As a child, going downtown with mom was a treat. We would catch the bus down the block for our house and in minutes, (though in my young person excitement it seemed much longer), arrive downtown. We would go to J. C. Penney's, maybe Zahn's and t hen almost always stop at Woolworth's and take a seat at their soda fountain for a strawberry sundae! It came in one of those tall shake glasses. I remember lots of times I couldn't finish that big sundae, but I sure gave it a try! Those berries were so good! To drink, I would have an orange soda, maybe it was a Crush. That was the only kind of soda I could handle, and even that was hard for me to drink, the carbonation would always burn my throat. Woolworth's, a memory intact and a store now long gone.
As a young adult, mom and I would run around town doing various things, that's after she finally got her license at 50 something! One of our favorite stops for lunch was the Big Boy restaurant. I don't recall my favorite food there, but i do know what my favorite desert was! Cheesecake! Love it! Had to have it every time we were there. It was the best I have ever had! Big Boy's, a memory intact, a restaurant long one from this city.
Some of the things we enjoyed doing was gong to rummage and craft fairs. Mom was a very crafty lady in her later years. She took up tole painting and painted many lovely items. She would shop the rummage sales for wood items that she could paint. She also took up quilting and mad some beautiful quilts, tackling some difficult and challenging designs not just patchwork types. And her sewing! She did mostly hand sewing, making the tiniest stitches that just boggled my mine, and they were even in size and spacing! Good eyesight and control of her hands! Skills that have long since been layed aside as the years clouded into her mind.
Collections were a big part of her life too, frog stuff, owl stuff, painting stuff, quilting stuff, recipes, rocks, shells and just plain ole stuff! In the latter years she liked angels and large porcelain angel dolls. Now, 'things' are insignificant to her. Even the basic needs for life have no value to her.
One of our favorite once a year stops was Long Grove, IL. This is and old fashioned little town whose homes and buildings were turned into all kinds of shops and restaurants. There is a wonderful confectionery, a bakery and our favorite place to stop, The Apple House. Here you could, at the right time of day, see them make apple cider. We always had to buy some fresh cider, especially from the sippy apples! Fresh baked apple treats were always available as well, and samples of their featured bakery item. Oh, and the herb shop! What an explosion to the senses! Even if we didn't buy a thing, we had to go in there and breathe deeply! And I can't forget the Irish store, where the best homemade Irish soda bread ever is sold! We always bought several to take home. There are antique shops, toy shops, craft shops and so on. It was always a fun place for us to go. We have even taken the kids and the husband, but the best times were when it was just mom and me!
We took a trip almost every summer, it was mom's way of escaping my grandma! We would go to Ohio, or Oregon to visit relatives. Two of my favorite memories are riding in the upper deck of the double deck train through the mountains, seeing the majestic Mount Hood rise out of the lake as we rounded the bend, going to the redwood forest in CA, and standing inside the huge redwood trees. We also rode the bus on many of our trips. On one of these trips, as we were about to get off, mom said to the man in front of us, "Could you please let my daughter off, she is about to get sick?" He didn't ....and I did....got sick.....all over the back of his nice suit. She warned him right?
These are fond memories of times shared with mom, as for her they are but wisps, tucked away in a distant place in her mind.