Old Skool – or – Proof My Mother In Law has a Clue

This morning Kid 2 asked Kid 1 the age old question: “What kind of animal is a smurf?”  I am so proud.  This is the same question that my friends and I spent hours pondering when the original Smurfs came out.  Truth be told, I never came up with a satisfactory answer, but my ever-so-practical almost 7 year old did: “A Smurf IS a Smurf.” That’s my girl!

This past month I had the great pleasure in taking an extended vacation to my homeland – The True North – Canada.  While away, I had every intention of writing funny, interesting blogs while sitting on the dock at our cottage, in no small part thanks to the inspiration of my natural surroundings.  Then, reality set in, and I spent my time reconnecting with family, reading some great books, and enjoying the lake (fishing, canoeing, and swimming).

When my family spends time in the city we stay time at my in-laws home.  One of the best parts of staying there is that my in-laws NEVER throw anything away.  True, I’ve made mention in past blogs that this quality isn’t always my favorite (or healthy) but when it comes to toys there is a distinct advantage!  My kids had an entire basement full of toys to play with from when my husband and his brother were young.  Thus, this week’s blog is affectionately titled: “Old Skool”.

Five minutes after landing at my in-laws my kids were happily rummaging through box after box of old toys when my 5 year old son came running upstairs with his first find!  Having found a box full of approximately 39 WWF Wrestling Figurines, my son was in heaven.  Then for what seemed like every five minutes of our entire trip he was asking the name of each character and whether he was a good guy or a bad guy.  It really was hilarious listening to my hubby trying to explain the ever changing evolution of a WWF Wrestler from good guy to bad guy and back to good guy again.  The two men in my life bonded over these wrestlers, and after checking my Amazon Prime account this morning I see that some modern day men in tights (plastic, not real, sigh) should be arriving to my home any day.

The next great find was a bag of Smurfs.  While we were in Toronto, marketing for the Smurf Movie was in full gear and my kids were being bombarded with merchandise advertisements.  Finding the old bag o’ Smurfs was like hitting the jackpot for them. My kids instantly became the coolest kids at the park, and I was grateful not to have to explain to my little ones the evil of advertisers and why I was definitely not giving in with any new Smurftastic purchases.

The final treasure from the basement was my husband’s old Fisher Price View-Master. Who doesn’t love a story watched by moving a lever in an old school slide show?  It was awesome then and even cooler now. That big old aluminum container filled with circular wheels of magic that you pop into that perfectly sized red view finder was exactly as I remembered. The stories we had were Disney classics: Winnie the Pooh, Bambi, The Little Mermaid (although my husband was probably 17 or 18 when The Little Mermaid hit the theaters…hmm…).  Like our other treasures, View Finders are still available and fortunately or unfortunately have been upgraded to 3D.  While I am sure flipping through Toy Story in 3D is fun, my kids fought over this classic version like it was brand new.

There were other treasures to be found in the basement as well….from the Telephone on the String with the crazy moving eyes, to a variety of Little People sets, and the Slinky-Dog.  And of course, my mother in law sat smugly by fully justified in saving all of these toys for the past 25 – 30 years.

What treasures are hiding in your families’ houses?