old blue kangaroo (Blue Roo, of course) – he has a logo on his belly and I’ve NEVER been able to figure out what it’s for. And the deck of Garfield playing cards that my grandpa and I used to sit at their kitchen table and play War and eat oatmeal cookies with for hours.

  154. Sound way more awesome than the LIVE animals someone decided was a good idea at our children’s library. No child should have the memory of being bitten by mother goose. I’m lucky, over the years I’ve managed to reclaim the most important ones. The Fisher Price Little Peoples Ferry that was my absolutely favourite toy “disappeared” one day, as it had the most annoying toot toot that I’d drive everyone crazy with. One day my friend showed up with one in pristine condition they had found while shopping for vintage Fisher Price for her girls. It’s in pride of place in my sewing room, and every time my mom sees it, she scowls, and I toot it just for her. (why yes, I AM still bitter. ;)) Also when I was very little, and didn’t sleep well, my step dad figured out that Roger Whittaker would let me sleep every time. I had a children’s album of his that no one believed me existed, that I looked for for YEARS. Then the internet happened and I have a digital copy, (and two backups)

  155. I read a book in 2nd or 3rd grade, about a witch name Yaga Baba, or Baba Yaga. She lived in a house that had chicken legs, and the house could stand up and turn around or walk away. I think k it might have been a Russian fairy tale. I would love to have those stories or that book again.

  156. I loved all the songs we’d listen to as kids. Now that I have kids, I’d been trying to find some of them. Every kids’ cd we were given was wrong. The melodies were off, or there were verses missing, or the lyrics were made “pc”. One song in particular that drove me NUTS was “There Was an Old Lady”. That’s the sing where she swallowed a bunch of stuff to get the fly she swallowed first. Every verse ends with “perhaps she’ll die”, so when she swallowed the horse “she’s dead, of course”. Except that the new versions of the song are all sanitized… It’s just wrong. One day I was leaving the baby storytime at the library with my kids and I heard the song playing for the toddler storytime. I stopped and waited to hear the end, AND IT WAS RIGHT! We actually stayed and waited for the other storytime to end so I could ask what CD it was and I immediately went home and bought it. It was the exact same recording we had on cassettes. (Knowing my mother, I should have known they’d be Disney albums!)

  157. A puppy named Shiny. (I was 3 yrs. old when he died). Stuffed monkey named Mugs -4. My dad…Gone at 7. Cocker spaniel named Rebel-8. Rock collection-left behind.-8. Turtle named Georgia. Countless childhood friends. My middle-school band trumpet. Comic book collection. Goodbye to my first girlfriend Polly. 1951 Chevy pickup with Deluxe Cab. 1967 VW Beetle. A very loveable dog named Butch…Half Corgi, Half Border Collie …left behind….All gone but not forgotten.

  158. This is one of my favorite posts! My mom kept a lot of my stuff and has slowly passed some of my old toys and books to my children. Maybe that’s why I don’t miss those items, I’m lucky to see them. I think even more than the items, it’s the feeling they gave me that might have gone missing.

  159. Those Disney read-along records (they were little 33s) that came inside a picture book. They used to play a chime when you had to turn the page. I played them on a Playskool orange and white plastic record player. I would love to have that whole collection again, down to the record player. Anybody else remember those? The Rescuers was my favorite.

  160. I have most of my treasures… save the one that got away. Or more precisely that my mother threw away. Her rule was that if I left it out and she stepped on it, it was going into the charity box. Unfortunately, she also purged toys that I had stopped playing with — and she didn’t realize I was so very careful to always put away Fort Ticonderoga because I loved it so much. The Molly Pitcher figurine was the first toy soldier I’d ever seen that was a girl!
    It was just a cheap little yellow plastic grocery store promotion… but I want Molly back. I’ve been looking on ebay for years, and I’ve seen sets that seem like the right thing, but really all I want is Molly.

  161. Mine is sort of weird. I have this nostalgia for things written by loved ones who are no longer living because it’s seems like an actual piece of them. I have lots of things from both of my grandmothers and even my great grandmothers, but not my grandfathers, because the grandma’s would just sign the grandpas names in cards and things. My mom recently gave me my baby book, in the back was the family tree. She’d had each person sign their spot personally….and there was what seemed to me a tiny piece of both my grandfathers. I sobbed. Such a tiny thing, but it was such a special thing to me.

  162. Mine isn’t a thing. It is a smell. I long to be in my grandparents house by the lake, breathing in, and breathing out the essence of their being. To this day, if I smell anything that remotely resembles the smell of that house, I go spiralling back in time and am right back there with them once again.

  163. To Anonymous (Who is missing the Red book about the boy who does not clean his room) I found your book for you. It is a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. My grandma used to read me those. They sell it on Amazon. Description
    All the children love Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and she loves them, and even better, she knows exactly what to do to get rid of their bad manners. So when Hubert Prentiss won’t pick up his toys, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle knows that the only cure for him is to just let those toys pile up – until Hubert can’t get out of his room!
    Hope this helps!

  164. I have spent my life trying to recreate my childhood, gathering pieces here and there. Songs, books (oh, so many books!), toys, all things that I loved. Some things I may never lay my hands on – obscure books like “Who Is Victoria?” or toys that are too expensive or two off-the-beaten-path for me to gather to me. I don’t know why it is important, but it is.

    Good luck in your search for the turtle.

  165. OMG I know what you’re talking about..or at least I think I do. My grandmother had one at her house for us to play with/on when we visited. 😀

    The one thing I remember that I LOVED as a kid and wish they still had around are Pogo Balls. If you don’t remember (or don’t know) those, they were basically big rubber balls that were shoved into the hole of a round plastic platform and you were supposed to hold them between your feet by squishing your knees together and jumping around. We used them in PE in elementary ALL THE TIME and they were so much fun. There was always an argument over who was going to get the green/black striped ball with the pink platform.

  166. Spaceship Under the Apple Tree by Louis Slobodkin. My dad used to read it to every class he had as an elementary school teacher and somehow we don’t have a copy of it. It’s been long out of print.

  167. My husband had a little Tonka pick-up truck that he loved and his mom made him give to a cousin when they moved. When they went back to his hometown several months later, the truck had been totally destroyed (no surprise, really his cousin is kind of a jerk now, he probably was then too). I’ve searched for that truck for years and could never find the exact one (it was blue, with a white bed. Or maybe green…). His oldest son gave him a present for his 55th birthday not long ago. It’s amazing how many people get tears in their eyes and have to turn away when a grown man (and a welder and Harley rider no less!) Opens his present and says “My truck!”.

  168. Alyssa (#12) I think the book you’re looking for is one of the Narnia Chronicles. It is called the magicians nephew. 🙂

  169. One of my favorite books to read to myself and the kids in Mom’s daycare is The Thingumajig Book of Manners by Irene Keller. I loved that book!!! I have looked for it off and on over the years but have not found a lot of copies out there.

  170. For me it is all about the books, some I have remembered and managed to find, others I cannot remember the titles so I search in vain.. but I will always search.

  171. My childhood library in Eau Gallie, Florida, had a duck pond, and a tree which grew over it; it had a little bend in it that was the perfect place to sit and read. I went back – 40 years later – and the pond was filled in, the tree long gone.

  172. I had to buy a Holly Hobbie doll from eBay, ostensibly for my young daughter, but mostly because I missed the one I had as a child.

  173. I was on the search for a copy/recording of The Teddy Bears’ Picnic when my children were little and before the internet could bring you anything you wanted. I finally found a cassette sung by Jerry Garcia no less! Definitely a win!

  174. I just ordered two books I loved as a child. My mother got rid of many years ago.

  175. My family was very poor. We moved around town a lot, always one step ahead of eviction. Eventually nearly every bit of my childhood was lost in a hurried move or when my mom didn’t pay the storage fees. I look for those lost bits sometimes, knowing most of them I’ll never find (like my beloved BEAR whose name was always in caps and had a red belly and a face that was extra mushy from being squeezed under my arm constantly).

    Once, a few days after I got married, my then-mother-in-law called to say that someone had called her because they had just bought some boxes at auction from a locker with my last name. My mother had failed to pay storage fees once again, and this was the last of the last of my childhood stuff. My mother-in-law bought the boxes back, but they contained few things of mine. The next visit home, the second hand shop had a necklace that looked exactly like one my dad had given me. Was it mine? Were there thousands out there like it? Did it matter? It upset me so much I had to leave the store. My ex went back and bought it for me. I still have it. I can spend my life hoping to find things from my childhood, but it means opening a whole new exploding jar of emotion and memory. Is it worth it to keep searching? It looks like mine, does it matter if it is or isn’t? Do I need this memory?

    The necklace is enough.

  176. When our baby brother was born my younger sister and I went from separate rooms to sharing a bed. A little way down the road we finally got matching twin beds. Our mother sewed matching quilts for us to put on our new beds. My sister and I both loved those quilts the way most love their baby blankets. We are both in our 40s now and both still have those quilts. A few years back we were talking about those quilts and I was delighted to learn that she uses hers the same way I use mine: most of the time it’s safely put away, but when I’m sick or depressed I wrap myself up in the soft remnants of my childhood until I feel better.

  177. Two books: The “Little Leftover Witch” by Florence Laughlin and “Katy Comes Next” by Laura Bannon. I LOVED those books. The check out cards in the back of those books were mostly filled with my name. I still check used book stores and thrift shops. I’ve seen a few copies…but I’d have to pay 3 figures. Guess other people loved them too.

