Keeper


My parents have a large house (as one would expect with so many children). And, when they built it my mom designed in ‘pony walls’. These are basically saddle bags for the house. Long storage ‘tunnels’ line the upstairs. And, they are full.

My mother was always organized and clean. So, the pony walls are filled with nice storage boxes and they are I n a very specific order. She remembered exactly where each treasure was stored. And, she had lots of treasures. I assume that because she also grew up in a large family she understood that holding onto & passing things down was easier & cheaper than buying new for each child. There have been many times I’ve said something like ‘The kids have Colonial day tomorrow. What should they wear?’ And, Mom would head up to the pony walls & pull out his & hers colonial outfits. Every grandchild has used the same Johnny Jump Up, walker, and bouncy seat. Even when I was a kid trying to pick a costume for a Halloween party she would say, ‘Let’s pull out the box’ and then several costume boxes would come out filled with things she’d made or purchased.

When I was in jr. high school (7th grade, I think) we took trips to Washington DC, Boston & New York. We went on amazing historical & educational tours, and walked through museums filled with lots of information about our nation’s history. Three things stick out in my memory about that trip.

3. We went to Williamsburg Virginia and visited William & Mary college. It was beautiful. We had our photos taken sitting on a brick wall there.

2. We visited the Statue of Liberty & the woman in the booth was insistent that I looked at least 13 so my father would have to pay the general admission & not the youth fee.

1. The clearest memory was my mother agreeing to take us to the Espirit Outlet & on our way there finding a Benetton store to run in.

In the Benetton store I picked out the softest pink sweatshirt with the name Benetton scrolled in large letters across the front. I wore that sweatshirt until it literally fell apart. I adored it.

The Espirit Outlet was in an industrial looking building. It seemed so adventurous to a girl from the small town of Redding, and I remember being thrilled to wander the building looking & touching everything. I purchased a few things, but the two things I remember very specifically are a blue sleeveless dress that had a collar & buttoned down the front AND a sweater with thick blue stripes as well as a red stripe, yellow stripe & green stripe. It was the coolest dressy outfit I owned. And, I wore it the day we went to the Statue of Liberty.

Yesterday, my sisters and I were sorting through some of Mom’s things & stored away was my Espirit sweater. It was in the same pile as a few baby clothes she’d saved of kids. She knew I loved it and I really can’t believe she kept it all this time.

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