A Bad Day With A Camera

Unearthed Treasures

We rented a house just over two years ago in the Town of Strathmore, Alberta. We had been living in a rather hideous condo before that and were happy to have a home without shared walls and with a private yard to relax in. My wife was especially happy to have the yard so she could indulge her green thumb.

We discovered something strange in our first spring enjoying the outside of our home. Either a family or the families who lived here before we did had buried all manner of strange things in the yard, and they have been gradually resurfacing over the past two years. Forks. Spoons. Bicycle sprockets. Golf tees. A plastic toy spider. A plastic tampon applicator. And toy cars. Quite a few toy cars have worked their way back out of the soil.

Ahnuld’s Humvee, My Yard, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-03

We weren’t sure what to do with the toy cars at first, but it seemed a shame just to throw them out. Each of these dinky toy cars (what we called them back in my day), was a slice of joy from some child’s life.

Not exactly the Hudson Hornet, My Yard, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-03

I’m one of those people who is nearly incapable of throwing out any book. I have too much respect for books and what they represent to be able to cavalierly toss one into the nearest bin. I felt similarly protective of these toy cars that have been regularly appearing in our yard over the past two years.

Green Lantern Go Vroom, My Yard, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-03

These weren’t just toys for the kids who played with them. They were joy. Dreams. Freedom. For this reason, we have been keeping the toys as we find them out of respect for what they represented to their previous owners. We have also been trying to leave them as close as possible to where they were discovered. The Green Lanternmobile above popped up out of the front flowerbed near where we plant strawberries (we mix decorative and edible plants) and it has lived near them since. There is now an annual battle where the flowerbed has been trying to reclaim the Lantern’s hoopty and we keep pulling it free of the grip of each year’s vegetation.

Between periods, My Yard, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-03
Little Red Corvette, My Yard, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-03

We’ll probably spend another year or two in this home thanks to the current decrepit state of the Canadian housing market, but we hope to move to a different community in the future where we can be closer to mountains or perhaps an ocean. Maybe even buy another home again. In the meantime, the toy cars are being rescued as we find them and placed in safe spots in our flower beds where we can admire them along with our plants.

Make way for no. 18, My Yard, Strathmore, Alberta, 2024-02-03

Perhaps, after we have gone, a new family will move into this home and a new child will find and love these toys again, adding to the happy memories they have created.

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© 2024 Sean D. McCormick

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