  178. I’ve been searching to replace my stuffed dog from when I was little. I still had it until I moved out and left it in a box at home… my dad accidentally thought the box was one to go to the dump when they were moving and it was gone forever. I’ve been able to replace a lot of the stuff that was in it with look-alike vintage stuff, but that dog…. I only have the vaguest memories of exactly what he looked like. I think I may have found him – a Le Mutt plush… but I honestly can’t remember if the one I found is the right color. I remember mine being darker, but I also dragged that thing with me everywhere I went…… I have to buy it, because it’s the closest thing I’ve found to my beloved Ringer

  179. I would love to be able to find all of the cassettes at once that I was part of. These tapes were recorded by myself and brother, or in most instances, myself and one of the best friends. We improvised comedic stuff, had “radio shows” and did all kinds of idiotic things that I still laugh at today. Finding all of those at once would be better than finding a million-dollar treasure. Memories are worth much more.

    @WriterDann

  180. I search for my Mom’s face in crowds. I was 13 when she passed. Something out of my childhood I wish I could get back.

  181. We had an enormous mother goose, and under her wing was a place to put a tape. And she was animatronic so her mouth would move and her eyes would blink while she read you the book from the tape! I know it sounds horrific, but she was made of magic and I loved my mother goose reading to me!

  182. Anonymous that said above: “yes. there was a series of red, hardbound books that had stories in them, and there was one particular book that had several stories that I wanted read to me over and over again. One was about a boy who never wanted to clean his room, and the wise woman down the street told his mom to just let it get messier and messier. So one morning he came to breakfast with the shape of a toy impressed into his cheek, and another day he stepped on a toy and hurt his foot and one day he literally couldn’t get out of the room. I loved that story. Never been able to find it.”

    Those are the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. 🙂 The story is the “Won’t Pick Up Toys Cure.” I still have the volumes I owned as a child. I loved them, too! In fact, I’ve considered that it may be why I’m so enamored of pirates… Mrs. Piggle Wiggle lived in an upside-down house built by her pirate husband (who was never in the stories, but always referenced), who hid treasure all over the house and just as Mrs. Piggle Wiggle would despair because she was running out of money, the children would come over and search the house and they would find enough that Mrs Piggle Wiggle would carry on with no troubles. 🙂 (I tend to hide money in the house, too, and once in awhile I even manage to forget where, so when I come across it again, it’s a bit thrilling!) I hope you’re able to find copies now. I’m sure abebooks.com would have vintage copies, or Amazon of course would have paperbacks.

  183. Mrs Completely ~ The Ugly Duckling, or, as comedian Sarah Millican renamed it, The Perfectly Lovely Cygnet who Grew Up Surrounded by Asshole Ducks. (A paraphrase, but I hope I remember it in the spirit it was intended…)

  184. Soulstice-yes! Try Revlon lipstick in “love” color. Totally has that smell and taste!

  185. I thank eBay for helping me reconstruct the puzzle collection my brothers threw out when they moved my mom.

  186. My baby blanket that I called Bee. I slept with it every night until after I was married. It was soft from the wear and tear of being held all night. It had silk edges I would rub between my feet or my fingers to fall asleep. I buried it with my puppy many moons ago, but I am always on the look out for that soft silk and loved up cotton in clothes, blankets, and jackets. It is my connection to child me.

  187. The Book That Got Away, so to speak, was one that my parents bought for me on vacation one year, I couldn’t have been more than 10, so around 1990? The book was set in ancient Egypt, about a girl who was raised by a cat, I think, and when she’s old enough the two go on a journey (might be called a Catwalk?) to find the girl a husband, probably. Somehow, a rainbow sash figures into it, and I remember marvelling at the contrast in the illustrations between the white linen clothes, the deep amber skin tones, and the bright rainbow spectrum of her sash. I’ve never had any luck finding this book online; what I wouldn’t give for a copy now…

  188. My sister found one of my fav books from childhood a few years ago. It meant so much to me that she tracked it down. It was about a Lonely Doll.

    Anyone remember the doll Dawn? I loved her. She was smaller than Barbie. I was thinking about selling the one I have but I think the smile she gives me is worth more than money.

  189. Our little library in a scruffy little beach town was the recipient of the most amazing gift;
    an ornate wooden cabinet containing a large collection of old Victorian stereo photographs
    on glass with a number of viewers. My brother and I would sit at the table next to it carefully
    loading pictures, with the patient assistance of the little old lady librarian. Natural wonders
    of the world in one box, castles of Europe in another. Dozens of slides in each box, dozens
    of boxes in the cabinet. To this day I love libraries, bookstores, travel, old junk stores, etc.

  190. Maybe one/more of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books?

    https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Piggle-Wiggle-Betty-MacDonald/dp/0064401480

    “Anonymous | May 23, 2017 at 11:58 am
    yes. there was a series of red, hardbound books that had stories in them, and there was one particular book that had several stories that I wanted read to me over and over again. One was about a boy who never wanted to clean his room, and the wise woman down the street told his mom to just let it get messier and messier. So one morning he came to breakfast with the shape of a toy impressed into his cheek, and another day he stepped on a toy and hurt his foot and one day he literally couldn’t get out of the room. I loved that story. Never been able to find it.”

  191. I have been trying to find a book (series?) that I am positive I didn’t make up, it’s about a young witch who lived with her mom in the woods I think(?) and she always had stripey socks and was always in trouble.. the book’s color scheme was black, white and I think orange and maybe purple? I would check those out or Nancy Drew books..
    Also, I miss my Disney records, I would listen to them all the time, especially the one for 101 Dalmations, my sister and I will still sometimes sing Canine Crunchies at each other.

  192. Years of emotional abuse and terrible anxiety have erased so many of my childhood memories that I can’t really remember objects I used to love. What I do remember and am searching for, desperately, is a place as safe as my grandmother’s house, where everything was old and slightly dusty but comfortable and warm. And I miss her smile like I would miss one of my legs if I had it amputated.

  193. So many things. My maternal grandmother’s lovely-smelling pillowcases. My paternal grandmother’s pig-shaped cookie jar. I sometimes “smell” my grandmother’s pillowcases out of the blue and there is never anything around to give off the scent. I like to think it’s her way of saying hello from heaven.

    Then there is something that might be near-impossible to recreate in today’s world- going to school in a bus. I don’t mean traveling to school on a bus- I mean the bus actually WAS the school. As a preschooler in the 70’s, our small town school district didn’t have room for an actual physical pre-school, so there was a big blue bus that rotated days through the neighboring communities, and the insides were fitted out as an actual classroom, with kid sized tables and chairs, cubbies, an art area, a record area, etc.. On assigned preschool days, the bus stayed parked outside the elementary school building, and we were periodically herded inside for bathroom breaks and gym time. It was called the Blue Bus, and was magical in a way only certain things from the 1970’s could be. 🙂

    Also- replying to Mimi, comment # 128- could that book have been called “I Am Rosemary”? The cover you describe is what I remember from that exact book.

  194. For me it’s two special books that I read when I REALLY sick for two weeks with the mumps. My sister checked them out from our school library for me: The Complete Book of Marvels by Richard Halliburton, and Tales of a Chinese Grandmother (can’t recall the author’s name.) My husband found a very battered copy of the first book in an antique store and I found a copy of the second online. And they both lived up to my memories!

  195. My baby blanket. It was soft and lined with silk. I slept with it until after I was married. I would fall asleep rubbing the silk between my fingers or feet. I buried it with my puppy years ago, to keep her comfortable on her journey since she was so young. I look for that soft loved cotton and silk in everything from blankets to clothing and jackets. It reconnects me to my childhood and encompasses the essence of unconditional love.

  196. Yes! There was a book I read a bajillion times as a kid in the 90’s, it had something to do with fairies, two best friends, and wearing boots with dresses. The cover was red, and had a picture on the cover. I think it was of a girl in a white dress laying in a garden wearing combat boots. But maybe that’s all in my head? I can’t remember the name or more than that, but it was the best.

    And the things I know I’ll never find, are a crocheted blue blanket with white daisies that my mother had crocheted for my great grandma years before I was even born. And a picture that hung in the or house when I was a kid of a mom and her baby. That’s literally all I remember about how it looked, but it felt like comfort, home, and being loved.

  197. So many things. A book about a little girl who becomes a ballerina. She must have been British because I remember learning the word “flat” from that book – as in, an apartment. I wanted to be a ballerina for years because of that book, but we were too broke to afford dance lessons. Also, the plastic two-headed dragon that my sister and I found on the empty lot next to our house, where the previous house had burned down years before. Parts of the dragon were burnt and I scraped them down to clean plastic with a pocket knife. We built a fort on that lot and played with that dragon for hours at a time. Also, my step-dad’s father’s fireman’s badge which was encased in acrylic and sat on our mantle. He was a fire chief in LA in the 60’s. After my step-dad passed away I have no idea where it went, but I wish I had it.

  198. Mimi, comment #128- oops, sorry, I misspelled it- “I am Rosemarie” by Marietta D. Moskin

  199. I had a beautiful music box that I’ve been trying to find for years now. The inside was pink felt and it had a small triangle mirror. When you opened the music box a little ballerina sprung up and twirled to the music. The outside of the box was almost a shimmery blue and had a bunch of sleepy animals napping on the moon painted onto it. My mother put it in a garage sale about 10 years ago when I was away at college. I was so sad. I’ve searched ebay several times, but I’ve never been able to find it.

  200. Ah….the book that hooked me was The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton. I remember Ms. Palmieri, the librarian in the Children’s Library put it to the side for me, she told me that she felt I’d take right to it and boy did I….Concord Massachusetts, mysterious missing children, an Indian Prince, clues scratched into a window, transcendentalism….That book set me up for a life long love of reading <3

  201. A children’s book. I checked it out from my elementary school library as often as possible. Mom has tried to find a copy but we can’t remember the name. Maybe something about Nite Bright Kids. Animals as children playing together, I recall porcupine siblings and a snow scene; perhaps bear children too. Mom thinks it had glow-in-the-dark properties. She did find and surprise me with a copy of Pickle Pickle Pickle Juice several years ago.

