Been thinking. Again. Yes, I know, it can lead to strange places, but a few of them I know. And if you read this blog much, you’ll know some of them as well.

Took a weekend trip to Oklahoma, getting back last night. It was fun to see what’s new, what’s not, and what was never there in the first place. Memories are funny things, and when I snagged on something I thought but was never, it jolted me. Like the building downtown that I remember as much bigger and grander, but in reality, a small sandstone block façade that had only one window in the front.

In my head, that building was a grand corner structure, with tall arches and a huge front window. It housed a bank, and the building next door, also hewn sandstone, was a law office, with glittering letters revealing the name of the partners, to be marveled at. The narrow street door guarded the entrance to the law office, and in my mind’s eye, it would reveal a gracious lobby, genteel office staff working to provide quiet, stately meeting rooms.

Across the street, the big TG&Y store boasted wide glass window, emblazoned with prices and promises of the goods inside. This weekend, I couldn’t actually find it. The window? Replaced with gentrified fake old fashioned glass openings. With three different boutique store names.

My favorite store, Katz Department store, now a trending eatery.

So no more round upholstered couch inside by the jewelry counter, the smell of chocolate and popcorn drifting in from across the store at the fine candies department. I loved sitting on that couch, waiting for my mom to finish her shopping from the fabric department. I could watch people through the front windows or as they moved around the store.

A gracious murmur of service, business and awareness.

All in a child’s mind.

Because it’s mixed up with images from books about New York city. Because I was the oldest girl of six kids (two older brothers) and as the usual baby sitter, I didn’t have the luxury of sitting on a nice seat in the store. Mom wouldn’t allow it.

“That furniture is for grownups. You keep the little ones quiet while I pay the lay-away.”

In truth, we sat in the car, parked in front of the store. Because that what kids did when I grew up. Winter, summer, warm or cold, we waited in the car. Contained and restrained by the knowledge that when Mom came back, she’d know who hit who, why the baby was awake or asleep, and how if anyone got out and then back in the car.

She’d know. Moms do that. We didn’t know how but she did.

Memories.

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