Saturday, August 2, 2014

Shopping days

Today  I took Caroline to the Virginia Highlands Festival.  We strolled through the craft show and then picked up some cupcakes at Babycakes which used to be the Starving Artist Cafe.  After eating our cupcakes on the bench outside the shop we went over to the Abingdon Mercantile.  One of my favorite days occurred about twenty years ago in much the same way.  I will get to that in a minute. I need to explain what a day was like was shopping with Grandma.  First, there was no such thing as running out to a store to zip in and zip out.  My mother and I are experts in the 20 minutes shopping trip. We can do more damage in Belk in 20 minutes than most people can do in a couple of hours.  Not Grandma.  First you had to help her get all dolled up.  This meant looking at every new outfit that she had bought since the last time you saw her.  Then you had to pick out jewelry.  Each piece had a story and each outfit had multiple choices.  Before the stroke you had to wait for her to have a smoke every hour or so.  After the stroke you had to wait for her to walk down the hall. Don't get me wrong, the woman could walk fast if she saw a piece of Heisey at a antique shop that she might buy, but she went reeeeaaaalllly slow otherwise.  So you finally made it to the Cadillac, you always had to take her car, and the fun began.  First there would be lunch.  When it was open we would go eat at  the May Company or some other Ladies Lunch hot spot.  When I was little I would always get Shirley Temples.  When I was an adult we would have froo froo drinks.  I don't think people lunch like that any more.  Just taking your time enjoying being away from the men.  After lunch the shopping would begin.  Grandma wanted to touch everything.  Wanted to comment on everything.  If the salesperson was smart they would pay her a little attention and Grandma would buy the whole line.  If it was shoes, she would buy everything in her size.  Before her stroke she wore heels. Always.  Not pumps.  Heels.  In the 70's, Go Go boots.  Yes with hot pants.  I am pretty sure that wearing heels is one of the things that the stroke took away that pissed Grandma off the most.  So anyway, we would shop.  On one trip to Atlanta with my mom we shopped so much that I almost didn't have room to sit in the car.  Hat Boxes take up a whole lot of room you know.  I guess what I am saying is we spent the whole day being with whoever was with us shopping. Sometimes it was my mom, sometimes it was Ness, and sometimes it was just the two of us.  I really really miss those times.  Life now doesn't seem to allow the time for those kind of days that often.  So back to one of my favorite days.  My dear friend Victoria (Torie) got to experience Grandma shopping day firsthand.  We went to the Starving Artist's Cafe for lunch and then over to the Abingdon Mercantile for some shopping. They had P. Buckley Moss prints and she needed a few more ( haha). We then stopped at several shops in Abingdon and ended up at the General Store. When we went to pay for our merchandise the owner said it was all on the house.  He had enjoyed watching the three of us shopping and said he felt the love that we had for each other and just wanted to thank us for making his store a part of our day.  That is what really what shopping days are all about.  Being with people you love and getting away from everyday life.

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