Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Five little monkey jumping on the bed.........

I wish I could say that I made this adorable hat. I didn't and the chances that I might make something like it in the future are slim and next to none.
I found it in my little World Of Variety store, in downtown Verona. It's what used to be a Ben Franklin store with a spruced up name. It's still one of my favorite places to wander around in.
We have a lot of large name brand stores within driving distance and certainly they carry most of the same items and probably a little cheaper. I'm all for saving money. There are just some times, especially around the holidays that I feel like I really want to keep my little local owned business, in business. If it's something I need I will buy it from them and not think about the extra dollars I might be paying. That extra money is my HOPE money that The World of Variety will stay in business, another year. That the Ace Hardware store next door and the huge, brand new Farm & Fleet store down the road, won't finally ring the death bell for this little old fashion store.
When I was growing up I wanted to get married. That was the most important thing on my mind. It may have been from my mother's constant lectures on how hard it was to go to alone. How hard she worked to feed me, clothe me, entertain me, etc. Or maybe I just wanted what my friends seemed to have, a "normal" family unit. I wanted a husband, children, pets, station wagon, picket fence, the works.
For some reason, my mother, never stressed getting a college education. Surprising, since she was a nurse and worked on getting her Master's, at night school, while I was growing up.
Maybe it was because she knew she wasn't going to have the money to send me to college. I really have no idea. I know the second thing, on my list was become a school teacher.
I didn't really have anything more on my list, those two things seemed huge, in my mind.
My hometown had a Five & Dime Store. Same thing as a Ben Franklin or World of Variety store.
I would often browse up and down the isles, walking slowly on the creaky wood floors, looking at the sale items. I actually spent some of my allowance on kitchen items to put in my Hope Chest.
I rather liked the idea of a Hope Chest. I think I read about it in a book. I didn't have a wood chest, didn't even have a suitcase but I had shoe boxes, so my sale finds went in my cardboard Hope Chest. I remember being in seventh heaven when the heavy, dark brown, Boston Baked Bean, looking dishes went on sale.
OMG I wanted an entire set.
I could only afford the creamer and sugar bowl.
I'm not sure what kind of house I had in mind or lifestyle but somehow those dishes looked sturdy, heavy duty, indestructible, something that I didn't feel like my life up, to that point in time, was.
I have no idea where they ended up. They are long gone. The measuring cups, measuring spoons now reside in my dyeing studio, in the garage.
The Five & Dime was my Hope Store, my Dream Store. It was filled with possibilities. I made fabric potholders from a kit I bought in there. I still have a Mason jar filled with marbles that I collected from the store. I certainly bought my share of candy buttons on a strip of paper from the candy counter and of course gum drops. Pure sugar, little, colorful gems.
So, I keep my local World of Variety store in business, I hope. I would like to think that other little children, teenagers, wishful high school students, young mothers wander up and down the isles picking out things, too.


  1. AWWWWWWWWW B ~ I wanna hug! You are such a sweetie and this post really touched my heart. Wish I could drop by for a cup of tea.

  2. I remember making sets of embroidered pillow cases with my grandma who bought me them so I would finish & put in my hope chest. I never really had a hope chest, but I did buy an antique trunk for $5 at an auction when I was around 17 years old, and still have it now at 53. And I still have the pillowcases and use them all the time.

    Love that adorable hat on your adorable granddaughter!

  3. The hat, and that Baby Girl are both almost like medicine,,,,so good for the heart!
    Thanks for the jaunt down memory lane with the dime store, as we used to call it. My very first job was there, after babysitting.
    I think I ate my way through every kind of candy that counter held.
    I also enjoyed getting caught up with you over tea in your previous post.
    Facebook? Nah,,,,

  4. I love the way you waken up those memories stored in the anals of my brain. LOL!! We had a "five and dime" with a long glass case and wooden creaky floors. Loved it.
    I always wanted a hope chest but I settled for a large plastic "Hope Trash Can" where I placed many household items that I purchased for my future apartment. Hey, it was affordable. LOL!!!

  5. i know it
    we have the same stores in town here as well...and we all support them keep them going
    everytime we need a bolt
    or some tape
    we will have to go further up the road an hour each way to wal mart..
    which i am glad for wal mart
    but hey i am glad for in town too

    i see you have the freezing fog as well!

  6. i forgot to mention that adorable monkey
    who totally caught my eye and made me smile just to see her!

    so you didn't knit that hat
    you found a great model for it!
    i would say that was contribution!!!

  7. Of course I love your story. I still am homesick for our 5&10.
    BUT! That hat!!! Riley looks adorable with or without the hat. And so would Mia! We had a Ben Franklin in Harrisburg that went out of business...should I check if World of Variety took over? I hope it's a new, earth and community friendly shop, like Pier 1 was 25 years ago. Otherwise, I will have to pay you the big bucks to bounty that hat!

  8. Riley had me at hello...she is just an adorable little angel! I am a monkey lady also...she has real class! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen

    Hey my link is broken to your dog in the hole I doing something wrong?

  9. Oh Bea - I love your stories. While reading this, I felt much the same way as I do when I listen to a monologue on CBC radio...Canada's radio! I love your term "World of Variety" - I try my best to shop locally as well, avoiding the big box stores as much as possible. Heck, I even shop at a locally owned grocery store. Even though they don't have the variety that the others do. What they do have is a host of handicapped baggers and no line ups. And even when I can carry my things out to the car, I let the baggers give me a hand, just so I can have the opportunity to have a little chat with them and make them know how much they matter to me. Life is always full of daily opportunities to contribute to someone's day. Much like you do for me!

  10. The creaky floors opened a place in my took me to our dime store next to the movie theater.

    Your little jumping monkey is so sweet!

    Thank you for thinking about small business. I owned one for 18 years and sold it last year. You understand how important it is to
    support yours if you want it to stay open.

  11. That hat is just the best - with the best model of course. I never had a 'hope chest' or 'bottom drawer' as we used to call it. Just gathered stuff as we went along and kind people gave us lots too.