Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Dates, Fathers, Memories, Parenting | Posted on 11-06-2012
My Dad would hold out his hand to me in the parking lot and I would grab onto his finger. Hand-and-finger we walked across the bubbling asphalt, where temperatures in Missouri would hover at 95 degrees. My childhood summers were spent in Missouri; my parents were divorced.
Our destination: air-conditioned Sears. I would be giddy with excitement, on my near-weekly dates with my Dad.
The Sears candy counter would greet us, with its smells of warm cashews and popcorn. Its vivid colors and heaps of candy were endless: orange slices, fruit sour balls, giant lollipops, fudge, pecan logs, chocolate honeycomb, candy sticks, golden butterscotch, malted milk balls, Boston baked beans.
It was heavenly!
I would linger, wishing and hoping. Then pleading, for orange slices.
“Nah,” my Dad would say. “You don’t need them.” As he walked towards the hardware section.
But I DID need those orange slices! I needed to taste their chewy, sugary flesh.
We meandered around the shiny red mowers–where you could smell the new, rubbery tires–lawn furniture with welcoming umbrellas, and fans.
Yes! The fans! My favorite!
Big box fans with red and blue streamers blowing in the air, waving. With a beach ball bouncing and hovering, on top of the fan, showing off. I would stare at the ball, mesmerized. Then would grab it and pull it off course and replace it, where it would continue to float.
My Dad would always buy something. Bolts? A hammer? Who knows. And did he really need to buy an item or was it the air conditioning and the outing itself that beckoned? All I knew was that I still yearned for candy.
On the way out, I pleaded my case again. I mean, really, how could he resist my charm?
A quick stop by the candy counter on our way out.
The rush of heat, as we exited, seemed hotter than before. It warmed my goosebumped arms.
Crossing the parking lot, I clutched my little paper sack, crinkling in my hands, filled with a dollar’s worth of orange slices. I would take little bites, savoring them, so they would last longer.
Those were simpler times. Now, no more Sears candy counters. They are long gone.
I called my Dad the other day and we reminisced about our
outings dates at Sears. We chatted and laughed about those orange slices.
And for a few minutes, we resurrected those decades-old memories, which are not so long gone after all.