Last week at this time I was trying to stay cool. Last night I wore long sleeves and warm socks to bed with the heater on. Mother Nature sure keeps us guessing.

I had lunch with my younger daughter (older daughter got caught up with something) and then I did something I never do. Walked on into the mall. The restaurant we frequent is just inside of a shopping mall, but I always leave after lunch.

I walked down to Dillards to look at long-sleeved shirts. I hadn’t been in a Dillards or even into a shopping mall in probably 8 years.

However I’d ordered some long-sleeved tops from Amazon, and some of them were too big. So I thought maybe I’d better go into a store and actually try a few on.

The mall was like a ghost town. So many stores closed. Is this how it is all over?

Dillards, or at least the one I shopped in when living in Texas, used to be a lively and well loved store. But yesterday I found it all kind of depressing. Especially after I saw a big bug close to my foot scuttling across the carpet.

The clerks had little to do. The three women I saw working there were around my age. Probably supplementing their social security.

There weren’t many people shopping in the store. It may be next on the ghost town chopping block.

Seems to me shopping centers like Utica Square (an upscale place here in town in a fancy neighborhood) where you go into a store then have to go back outside to get into another store, are busier. More popular.

Utica Square has Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma and West Elm, etc. Sometimes I go into Pottery Barn just to pick up a free catalog, but their products are pretty much priced out of my league.

I guess Amazon.com has kind of taken over. So much easier to order and then have it at your door in 2 days time. But I do hate to see people losing their jobs in actual stores.

I recall the first mall I ever went into. I was about 17 and the newly built mall was close to Norman, Oklahoma. It was kind of a new concept back then in the seventies.

But I always felt a bit claustrophobic in malls. Not having windows kind of made it feel like being down in a bunker or something.

I’ve avoided them completely since moving to Tulsa.

Charlie was so glad to see me when I walked through the door. I wasn’t even gone 2 hours.

Isn’t it wonderful how dogs act like you’re the best thing since sliced bread each and every time you come home? Pure unconditional love. It’s the best feeling.

Ivy looks glances over at me and that’s about it.

It’s so nice to come home to my cheerful little apartment. To see Charlie and Ivy and give them love.

So true that home is where the heart is. Mine is certainly within these walls and on my back patio with my pet babies.

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25 Comments

  1. I like to shop online also ,I have never liked malls .I like to shop at BLAIR you can get their catalog online and they have very stylish clothing for women over 50 ,also shoes and lingerie .
    I have always liked my items and they have very good fit !
    Look them up I think you will like them ,great prices ,and wonderful customer service .
    I wonder what Abby and Charlie do while you are gone .
    I would like to be a fly on the wall !

  2. Brenda,
    I’ve noticed Charlie’s tongue doesn’t hang out of his mouth anymore. Is this because of his therapy?

  3. Hi Brenda,
    Agree that the big indoor malls are dinosaurs and closing all over. One upside i have seen in my area is a concerted effort by boards of supervisors/planning commissions to raze and rebuild these areas into affordable housing/senior housing, with really attractive walkable green spaces, community garden spaces, and small retail that can be reached on foot. Some have low speed curving ‘connecter’ roads that run parallel to major thoroughfares and get some traffic off the heavily crowded local highways. These locations can and must be repurposed and i believe that is the future for them. It takes some vision and of course in more rural areas, it might make sense to raze and let nature reclaim and spend renovation dollars on the downtowns in these little population centers. The younger people certainly prefer those environments, it seems.

  4. Wow. Ladies so much complaining. Most of us reading this have hot and cold drinkable water, elec, heat, ac, food and shelter. We’re better off than a lot of people here in the U.S. and in the world. I’m 76 living on social security with my two fur babies and grateful everyday for my health and all I have. ? peace and joy

      1. I certainly didn’t get the “complaining” vibe as much as I heard people just sharing their own stories. It’s one of the reasons that I love Brenda’s blog and the people who leave comments, which is why I take time to read all of it. I enjoy it and look forward to it.

