Like I have said before, I grew up in a small town in the 70’s. On occasion, we would load up in the car, my sister, who I referred to as Beezus, mom, dad and me and off we would go to the city. (Windows up, sitting in a haze of cigarette smoke.) Just driving into the city was a treat. There were new places to see each time we were there. McDonald’s was so cool back then. I’m sure we begged to go there every time.
We always went to the mall. My favorite places were, Spencer’s Gifts, Hickory Farms, LeMans Speedway, Musicland and Furr’s Cafeteria. I remember one time in Spencer’s Gifts, I found a cute t-shirt I wanted my dad to buy me. I was probably 9 or 10 at the time. The t-shirt had a cute little baby chick hatching out of an egg. My sister came up and told my dad NOT to buy it for me. She being OLDER and much wiser, explained to my dad what the t-shirt that said, “I’ve just been laid”, meant. I’m pretty sure my dad turned ten shades of red hearing this from his thirteen year old.
In Hickory Farms I always bought the little people made of maple sugar. (I think it was maple sugar.) I can’t really remember but I think they were shaped like a farmer and his wife. I do know that they were tasty. LeMans Speedway was a huge game room. As I got older I enjoyed it more because there were always cute guys.
The Orange Julius stand was a must and the cookie store always lured me in. We would go to Furr’s Cafeteria on occasion. I always wanted two or three desserts. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) The chicken was good too. Of course we had to go to the record store before we left the mall.
One time we had a real treat and went to Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor. For some reason the people that worked there reminded me of the movie, Mary Poppins. Farrell’s had huge portions of ice cream. They had something called, the Pig Trough. If you ordered it they but on a show, sure to embarrass the recipient.
When we would go to Pier 1, I always got the candy wrapped in seaweed. You put the whole thing in your mouth and the seaweed would melt. (Yes, more candy.)Sometimes we would stay at our cousins’ and sometimes we would just drive home. It was always a goodtime. Those were some of my happiest times. Spending time with my family.
As I get older, my eyesight has begun to play tricks on me. I always have to do a double take to make sure what I think I am seeing is what I am actually seeing. Leaving my parents’ house one day, I noticed a cow in the middle of the road. There was a truck nearby. In my head I was thinking, “Look a cow got out. That guy just sitting in his truck must be waiting for the owner to come get the cow.” The cow seemed happy as he swished his tail back and forth. As I got closer I realized it wasn’t a cow. A man in a surveyor’s truck was crouched on his knees doing something in the middle of the intersection. I was sure I saw a tail swishing!
Driving through town one morning, I saw people standing by the curb. Not all together but like one in each yard. They must have been waiting for a bus or maybe there was a parade going on today that I didn’t know about. As I drove by and waved I realized it wasn’t people. Apparently, it must be trash day and everyone had set their trash cans on the curb.
My son picked me up from work one afternoon. As we were approaching the street and getting ready to pull out, I yelled, “Stop! Is that a shoe?” In the middle of the median was a high heel shoe, standing upright. I rubbed my eyes, wondering who would throw out a pretty good shoe? I looked again and it was still there and was still a shoe. I looked up in the sky, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Growing up in the 70’s, one of my favorite memories is walking to the little neighborhood store. As I remember it, they had rows and rows of candy. It took so much time to choose what I wanted. One day, I had a dollar. I bought four candy bars and went home and ate all of them. (Yes, young people back in the olden days they were a quarter each.) I got pretty sick but do you think I learned anything from that? Of course not. They had some other tasty treats as well.
In the summer I loved going to the swimming pool. (Back when they were swimming pools and not water parks.) They had the best candy at their concession stand. Other kids would stand there forever trying to make up their minds. Not me, I knew exactly what I wanted.
My favorites were the long flat taffy wrapped in wax paper and slapstix, which was carmel on a stick. (Back when it was carmel not caramel.)
I loved going to the pool, except for one thing. There was an older kid that liked to dunk me. If I saw him coming I would quickly get out of the pool. Most times he was like a ninja and appear out of nowhere.
Growing up in a small town in the 70’s, my sister and I could walk or ride our bikes all over town. We never worried about strangers, even though we were taught not to get into a car with someone we didn’t know. One day I was walking to the pool. I was almost there when a beat up car pulled up next to me and a man asked me if I wanted a ride. I told him no, I was almost there. He kept trying to convince me to get in. I remember looking straight ahead and ignoring him. When I went home after the pool closed, (because we stayed from opening to closing) I told my parents. My dad notified the police and found that the same car had tried to run the driver’s ed car off the road. This was probably one of the most memorable times that I obeyed my parents.
Share your memories as a child. Did you have a favorite candy?
I haven’t posted on my blog for a while. Four days after Christmas I had surgery. (Robotic Hysterectomy) My thinking was, while in the hospital I would catch up on my writing. I took two books hoping I would finish the first and start the second. Before leaving for the hospital I had a horrible realization, what if I wouldn’t be able to do any of these things. Maybe I will be in PAIN!
Well this changes everything. Maybe I don’t need this surgery. Maybe I can put it off. Surely the doctor won’t mind me screwing up his schedule. My boss won’t mind if I worked the days I asked off. Ok, Paula, get a grip. You have been through surgery before and you were fine. On the 29th of December, we headed to the hospital.
I had opted to stay the night. I live over an hour away from the hospital. (Our hospital had closed over a year ago.) I don’t remember anything after I entered the operating room (Thank God). I vaguely remember coming to my room, where my family was waiting for me. After a while I was left to rest. I napped off and on, then after some time I was able to get up and walk around.
Mid-afternoon the nurse came in to check on me, I told her I was getting hungry. She handed me a menu, showed me a number to call and said I can order anytime before 8 pm. Hot damn! Room service. I was a little shocked to see the menu had no prices.
I ordered a late lunch and then later an evening meal. I was shocked to see my cousin’s son deliver my supper. I knew he worked in the hospital. The way his proud grandparents had told it, I thought he might have worked in the operating room. It was good to see him. He is a good young man. We had a nice little chat and then he was back to work.
I was released the next day. I went home and immediately took up residence on the couch. Feeling pretty good unless I had to bend at the waist. The next day was a blur. I took my pain pills every four hours as directed. I’m not big on pain and didn’t want it sneaky up on me. The next day I weaned myself off the medicine. I don’t like being in a fog worse than I like being in pain.
I went to the doctor the next week and was released to go back to work. I had pushed the doctor for the release since I would only be working three hours a day. Then I got to thinking. SHIT, now I have to go back to work. Paula, you dummy.
I had gone to the daycare a few days before I went to the doctor to say hi and pick up my check. I went into the school age classroom and was bombarded by children running toward me to give me hugs. Their teacher called out, Don’t squeeze Miss Paula’s tummy. One of the little girls, annouced to the other kids, “Miss Paula is going to have a baby!” Not quite, honey. Not quite.