Green Glass and Gum Wrappers

One day, I was playing in my fort under the dining-room table. My mother and her friend were drinking tea nearby. And they were talking.

I listened. They said that they should work; find a job; start a store. Their voices got louder and louder. They even giggled.

Then my mom said, “A store. What kind of store?”

“We could sell antiques.”

(Who was Aunt Teeks, I wondered. My mom’s friend must not like her very much.)

“Or,” said my mom, “we could sell collectibles.”

I never heard of those before. I was curious. I poked my head out from behind the bedspread that was hanging over the edge of the table. I hollered, “What are clock tables, Mommy?”

My mom said, “The word is ‘col-lec-ti-bles’. Those are things that don’t cost much today, but someday, may be worth a lot of money. Now run along outside and play. Please.”

So I did.

Then I thought, maybe I could start a store! I could use my secret hiding place. (The one behind the shed, beneath the weeping willow.)

I went to the schoolyard. I found…