      2. I also did not take the comments as complaints…just a discussion on what Malls are like now……. Realsim is what I like to project and what really love about folks and Brenda’s blog..and adult discussion…………. :0) .. and unfortunately, being a Realist usuall is never a beautiful Utopia… I, too am very grateful for each and every healthful and blessed day!!. Hope all has a great week..

  5. I’m sorry but too many people are shopping online and then can’t understand why stores are going out of business. I realize it’s easier but pretty soon there will be nothing left.

  6. I feel scared at the Mall here in Greensboro, NC….I need to go to the JC Penny Salon to purchase at a good price from their salon, a Redkin Shampoo and conditioner that I use. Last times I went..I asked my husband to go as he has a concealed carry permit…(and was not happy when he initially felt the need to to get it..but now frequently ask if he has it..just in case)…the freaking wild, wild South (and World).. Ours also has a Dillards left and I never go in there out of fear. We also have an outdoor type of Mall on the upscale side of town where I feel saler, though it has been robbed also in broad daylight. I am like you and can remember right after I graduated HS, our first mall in Spartanburg, SC, did open, and it was so exciting to go to the mall and even eat in the Food Court. I recall I got some of my first credit cards then, and can see a pair of denim type of wedgie sandals that I purchased there….one of my first purchases at the Mall. I do not feel safe at our Mall, and I hate that because it is the only Cinnabon location nearby… :0( … Times have sure changed..and we are living long enough to see the changing trends of no more malls. Who would have thought back in 1975…. Ivy is just a real beauty. Glad you had a nice day with your daughter..hope you get those new shirts worked out…. It is so nice to have the patter of 4 paws’ babies meeting us and loving us each day….

  7. The malls on either side of my city are struggling to stay open and many shops have closed and become various other types of businesses. I think the situation is undoubtedly due to so many people shopping online. I haven’t been inside a mall in quite a few years. I never did like them very much– not sure why exactly…something about the atmosphere or the sound in such a big space with those high ceilings. I live near a shopping center with shops clustered around a parking lot and I shop there quite a bit as well as online. Being without a car for two or three years I became used to shopping online even for my groceries and I continue to do so. Things change and we all do what is most convenient most of the time. So the big malls may be a thing of the past soon. What will happen to all that real estate I wonder.

    I’m glad you are so happy with your little house and patio and I hope you can comfortably stay there as long as you want to. Coming home to a place that feels safe and comfortable and pleasing to the eye is truly a blessing. And even more so if a person has a pet or pets waiting for them like you do.

    It is quite cold here today, but mostly sunny. My friend and I went for a walk around our neighborhood tonight and we had to wear heavier coats than usual. I’ll be on the lookout for frost warnings before long. I have some plants I want to bring inside to winter over before they get frost-bitten.

    Enjoy your Sunday, Brenda. And your fur babies. And your pretty apartment.

  8. I haven’t been in a mall in about 25 years. It was because of the perfumes and bad air that I stopped going. The perfumes gave me migraines. Also, I was at an age that I had everything I wanted. I sew almost everything I wear, except underwear and sweaters and I order them from a catalog. I loved learning to sew t shirts for myself and lengthened the pattern and made nightshirts for sleeping. I don’t need anything else. Malls when they are empty would make very good schools or homes for the homeless. Put employment agencies in them and social security offices and maybe they will pull their weight.

  9. It is sad how the malls are dying. Shopping on line is easier and safer. Amazon is the main store now. The bookstores are also a victim. There are hardly any bookstores left.
    Marilyn

  10. The grocery stores are busy here. I do not go to malls much since I moved to the country. Years ago I went every day on the way home from work. Since it was across town I would stop at three or four mire Dillard’s. I would find something on sale and ask them to call the other store if they did not have the matching pieces in the first one. I would drop by a mall every time I drive to an appointment with a doctor. This summer I have driven forty miles each way to have a special physical therapist work on my neck and shoulder muscles. My voice is returning. Maybe once a month I will go to Trader Joe’s or Macy’s. I never go to both on the same day. There is certainly lots of traffic both ways.