  202. The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t- it was a movie on Disney Channel that they played every year when I was in middle school and it starred Judd Hirsch as Dracula. I always meant to record it off tv but never got around to It thinking, “Oh, it’s ok, I’ll get it next year.” My Birthday is Halloween and so I love, love, love all those kiddie Halloween movies. Then, all of a sudden, it just wasn’t on anymore, I’ve looked online and it doesn’t seem to exist.

  203. I had a Mrs. Beasley doll that was from an old TV series, “Family Affair”. I have no idea whatever happened to her and I have thought about getting one on ebay, but it wouldn’t be my doll, so I enjoy the memories.

  204. One day I dream of owning a working grandfather that is as magnificent as the one that belonged to my Great Uncle. He was a very misunderstood and isolated man. To this day it breaks my heart when others speak of him in such a negative and heartless way. I found comfort, safety, joy, and something very special with him. His home smelt like a mix of wood, tobacco, and felt ancient… to me it was very grand. On days I was to sick for school I would stay there and he would always bring me melon wrapped in prosciutto. He would tell me stories, give me advice on how to be when I grow up (go to college, be good, read many books, etc), and show me pressed flowers he had hidden in books (for his wife). The home had this big library with wall to wall old books, but what I remember most was when the silence would be broken by the sound of the grandfather clock. Some days I would lay on the floor in front of it watching and listening. He is gone, so is the clock, the home was completely gutted years ago (even the library),.. but I still remember exactly what that clock sounded like. One day I’ll have one of my own.

  205. When I was little, I had a lot of second hand & thrift store books. I remember I had one with lots of folk tales and one was, I think, called “The Girl Who Climbed to the Moon” and it was about a girl who ran away from something and climbed a tree (or ladder?) That reached all the way to the moon. And I’ve never been able to find that story again, in all my searching.

    Also, when I was very young, I had a ceramic bear bank that was maybe 18″ or so tall. It was painted black & blue and my grandma bought it for me when I was maybe 6 (my sister got the pink one). I used to prop my bedroom door open with it and one time when I was 12 or 13, my dad got mad about my door being closed & slammed it open. The bear shattered & I was heartbroken. I want to cry again just thinking about it.

  206. I volunteered at a library when I was 12. One day the librarian told me she didn’t think it was approapirate that I was checking out a Judy Blum book (Dear God, It’s Me Margaret). I felt like a pervert. I was so ashamed. I left that day, climbed over the chain link fence, snagged my Ditto’s on a loose link and hung there as if on display for my misdeeds.

  207. I had a turtle, too! But it was a small plastic turtle that was designed to hold a bike helmet, so when you set your helmet on it’s back, the helmet became it’s shell. It had a Bell logo on it, but I have never seen another one like it since mine was lost in a move.

  208. I loved visits to the library as a child. I was painfully shy, but Mom would drop my brother and I off at the children’s section – with strict admonitions to stay right there until she came back – while she went to find westerns and mysteries to read.

    The Rockford Public Library was a modern building – brick, with accents of square chrome and glass. From their website, it doesn’t appear to have changed much: http://www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org/locationshours/main-library.

    I loved to go, and loved when mom would let me check the books out at the front desk. The ladies who worked in the children’s section were very kind, and always had a smile.

  209. I’ve found many of my favorite childhood books from sorting donations for our library’s book store, but there is something I really miss from my high school years. It was a curved sword earring. It was sold as a solo (style of the 80s) and it was maybe 2 and half or 3 inches long, gold with a tiny dragon’s head hilt. I lost it at an amusement park. Never found anything like it since.

  210. I’m looking for a children’s book called “the Dollhouse.” Probably written in the 70’s. Loved that book. I was about three year old and memorized this book, so it look like I knew how to read. And there was another book about cats and one of the cats was named Paddy Paws.

  211. Bethany!!!!! Yes, that’s it!! I probably haven’t read that since I was 10 years old. You have no idea how excited I am!! Thank you thank you!!!!!

  212. Penelope. My little stuffed Panda. I have No idea where she got to in the many moves I’ve had or if
    She was put in a box for Goodwill. My only hope is that some other child got to love her as much as me

  213. I remember a similar turtle from my grade-school library…

    But there are two things that came back to me from the past.

    One was a beautiful clock that my parents had inherited from a great-aunt. Mom dropped it once, and because she is not the sort of woman who saves things, threw it out. I found an identical one (although this one does not have the small chip in the varnish that my father patched!) in a dusty antique shop, and have cherished it ever since, as though it were the original.

    The other is a lamp shaped like a pair of Siamese cats which I had on my headboard throughout my childhood. I remember crying and crying when it got tugged off by its cord and shattered. When I saw it sitting in a window at a thrift store one day, it was like greeting an old friend. It’s sitting in the dining room next to the clock.

  214. When I was a girl, we went to Balboa Park so often I can walk the paths in my dreams. My grandmother bought us zoo passes for Christmas each year, so we would go to the zoo and the part every Saturday and Sunday because it was free for my family and fun and got us out of the projects for a little while. There was this tree there. This massive, MASSIVE tree. And, it’s branches swung out in every direction from just a couple feet off the ground. The huge roots tumbled over themselves and grounded the solid trunk. All the children would climb all over it, slide down its roots, and cuddle into the shallow beds they made. I used to whisper to the tree and tell it my secrets. I thought it could hear me, and loved me, like The Giving Tree loved it’s boy. It was magical and fostered a permanent affection for trees and outdoors.

    I went back there on a recent trip home. It took me a few minutes to find my bearings because there were no children splashing in the fountains and none of the raucous laughter I remember. Probably because of all the signs saying “keep out” around everything. The most painful part was when I arrived at my tree, ready to come home to the embrace of a long-lost friend and whisper my secrets. She was there, waiting, but there was a fence in a wide berth around her, keeping us out. I wanted to cry and tear down the fence with my bare hands and run into the waiting embrace. It was crushing. It still brings tears to my eyes. I wish I hadn’t gone back.

    Later I went again and sat on a bench and watched the tree wave at me in the wind. It felt better, somehow. Like we could still communicate, even from afar. Sometimes, when you think the magic is all destroyed, it can come back in the most surprising ways.

    Anyway. Yeah. I know what you mean. Those safe places are hard to find when you grow up.

  215. Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. I especially always loved the one poem that went: If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wish-er, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer. If you’re a pretender come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.

    Also, I’ve started buying up all the Pern books by Anne McCaffery. They were my high-school-introvert-anxiety-ridden-saving-grace!

  216. Oh Jenny, I have a few. I’ll tell you the story about my stuffed kitty sometime but for now what I’m really looking for is a book I used to love reading at the library when I was little… it was about a white rabbit named “Snowball” but that wasn’t the name of the book. That book called to me as a little girl, I swear.

  217. ZoeBelle (#223)

    Are you thinking of the Dorrie the Witch books? They were my gateway into a lifelong love of the supernatural. They were also some of the first non-picture books I read on my own as a kid. I remember them fondly.

    Google tells me they were written by Patricia Coombs. And it looks like they’re still available.

  218. When I turned 40 the 40th Anniversary edition of the Easybake Oven came out. I bought one, used it several times, and still have it.

  219. Several things I miss from my childhood. One was a book about rainbows- I think it was a Little Golden Book, but not sure. It was about a girl who found rainbows everywhere- the prism paperweight on her fathers desk, a sprinkler, etc… also I had a ride on caterpillar that I loved and one of those bouncing balls you sit on that looked like a Jack O’Lantern. Whenever I see old pictures of them, it’s like time traveling.

  220. Nedra (187) – It’s not, but now I feel I need to read this entire series too.
    Claysparrow – I LOVE the narnia chronicles, and that one is one of my favorites.

  221. My dad was in publishing so he got books to review, and he’d bring home boxes of books for us. One time he brought home an edition of “The Princess Bride” which had the author’s comments (so to speak) in red ink, the “story” part in black ink. I loved that book. I wish I still had that copy. I’ve purchased other editions since then, but that’s one major thing I wish I had kept.

  222. Deborah (#97) – I’ve read that story as part of an anthology: Don’t Bet on the Prince edited by Jack Zipes. I’m sure that’s not where you read it, but in the event you try to seek it out, it’s “Wolfland” by Tanith Lee.

  223. When I was 22 years old and planning my wedding, my soon-to-be sister in law decided to make dresses, so my Mom drove us to this old weird fabric store on a street we never went to, and when we pulled into the lot I felt this rush of familiarity.
    “I’ve been here before!!” My Mom just looked at me.
    “Yeah, I used to come here when you guys were tiny.”
    We went inside and I had to go to the far back where the ‘kids area’ was. This was the most disreputable children’s space ever. The lights barely shone back into there, the toys were antiques, but fascinating, and the walls were made of rickety cupboards not even 3 feet tall.
    It absolutely boggled my mind that it was still there, almost exactly the same as it was 16 years before. The building, old and stuffed to the roof with rolls and rolls of different fabrics, lace, buttons and beads, still SMELLED exactly the same. I wanted to buy everything just because of the memory it captured.

    As far as places things we wish we could get back, mine was always the home I grew up in. My parents moved from one side of town to the other when I was nearly 12. Leaving behind the bedroom I loved, the big trees, especially my favorite climbing Maple. The living room with the high vaulted ceilings and the floor to ceiling book cases. They were probably only about 8ft tall, but to me those books shelves were a t least 20feet high.
    The house is still there. I’ve driving past a few times over the years, or looked at it on google maps, but I’ve never been brave enough to talk to the people who live there now. The neighborhood has changed, even though a few of our neighbors still live there.

