The simple pleasures as a grown-up are the best! Whether its a relentless compulsion to pop bubble wrap just to occupy idle time, or enjoying that innocent loving nose nuzzle without a hint of reason from your faithful pet (whether it’s a dog, cat, parrot or iguana) or enjoying that precise moment of pure relief to unfasten your pants and take that well needed sigh of freedom after a hard day’s work.

In my youth, growing up in the suburbia of East Tawas, these simple pleasures resonated to a higher standard that shaped my wee brain and molded my sponge-like personality everlasting.

Whether being handed the metal beaters from the electric hand mixer by my loving mother to lap lick clean the caked on remains of a thick double chocolate batter or that congregation of the usual neighborhood gang of carefree scalawags on a holy pilgrimage to collect scrap wood, metal, nails or anything for that matter, to build many go-cart like vehicles (The Little Rascals were our inspiration and reference) to terrorize the sidewalks up and down Locke Street, we enjoyed the simple things.

My creative hustle and flow oftentimes focused on or around the faded reddish coated Naugahyde fabric full-sized couch in our living room, either on rainy days, recovery time from sickness or just because, that great couch served as a resting spot, time out, playground, and a safe place wrapped into one.

Now my parents always referred to this piece of family furniture as the Davenport  and often would mandate the no food or drink disclaimer, although it was never upheld, and when my grandma came for a weekend visit, she would refer to it as the “ugly” red sofa. Regardless of grandma’s claim, it was always a warm, comfy couch in my mind, that in my make-believe world, it took on many fantastical shapes and forms for myself as a pre-teen Walter Mitty or even Ralph Phillips from Looney Tunes, I would imagine it as a high flying machine, fighting off the hordes of evil no good minion pilots trying to capture the EM-50 explosive device from my very clutches to take over world domination.

Or I would manipulate the seat cushions, along with some various blankets and comforters from the bedrooms to construct and to secure a fortress of solitude to discourage the rowdy villagers from infiltrating the perimeter, that and the bonus of finding $1.57 in loose change and some wrapped candy in the side spaces of the framework, not to mention, this couch served as a high ground sanctuary from the floor as heavily flowing molten lava beneath, me and my brother jumping from couch to coffee table to recliner then back to couch unsupervised, sometimes successful and other times falling into the liquid hot lava going “glug, glug.”

I look back on that couch, a simple pleasure of my youth, today with fondness and thankful for being an average normal kid back in the day, just exercising my imagination juices to its fullest. Sadly, today’s generation just wouldn’t understand my appeal.

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