When I was still locked into being thirteen and beginning to be hit by the world that happened outside of my own, I would wonder at the idea of things like having snacks you didn’t necessarily need to survive or a new(ish) car.
One that came off a lot at the prime age of about three or four and made it to your destination without a second thought. And then the idea of driving around in that dependable car, on a Sunday afternoon, just for the sake of driving around.
On the landline, which was the only line, talking to Martha Brookman; her dad bought an AMC Eagle wagon with wood paneling.
“What are doing?”
“Driving. You wanna come?”
“Where you going?”
“Yea, you know.”
No, I didn’t. I had no idea. My mother didn’t either. A: the idea of doing nothing B: Spending the time to get in the car and go nowhere. C: Paying for gasoline to get you nowhere. It wasn’t thought about or disagreed with; it didn’t exist.
My mother would get in the car to come get you if you were somewhere like camp, where there was no bus and risk of the law on the side of not sending a small child on their own, when it might involve hitchhiking.
She walked to work and drove to church. She bought fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and canned or dried beans. There was a thrift store for Pepperidge Farm bread in Farmington and she found it.
It was next door to Loehman’s Back Room, which according to my mother, was worth every penny. “Some things are worth it,” she’d say.
I do buy Ferd ice cream, which I consider essential.