With all of the snow that has been hitting many parts of the country I’m sure the ol’ “I had to walk three miles uphill in the snow to get to school” story has been shared more than once.
Sharing childhood tales, whether faux or faux-real, with our kids is human nature for a parent. Agree?
Well, not too long ago when my kids and I were having a discussion about saving and parting with money, I reminded them about a traumatic financial predicament I found myself in 40 years ago.
Yes. A traumatic financial predicament.
Let’s start from the beginning…
When I was young I loved spending the day with my grandparents.
They lived within walking distance from where my mom worked so rather than stay home sometimes, I would ride with her to work and spend the day with them. One of the things Grandma Rose and I would do after lunch was walk to town to get the mail from the post office (and yes, we really did have to walk uphill!)
I loved the walks, especially because the post office was inside a general store and that general store had a spectacular candy section. It was displayed just like you would imagine.
Everything was lined up perfectly by size and color, on mini staircase displays. You would start salivating at eye level and by the time your eyes climbed to the top see the crown jewels, you would instantly daydream about what it would be like to be rich enough to buy all of the candy and take it home, stashed inside a secret hide-away that only you and your stuffed animals knew about.
Out of everything, this was one of my favorite things to get -
Source: Old Time Candy
A grape Charms sucker. And do you have any guess as to how much this cost at the general store?
So, on what would become my day of financial doom, my Grandma handed me a nickel before we started our walk – just because I was the perfect granddaughter of course.
While I was waiting for her, I remember standing over her coffee table that was in front of her davenport (she never called it a couch) and looking at her spurious blossoms.
Translation: fake flowers
Those blossoms sat inside this green swan…
… and because it was impossible to look without touching, I touched.
I touched with the same hand that was holding that nickel. A nickel that was my ticket to sweet tooth satisfaction.
And in an instant, my hopes and dreams for the purple pop were shattered.
Because that nickel ended up here:
In the neck of that darn swan!
Now you would think that it should just slide out if you tipped it over.
Think again. My tears and heartache were no match for that swan.
Grandma tried. Granddad tried. I tried. With grit. With prayer. With tools. With anything and everything you could imagine.
We all failed – and a lesson had to be learned of course, so I did not get my sucker that day.
But on another day many years later, days after the passing of my Grandma, that green swan would become mine with the nickel still entombed in its neck.
And while you may think that nickel taunts me as a symbol of mischief, it brings back nothing but fond memories of my Grandma and that general store.
What I wouldn’t do for another one of those walks!