“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”
The sun teases me as I sit in my fourth grade classroom. I’d squirm at my desk and anxiously wait for that 3:30 dismissal bell to ring. 3:25, 3:26, 3:27. Come on bell. Gees! Can’t that minute hand move any faster? Oh man, I hope Mrs. Daugherty doesn’t give us math homework today. Doesn’t she know it’s a beautiful spring day? Doesn’t she know children need to get outside and play after school? You know, jump rope. Play dodge ball. Roller skate up and down my street, and best of all – hop on our bikes and ride to the neighborhood candy store. Ring bell . . . RRRIIIIIIING!!!
One of my most favorite after school childhood memories is walking into that little store. I’d run home from school, fly through the house to change into my play clothes, then grab a dollar out of my piggy bank and jump on my old pink bike. I’d head to Cindy’s house (my best friend), who lived just across the street. She knows the plan, as I drop my bike near her back porch and fly up her back steps. In a matter of minutes we’re zooming off to the neighborhood candy store for all kinds of sweet candy treats.
Cindy and I pedal down the back alley and onto the street that leads back to our school. We take the short cut through the old baseball field, our bikes rattling through the dirt path as we get closer to our destination. Down Penn Street and we’ll be there! Some days we’d try to beat our brothers there so we’d have first dibs. Older sisters rule sometimes you know. No matter what those silly boys say.
Finally our bikes jump the cement curb in front of the store, and come to a halt. Eagerly we grasp the handle of the store’s weathered, crayon green, screen door. BANG!
The door slams behind us and suddenly we’re in front of the huge glass case that contains countless candy confectioneries. Mmmmmmm. We press our noses against the glass as the store owner greets us with her sweet smile. She reaches for a little brown paper bag and asks what we’d like today.
I go first since Cindy is still undecided. “I’d like four packs of Lik-m-aid, one bag of Indian pumpkin seeds, five satellite wafers, two candy necklaces, five Ice Cubes, five Smarties and two cherry Toostie Pops.” My fingers leave prints on the front of the glass case as I point out each treasure. Then Cindy chooses her brown paper bag of goodies and we say good bye as more kids rush through the door.
Sometime we sat on the cement steps outside the candy store and enjoyed our treats and sometime we rode to the playground and ate them on the swings. And sometime we rode back home, sat on my front porch and listened to my mom say, “You’re going to spoil your dinner!” Haha. We didn’t care.
What could be better than a mouthful of purple Lik-m-aid sugar, or chocolate Ice Cubes that I swear felt cold as I bit into them, or wearing a pink, blue, yellow and white candy necklace?
Maybe it’s a lazy summer afternoon of roller skating, or laughing with my best friend on my front porch, or not waiting for that school bell to ring, or having no math homework after school.
Or maybe it’s finding just one more cherry Tootsie Pop in the bottom of a little brown paper bag.