A Ball of Yarn and a Book

When I was a little girl my mother had to work in a store.  She was a sales lady in the millinery department of National’s Family Store, a precursor to Walmart.  When she couldn’t find a babysitter she would bring my brother and I to work with her and plant us at a table in the snack bar area for however many hours that she had to work.  We would eat lunch usually grill cheese and French fries both of which I still love today unfortunately.  She would give us two dollars each and tell us we could buy whatever we wanted.  I would usually buy a skein of yarn and some knitting needles, even back then I was always losing them and a book.  My brother could get whatever he wanted to and we would just sit there for hours happily occupying ourselves with our treasures.

Here I am at 60 years old still remembering the joy of spending that money on something I loved.  I was always a reader even as a small child and I loved the feel of books.  I loved to go the library too and I can still remember reading Beverly Cleary books at the snack bar table.  I would break up the day with my knitting needles clack, clack, clacking away.  Before you knew it the day would be over and we would depart for home but our time at the snack bar is a memory I think of very fondly.

It brings back different kinds of memories of my mother too as she really was in her element as a seller of hats.  She was a quiet woman but her eyes sparkled as she took care of the hats and her customers and you could tell all of her co-workers loved her.  She always cared about my brother and I so she would check up on us and make sure we were happy and quiet with our new found treasures. And we were because she gave us the money to go pick out something special just for us.  Her coworkers would check up on us too and the snack bar ladies would feed us.  It was a lot of fun.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother the last few weeks of my solitary confinement and how she would want me to find happiness somewhere in the middle of all this sorrow.  My friend Jamie asked me about Nationals yesterday and that brought up my beautiful childhood memories of being marooned on a snack bar Island for a few hours.  My mother loved my friend Jamie and I still love him today.

So now I’m gonna make myself a grilled cheese sandwich and read a good book and maybe pick up my knitting for a little while and pretend I’m a child again for a little while.  Keep stitching.


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