Beyond the cotton field and over the steep ditch, we could see Aunt Rena’s store from my cousin Lesa’s front yard. On summer afternoons, we walked over for a visit. Aunt Lavern (Lesa’s momma) watched us from their carport to make sure we didn’t get run over on the highway by the big trucks hauling grain. We never did.
Even though Aunt Rena was always busy piddling around the store, she seemed happy to see us and greeted us with big hugs and glasses of sweet tea served in Mason jars. Since her store was dimly lit and crammed packed with stuff, it was our favorite place to play hide-and-go-seek. The creaky wooden floors and musty air that sometimes made us sneeze, added an extra challenge to our game.
I liked to hide behind the large cardboard boxes shoved underneath the dry good shelves.
One day I peeked inside and discovered the boxes were filled with scraps of fabric—different colors and patterns—all folded and stacked in little squares.
Six whole boxes!
“Aunt Rena, what are you planning to do with all this fabric?” I held up a stack of cotton pieces.
“I’m not sure yet,” she said.
I thought she might use the cloth for quilts and blankets. Or maybe she was just a collector of things that were too good to throw away. I never really knew for sure. I never saw any customers in the store either.
Grace Grits and Gardening
“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”
― Oscar Wilde
Barbara Tate says
Some of my first and fondest childhood memories were in Aunt Rena’s Store. I loved being there. My first childhood friend was my first cousin Betty Gail. We had such adventures in the store, on the ditch dump, and the surrounding areas. I stayed at their house for a month when my mother had her brain surgery. Aunt Rena taught me how to crochet and embroidery while I was there. Loved Aunt Rena.
Linda Beason says
I remember Aunt Rena , spent lots of time at her house, mostly at the store. Days I would get off school bus there, Phyllis and I went in the store. Aunt Rena always let us get a snack, most times we got cup of ice cream (the paper carton)
And add bag of peanuts! Yum
Those were happy days !!
Kayla Dean says
Wow! This post makes me want to visit your Aunt Rena’s store! It reminds me of The Nut House in Newark, Arkansas. It was only the best place in town to hear gossip (if you were older) and play hours of hide-and-seek. Plus, you could eat all the pecans you wanted.
Dorothy Johnson says
Makes me think of a little grocery store that was close when I was very young, before I started to kindergarten. It sat back from the street so we could walk across one back yard to get there. Will and I went over on our own for penny candy. I usually bought chocolate Kits. It closed before I started school. Felt so big!
I remember that store real well.
I love to hear these stories, mainly because I was raised out there too. I’m mostly amazed at your memory. I can’t remember squat. 🙂
Talya Tate Boerner says
Haha Jan. I can’t remember squat about yesterday but I can remember forty years ago:)