When I was a little girl growing up in Chicago, my best friend was Linda Stutz. Linda belonged to a big family that lived in a big white house with a large wrap around porch and a yard of weeds that doubled as a jungle. I loved playing at her house of many bedrooms, a sun porch on the upper level and spaces in the attic where some of her brothers slept. It seemed there were no no-play zones. When Linda and I played together, we would take old drapes and hang them all over her bedroom creating neat crawl through spaces. She had a box of old dresses and hats that we donned in our pretending. Sometimes we played school, which I never see children play nowadays, and we created chaos with papers and books and crayons. There was always a mess when we were done. I suppose her mother made us clean up after we played, though I don’t really remember that part.
My grandchildren are over today. They have a friend from their neighborhood with them. They have been playing in the basement most of the day and I just went down to see how they were doing. That is when I thought about Linda Stutz.