Today the crew and I made an impromptu visit to the GW Boutique. We popped in with the idea of doing “shelf checks” as the Fella calls them. Two years ago I think it was, we made an in-house rule that gifts for all of the family living in this house had to be either homemade or purchased from a thrift store of some sort. It has been the most fun, as we have had to get creative and really think outside of the box.
I can still remember Mama sitting on the couch right where I am sitting now, watching as we all (including her) unwrapped our GW gifts. She looked over everything and said with awe in her voice, “You did so good. This is amazing.”
What? I outshopped the “on sale with a coupon” Queen?
So thankful for the memories of the joy and laughter of that last Christmas with Mama.
And yeah, I’m proud that she was impressed.
Today was a flurry of this one and that one (even the nearly grown one) coming up and handing me things to “hide” in the cart so the person whom it was for wouldn’t see it. They don’t know it, but I’ve been shopping right in front of them like that for years.
At one point Cooter walked over to me and pointed to the cart I’d parked a few feet away. “Okay, so don’t look under the cart. I put your present under there.”
Ummmm, okay? And who’s checking out with all of this stuff anyway?
A quick glance told me it was sizable and I knew what it was–I remembered seeing it on the shelf. It was the Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker.
I explained to him that his sister or Daddy would have to bring him back if he really wanted to surprise me. I also told him our blender would make ice for sno-cones I was pretty sure, so he amiably put the box back on the shelf.
They were all so excited it was precious.
The fact that they were excited about giving was not lost on me, and I am very thankful.
At one point during our shopping Cooter and our Princess came running up to Aub and me, “Look! Look who we found!”
I nodded. “Wow, that’s cool. Donny Osmond!”
They looked at me as though they’d never been so disappointed in me in their lives.
“Mama, NO! It’s Elvis.”
Ummm, I don’t think so.
I explained to them who it was and how I knew this. Many moons ago, I had a Marie Osmond doll, whose dress was a perfect match to this Donny’s outfit.
My great Aunt Hattie used to send Christmas and birthday packages that rivaled Santa’s pack. She was just as good-hearted as she was generous and she loved us like we were her own. Over the years she started sending my two sisters, Mess Cat and Sister, who were seventeen months apart in age, different Barbie dolls. I was a little old for them I guess, and so the first year she sent them a Barbie, I got Marie.
She was loved.
Both of them–Aunt Hattie and Marie.
I told my crew the story as we walked through the store. They nodded, and I asked them to go put Donny back.
A few minutes later, they came running up (yes I’ve told them not to run indoors, but this time I forgave them–it warranted running).
I turned to them to see what all the excitement was about.
They said, nearly in unison, “Lookit what we found!”
And there she was.
They were so excited. Princess had found her, shown her to Cooter, and they both agreed I needed to bring her home. And Donny too.
And for 88 cents apiece, that’s exactly where they came.
The littles were beaming and so tickled, and that was the best treasure of all.
But finding Marie–that was a close second.
Marie spent a lot of time, ummmmm…..unclothed, shall we say, over the years. I loved to make clothes for Mess Cat’s Barbies. Once I crocheted a whole set of dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls, and the bride of course. And poor Marie? She was the model for them all. I can’t follow a pattern to save my life, but I can crochet and try on and make adjustments and keep going.
See, Marie, she’s built just like Barbie.
And bless her, she never once complained. After a while I stopped getting her redressed and just tucked her under my bed between fittings so as not to offend the delicate sensitivities of my way younger brother.
Oh the memories.
I’m not sure at what point Marie disappeared from my life. It wasn’t as traumatic as the time Raggedy Ann left, so I really don’t know.
But I am glad she’s back.
And Marie is retired. She won’t ever have to work as a dress model again.
Always the model, never the bride…..
Tonight I am thankful for the joy of giving I saw in my children today. I am thankful for the fun treasures we found, and that I hope show up wrapped by Christmas morning. Right now they each have their own gifts for others hidden away in their rooms. If they are anything like their Mama, we’re in trouble. Ah well, there’s always next Christmas.
Most of all I’m thankful for the excitement my littles found in bringing a memory to life for me today. And I remember and miss my Aunt Hattie. She was a dear soul whom you don’t find often in this life. She’d have given us her purse she always toted around if we had asked her. Bless her, I want to just like her when I grow up.
May you all come across a treasure that brings you a smile and a memory that warms your heart.
Love to all.