  11. I agree, Malls are changing, and have been for quite a few years. The mall in town here, is a block and a half away from where we live. I can easily walk, instead of driving, but I have not been there in the last two years. The stores that have closed in no particular order, Maurices clothing, JC Penney, Younkers, Radio Shack, PayLess shoes, two Jewelry stores, DiamondDave’s (a little “stop in” place for tacos), and these are only those I remember. Stores have been leaving for at least the last 8 years. There is now, I believe, an adoption place for cats, so I’ve heard, and a couple stores selling 2nd hand books each at $2.00, and another selling cheaper knick knacks. The big store holding everything together is Furniture and Appliance, and the “out side” store Kohls. That’s it. The reason I buy on line, like the rest. Kinda sad, I remember shopping at the Mall with my Mother at Christmas time, a couple years before she died. Those are the good memories that I have, of shopping there. Anyway, I’m happy to see Charlie looking so spiffy, and happy, and of course pretty Ivy too. Have a wonderful week end. I made a big pot of soup for dinner tonight, so we’re all set here, Home sweet Home. Hugs from WI, where it feels like 26 degrees. ACK!!!!

  12. We rarely go to a mall either…for many reasons now. But we are soon to need more clothes…so not sure what we will do…maybe just frequent thrift stores more…my favorite tops at least have always come from such for many years now…even if I could find out where to buy such and could get there…tis somehow more often I find something I like and it is much cheaper…or I could get busy and sew some again too…somehow I rarely do anymore!!

  13. Hi Brenda,
    I think Malls everywhere are doing horrible. People like to shop on line now.
    Glad you felt so good to come home. That is the best feeling. Have a great weekend. Only 42 degrees here in Illinois today. Ugh!!! From one extreme to the next with weather.
    Kris

  14. I haven’t been to a mall in years because I can’t stand them, but I’ve seen on the news and heard from people that yes, they are closing down completely here in the Chicago suburbs, or else a lot of the anchor stores are going out of business. The little strip mall stores seem to be doing OK, although Circuit City and some sporting goods stores have gone out of business the past few years.

    I always love coming home, too. My cats actually run to the door to greet me. 😉

  15. It’s funny how shopping has changed over the years. I can remember when I was a little girl in a small Ohio town in the early 1960s. My little sister and I actually wore dresses and white gloves when we went shopping downtown with our mom. Going shopping was considered a big outing. My mom did her grocery shopping at a couple of very small family-owned stores. One had better produce and the other had better meat. We moved away from there, but my parents moved back after retirement and my mom started going to those stores again, as well as to a bigger grocery store too. She’d compare prices between the three. One of those family stores is still in business all of these years later, and the other one finally was bought out by a chain this year when the no one in the newest generation of the family was interested in running it. That store was around for at least 75 years. Goodbye Deemer’s Grocery, it was a good run!

  16. I think malls in upscale areas are still doing well, but the old fashioned mall seems now to be an outdated concept. I love coming home and closing my door to the outside world. I miss having a dog, but just can’t afford one right now. Maybe again someday. xo Laura

  17. I have noticed it too. We were recently in Portland, ME and many stores were closed….they weren’t even in malls…and then we went into what used to be a bank, that had been converted into a “mall”…only a couple of stores were even occupied….very spooky.
    You are right. Amazon effect everywhere…
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

  18. Malls where I live are also suffering, except the one that went back to the old-fashioned “outside strip mall” concept where its the same as it used to be, you go from store to store on the outside, and there are restaurants and higher end shops. The first large indoor mall in my city was torn down recently, abandoned since 2003! And the largest mall in the city in my neck of the woods is not doing well at all, having lost two of its anchor stores (Sears and Boston Store – Boston Store’s parent company went bankrupt for the umpteenth time and abandoned the Boston Store brand). Kohls, which had a smaller store, also abandoned the mall for a new “outdoor” mall about a mile and a half away. Another big, sprawling development that will be hot for a few years and then will go out of style as quickly as it came into style. Online shopping is a pain in the neck because you can’t try clothing and shoes on, but that’s what we’re all going to come down to unless you’re very very rich and can afford to shop one-off places like in New York, LA and in Europe. It’s pretty sad.

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