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.