We had a delivery of boxes come in to work today.

This in itself is nothing new, we get deliveries all the time. It’s just another part of my day. But these boxes were different; they were big, our semi-regular shippment of paper towels.  There’s room enough in these boxes for a person to fit, more than one if they’re really well acquainted. We don’t usually get boxes that big, and it got me thinking. (That’s always a good sign.)

I was sitting in my chair, the boxes slightly behind me so that I could just barely see them from the corner of my eye unless I turned my head. It occurred to me that there were more than enough boxes to make a really great fort.

I haven’t made a fort in ages, not since I was a little kid.

 We didn’t use boxes, we had a couple of old quilts that we would stretch over a couple of chairs. Or dining room chairs were perfect for fort-making, they had a little knob at the top on either side that you could use to anchor the quilt. Stretch the quilt over the knob and then slip a rubber band over it, forming a little cloth nipple at each corner of the fort. The rubber bands from broccoli bunches worked best because they were small and fat and were less likely to break than the skinny ones, but it was sometimes hard for little hands to get them over those knobs. Turning the chair bottom inward gave you less space, but you had a clever little “shelf” to put toys on. Sometimes my sister and I would use all four of the chairs and would make two “houses” to play in.

When we got a little older the parents let us pitch their old tent (And by “old” I mean “It was harvest gold.”) in the backyard and let us camp outside. Sure it was hot and humid and the ground was hard and uncomfortable, but it was an adventure. I was always sad when Dad made us pack up the tent so we wouldn’t kill the grass underneath it.

The chairs we have now don’t have the little knobs on the tops, I wish they did. I’d love to see if I can still make a fort the way I used to. I even know where I can find some of those fat little rubber bands.

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