    Twelve is a difficult age, where reality is starting to rewrite over fantasy, and everyone seems to insist you start outgrowing childish whimsy. Leaving that house meant leaving behind the mysteries and elaborate adventures I’d stitched into all the weird and darkened corners.

    From the cuckoo clock in the creepy store room that sometimes went off unexpectedly if you nudged it. To the mysterious attic in the garage where my Dad once disappeared into a maze of boxes and appeared, like magic, with a box full of Anne McCaffery’s dragonrider books. Down to the basement kitchen that was never used and poorly lit, but my Dad decided to set up a fishtank full of rocks and water from the creek, to make a home for the crayfish my sister caught in the creek, and a small school of minnows from that same murky water.

    I’m sure whoever bought it changed things. Repainted, probably took out walls and redid the kitchen. I don’t want to see it now. I’ll just keep the original house safe in my memories. And maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll find away to work it into my writing.

  224. Nice that your memory is from the library (said the librarian), even if it is bittersweet. Mine is also library related: the first book I read was by Andre Norton, who wrote a slew of scifi for kids, but I’ll be damned if I can remember the title.

  225. Erika, #252, you are a freaking ANGEL!!! I just looked them up and I nearly burst into tears seeing the exact image I have had in my head for Years.. you have completely made my day and thank you so much.. I may have to save up for a bit, but they will be mine..

    Also, I completely agree those books being a gateway to magic and more. I am in fact, wearing purple and black stripey socks right now and have a pumpkin patch tattoo ;p. thank you very much again!!

  226. I’m desperately Google searching for ‘big yellow plastic turtle furniture’ and I don’t think I’m seeing it. Can you possibly sketch the turtle? I’m suddenly obsessed with you getting it.

  227. I will swear to you that when I was young, I could fly.
    It was more like gliding, but I remember running the length of my bed-it was a big thing, probably about seven or eight feet long-and throwing myself off in a classic superhero pose, arms outstretched in front of me-and gliding through the entire length of the front room, probably ten or twelve feet across. And gently coming to a stop on the floor. And I feel like I stopped there on purpose, because I couldn’t make the turn into the hallway.

    As an adult, I know that this is probably my imagination running away with me. I’m an adult. I know that gravity exists. I know that throwing oneself off a bed is most likely just going to end two feet away, thumping painfully on the floor.

    But it haunts me that maybe I’m not imagining it. Maybe it was all real. And maybe the only reason I can’t do it any more is because I’m too afraid to try.

  228. I had to buy copies of several of my favorite books “for my son” when he was little. He’s just shy of 20 now, and those books are in MY bookcase. 🙂

  229. I’d had several dolls but only one “talking” one, called a Drowsy. She was blonde, nearly the size of a real baby. Her molded plastic head and limbs were sewn to body made of a fabric that looked like a little sleeper, so she didn’t need clothes. It took some effort to pull her string which made an un-baby grinding sound. I think it actually had some sort of a little turntable inside.

    Drowsy had several recorded sayings but in that terrible household, my favorite that I’d tug and tug to get, was “Mommy loves baby-?” It was said as a declaration, but the tinest bit of a question. Drowsy wanted reassurance, but she was pretty sure she’d get it. I didn’t share her confidence. After a move, I was told all my things were “lost.” I hope she found a better home.

  230. The iced tea my great-grandmother gave me (with slivers of hard beef jerky, but I found that years ago and it is still amazing). I know she made it of Lipton powdered tea and added lemon juice, but no matter how I buy or make it, it is not the same. I used to spend whole days reading in her hot den with the fan blowing on me, a tall glass of that chilly tea, and a skinny silver spoon to sip it from. Sometimes I wake up during summer tasting that tea and feeling how the little sips made my spine freeze.

  231. Mine was my “Mimi”, the small bean-stuffed pink mouse I held while sucking my thumb. It got lost in a few home moves. One day about 10 years ago, I came home to an unexpected package from my mom. In it, Mimi and a few treasured Golden Books. I broke down and cried. Now she lives in the beautiful keepsake box made by my dad right before he died, along with some of his ashes and a few other keepsakes. Brings me to tears just remembering that feeling of reunion. I hope you get to feel that feeling.

  232. This may sound odd but I don’t think I’m looking for anything from the past. I had a lot of “things” that I wanted as a child and never got, but I’m a remarkably non-materialistic adult. If anything I search for feelings, scents and tastes. My grandmother’s green goddess dressing. My aunt’s delicious homemade lasagna. The comfort and of my great grandma’s embrace. Plumeria flowers and their sweet smell. My grandpa’s spicy chile Colorado that was so potent I would squeeze the juice out of a piece of beef before I would eat it and it was still scrumptious. Mostly I search for the feelings of love from those past. I find it often. I think it’s because I listen really hard and accept the feelings that surround me.

  233. Not so much from my childhood, but from my teenage years. Jane donnelly’s books from harlequin romance. Pathetic I know. But I loved her story. Basically the same one over and over again. But I was a mio you teenager dreaming about the perfect man who could rescue me.

  234. Nici 222, I loved Mrs Piggle-Wiggle too! I have a hardbound reprinting by Barnes and Noble, not as nice as the originals, but it does include the illustrations. That little boy got trapped in his room by the pile of toys and nearly missed the parade of kids and Mrs Piggle Wiggle with the CIRCUS!

  235. My maternal grandparents had some little dolls which lived in a wooden chest and I can ALMOST still smell the scent of that chest. I hope one of my cousins got it and have passed it along to their kids.

  236. It’s something silly, but I really loved the plastic charms that you put on these colorful plastic chains. My Mom used to get them for my sister and I when she worked at this department store in our area called “Szold’s”. They were pretty amazing. I found out that my Mom got rid of them several years ago. I was pretty disappointing. I’ve been trying to find them at a reasonable price online, but you know how this goes. I’d have to spend a pretty penny for

  237. The wonderful rose satin comforter on my bed that was filled with down – real actual down feathers, not the fiber fill stuff. Silky, warm, soft and light (as a feather). It was my mother’s and she and my dad were supposed to share the double bed in our new house. But my dad had a heart attack and so they took the room intended for me, the one with the twin beds, because he was more comfortable there. Lucky for me, sad for them.
    This is one of the most beautiful posts you have ever written. A joy to read.

  238. @Katie H. (#130): The Wrinkle in Time/Wind in the Door/Swiftly Tilting Planet trilogy were constant companions for me as well. I found a hardback, classic-looking single-book collection of them in Barnes & Noble recently and grabbed it to add to my library.

    When I was little I was out with my dad at Sears and apparently went gaga over a stuffed Cookie Monster they had as part of a display. So gaga, in fact, that I would not leave the store without it. My dad had to make a deal with the store manager to BUY the display doll. He was my constant friend; when I was sick, Dad would pull me around the house in my wagon with Cookie Monster at my back, supporting me. I don’t know what happened to him; I have many of my childhood albums and books but my mother got rid of a lot of my toys over the years after my parents divorced, and he must have been one of those I lost somehow. (Cue Toy Story 2 making me bawl my eyes out about the toys who are loved and then cast off!)

    Then in 1997 or 1998 I discovered eBay, and one of my first auction purchases was a down-to-the-last-second battle for a Cookie Monster nearly identical to my long lost friend. And so began a Cookie Monster collection…

    I also have a 45rpm record that I played over and over that I doubt anyone else has ever heard of. It’s called “Let Me Be Annie for Christmas” and the B side is actually instrumental so I can even karaoke that shit if I want to (and have a record player, which I don’t).

    Finally Jane Eyre has been a nearly lifelong friend, hence my AdeleVarens username; I picked up a copy at a book fair in 6th grade and have read it more times since than I could possibly ever count.

  239. I adored the book “What Katy Did” as a child. It’s story still resonates with me in my forties and I remember reading it in the willow tree in my backyard. The smell of summer and fresh mown grass and horses still fling me back to those halcyon days perched high and safe in that tree with that beautiful book. I have it still. I would love a first edition though.

  240. Mine was a book called (I think) The Littlest Witch. Can’t remember the author’s name, but the book jacket was black, purple, and orange. I used to check it out of my elementary school library ALL. THE. TIME. I’ve searched for it for years, because I wanted my daughters and granddaughters to read it, but haven’t had any luck finding it. I just remember being so happy when I’d find it on the shelf to check out.

  241. As a little girl, saved up Quality stamps in those booklets and finally had enough to redeem a yellow and white Teddy Bear. He was my bedtime buddy. I had terrible anxiety at night. He kept me safe. When I was in college my dog ate him. I have searched thrift stores and yard sales forever to find another “Teddy”.

  242. Growing up I loved American girl dolls, most of all Samantha. In one of my parents moves, my dad took the box of 6 dolls plus all the clothes, books and accessories to Goodwill. He didn’t know the value, or that I had been saving them for my children someday. I was heartbroken. By that time, Samantha had been retired and you couldn’t buy her anymore.
    One day, a few years ago, I walked into a consignment store and there was a pristine Samantha sitting on the shelf. I grabbed her and held her close as I cried. I played with her hair, fixed her dress, and then put her back on the shelf. I had my last moments with her and I wanted another little girl to experience the joy she gave me. My daughter never really got into American Girl. Of course, now they brought the doll back, but it wouldn’t be the same.

  243. What a great post! I really loved reading everyone’s “left behind” things. For me, it is my mother’s Fiesta Ware…..the real original kind, in which the orange ones turned out ( discovered many years later) to be mildly radioactive. I always assumed I would get those when I grew up. But my mother didn’t know that I loved them and she gave them away when I was in high school. I was terribly sad but never said a thing because I did not want her to feel bad and done is done.

