Memories Of The Girls

I sit here with Charlie beside me this morning and the lights from the Christmas tree are glowing over my laptop. I find myself thinking of other Christmases. Other times when my girls were young.

Store Catalogs:

I remember getting the Sears and JCPenney catalogs (remember those?) and poring over the pages when my girls were asleep. It was pretty much a given that if I got one a doll, I had to equal that out with another doll or there would be arguments.

Kendra loved Barbie dolls. I got her one of those tall cardboard Barbie houses and she spent hours and hours playing Barbie.

Kasi didn’t care much for dolls, but if Kendra got one she wanted one too. She played teacher a good bit of the time. We always thought Kasi would grow up to be a teacher like her professor grandmother, but that didn’t happen. She ended up getting various business degrees instead.

She told me she liked numbers because there is never a wrong answer. Numbers add up. And numbers don’t lie. Kasi always felt safe with numbers.

The Drama Queen:

Kendra was a drama queen from the get go. Her grandmother (on her dad’s side) encouraged her and gave her pretty scarves and the like to dress up with. And high heels for her to stumble around in.

She was a natural storyteller and a performer from a young age. Kendra has always made us laugh. She always said the funniest things and kept us highly entertained.

I recall once going to pick them up from their grandmother’s house. Their grandmother had married for a second time, as her boys’ father had died long ago. She married an English professor from the college. He too adored the girls.

Getting A New Hairdo:

Anyway, I walked in the door and there was Jack sitting at the table with Kendra on some sort of box or elevation behind him. She was fixing his hair.

Jack just sat there, the highly respected professor still as a stone, and let her do whatever she wanted with his hair.

Kasi was a quiet child. The good girl. Never got into trouble. She had no interest in outshining her big sister in getting attention. She was studious and made excellent grades.

Traditions:

We had traditions. The day after Thanksgiving, I began the tradition of crafting ornaments for the Christmas tree. We used paper and cloth and made a day of it, eating Thanksgiving leftovers when meals rolled around.

But then they grew out of that stage and it was only me. I miss that.

Oh, they grow up in the blink of an eye, don’t they? Turn into their adult selves and everything changes. We have our memories for comfort. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

Last month Kasi turned 42 and Kendra 46. They are mothers themselves and have their own separate lives. The two of them will always still be my girls though.

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23 Comments

  1. One of my favorite photos we have of our children is when all three of them are coming down the stairs Christmas morning and you can see on their faces they just saw all the presents underneath the tree. The joy on their faces makes me feel joyful. But, they grew up and are 52, 50 and 43 and I wonder where did the years go and how did I get so old? But I still love Christmas and still buy present for as many people as will be at my house on Christmas day and I still feel the joy. Merry Christmas!

  2. I love your sweet memories, Brenda! I don’t know where the years have gone either!

  3. Brenda, love your blog! Sure would like to know where you got the little table your Christmas tree is sitting on. So perfect!

  4. Brenda, love the little boho carved wooden table that you have your Christmas tree on. Could you tell me where you bought it? Love your blog!

  5. This brought back so many happy memories of my childhood! My siblings and I couldn’t wait for the Sears wish book to arrive, we would go through the catalog and circle what we wanted. My mother would order the toys and my father would go to Sears to pick up the order . Of course we thought Santa brought everything !

  6. When I was 3 or 4 our neighborhood had a Santa come visit many of our homes. When he got to ours and I sat on his lap he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. The story I’ve been told is that I said, I’ll be right back. A few minutes later I came running back with the Sears Christmas catalogue and started turning the pages and pointing at all the toys I wanted. I don’t *remember* it of course but the story has been told so many times it seems like a memory to me.

    1. Ha ha! That is so cute! Love (family) ❤ stories re childhood imaginations, dreams & things Santa Claus can bring at 🌲 Christmastime!!

  7. Sears, JC Penney and Montgomery Wards catalogs were wonderful but when the Sears Christmas Wish Book arrived we were extremely excited. LOL

    As I watch my daughter raising her 4 children I can’t help but reflect on the years she was growing up. Seems like yesterday and yet it was so long ago. Big Sigh!

  8. Anyone else remember the ‘Western Auto’ catalog? I grew up with 3 brothers and they loved all the wheeled toys like bikes, wagons, and skates in that catalog.

  9. Sears catalogs were our dream books when I was growing up. We also received Spiegel’s catalogs. I ordered tons of things out of both Sears and Spiegel’s catalogs all the way through the 1980s. But even before the internet the stores were changing and running into problems. The one I never thought would go under, though, was Marshall Fields. Where I lived, we didn’t have one – we had to take the 90 minutes train trip down to Chicago to visit the flag ship store in downtown close to Lake Michigan. The store is still there, but now it’s Macy’s. Just not the same. It seems all the big old greats are going under, sunk by torpedoes that they can’t fight off from Amazon. I like the convenience of Amazon, but really, I miss my Gimbels, my Marshall Fields trips a couple of times a year, and my Sears and Spiegel’s catalogs.

