A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

Memories and A Trip to Michaels

on September 26, 2011

The passing of time is probably one of the most intriguing things to me. We always want to spend time, or we pass time or we try to save time. Money can be remade but time is irreplaceable. Thus, it is my belief that God gave us the power of memory in order to cope with the loss, or passing, of time.

Tonight, I dropped my daughter off at Michael’s for her cake decorating class. I am one of the least creative people I know yet this is one of my favorite stores (second only to a bookstore). When I walk through this store, my imagination goes completely wild! Here, within these colorful walls, anything is possible. Row after row of the utterly impossible come to life with a few ribbons, a few beads, and silk flowers held together by a glue gun and some fierce determination.

Tonight, I saw them. They leaped out at me straight from my childhood. Cardboard decorations. Not anything that one could make, these were the pre-made ones that you gently punch out and hang on doors with a bit of scotch tape. I stood there, a cardboard Santa in my hands, and I suddenly was transformed.

I saw myself, a young girl in my auntie’s house. She had tons of these and somehow, it was always my job to put them up around the house. No door was safe from my chubby little hands as I stuck these store-bought creations to them. Before we were through, toy solders, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty would stand watch over every room in the house. I could hear the music in the background, my aunt’s voice instructing us, or my uncle’s laughter. I could taste the peppermint ice cream we would afterwards. I smelled cinnamon and suddenly, couldn’t wait for that glorious night when I would go to bed dreaming of all the things I picked out of the JC Penney catalogue wondering which one Santa would bring me.

I remember the trips downtown that started early in the day. Our mission was to decorate my uncle’s office. I remember my aunt’s beehive hairdo and the faces of all people I met. Seeing my uncle’s desk would fill me with amazement. This was where all the magic happened and I couldn’t wait to become an adult to make magic too! We worked all morning playing Santa’s elves decorating, tinseling, taping and lighting. Then lunch would come which was a treat for me because getting a hamburger and fries from McDonald’s was not an everyday occurrence. Then more decorating before heading home. I believe I probably slept all the way home because I don’t remember those rides at all.

Those cardboard decorations lasted into my early adulthood. We taped and re-taped until they practically disintegrated and I was heartbroken to throw them out. But they were quickly replaced with new decorations that formed new traditions until I grew up, got married and started traditions of my own with my own babies. It’s amazing: one trip to the store took me on a trip down memory lane.

Someday, I hope my children record their memories with as much love as I record mine.


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