    I have looked in antique stores ever since for those orange plates and bowls but probably they were all destroyed when the radioactive part was discovered. (it really wasn’t enough to make a difference………….unless………..well, maybe it could explain why my siblings and I are all pretty strange……………)

  244. One Christmas, when I was 8 or 9, my Mum sewed me all characters from the Winnie The Pooh books. Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, everyone was sitting under the Christmas tree. I wish I still had them.

  245. I miss clothes and shoes I loved as a child. I still have a lot of stuff from my childhood because my mom is bit of a hoarder.

  246. The cartoon of Puff The Magic Dragon and Donald In Mathamagic Land. I’ve only just realized how much i miss them and how they both remind me of my father because he was always the one putting them on for us as kids.

  247. this is right up my alley because i host a blog i call the lost & found vintage toy blog, it’s my mission to find the toys & books i had in childhood that were lost & help others find their lost treasures as well ~ http://friendlyghost.typepad.com/lost_found_vintage_toys/
    i’ve posted a toy or book or holiday item every day for 5 years now, so anyone looking for a specific item may want to check my archives..
    i also host gumbyland which has been my true calling & has been up for 15+ years..
    everyone is invited.. check out my art gallery while you are there..
    i also love to rescue old dolls & include them in my artwork as dollscapes 🙂

  248. “in a ship that cradled me, amid a sea of stories and of quiet that beckoned you to read.” You are such a beautiful writer Jenny! You have a talent for evoking emotion, even those feelings that are long buried.

  249. Claire | May 23, 2017 at 12:26 pm #59
    Could it have been the Happy Hollisters? I don’t remember the story of the book in the quilt but the siblings and their mysteries sounds familiar. And the series was one of my favorites.

  250. My brother and I were each given a book. It was tabliod-sized, but thick, as the pages were reinforced. They were shiny black covers, and had those pictures embedded into them that looked 3D. Mine was “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and my brother’s was “The Little Tin Soldier.” The story alternated text with illustrations that were beautiful two-page photos of each scene, as a staged tableau. We loved Rankin-Bass’ “Rudolph” and the art in these books was even more elaborate. They were some unknown printer’s exceptional labor of love The photographer was inside each scene and all the textures and fabrics mde the story real to me.

    We also had beautiful hand puppets of brown plush and felt that I think were German. The heads were stuffed with a fine sawdust. One was a bear and one was a monkey. The felt was folded and sewn around the monkey’s glass eyes to form lids.

  251. The Mystery Date game, God help me. A friend of mine had it and I always wanted one. No, there is no perfect man, but there was one in the game. The stuff dreams were made of. http:www/maryfranbontempo.com

  252. A baby carriage Christmas ornament. I remember it had white lace and brass. I have found so many baby carriage ornaments but none of them is the one I remember.

    Also a tv show about a reporter (maybe?) with a dinosaur or dragon puppet, the show was primetime in probably early to mid 90s and I’m pretty sure was cancelled very quickly. I mainly want to find it to prove to myself it did exist lol.

  253. Not sure if this was already answered, but the book about the boy cleaning his room sounds like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald. I loved those books. My children read them now.

  254. For me, it is Tales of Mr. Pengachoosa, a collection of stories told to a sick girl by her pet hamster about his grandfather. I feel like it would be right up your alley.

  255. My Hardy Boys and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea story records and Mrs. Beasley doll.

  256. Maggie (comment 184). I read that book too. I think it is still at my parents’ house. The copy we have is a collection if fairy tales, with silouet illustrations. I read it almost every time I’m home.

  257. Mine was a 1980s Fisher-Price Little People house. It was a plastic, tudor-style dollhouse with a handle at the top and a garage door that went up and down and a doorbell that I loved to ring over and over until my mom threatened to take out the clapper. I would play with that for hours. I don’t know what ever happened to it, but we must have lost it in one of our moves.

    Then, when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I stopped by a garage sale with my mom and found one! We both laughed (and I might have cried a bit, blame the hormones), and of course I bought it. We joked that it might have been my old one making its way back to me. Years later, when my daughters were old enough to play with it, they enjoyed it just as much as I had. Now they’re too old for it, but it is in my attic waiting for the next generation. Sometimes, I just want to ring that bell again, just to hear it.

  258. The “lost” childhood item is lost for good, I’m afraid – my aunt’s kitchen. And it’s not “Lost”, it still exists – it’s just that my aunt and uncle don’t live there any more, they moved to Arizona after we kids all grew up and my cousins started to go to college and get married and stuff.

    But that house was freakin’ HUGE. It had 9 bedrooms, each with its own bath, and it was in the same town as my grandparents’ so it was the unofficial “Family Gathering Central” spot, because we could all stay there and have our own rooms even. (My regular room at that house is a runner-up, frankly.) And there was all sorts of doings all over the house, and I could tell stories – how my older cousin once turned the toy room into a “tea restaurant” to play with our two youngest cousins and roped the rest of us into being the “customers”, how we played poker after Thanksgiving and once we caught my grandmother cheating, how my brother and guy cousins had an endless pool tournament, how when we cousins were younger we would write plays and act them out at every holiday…

    But the kitchen is my dream kitchen. It had TWO pantries – one butler’s pantry with a sink and everything, where my father always washed all the Thanksgiving dishes as long as he could blast music (one year he listened to THICK AS A BRICK while he did so, which quite frankly was BIZARRE), and one other little pantry where my aunt kept all the cookbooks and stuff . There was a long bench along one wall with a low counter, where you could sit and eat there for a quick meal, and there was also a huge pine table in the middle of the room. And then cupboards all along three of the walls.

    And when we stayed there, as I got to be in my teens, every morning started the same way – I’d make my way downstairs, blinking and yawning, and my aunt would already be sitting there at the table reading a magazine and drinking coffee and she’d always say good morning, and then say something like, “so, whatever you want for breakfast, there’s plenty of options – if you want cereal I think it’s in that cupboard over there, and I can get you a bowl, and there’s juice in the fridge, and if you want toast it’s in that other cupboard and I can get the jam out, or I think your Dad went to go get donuts and the paper and when he comes back he said he was going to make eggs and bacon, so whatever you want, you just let me know.” And you’d make your choice, and get a seat at the table and just chill, other family members drifting in and making their choices, and people would come and go and eat and linger and talk and drift in and out and there was all the time and food in the world.

    The house still exists, but it belongs to someone else now, and I recently saw that the kitchen was totally redone in some faux-nautical motif and it sucks. And they got rid of that great table.

    …. This is getting long, I’ll tell my book story in another comment.

  259. My book story is happy, because I found it as a grownup and own it again.

    When I was about three, the teachers in our preschool read us kids a story one day called “Henry the Explorer” – it was about a little boy who had read his own book about explorers and decided he wanted to do the same thing, so he made a bunch of little paper flags and packed a lunch and then set off on a walk through the woods with his dog, randomly sticking flags into things and claiming them as discoveries. He wanders into a cave to “explore” it, then gets freaked out because he thinks he sees a bear and runs home, just as his mother has started to think he should have been home by now. I think it ends with him reading a book about pirates and thinking “that’s another good idea…”

    So the teachers then helped us kids all make little flags like Henry’s, and some pretend flashlights out of toilet paper rolls and paper cups, and then they set up one of those plastic kiddie crawl tunnels in the room so we could crawl through it with our flashlights and flags and pretend we were exploring a cave like Henry. Except I think they were either short-staffed or distracted, because during one of my passes through the “cave,” I kept going, and went right out of the room into the hallway and no one saw me go. I hesitated, then kept right on going, down the hall and up to the stairs, and I was about halfway up to the administrative offices of the church upstairs before anyone caught me. It was one of the secretaries from upstairs who saw me and realized “well, YOU’RE not supposed to be here” and she took me back. My teachers gently explained that this was just PRETEND exploring, and I needed to stay in the room with the rest of the class. And as clearly as day, I can remember waiting my turn for another pass through the tunnel and thinking to myself that compared to real exploring, this pretend exploring was kind of….boring.

    I’ve always kind of liked that kind of fearless “I just wanna see what this is like” attitude in myself, and try to cultivate it. I tracked down a copy of “Henry The Explorer” and now own it for exactly that reason.

  260. I remember discovering L M Montgomery, especially the Emily of New Moon series and thinking, this is a book about me! It was so special and I still reread the series every few years. I love that I bring new insights and new experiences to it each time. I had a stuffed animal that had a very odd textured fur that I loved to snuggle against – I don’t have it anymore, but I always go back to that love feeling when I find something else with that texture…

  261. I had a hidey hole in a row of lilacs behind our house. It was just big enough for me to crawl in with a book. I was absolutely horrified when my dad cut the lilacs down, for no reason, as far as I could tell. I was a grown-up by then and hadn’t been in there for years, but it was just wrong! And now I live too far south to grow lilacs. Alas.

  262. Back in the mid ’80’s, my friend lent me a book that I loved. She moved away not long after that but even with some ups and downs due to distance (pre-internet), we’ve kept in touch and she is my longest-lasting friendship in this world. Love her to death. Several years ago, I asked her about the book because I remembered that Alpha Centauri was in the name but none of the books I was finding online matched what I remembered of the plot. She couldn’t quite remember either, other than that she too had loved it. I guess it was out of print at the time and wasn’t coming up in searches. This post made me think to look for it for the first time in years and lo and behold, I actually found it this time (despite having a hazy memory for the plot after 30-odd years)! https://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Centauri-Robert-Siegel-ebook/dp/B006U8XR7E/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1495587950&sr=1-5

    I downloaded for my Kindle and I hope I still enjoy it. I often find YA fantasy and SF to be as good (and often better than) that which is marketed to adults. In the late 90’s, I found a bunch of my jr high and HS favorites at Half Price Books and bought them to reread and most of them had held up. I ended up donating most to a local school district’s library but have kept a few to this day.

