Friday, September 27, 2013

I Don't Care, I'm Old!

I think the biggest “plus” about getting to be a “woman of a certain age” is that I really don’t care much anymore what other people think of me. In fact, sometimes I go a bit out of my way to be seen as eccentric. It’s fun. Not for my kids when we’re out in public, but hey, I don’t care!

I can go to IHOP with a friend and after we’ve ordered our yummy meal WITH A SENIOR DISCOUNT, we can happily color our kid menus with the accompanying crayons that we snagged as we came in the door. Now, if there had only been a couple of these in the basket, we would have left them for REAL kids, but that basket was STUFFED. So there we were, coloring away…we didn’t care!

I have always enjoyed a fancy coffee from Starbucks. They’re pricey, yes, but oh, so good. Their food offerings are good, too, but way out of my budget. SO…my same friend from above and I like to pack a sack lunch and go to Barnes and Noble in Chico, which has a Starbucks. We order our fancy coffees and I get a discount for having a B&N membership and a small kickback when I use my B&N credit card. Awesome lunch. The last time we went, we stopped at S&S Produce for a can of olives (with a pop top) to enjoy with our sandwiches. (We drained the can before going inside the store.) So there we were, enjoying our bologna sandwiches and spearing olives from the can with a coffee stir stick. We didn’t care!

And whenever I’m in a store and the muzak is playing a song I know, I ALWAYS sing along. Out of consideration for the general public, I sing at less than full volume, but I DO sing! People might look at me funny, but ya know what??

I DON’T CARE!   :-)

…peace out, dude…

Thursday, September 19, 2013

25¢ Shoes

I think I was 15 when my brother and I went back to Kansas City to visit our Aunt Bernice. She was a widow with no children. One time she and I went shopping and she got a big kick out of walking into a swanky women’s store with absolutely no intention of buying anything. The prices were way too high. But she pretended to be looking for a fancy bathrobe. That was back when sales clerks got credit for selling stuff. Aunt Bernice asked the clerk all sorts of questions about the durability of the fabric, whether it was washable, etc. Then she thanked the clerk in a kind of snooty manner and we moved on. I got a kick out of her little “acting” job.

We then went to a shoe store and looked at the shoes on sale. There was a pair of screaming loud pink flats. (This was 1968, BTW) They were on sale for 25¢. I had absolutely NOTHING to wear with these shoes, but Aunt Bernice insisted on buying them for me. After all, TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!! WHAT A BARGAIN!!

These shoes soon became absolute favorites with me. I wore them until the soles started separating. My favorite combination was these shoes and a burnt-orange plaid dress. At that time I loved the color combo of hot pink and orange. I kinda cringe now in my mind thinking of this ensemble. I wasn’t exactly fond of this dress, but it had a wide shiny black belt that went with it, and I loved wearing it with the pink shoes. Once the shoes bit the dust I don’t think I ever wore that dress again. I think I saved the belt, though, to use with other outfits.

This is not a picture of my shoes, but one I got from the Internet. This is about the right color, but mine were more of a Mary Jane style. Loved those things. *sigh*

Friday, September 13, 2013

Miller's Market

My grandparents, Jacob and Luhlo Miller had a little grocery store in Kansas City. In the back was the butcher shop portion. They lived in an apartment above the store. I was about 3 years old when my parents and I moved in with them. We all lived there until after my brother was born, and then the store was sold and we all moved out to California so my dad could find work.

This picture is one I got on the Internet; it isn’t my grandparent’s store, but the layout is close. The floors were wood, and I remember when I got roller skates, my mom would push me up and down the aisles after the store was closed.

I remember when my grandfather cut his hand very badly in the butcher shop. He sat upstairs in the living room with his hand in a bowl of water. It was one of the few times I can remember him being still. He was always in the store. A few years after we moved to California, he had several strokes and after that, about all he could do was sit. Very difficult for a formerly active man.

There was a basement where my grandma did the laundry, and it opened out into the back yard where the clothesline was. I was scared to death going down to the basement. Not for anything in the basement, but the stairs were very steep (to my mind) and I couldn’t reach the handrail. I was terrified of falling down those stairs.

There was an alley on the side of the store, and my dad would take me on my sled there in the winter. I missed the snow when we moved. We first lived in southern California, and I didn’t expect snow there. When we moved north to Chico, I thought there would be snow for sure. I didn’t understand elevation. I did seem to know that north meant cold, and cold meant snow. Nope.

And that’s about all I remember. I sure wish I had some pictures of that store.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Marie Wright

In high school Botany class, we were assigned to do something concerning plants. A lot of kids did a report on wildflowers with pressed flowers. I decided to do weeds. Much more interesting. My mom worked in the office of the local Girl Scout Council, and said that a lady who also worked there could probably help me a lot. Her name was Marie Wright. She knew everything about plants. She invited me to come to the office and she would help me.

Next to the office was a field filled with all different weeds. Marie walked around that field with me and pointed out all of them. I had an old phone book to press the weeds in, and would write the names down as I put them between the pages. I got a ton of those things. Some of the weeds actually had pretty little flowers. Made up a nice album of them and got an “A” on it.

Sadly, a few months later, Marie was killed by a drunk driver. I never even got to show her my album. I still think about her. She showed me the beauty of weeds.