    1. Oh me, oh my. There was NO better place than Marshall Fields in Chicago during the holidays. We went there several times a year but at Christmas that store was a MUST see… especially taking children to their spectacular toy department. And, the Chicago Christmas windows??? Literally to die for. We would also have lunch at MF and I remember my mother always getting their bouillabaisse and me, being about 11or 12, thought it was so disgusting. Ah, the wonderful memories that brought back… some of the best from my childhood. Thank You! (we lived in Naperville so it was a bit closer for us… although for fun we sometimes took the train too)

  10. I sure do remember the catalogs, especially the Sears one. It was my favorite as a child.

    Funny you should mention these memories of your girls today. I was particularly thinking of my boys today and when they were young. How I loved having them at home, close by me all the time and being so involved in their daily lives. Giving them a bath and putting them in their warm pajamas and snuggling close and reading before bed. They were so sweet and smelled so good and looked like little angels when they fell asleep. Now my oldest is no longer with us on this earth and my youngest is on his own 2200 miles away. It yanks on my mama heart strings very tightly at times. It’s amazing how we can still feel so connected to our “babies” even when they’re grown. It’s sometimes surreal to imagine them as adults with their own separate lives. I guess they’re always a part of us.

  11. There was always excitement and anticipation when the Sears, J C Penney,Alden,and Montgomery catalogues came. We would all look at and pick out our favorite items. Thank you for sharing your treasured Christmas memories of your girls. It sounds like you made their Christmas special. Wishing you and your family a Blessed and Merry Christmas.
    Marilyn,Joan and Marion

  12. It was a big deal at our house when the catalogues arrived! For me while growing up and for my children. We could spend hours pouring over these. When I was growing up I could only dream of having all those toys, but my two got what was on their list. I have wonderful memories of them growing up. Baking cookies was a big deal, decorating the house was another, reading Christmas books together and of course our favorite Christmas movies. All grown up now, but I still wish I could have one more Christmas with them when they were young…..

  13. As a mom of two daughters my self, I can relate. And yes, it goes by way too fast…and I’m laughing as I type this because I was just checking my lists to make sure their gifts are still Even Steven. I guess some things never change!

  14. Sweet, sweet memories. I remember even when I was growing up, looking at those catalogs. I think I may have memorized every toy page. Several years ago, my older brother, he is 87 now, but anyway, he bought an old Wards catalog at an antique show, and gave it to me for Christmas. It is in perfect condition, from 1948, and I do remember those pages, with all of the toys. I put it in my antique trunk with other things from my childhood. Hope my boys, will enjoy looking through it someday, and maybe even keeping it for their own memories of the catalogs when they were growing up, and putting circles with a crayon, around everything they wanted Santa to bring. Softer times they were.

  15. I’m glad you have some pleasant memories of your daughters. You mentioned shopping from catalogs — my son learned to read in part from his love of looking at catalogs and trying to read the descriptions of the toys that he wanted for Christmas. This was in the early 1990’s, before online shopping became the thing to do. I loved looking at catalogs from L.L. Bean and the Vermont Country Store, and occasionally found something on a sale page that I could afford!

  16. They do grow up so fast. Even my grandgirls are growing up so fast. Abby the oldest at almost 11 is now like a teen and not into cute little girl things anymore. I miss that with her. I remember as a little girl waiting for those Christmas catalogs to come from Sears and Pennys and we would each sit and look through them and circle the things we wanted from Santa. Oh I miss those catalogs.
    Love the pic of Charlie with his tongue so cute. Happy Wednesday.

  17. Lovely memories. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m writing down memories in a book. I’ve divided the pages chronologically as I’ve lived in 20 places in my life and I’m talking with my sister to help flesh out details of long ago events.
    Amazing how much one forgets.

    1. I also moved around a lot for my Dad’s job (in the medical field)…. including India. There are so many lost memories for me I wouldn’t know where to start with writing them down. I think I attended 11 different schools K-12, one school I was only there for 4 weeks at then end of the year. My parents thought it was a good idea hoping I’d meet kids before summer break but that move was the hardest. My siblings, being much older, weren’t around after 3rd grade so I can’t ask them for any details after that. It’s funny, my memories always relate back to the grade I was in at the time…. not how old I was. It’s really nice you have your sister to rely on… given what I know now I wish I had kept a journal. I did keep one when we lived in India but with so many more moves it didn’t make it into the “keep” pile.

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