Dates with my Dad were Visits to Sears

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Dates, Fathers, Memories, Parenting | Posted on 11-06-2012

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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.

I am linking up with Yeah Write with other awesome writers. C’mon and link up and read some good posts. Then c’mon back on Thursday to vote for your favorites.
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Comments (68)

I love the smell of hardware stores, too. Oddly enough, it was my mom who always took us to the hardware store. I still think of her when I smell lumber.

I love the smell of lumber too. Isn’t that sweet the smells can trigger memories?

Thanks for sharing!
Pippi

Whenever I smell a certain brand of cough drop, it brings me back to my Dad and his office (now long gone) – he always used to eat them like candy!

Sears once had a candy counter? They need to bring that back!

Ah, yes, smells to resurrect a memory.

That’s sweet.

Thanks for sharing!
Pippi

Yes! It was wonderful! At least in the midwest they did. Is was the 1970s…maybe you’re too young. 🙂

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

Childhood memories are just the best!!!

I was going to be shocked if your dad didn’t get you the candy! I am sure it was a different world for you, especially when they moved to the farm.

Great post! I could smell the rubber and see the box fans with floating beach ball. I am wayyyy too young to remember the candy counter though, although it seems that I should. And I’m more of a Circus Peanuts girl than orange slices! 🙂

I had a long standing weekly date with my dad too. We went to McD’s every Sunday morning before church for pancakes and breakfast burritos. Everytime I eat pancakes from McD’s I smile at the memories. Beautifully told, Pippi!

My father-daughter date is usually a trip to the book store; it’s sort of our thing, so much so that if my wife tries to take our daughter without me, she resists. I wonder how she’ll recall our outings when she’s older.

Aww. I didn’t have many dates with my dad but I do remember dates with my grandpa! Zellers restaurant for some…delicious…lunch. lol. But it wasn’t the food I remembered, it was spending time with him!

Thanks for reminding me of my own special dates!

🙂

This was a super sweet post!
I loved your descriptions, they were bang on.

I love those orange slices! What a lovely memory! Your telling of it is so sweet, I could really picture it. I remember going to visit my dad and our “dates”. What sweet memories… didn’t matter what we did. He didn’t like to give us sweets but once during our visits he would split one sugary convenience store “pie” between my brother and I and split one up between us. That was our treat 🙂 We also split one can of chili for dinner. Lol. Poorer times!

Funny that as a parent, I sometimes wonder if what we’re doing will “make the cut” as a memory down the line. Probably my barking at them in the morning to “hurry up” will, but I hope some of the fun things too.

Thanks for reading!
Pippi

Most of my childhood memories in Missouri are pre-farm. 🙂 Except I do remember that it took, like, 5 hours to mow that yard!

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

I loved those Circus Peanuts! You can still buy them in packs, 2 packs for $1! My daughter bought them last summer because I had raved about them and she thought they were gaggy. I was disappointed that she didn’t love them as much as I did.

I checked and the Sears candy counter was around through the ’70s. I was a young girl. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!
Pippi

What an awesome memory! Thanks for sharing.

And thanks for the nice compliment. So sweet!

XO,
Pippi

That is a wonderful date! She will probably remember that forever.

I call most outings that involve a treat a date. Does it really matter where you take your children as long as you are talking together and hanging out?

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

Aw, your grandpa dates sound sweet. You’re right, it doesn’t matter about the details, but the fact that it was time together.

Sometimes, I’ll just go and lie down on my daughter’s bed and just talk to her while she’s drawing.

Glad you reminisced a bit too. 🙂
Pippi

Aw, thanks!

It’s funny how smells can trigger memories. Every time I smell new rubber on tires, I am drawn back to those hot afternoons.

Thanks for your nice compliment,
Pippi

Thanks for sharing your memories too. You’re right, it’s not what you eat or what you do, it’s who you’re with (except sometimes it’s what you eat because my Dad used to make me cinnamon toast and I thought it was the most gaggy thing ever and still can barely eat cinnamon)!

Agreed that it was simpler and poorer times. I drank knock-off colas. 🙂

XO,
Pippi

When I was young, my dad used to take me (or my sister – we rotated) out on “dates” once a month…

His goal was to teach us etiquette and how a gentleman should treat his young lady (my dad’s daughter!)

Then my mom got a night home with the other daughter who got to pick her favorite dinner for “just the two of us.”

Some of my favorite memories.

Loved this post and what it made me remember…

I love that idea of rotating so that each child and each parent has time to spend together. Thanks for sharing!

Also, glad it spurred some of your own memories. 🙂

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

This is so lovely. I could just feel the heat and the cool of the fan and the temptation of that candy! And now I really, really want some orange slices.

When I was little, the thing I always did with my dad was help him feed and water our 3 horses. Whenever we have one of those nights that are so cold the snow sparkles and the inside of your nose freezes it brings back that feeling of being with him.

My sister works at Boscov’s and they have a candy counter with old-school candy, fudge and chocolates. I love it.