  263. This isn’t from my childhood, exactly, but it is from when I was younger. My dad had a large red reclining chair, and I’ve wanted to find one like it. After he died, I sat it in for what seems in my mind like a few days but could only have been a few hours. He also had a table gifted to him by his best friend, and I couldn’t bear to let it go when I moved because it was the last gift he got. After a few years I gave it to my brother, who was able to use it.

  264. I can’t answer properly, because you transported me to fifth grade, where my teacher had an old, red claw foot bathtub in her reading corner. It was THE place you wanted to read, once your work was done. So I’d hustle through what I HAD to do in order to get to what I WANTED to do–read. In the coolest spot in the world. And extra bonus! You could use a marker to leave your mark in the tub. That was my turtle. happy sigh

  265. Mine would be my pillow I had since I was a baby. I loved it so much my mom ended up sewing a brown plaid sheet around it when it started falling apart. It got left behind at a hotel in b/f Idaho when I was 18 years old and the maids wouldn’t admit it had been there when I called in a panic after my brother refused to turn around to go back for me to retrieve it. I wept bitterly and felt utterly betrayed by everyone. The other thing would be my stuffed camel. My mom panicked when I was around 2 years old because I disappeared in the store. Then suddenly I came fiddling up the aisle carrying a camel that was bigger than me. They convinced me to get one size smaller. I had homemade animals my mom made me, including a platypus you guys, and all those animals and my precious camel were lost by the moving guys when I was 9. I’m fiercely protective of my girls’ favorite animals and blankies because of those things. They’re some of my favorite memories of being a kid and remembering sunshine and the freedom of open fields where it felt I could run and dance forever and never have to stop.

  266. An old book that Grandma gave me as a kid. It was about cards and included several card games and card tricks. It was stolen from me in High School, and up until recently I could never remember the name, just the content and what it looked like. Somehow, I managed to find it, it was called “packs of Fun” and I managed to pick up, not one, but TWO glorious copies. It felt so good to hold the book in my hands again.

  267. So much of what you write resonates with me. I read your words and think, “oh. Oh.. So it’s not just me, then?” I’m quite grateful to you for those moments. Through no fault of my own, we were evicted from our home when I was 18. There are many things I left behind, not realizing I’d never see them again. Never realizing how I’d long for them.
    When I was about 7 years old, I went to see the space shuttle (Discovery, I believe) leave to get taxied back to Florida. I had a Polaroid camera at the time. I saved one last photo to get a shot of the shuttle atop the plane as it took off. The moment came and I went to take the photo – click – nothing. I began to cry, realizing I had miscounted and was out of film. I let my family down! We would not have any pictures of such a momentous occasion. My father was quick to assure me that all was well- he took photos on his own camera and we were okay. I felt a wave of relief wash over me. I don’t remember why I was so afraid of disappointing them at such a young age- but I do remember the calm that came over me when my father spoke. Cancer took him when I was nine years old. We had the photo he took off the shuttle, enlarged and framed, on our walls in the house that we were later forced out of. I have very little of my father. Some old cds he enjoyed. Some photos of him in his earlier days, before he got sick. Many photos he is not in with us, likely because he took them. But how I wish I had that particular photo. I’m sure that it is long gone, now. At least I have the memories.

  268. @AdeleVarens I still have my cookie monster. He’s only got one eyeball left and his fur is matted and there’s a few holes, but I just love him.

  269. My mother had her portrait painted once and it used to hang in our house. No one seems to know where it went, but I would like it.
    I also want my Weeble Haunted House with the glow-in-the-dark ghost weeble. I’ve looked for it off and on over the years and would buy it in a heartbeat.
    I hope you find your turtle.

  270. I want the stuffed alligator that my sister made for me when I had eye surgery when I was five. I loved that thing. I hate that my mom “disappeared” toys without explanation.

  271. Katie [#244] I’ve been looking for that doll house book too! Did the dolls use cough drops as money? I lived in my library and in my head when I was a child. I used to hide under my bed to read. So many favorites, too many to name. And too many people have left. I can almost see them, sometimes.

  272. A book called, “Let Papa Sleep.” I had it when I was a child. It always made me laugh because these silly bunnies made so much noise it never woke up Papa but one quiet fly landing on his nose did. It was my favorite when I was little.

  273. For Alyssa, comment #12 – The book you describe might be “The Magician’s Nephew”, written by C.S. Lewis, and really a prequel to the Narnia series.

  274. I remember that turtle too. I grew up in that town and my mom owned the Halmark store just down the street. Did you ever go to the Hemphill Wells department store? I used to beg my mom to take me so I could ride the escalators.

  275. There was a song about an animal that we listened to on a car trip. I have no idea what it was. But I want to remember….

  276. My dad had a book he loved as a child, Bingity Bangity Schoolbus. My sister hunted a copy down and gave it to him last year. He was so pleased he nearly cried. Then he gathered up the grandkids and read it to them. It was a wonderful moment.

  277. @Aurora in WI: (re The Littlest Witch) The author is Jeanne Massey. The book is apparently in a 60th anniversary reprinting, so you can get it off the Barnes & Noble website. 60 years! Man, you can sure pick ’em!

  278. Jenny, you are quite the gem. What a wonderful post; opened a dam of feelings and memories. Thank you so very much……………

  279. If it’s a children’s book you’re looking for, there’s this awesome site that helps you find them, based on scraps of memory – Stump the Bookseller at Loganberry books. I’ve found a couple through there.

  280. When my parents moved from our house to an apartment, they put some boxes in storage, including two boxes I packed of books, dolls, doll clothes, etc. Several years later when they retired, they bought a new house and had everything shipped down to them. Some years after that I wanted to go through my boxes when I was visiting them, only to discover that only one of the boxes had made it! The things I still miss from that box include a Humpty Dumpty and a Little Lulu that my mother’s best friend had made me, and one of my favourite books that had actually been my mother’s, “The Honourable Miss Molly”. I’ve tried to find the latter but it’s been out of print for years.

  281. artfuldanni – I think you are looking for “Afternoon of the Elves” by Janet Taylor Lisle. I love that book.

  282. I had a book that I checked out over and over again from the school library. I would forget about it for a few years, then it would pop up in my memory, and I’d long to read it again. It became quite the inner quest eventually. Many years later, I mentioned it to my mom, describing it as best I could, and what I thought the title was, as I wasn’t positive I had it right.
    Next gift-giving occasion, she gave me a gorgeous copy, original artwork, with a lovely inscription inside. I sat down and read it immediately. I admit that I was worried that I wouldn’t love it as much as I remembered. But it was still such a lovely story. I will soon be sharing it with my little girl. I know she will love it, too. It’s right up her magicsl alley.
    (The book is The Ordinary Princess, btw.) ❤️

  283. I cannot FOR THE LIFE OF ME recall the name/author of a book I read as a kid. It’s a picture book, in color, and the people sort of look like potatoes (very oblong?). They begin the story fairly content, then they become fearful and so begin to build walls out of mud and scaffolding, and then they have an entirely closed-in sort of hovel with no outside air or sunlight. But then one of the people accidentally knocks away some of the dirt and sees sunlight and just…keeps chipping away at it, despite the message that the outside is to be feared?
    I have no clue. Someone help.

  284. Oh man, this- it was a book in my Elementary School library, of course. It was an encyclopedia of monsters, aimed at kids, full of illustrations, but somehow complex enough that it was the first place I encountered Manticores and the distinction between Gorgons (like Medusa) and Other Gorgons (poisonous cow things).

    I don’t remember the author or illustrator or title, but I DO remember it was shelved near the floor near the wall in one of the rows of the library, and I would sit on the floor there and read it. Heck, I think it even had one of those library-book-bindery covers, so I wouldn’t even recognize the cover if I found it in the wild. That makes it pretty much unfindable. I still wish I could compare what’s left of it in my crummy memory to reality.

    I owe a lot to that book. It was a key stepping stone in a lifelong interest in myths, monsters and folklore.

    …I also occasionally look on eBay for a specific 1980s My Little Pony, not because I had a deep affection for it, but because I lost it IMMEDIATELY upon getting it and the frustration of that has followed my to this day. Ah, memories.

  285. A book about 3 sisters that are witches. Their names are Jess, Bess, Tess and Cress. It was the first time I saw the name “Jess” in print and the very first library book I checked out on my own when I was 4.

  286. Sarah P (#325) – is it maybe one of the Moomin books by Tove Jansson? The Moomins kind of look like potatoes and I vaguely remember a sort-of hibernation storyline.

  287. I’m searching for a haunted house to scare me as much as the one I went to in third grade… Where I had to leave out the side door halfway through because I was absolutely terrified. It was epic! I have been to so many haunted houses as an adolescent and adult, but nothing has come even close. I keep hoping that one day my prince – aka: masked zombie w/a chainsaw will come … bursting through the right door and scare the pants off me!!

  288. Wehaf (#238) Nope, that’s not it, but I appreciate your feedback, and that sounds so interesting to read next!

  289. I don’t know if there is a way to reply to a specific comment, but to the anon near the top re: the story with the kid who never wanted to clean his room, those are the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. I hope they see this. <3

  290. I have several of my own but want to share one that was found for my aunt by my grandma (her mother) and given to her at Christmas one year. My aunt was very into horses growing up and had one of her own at a stable. She somehow found the exact riding gear (we think) and a painting that had been done of her horse (my grandma was big into thrifting and estate sale and searching around) (the painting is legit, we’re not sure about the gear). Everyone was in tears. Mind you, this was like 40+ years later. <3

    Most of mine are probably still at my mom’s house since she keeps everything.

