Friday, May 8, 2009

FLASH BACK-The girl in the RED shoes...

Growing up, I was the baby of the family with 3 MUCH older brothers. Being the only girl and the youngest gets you three things: 1. new stuff like clothes and shoes, not sibling hand me downs and 2. toys you do not have to share with your older siblings and 3. your own room!

My mom was so thrilled to dress a blonde girl...but she didn't have an unlimited budget since she had 3 teen/preteen boys that were 1. filling stomachs that never seemed full and 2. outgrowing shoes at an alarming rate and 3. had pants that seemed to show their ankles each time she turned around!

My mom was pretty smart in the way she dressed her little blonde girl. In order to assure that I always had pretty little dresses and plenty of shoes for every occasion, she shopped ahead and shopped the end of season clearance racks. She did this from the time I was a baby.

I have lots of fond memories when she would take me along to the big Lion Department Store and we would gather many dresses- among them, Polly Flinders smocked front dresses and velvets and some with fancy collars or pinafores. Matching 2 piece Carter's play clothes with fun appliques and novelty pockets like apples or lady bugs. She would wait until they were marked WAY down and she could get them for a song. She had the attitude that whatever size was there at the end of the markdowns was just what we were meant to get...just as long as it was TOO BIG for me and could be put away to save and dole out whenever the item may fit. She was quite good at guessing my rate of growth for the items that were season specific. Dresses were the easiest as most were year round appropriate. When I was a little older, I remember going to a store called Jiminy Cricket at rock bottom price time and picking out pre teen clothing and anxiously anticipating being "grown up" enough to wear them.

By far my most favorite of all memories was the shoe department after Easter when shoes were reduced to sell the odds and ends of what was left. Once again, Mom felt that fate would provide the shoes meant for my feet in the future months --there among the boxes of 1. Stride Rite patent leathers with straps and buckles or 2. Buster Brown saddle shoes, some with pink or velvet sides and diagonally striped laces or 3. Keds or PF Flyers sneakers complete with the rubber toe cap, sure to make me run faster or jump higher than anyone! Some kids grew up trying on their Mother's shoes dreaming about some day when they would grow. I grew up trying on my own collection of shoes that were stashed in the closet, just like my own shoe store...dreaming of when I would grow.
There is something about that new shoe smell, when you take them out of the box and how about the distinctive sound you hear from that crinkly tissue paper that nestles them. I also recall, with much clarity, the tapping sound of new "high heels"- that were only about 1" but seemed very grown up- as I walked back and forth across the tile floor like some kind of a super model. There were many nights that a new pair of shoes were parked proudly at my bedside so I could keep them near and assure a gaze upon them when first my sleepy eyes opened the next morning.
Here's the very best part of shoe memories...they repeat when you have your own kids.
As a little girl, my A loved to do the same let's see how nice the "grown up high heels" sound as I parade across the tile thing.
And just a few weeks ago, my N purposely SLEPT IN his new tennis shoes!! Keeping them parked by the bedside was not good enough!
Hey, do you remember that baby boomer contraption that measured your shoe size when you inserted your sock covered foot into a machine and it squeezed your foot? As a kid I remember being very fascinated by it and maybe a teensy bit leery.
I think you can click to make these photos bigger. We always fed stale bread and crackers to the ducks at the cemetery. Gotta love a bouquet of Dandelions gathered with love! Palm Sunday palms need to be braided, don't they?My dog's name was Scarlet. The book I was reading is probably still in my library.


Peggy. said...

I remember getting our shoes at the Buster Brown store when I was little and all of our dresses at Dillards department store.
Love your ducks at the cemetery! when we were little we thought the cemetery was a park...I was just talking to my mom about this yesterday. We had ducks to feed too.

Lori said...

"Oh you beautiful doll..."! To say you were such a cutie pie is an understatement!! My darn microsoft is being evil and I can't do a thing with it! I'll visit when I can! happy Mothers day! Love ya,Lori

a portland granny said...

I'm sure your mother enjoyed dressing a little girlie after three boys! What fun for her. 'Polly Flinders' is a name I haven't heard for a long time. I had a tiny little Korean girl once upon a time and I dressed her in Polly Flinders dresses!

When I was little, we put our foot in an x-ray machine to see if the shoes fit right! That was in the 30's--then they were outlawed!!

Thanks for a fun trip down memory lane. Mother's Day brings back memories of these Mothers of ours who have gone on before us.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Happy Mother's Day...m.

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