No. 177

When I was young, we used to play in my grandfather’s attic. It was our fort and our hideaway and in our imagination we went through there to countless magical worlds.
We played in that attic for years until the summer Jeremy fell off the ladder and broke his leg. In the six weeks that he had his cast on and couldn’t climb up, we were forced to play elsewhere, in ground-level games.
And just a few days before Jeremy was scheduled to have the plaster anchor removed, my dad got a new job in a place far away from Grandpa’s house.
So I moved.
Our new house didn’t have an attic, or even a basement, and I had a hard time making new friends.
I wrote letters to the gang, though. We kept in touch for a long time afterwards. With me gone, they didn’t go to Grandpa’s. They joined sports teams and after-school clubs and got on with their lives. Mike even managed to drive a car, out on the dirt road past the Barker’s place. He told me his dad made him promise not to tell his mom.
As we grew up, we found that once you get to a certain age, it becomes difficult to keep up. These days, you kids have computers and cell phones that can call three or four people at once. It wasn’t like that, then.
I got a summer job the year I turned seventeen, and I managed to work my way right up to the head of the company. I changed a few things here and there and the business did well. I’ve been very fortunate.
But last week I managed to do something I’ve thought about for a really long time.
I got a hold of everyone that I could from the old days, and I invited them back to my place. All their grandkids, too.  
Now I have a pretty big attic of my own.