July 1st

Not only did I win a two-week free trip to Girl Scout camp, this Saturday Mommy and I are going shopping at the Sears Super Sale for my camping gear. Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Mommy works at the main post office downtown.  She spends Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., on her part time job at the Sears and Roebuck store on Elizabeth Avenue.   Mommy reminds me that the extra money helps to make ends meet.  Sometimes, we even get to go on vacation. This year, when Girl Scout camp is over, we are headed to Wildwood!  But I wish Mommy didn’t have to work so hard to make it happen.

“Did you finish checking your list?  Let me see it again to make sure we get everything you need tomorrow. Just because there is a sale, we are not going to waste a dime buying things you don’t need.”  Mommy says.

I pull the list from my green Girl Scout folder that Miss Benson gave us at last week’s meeting.  A red check mark is next to the stuff that I already have.

  • Slippers - check

  • Shower cap - check

  • Girl Scout Handbook - check

From the looks of it, the Sears Super Sale is right on time. As fast as I could, I washed up in time to catch my favorite show, The Flintstones. YABBA, DABBA DOOO was the last thing I heard as I went off to dream land on the front room couch.

“BOOM! BOOM!”

A loud crashing sound shook us awake on Saturday morning.  It was just my luck.  The weather man predicted a thunder storm. It was raining cats and dogs and noisy thunder rumbled, but that didn’t stop us.  I fastened my yellow hooded rain coat and pulled on my matching boots.   Mommy stood at the door in her clear plastic rain bonnet and coat. She pulled on her black rubber boots.

“Let’s hit it!”  Mommy was ready to go.

Buckets of heavy rain poured from the dark sky once we got outside. If it wasn’t for our rain gear, we would have been soaked. 

 “Be careful, Lizzie.” Mommy said. 

She grabbed my hand and we raced to the corner bus stop.  Mommy was determined and we were on a mission.   The #13 bus turned the corner and splashed a big puddle onto the side walk.  It just missed us.

 

“Sorry about that Ma’am.” The bus driver shrugged as he opened the door.

 

“It’s a mess out here!” Mommy shook the rain off her bonnet and climbed onto the bus.  I almost fell up the slippery steps but Mommy caught me.

 

“Watch your step.” The bus driver warned.

 

We made our way to the back of the bus and found a seat next to a teenage boy who was soaked from head to toe.  Didn’t he hear the weather man last night? 

 

The bus pulled off and fifteen minutes later, I saw the big blue building.  One more block to the Sears Super Sales.

 

“BUZZ!”

 

Mommy let me to pull the cord so we wouldn’t miss our stop.

“BUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZ!”

“Okay, I heard it the first time!” The bus driver yelled.

Over my shoulder, I saw a little girl who had climbed up, reached over her mommy’s head, and hung onto the cord. Embarrassed, the mommy grabbed the little girl’s hand.  She giggled and sat scooted back into her mommy’s lap.

The bus driver stopped in front of the store and opened both the front and back doors. About half of the riders dashed off the bus with me and Mommy.   Rain or shine, folks were ready for the Sears Super Sale.  I held onto Mommy’s hand and we rushed to get our place on the line that had already formed in front of the store. 

 

A man comes to unlock the front door at 10:00 a.m. sharp.

           

“Good morning and welcome to Sears. How are you Miss Hayes?” the man says.

           

“Fine thank you, Mr. Jenkins.”  Mommy smiles and nods.

           

What!  Wait!  Why is my Mommy smiling and nodding at Mr. Jenkins?  She better save all that for my Daddy.  Is Mr. Jenkins her boyfriend?  Good grief, with Mr. Jenkins and Miss Dolores in the picture, my Mommy and Daddy might never get back together!  Ok Lizzie, think fast.  I bet if I roll my eyes and stick my tongue out at him when Mommy’s not looking, this Mr. Jenkins dude will get the message and back off.

           

But I would be asking for big trouble with Mommy, and double trouble with Grandmommy when we get home. So, when we walk past Mr. Jenkins I look straight ahead trying to ignore him.  Maybe that will be enough to make him stay away from my Mommy.

           

Finally, he leaves us alone and Mommy and I walk through the store to the escalators in the middle of the store. These creepy slippery silver moving stairs give me the heebie jeebies.  I am never sure when to step on.  Right foot, then left foot.  Or is it left foot, then right foot.  No matter what, I’m always scared out of my wits. As we get closer and closer, I pulled on Mommy’s elbow.

 

“Can we take the elevator?” My voice cracked, my heart pounded, and my stomach flip flopped.  I HATE escalators!

 

“Come on big girl, hold my hand. You’ll be fine.” Mommy smiled at me.

 

“Remember, give me your right hand and grab onto the rail with your left hand.” Mommy said as she gently laced her fingers between mine.

 

“Step on with me, you can do it.”

 

I felt like a big dummy, 10 years old and still afraid of the escalator.  Good thing people weren’t waiting behind us.  I gripped Mommy’s fingers, stepped on, right foot then left foot.  Then it was smooth sailing. 

 

We rode down to the lower level, got a shopping cart, and rolled past washers and dryers, pots and pans, drills and hammers, and finally I saw the sign, CAMPING GEAR.  Tents, sleeping bags, mess kits, and other things that campers need were crammed in each row.  I unfolded the list from my little purse.

           

“While you are away, you will be responsible for all of your belongings. I know you can do it.”  Mommy is so proud of me. 

           

Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Jenkins had the nerve to pop up again!

           

“Can I help you find anything Miss Hayes?” This Mr. Jenkins dude is seriously trying to flirt with my Mommy!

           

“Oh, thank you. I am usually on the main level in the cosmetics department.” I think she is flirting back!

           

This is not happening!  Shouldn’t Mr. Jenkins be somewhere else doing his job instead of bothering me and my Mommy?  Is he for real?  I’d like to kick him in the knee cap, watch him fall flat on his face, knock over the tents and get trapped underneath as they come crashing down.  He didn’t get the message when I ignored him. Mr. Jenkins led us through each aisle collecting my camp gear and my Mommy seemed happy to let him. What will happen while I am away for two whole weeks? UGH!