Do you like cereal? I have never lost my affinity for a good ol’ bowl of cereal. It tastes great any time of the day. Over the years, my cereal tastes have run the gamut. I presently have a love affair with Kellogg’s Chocolate Frosted Flakes. Before that, it was Special K Chocolate Delight.

When I was younger, I flipped-flopped between Cocoa Puffs and Cocoa Krispies. Can you see a trend developing? Yet, when I was really young, I was a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes kid because Mom bought the groceries. It’s not like we had as many choices as today. And we had to put the sugar on the flakes!

I was recently having a bowl of my cereal at the dinner table when I caught myself looking at the back of the box. If you’re old enough, remember the back of cereal boxes? If there wasn’t a prize IN or ON the box, you could always mail the required number of box tops for what they were offering. What a delightful memory I was having.

At 64, I love receiving packages. And I can trace the history of when that began to a cereal box offer. I was probably 7 or 8 years old. If I saved enough box tops from Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, I could mail in for a stamp and ink set of various Hanna-Barbera characters! I can recall waiting patiently for the mailman to bring it. I’m sure I was expecting my package the day after I mailed the box tops, but I’m also sure Mom told me how long I’d have to wait. When the mailman finally brought me my package, well, it is one of those memories that brings back warm and wonderful feelings. I stamped EVERYTHING!

I also remember cereal boxes offering free prizes inside the cereal, much like the Cracker Jack boxes did. Mom brought the cereal home, and I checked the box for what the toy was; I’d open the box, shoving my arm deep inside to find the prize. For some reason, this seemed to upset my otherwise cool, calm and collected mother. When I was unable to continue that practice, I’d push the sides of the box inward which pushed the front and back of the box outward, and then I’d shake the box to see if I could see the prize to make it easier to grab. Not a popular practice with Mom either. Gosh.

Decoder rings! That was always a popular item with kids. I remember my best buddy from next door having a toy I’d never have because I didn’t like his cereal. I told my mom I wanted to try a new cereal, but she was far too savvy and chose to reject my wish for the new brand. She was a wise ol’ mom.

If not inside the box, then the box itself offered goodies. One of the best was literally on the back of the box itself. A record! Basically, it was the equivalent of a 45. I remember the Archies being one of the records offered. As a kid, I thought it was so very cool a record came on the box. I played it on my record player numerous times.

Cereals also offered “cut-outs” for multiple uses. Maybe a mask for Halloween in October. Or a game of sorts to play. Oh, I have many fun and fond memories of those days when eating cereal meant so much more than just eating cereal. Google the topic and see what you rediscover!

During these difficult times with the virus and cancellations, send your mind on a mission to find happier times to get you through these days. We will get through this. We’re survivors. Stay healthy everyone.

Time’s up! See you next week!