I completely forgot about the Sears candy counter! Man, that takes me back.

OH. MY. GOSH. I totally remember the Sears candy shop! Where the heck did it go?

Aw, thanks! I love those suckers! Good thing you can still buy them.

Thanks for your nice comments!
Pippi

Wow, what a nice memory. I love sparkling snow, especially in the moonlight. And, wow, horses? Every girl’s dream!

Thanks for writing,
Pippi

Better buy me some of that fudge with marshmallows. I can taste it now!

Thanks for sharing!
Pippi

It was a long time ago, huh! I googled it and they closed them down in the late 70’s. Not sure why. It was what set Sears apart. Boo.

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

Not sure why they stopped selling the only thing I liked at Sears!! Except for the fans…those were lovely. 🙂

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

I love those orange slices too! Love the description of Sears and your dad. Great post!

Such a feel good story! Loved this.

I loved this post! I felt like I was there. Sears isn’t anything like this now. Sometimes I wish we could go back in time for just one day. That’s what your writing made me wish I could do!

I vaguely remember a time when the Sears in my town was in it’s own building and not in the mall… but I can’t for the life of me recall if it had a candy counter.

Let’s go get some of those orange slices!

Thanks for your nice comments!
Pippi

Aw, that’s sweet of you!
Pippi

That is so nice of you to say! I do kinda wish for a time-travel machine and I would probably choose to go back in time.

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

All I remember was candy and fans and that cool air conditioning. 🙂

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

I won’t lie. This post made me cry. I used to go to Sears with my dad. The riding lawnmowers were my big draw. And my mom loved nothing more on the planet than Orange Slices. Today would have been her birthday. Anyway, thank you for sharing this memory. It was so well written.

Wow. Your comment made me cry. Thanks so much for sharing and for the nice words. Let’s have some orange slices in honor of your mother today, OK?

Take care.

Thanks for writing,
Pippi

It’s funny what sticks with us from childhood isn’t it? Well-told story. I enjoyed being witness to your memories.

Thanks for your nice comment! I think I’m at the point in my life that I’m reminiscing more and more.

Thanks for writing!
Pippi

All the department stores did! I remember at Christmas my dad would buy me a little bag of chocolate stars at the Sears counter. Dads – they can’t resist us. Thanks for the story 🙂

And yes – I was in Minnesota, so maybe it was a midwest thing 🙂

My mother always used to take me to the candy counter when I’d go to the department store with her. For me, it was usually a dollar’s worth of Swedish Fish. Thanks for helping me remember those days.

What sweet memories (candy pun not intended!!). I wonder if he knew he was going to get you the candy all along or if you were able to charm him? 🙂

Ooh! I know those chocolate stars! Yum!

Thanks for reminding me!
Pippi

Maybe it was a Midwest thing because the store we went to was in Missouri.

I had my Dad read my post (emailed him the text) and it triggered find memories too.

Ah, connections. 🙂

I loved (still love) Swedish fish. Especially the red and orange ones. Green? Not so much.

Thanks for sharing your memory!
Pippi

I doubt I was charming…probably more like pesky and irritating and he probably bought them to shut me up for the drive home!

XO,
Pippi

Oh, you totally just took me back—I remember those orange slices!

Lovely post.

I’m glad! And thank you!
Pippi

You had me at the first sentence. Holding my Dad’s finger, marveling at how my tiny hand could barely circle his digit… such a vivid memory. Enjoyed your writing!

You captured this memory beautifully.

This memory was sweeter than orange slices. I’m in Maryland and we have a department store called Boscovs that still has a candy counter. I was going shopping with my girls tomorrow. We’re definitely stopping by there. 🙂 Ellen

Aw, thanks! Have fun shopping with your girls and enjoy something yummy!

Thanks for your sweet comment!
Pippi

Thank you very much!
Pippi

Glad you liked it. What’s funny is even when I was older (12 years old), my Dad would reach his finger out for me to grab onto. Sounds silly, but that’s how it was.

Thanks for commenting!
Pippi

[…] pick of the week is Pesky Pippi’s Dates With My Dad Were Visits to Visits to Sears. Pippi’s writing is filled with wonderful sensory details and the best kind of nostalgia. Reading […]

I got picked??!! OMG, so excited! This was a post for my Daddy. Aw, really excited! Think I’m gonna celebrate with orange slices.

XO,
Pippi

Congrats on the well-deserved double win this week! And it’s just perfect that this post was written for your Dad. 🙂 Enjoy those orange slices!

Thank you! I am very honored.

And congrats to you on the top votes. I loved your post and would sing with you anyday. 🙂

Thanks again,
Pippi

This one brought tears to my eyes – I love your sweet dad! With mine it was Saturday morning trips to the donut shop and car wash. I still feel a tug when I drive by those DIY car washes!
XO,
min

Aw, you’re sweet!

Your memories sound equally sweet. It’s sometimes the little things that you remember, huh?

XO,
Pippi

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