Posted tagged ‘Five and Ten’

“Sometimes it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”

January 21, 2018

This is not one of my better mornings. My grumpiness is wasted as I’m here by myself. I’m also tired as I was restless all night and didn’t sleep well. I’m coughing though I don’t think I have a cold, but just in case I’ve decided to stay home to watch the Pats instead of watching with friends. No Typhoid Mary here.

Today is relatively warm. The sun is shining but from behind clouds. Nothing is stirring. It’s a quiet day.

The laundry is upstairs and put away, but I have two more bags of laundry waiting to be washed. They’ll wait a while. I have plenty of underwear.

Getting older sometimes means getting a bit jaded. I think that would be the worst, to see the world as only dulled or tired. I look for the adventure in each day, for something new or something changed. When I get the mail, I stop at my car, rest my back and watch the world for a few minutes. I see the beauty. I realize how lucky I am.

When I was little, I made memories. The school corridor, wider than a river, went on for miles. Nuns were all six foot and muscular, even the old ones. The Five and Ten was magical. Everything you wanted or needed was on one of its shelves. The railroad tracks just kept going and going as far as any of us could imagine, even to China. The woods were filled with adventures. Blueberries grew everywhere. The turkey needed two people to lift it out of the oven. The Christmas tree touched the ceiling and filled the living room.

Life is gigantic when you’re little. It’s a surprise wrapped in paper and lots of ribbon. The sun is brighter, the snow deeper and the rain heavier. New still happens. Believing is easy. Santa is real and so are the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny. I know the memories I share with you every day may have been tempered by time, but I swear most of them are true, except maybe the one about the nuns. A couple of them might have been five ten.

“Every gift which is given, even though is be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.”

December 16, 2013

Today is sunny, windy and cold. The sun is muted, almost hazy. The pine branches sway a bit in the breeze. The day will keep getting colder so tonight will be a down comforter, stay warm night. It is a winter day at its best.

My back is better: less painful, mostly stiff. The lazy day I had yesterday was the perfect elixir. I have a few things to do today but nothing strenuous. I really need to decorate those trees. They are small so they won’t take too long. That will be my afternoon project.

My uptown had both a Grants and a Woolworths when I was a kid. Grant’s seemed to draw old ladies who spent time in the notions and cloth departments. The Woolworth’s Five and Dime was my favorite and the best of all stores. It had a bit of magic about it because you could find almost anything. It was where I Christmas shopped every year around this time. I needed five presents which had to total a dollar, a huge amount of money in those days. I walked up and down the aisles looking for those perfect gifts. My father was first as he was always the easiest: white handkerchiefs. He used them all the time, and I gave him new ones every Christmas the whole of his life. He was never a Kleenex guy. I sometimes bought my mother perfume in small decorated glass spray bottles, the ones with that little pump ball you pressed to make the spray work. Other times I’d buy a small sewing kit which had a few buttons just in case. Once in a while I’d buy her a pocketbook to read. I’d be drawn by the cover. Once I’d finished with my parents, it was on to my sisters and brother. They were really easy. Woolworth’s had a great toy section. The counter had wooden divides, and the toys, at eye level, were inexpensive. A balsa wood plane was for my brother. We all knew from experience that they flew best outside. If you flew them in the house, the tail section usually broke when the plane hit something. I remember how the wing slid into the plane’s body, and that had to be done gently. For my sisters, I had so many choices. There were plastic baby bottles for dolls. They had pretend milk which seemed to disappear as you feed your doll. Small plastic dolls were another choice. Their drawback was they dented, especially the faces, and once dented, they stayed that way. There were plastic balls, jacks and jewelry, mostly bracelets. I always got my sisters the same thing. It made it easier that way.

When I got home with my treasures, I’d wrap them behind the closed-door of my room. I think back then I used miles of scotch tape, but I always thought the gifts looked beautiful. I’d finish then go downstairs and ceremoniously place them under the tree. I’d move them about until the scene was perfect to my eye. I was always so proud of those gifts.