Sanderson’s Store

Allowance day on Saturday dispelled the winter’s gloom
of trudging through the snow to school or sealed up in my room.
Too cold and blizzardy outside, my mother had the gall
to ban me to a play space of room and stairs and hall.

No Fox Fox Goose, no snow forts. No sliding on the ice
of sidewalks frozen over.  Just games of cards and dice,
dolls and dressing up in my older sister’s clothes.
No snow boots shedding ice and sludge. No chilblains on my nose.

Oh but on certain Saturdays, with weather calming down,
armed with dough, we kids would form a caravan to town
six blocks away, ploughing the snow with boots sliding in front of us,
a column of five kids or more made snowdrifts feel the brunt of us.

Flashing our allowances, we plundered penny sweets
in the big assorted box of Tootsie Rolls and treats
like Double Bubble, Chicken Bones, Fireballs and Nik-L-Nips.
Now and Laters, Jelly Beans and chewable Wax Lips.

Tootsie Rolls and Red Hots, M&Ms and Jaw Breakers.
Malt balls, Sugar Babies, Lemon Heads and Necco Wafers.
As we counted out our pennies, Tet would add one candy more
every Saturday that we could get to Sanderson’s Store. 

Prompt words today are caravan, gall, gloom and candy. (Jelly beans, M& Ms and candy heart photos thanks to Unsplash. Used with permission.)


Here is a note I got from Mary, She is the grandniece of Tet (of Sanderson’s Store.) 

“This certainly brings back warm memories. I remember getting my brown bag of candy at Sanderson’s to take to the show with me on Saturday night. Aunt Tet loved all the kids and wouldn’t take her lunch break until after all the kids had stopped to buy their treats on their way back to school. I had forgotten some of the candies you mentioned. Thanks for sharing this with me. I loved it!  Mary.”

Below is a photo of Tet, standing between her sister Melitha and her brother, M.E., who was a recruiter for Cornell College in Iowa and who recruited my older sister Betty Jo to go to college there. My middle sister, Patti, also went there for one year. Lots of connections in a small town.

15 thoughts on “SANDERSON’S STORE

    1. lifelessons Post author

      It was one of those store with a long counter where they had to reach up with a big gripper thing to get cans and boxes down for you. There were some tables and shelves in front but a lot of the stuff was behind the counter. The big box with penny candies was right by the cash register and there were dozens of different kinds of candy in it, all mixed together.


  1. judyreeveswriter

    Hi Judy,

    This was fun… I remember some of these too. In fact I was going to post a comment on your site along with a photo of a couple of recent “gifts” from a fellow sweet-toother, but the site won’t accept photos. Here’s what I was going to post there. Did you even have the Snaps? I’d forgotten how much I like licorice.

    Happy calories after Christmas.

    xo Judy

    Visit me at: Find me on Facebook: judyreeveswriter

    Get your daily writing prompt from A Writer’s Book of Days

    Here’s where I talk about: Wild Women, Wild Voices



  2. dennyho

    I gave my sister Necco Wafers this year for Christmas! They were one of our favorite candies we shared as little girls. You provoke some good memories for me in these lines you write. Thanks for the stumble backward in time.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. lifelessons Post author

          Chicken bones were my favorite. A thin brittle taffy outside and a crunchy inside like butterfingers. Capsule-shaped,
          bout an inch and a half long and a half inch wide in gold cellophane wrappers. I think you could get a couple of them for a penny. Shaped like a capsu


        2. lifelessons Post author

          Later on they made them crumbly on the outside like Zagnuts, but the original ones had the crumbly stuff on the inside and the outsides were smooth. You can tell I took this candy seriously–right? ;o)


  3. Pingback: Addendum to “Sanderson’s Store” | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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