This past week I celebrated another birthday. I often use the occasion to reminisce about things from my past.

As I was walking down the toy aisle at Walmart the other day looking to add a new action figure to my collection, I saw a new Transformers toy line.

When I was a kid I was very fond of the Transformers. Some of my favorite memories are opening up birthday presents to find that special transforming robot toy some family member purchased me.

While I was examining all the different figures on the shelf at Walmart, I came across an item I wasn’t entirely sure if I should buy. It was a reissue of an original series Soundwave toy complete in box with retro-style packaging. This is a special toy to me because he was always my favorite character on the Saturday morning cartoon that aired in the 80s.

After I came to terms with my decision to purchase the figure, I took it home to add to my collection. As I was doing so it reminded me of all the toys my parents bought me for my different birthdays over the years.

For most of my life, I was constantly asking my parents to get me more Transformers. I couldn’t get enough of them. This particular figure is also special to me because it transforms into a portable cassette player similar to the famous Sony Walkman, which I also never owned.

It’s pretty rare I splurge, but I did something for myself. While I certainly don’t intend to make it a habit of buying my own birthday presents, I was glad to make an exception this time.

Later this week my parents will be coming out for a visit. I am hoping to get a chance to catch up as I haven’t seen them in more than a year. We’re expecting to go camping next weekend, and before portable computers, one way I often kept myself entertained during long camping trips was bringing a small assortment of action figures with me. I am certainly past the days of doing that.

I think I will leave the toy radio at home and settle for taking my iPod with me to the lake instead.

Happy birthday to Diana Ransom of Bonham; David Stroud of Van Alstyne; Charles Niblet, Shannon Walker, Ethan Sentell and Dassie Magers, all of Sherman; Jennifer Moseley Addington of Denison.