  291. Had an extensive collection of barbie (and Ken) dolls from various eras. I always loved dressing them up in extravagant gowns and outfits embellished with homemade gewgaws made of various detritus I could “borrow” from the house, doilies, washcloths, hand towels, ribbons, scraps of cloth, etc… I also could literally spend hour giving them glorious hairdos. As much as I loved spending hours on their hair and (usually) dressing them in glamour princess styles, my absolute favorite doll was a rare PJ Doll. What made her very unique (and pretty much worthless to a collector) among my collection, was she was the only doll’s hair I’d cut to near baldness (think Helen Slater post self-haircut in The Legend of Billie Jean), running mascara through what was left of her hair to give her a very metal-punk frosted black look. I also covered her body in very prominent/visible tattoos done in an array colors of nail polish. LOVED LOVED LOVED that doll.

    The thing about my collection though was that I “played” with them long past high school, into my early 20’s. They were my go-to panic room/escape whenever I became overwhelmed by stress/anxiety. My mom never got it though, she was frequently expressing her concern about this “obsession” of mine. When I moved to New York I had to leave the majority of my belongings behind. I left my dolls in a duffel bag, asking my mom to hold them for me until I could send for them or come collect them myself. (utilizing the pretense of having them for my future children). Sadly when I was able to collect them, (having had 2 children by that time and truly wanting to pass them on to them but looking forward to spending time making some new memories with my children and old friends) she first claimed they were inaccessible in the attic and would require more time to get to them than the duration of my visit. She delayed me a few years, then losing patience I searched the attic myself on another visit and of course could not find them. Confrontation with her led to her admitting that she’d given them away (but her vagueness in who/where they went led me to believe she’d actually thrown them out. It was heartbreaking. If I could only get one back it would definitely be PJ.

  292. In response to the above I do wish there was a way to know who responded to your comment or reply specifically. <3

  293. Jenny,
    I know exactly of what you speak. As children my sister& I got to spend a few weeks each August with our mother’s parents and the lake was magical. My sister& I shared a small cottage room with twin beds whose matching headboards had sliding doors which hid all our treasures. Sea shells, funny shaped rocks, books, flattened pennies we had left on the nearby railroad tracks until the train squished them. They tore down the four tiny cottages to make someone’s ” executive” lake mansion. I looked for years for a similiar headboard with cubbies to no avail… then I begged my ( handy) husband to build me one … about ten years ago also to no avail. This year I was in a used furniture store in Chicago & saw a sideboard that I liked. I went online (“Charish” app) to look at it and there …was the twin headboard… exactly as I remembered it. The beloved grandparents gone, the cabin torn down, … but I bought the bed& it can transport me there anytime I like. Someday ( a girl can dream) I will own a lake house& my grandkids can keep their treasures safe in the cubbies over their heads while they dream of seashells& endless lake days and learning to water ski until a flat early morning lake makes them feel like they can fly…

  294. Books were my escape as a bullied kid. When I was at University my teacher parents took my 5 boxes of books and gave them to their school’s library and they were DESTROYED over the space of the year. I was so angry. At least I kept my Terry Pratchett books. But I miss my Aristide book.

  295. Gin (189), I still have my childhood collection of those books with the records, including The Rescuers! Most are missing the records and I don’t have a player anyway, but I do read them occasionally and can still hear the page chime in my head. We had to throw a bunch out when I was about 6 because our cat peed on them, but I have probably 20 or so still. Maybe half a dozen still have the record.

  296. I was JUST telling my kids about several of my favorite books I owned as a kid and really miss them. I think they might have accidentally been given away during one of our many military moves, or maybe they got worn out with pages falling out, and my mom just threw them away during a move.

    One was a really neat nature book about the Bernstein Bears going on a big nature hike, and it showed all the different plants and animals that could be found in various settings. My favorite page was the one that had the Venus Flytrap on it.

    There also was a kid mystery book series, and I remember one of the stories was when she visited someone who lived in a mansion, or was visiting someone who lived next to a mansion, and there were noises of feet running, etc. and the lady living there was scared, and the main character who was a young girl figured out it was someone that had set up various prank situations to make it seem like the house was haunted so that the lady would sell it.

    There also was a shirt that my mom bought me when we lived in Guam while my dad was stationed there at the AF base. I LOVED that shirt! I remember seeing it years later and being shocked that it was so small and I couldn’t believe I was ever small enough to fit in it. My mom might still have the shirt. I will have to check with her!

  297. I have a memory of a hauntingly beautiful song that I heard as part of an animated (I assume) TV movie. I think it played while people were putting lanterns on water. Every now and then I hear a few notes in a different song, and it brings the memory back. But I can’t remember enough about the movie or the song to find it again.

    I would also love to find a keychain like the one my grandmother had. It had an ball enclosed in filigree metal of some sort, and it glowed in the dark. I thought it was the most beautiful fantastic thing, but given how old I am, it might have been radioactive. 🙂

  298. I suppose for me it’s more of a memory and not an object of a sorts. I vividly remember my sisters and I used to have bonding time where we would cover the whole living room in pillows, any pillows we could find in the house and then just fall all over them and play some music. We did that a lot of times when our parents weren’t home and it felt a lot like my sisters and I had a secret that only we knew and our parents had no idea about it at all. Now it’s just a memory that I definitely miss.

  299. Mine was from the library, too!!!!!!!! The children’s section of our library had a giant mushroom table with mini-mushroom stools to sit on & that’s where they read stories to us during the summer reading program. I ADORED that mushroom table & the little mushroom chairs!!! The cap of the mushroom was over our heads & we sat at the table around the stem & we earned little, hand-crafted bumble bees for attending. It was magical. (The cap & the stools were plush—the only things that were plastic/wood were the stem & the table.) It was really amazing!

    I’ve always searched for that same table/chair set-up. I so wanted it for my son but I’ve never been able to find anything like it.

  300. If you have the money those of you looking for built things should look for local woodworkers – they usually enjoy the challenge of making something unique (My own Dad – now gone – made cribbage tables for two of his kids. the second one even had a Parcheesi board under the top of the table. He made it from glass tumbling containers that were used where he worked and had to be replaced every so often due to wear (Birdseye maple I believe with a high gloss due to having been tumblers). They are one of a kind pieces and my sister and brother both still have theirs. He also made a rocking horse that his great Granddaughter is now using.

  301. When I was only around two years old my mom sold Avon and had gotten a toy dog for me. It was made to look like it was wearing a black and red striped shirt, and had a brown “fur” hooded coat that matched its fur. When I put it like that, it sounds like it was wearing a coat made of its own torso. Not the point.

    Anyway, as will happen when you have two sticky-fingered sisters, it was ruined and eventually lost; when we moved out of state it was a secret, we were only allowed as much as would fit into a trash bag, and if the toy dog was still around it didn’t make the cut.

    I hadn’t thought about it in decades, but one day while at work sorting donations at Goodwill one came through. It was pristine, just the way I remembered. I waited patiently for my day off to be allowed to buy it, only to come in and find it already gone. I was bummed out, but it’s kind of the nature of thrifting. I knew it was a long shot, and that it was very unlikely to come across another short of shelling out $30 on eBay. A year later I was shopping at my store when I found another one. It looked brand new, even though I know it was sold in the early 80s.

    It sat high on a shelf for quite some time, until my son insisted on sleeping with it. So it’s his now. I only got that piece of my childhood back for a little while, but I was more than happy to pass it on to my little guy.

  302. I had been looking for a particular poetry book for about 15 years. It was my favorite as a child but all I could remember was the last poem in it. While I was working at a bookshop, a man came in and was looking for a book of his own. We chatted and I described my book to him. Months later he returned with the book I had been searching for. He asked me out on a date but it a future love story was not to be included. I was trying to quit smoking and he was a firefighter. Still one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me. Yet now, I feel like something is missing. The hunt. The QUEST! I will have to find another “holy grail” object from childhood.

  303. Hey, Alyssa, comment #12, I know the book you’re looking for! It’s “100 Cupboards” by N.D. Wilson, and it’s the first of a trilogy. Just read it and it’s a great book!

  304. I absolutely relate to this, but instead of an object of affection it was an event and place in time for me. When I was a child I went to the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire annually with my family. I had a tough childhood, but I treasured and will always treasure those moments at that festival. The festival was full of wonder , magic, and beauty around every corner. I loved the whimsy of it all…the smell of luscious turkey legs roasting, the clanky old english that was spoken with stern commitement, the roars of the crowds cheering and laughing during performances, the gorgeously mysterious artisan craft items up for sale, the stunning princess costumes I adored amd wanted to wear etc. For a moment in time I felt like I belonged somewhere as a child. I was surrounded by creative people like me… Who also happened to admire the Renaissance period too. For years I had been pining to go back. My husband I went this weekend and I was so let down to see that the massively majestic wood swing that was fit with rainbow streamers that was featured every year was replaced by two meager lack luster smaller swings. My heart sank to the dirt..Even more disheartening, I also found that the festival was taken over by hipsters and that it was no longer a Renaissance period inspired fair, but rather a mash up of fantasy genres (courtesy of mostly attendees) that made the fair seem more like a drunken Halloween party than anything. None of the vendors stayed in character either which made the magic die even more so. I will always in my heart long to find that magical fair someday… Somewhere…

  305. I’m not sure that this fits exactly with the theme but my Grandmother had a set of metal “worry beads” like a rosary but without the cross at the tasseled end. They were stainless steel and she would carry them around to fiddle with after she quit smoking (at 60 – the woman was pure will). The sound of one bead going over the arch and dropping down onto it’s neighbour made the most satisfying thunk, half the sound of a well hit pool ball and half something less definable. It was the perfect mantra.

