Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Flour Sack Dresses

These beads were designed to look like the patterns on the flour sacks at Granny's store. She told us they used to be made into beautiful dresses. Let me take you back to that store, and later I'll introduce you to Granny. The store was a cinder block building painted white. The main selling floor was about 20'by20' and contained everything you could possibly need. The floor was oiled concrete. Right in the middle was a cast iron stove. Various couches and mismatched chairs stood in a ring around the stove seating a dozen or so adults. The walls were lined with wide white shelves. Canned goods and a big glass case filled with chocolate bars were on the right behind the counter. The counter held a cash register, meat slicer and scale. On the back wall up high were sacks of sugar, flour, cornmeal and cans of Donald Duck orange juice. Down low were the salt blocks for cows to lick. In front of that was the baked goods rack with loaves of white bread and hamburger buns. On the left wall were cans of oil and the various fluids cars needed. In front of this was a big glass case containing thread and needles, candles , soap, envelopes and other household necessities. The front wall had a refrigerator that held milk and big sticks of bologna, liver loaf and cheese. Beside that was the cold drink box and the chips rack. There was a freezer with packages of meat and an open doorway in back that led to Granny and Pa's living quarters. In other places people might have had pubs or hotel lobbies or sidewalk cafés to visit to watch the world go by, but Granny and Pa's store was our window to the world. During the daytime we went with Mama. You didn't just go in and make a purchase and leave. Oh no! The kids ran out to the side yard to see who was "it" in the ongoing games of tag, hide and seek and statues. If Pa was in the store, Granny took the women back to her living room where they sewed on quilts, canned, talked about "women's problems" and cooked. The men sat out front and talked politics. At night after supper Mama and Daddy both took us. We ran around outside till we were exhausted, then worried the adults to distraction running from the storefront to the living quarters begging for cokes into which we would pour a sack of salty peanuts and share all around. I'll tell you about Granny another time. Now I'm going to go see if I have any cokes and peanuts in the pantry. I wonder if they'll still taste like happiness.

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