    The weird thing is that both my sister and I remember them perfectly but no one else in my family does. So either we were the only ones who noticed them of they were a shared hallucination. I think I’d like to find them just to see if they ever really exhisted or if I just made them up so well that my sister now remembers my false memory.

  306. I have looked for decades for an ABC book I had. The most incredible, marvelous book, with vivid 2 page colored illustrations. This was not a normal ABC book-it was magnificent, as in V is for Velocipede. Not your everyday book. I remember the Os…2 vivid pages of Ostriches and Octopi at the Opera. I’ve never been able to find it.

  307. To Anonymous #4

    The books were Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – she was an older woman down the street who all the kids loved, but she taught them good life skills – one kid didn’t like to take a bath, so the mom was told to let her get super grimey and planted radish seeds in the funk. when the seeds sprouted, the kid learned that taking a bath isn’t such a bad thing.

  308. Black raspberries. They grew wild on my parents’ property. I have never seen them in grocery stores and they are my absolute favorite fruit. They must be grown in some part of the US. I need to figure out how to grow them on the back deck of my townhouse in such a way that the wildlife doesn’t eat them all first.

  309. My yellow turtle is a massive truck tire (stacked on top of three others like a pyramid) they installed on the elementary school playground. Half a dozen children could climb inside.

    Inside, someone had scrawled in white paint, “Fuck the sixth grade”.

  310. Two things: One was a “hippty hop” (though it wasn’t that brand, or we didn’t call it that. but I think that’s what you would call it today) that you would sit on and bounce around on. It was a heavy thick dark green rubber and looked like a dragon. The head with handles for ears is what you hung on to. I would like to have had that for my boy.

    The second is my dad’s cobalt blue glass Vicks Vap-o-Rub container. By the time I was old enough to realize I wanted that particular container from him it was long gone. The smell of Vicks still reminds me of him and if it’s been a while since I’ve seen him I’ll get out the vicks to whiff.

    The smell of a good old fashioned library is something that will transport me still. Those type of libraries are about gone though. The small town libraries with buildings that used to be something else and are filled with wood shelves and old books. I still like me a library…but the new ones with their modern buildings designed as a library and metal shelves have no soul. My childhood library had been a home…then a mortuary…then our library. It had small rooms with floor to ceiling shelving on every wall and heavy wooden tables and chair in the center. The bathrooms were in the creepy, occasionally damp, poorly lit basement. Man, I can smell it now if I think of it. Old carpeting, the wood, the dust, the books. I went through my old town years ago on a trip…the building had been torn down and a new one built on the same plot. I cried.

  311. Claire – that sounds like it could possibly be a Happy Hollisters mystery. Someone gave me the whole series growing up and they were some of my favorite books!

  312. I found a book that I was convinced I had made up, I even had librarians tell me it didn’t exist. The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles by Julie Andrews. Loved that book as a child and I still re-read it.

    There are 2 movies that for the life of me I can’t remember. I think they were both the Sunday night Disney movies. One had a girl who was wearing a white mask and was trapped in a mirror through a spell. The other had a girl who’s mother (?) was sick and she went through a mirror to a world filled with puppets (had to take her shoes off) to find a tree with magical fruit that couldn’t touch the ground. It’s driven me bonkers for years.

  313. I used to climb a tree in our front yard with a book between my teeth and read up there. There are bite marks on the spines of many of my favorite books on my bookshelf.

  314. For me, it was a cassette tape of an Andrew Lloyd Webber collection. I used to listen to this tape all the time as a kid, and I loved it. I listened to it so much that it is very squeaky if you play it now. Since tape decks don’t really exist anymore (or it wouldn’t be practical to find one just for this one tape), I was sad that I wouldn’t get to listen to it anymore. Then, I had the idea that I might be able to find it on CD. I didn’t have high hopes it would exist, but it does! Now I can listen to it all the time again (minus the squeaks). Incidentally, John Barrowman is one of the main vocalists on this collection (didn’t know who he was as a kid). Double bonus!

  315. I’m uncertain whether or not I have some form of chromosthesia, but as long as I can remember, I’ve associated different time scales (days of the week, decades of the past, etc.) with certain colors. For instance, Friday, to this day, is dark green, Tuesday is cyan, the 1970s are brown, the 80s are pink, etc.)

    I sometimes wonder if this is a result of a toy I had as a 1970s child. It was a squarish array of buttons, like a 12″x12″ keyboard, and adjacent slots. Each button, when pressed, shot up a small white tile from its slot displaying a nugget of information. The buttons had numbers, days of the week, weather, animals, and other things parents want their kids to learn early on.

    Recently, now in my mid-40s, I’ve given this trait some actual conscious thought, and have to wonder if maybe the buttons on this toy were colored in such a way to influence my understanding of these concepts and remain embedded as a byproduct throughout my adult life. Perhaps the 70s are brown because of the brown number 7 on this keyboard? I don’t remember the name of this toy, much less the manufacturer, but I’d be thrilled to hold this little gem in my hands again.

    By the way, I think one of my neighbors long ago may have had one of those yellows turtles you mentioned, but I don’t remember ever noticing it on its back. 😉

  316. Sometimes, finding that lost item does bring your full circle.

    At age 11, my parents divorced and my brothers and I ended up with my father, several states away from my mother. Due to her health problems (cancer, that ugly bitch) and the horrid state of their post-separation relationship, we lost touch with our mother for a decade. Aside from the time lost with my mother, I also lost my beloved stuffed toy dog, “Fritz”. It was a hard thing to do without when I couldn’t see my mom.

    When I turned 40, my mother returned “Fritz” to me. He was ratty, tattered and had had to be re-stuffed. It is the best present I have ever been given. I’m a 50 year old man and I’m happy to know he lives on my nightstand and keeps watch over me and my husband and kids.

  317. Mine isn’t from my own childhood but from my childrens’. We had a book set that was slim paperback books about a foot tall that were kept in a folding cardboard case, complete with handle. It had stories about gnomes and the animals they lived with, and dinosaurs that were neighbours. I remember one of the gnome stories was about bad gnomes who turned into goldfish, and one of the dinosaur ones was about a (car?) race. Anyone know anything about these? My daughter wants them for my granddaughter.

  318. I looked for years for a story on tape I had as a kid: A Child’s Look at Mozart. It was from the person who did the Mr Bach comes to call and Mr Beetoven lives upstairs but before she signed with the publishers of those. Years and years. And I found it on YouTube two months ago! Eine and Kleine and Nanneral. All together again. Just in time for my son to listen too. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6UVgfDQeX04

  319. I read an interview with Teller (of Penn & Teller) where he said that his love of magic was sparked by a long-lost Howdy Doody magic set that he got as a kid. A couple of years ago a friend of his found the same set on eBay and gave it to him for his birthday, and he cried when he opened it. I thought that was immensely sweet.

    It’s a slow morning at work so I thought I’d see if I could help some other people track down their lost loved things:

    LeighTX at 10 – My grandma kept Certs in her purse, too! Apparently they’re still available: http://www.nationwidecandy.com/certs.htm

    Owen at 26 – Anne McCaffrey edited two cookbooks with recipes from SF authors. Could “Serve It Forth” or “Cooking Out of This World” be what you’re looking for?

    Tracy at 61 and Kelly at 311 – I loved the Weebles haunted house. They still turn up on eBay occasionally.

    Lara S at 76 – Could it be Race to the Roof? https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/10613/race-roof

    Sharon H at 78 – Fizzies are still available. I got some for my husband when he had an attack of nostalgia a couple of years ago: http://www.retrocandyonline.com/ficataoldtic.html

    Anonymous at 89 – Searching on that phrase turns up this poem:
    “I know how to tie my shoe.
    I take the loop and poke it through.
    It’s very hard to make it stay,
    Because my thumb gets in the way!”
    But it was in a document about teaching kids to tie shoes with no attribution. This might be the book, but there’s no “look inside” feature so I don’t know for sure: https://www.amazon.com/Shoelace-Box-Little-Golden-Readers/dp/0307602338

    actualconversationswithmyhusband at 93 – Was it this cover? https://www.amazon.com/Watership-Down-Novel-Richard-Adams/dp/B001L9OKZK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1495632623&sr=8-3

    ZoeBelle at 223 – I’m pretty sure those were the “Dorrie” books by Patricia Coombs. There are several available on Amazon.

    Dawn in WI at 280 – There’s a book called “The Littlest Witch” by Jeanne Massey: https://www.amazon.com/Littlest-Witch-Jeanne-Massey/dp/0394907345

    Brianne at 357 – The first movie sounds a bit like “The Watcher in the Woods.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Watcher_in_the_Woods

  320. I have been looking for years for a book that my great-grandma had at her house that I absolutely loved. It was a small book and the story was about a baker who had a little dog with a curly tail. I thought it was called The Muffin Man, but I’ve been unable to find it. As an adult, I”m drawn to dogs with curly tails, and I’m sure this story, and the memory of reading it at my great-grandma’s house, plays a large part in that.

  321. Nina (#351) is your book Animalia by Graeme Base?

    sherriant (#362) is your perhaps the Serendipity book series by Stephen Cosgrove?

  322. When my parents moved out of the house I grew up in, they got rid of a lot of stuff (after months of badgering me to come get what I wanted, which I never did). So for years afterward, any time I wanted to guilt-trip my Mom I would yell, “You gave away Park ‘N Shop!” It was my favorite board game, tied with Barbie’s Mystery Date of course. Imagine my surprise and delight when, one Christmas, there was Park ‘N Shop under the tree! Mom had searched all over to find it, in those pre-Internet days. Unfortunately, it turned out to the the most boring game ever. I must have forgotten that the only fun thing about it was saying, “Haberdashery,” as in, “If I can get to the Haberdashery then I’ll win!”