Lesson – How Not To Become A Prisoner To Credit Card Debt

It was just after the sun came up this morning as I was standing in front of my trusty wood cook stove waiting for the coffee to finish percolating. I put on my apron slipping on my tattered old shoes, I headed to the smoke house to get a slab of side pork to cut some nice thick slices off to make a hearty bacon and egg breakfast for the family.

That lovely little granddaughter of mine had come for a visit and I wanted her to have a taste of the old days of her youth before she made tracks back to the city for her new life and job. Having her for a few days was such a treasure for me and I believe her as well.

The aroma of the coffee and the nice thick bacon sizzling in my old cast iron frying pan woke her up. Wiping the sleep out of her eyes, she gave me a peck on the cheek and said, “Grandma I’ve missed the Forest and I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too sweetheart how’s city life anyway?” She replied,” it’s fun grandma so much to see and do and I love my job but the only time I really relax is home with you and our memories here in the Forest.”

“Grandma you’ve had that old apron as long as I can remember and it’s as old and tattered as your shoes why don’t you take that ragtop Pony you love so much and go shopping in the city today? I want to catch up on some work I brought with me or I’d take you.”

“Well dear I could use a few things and you’re right it’s time to retire this old apron and get a new one any idea where I should go?”

“Yes grandma; you should go to that new mega shopping mall west of the city. They have so many different stores you will feel like you are on another planet in a time warp of the future. It would do you good to see the things you are missing living way out here in the Forest. You’ll love it I know you will!”

I can tell she is determined I have this experience as she continues, “tell you what grandma after breakfast I’ll hook my Garmine into your five speed Mustang Pony you love so much and program it for you. It will take you right to that shopping mall and when you finish your shopping all you have to do is hit the home button and it will tell you how to get back home, how’s that sound?”

“It sounds like an adventure to me you say it talks to you and tells you where to turn and when?” “Sure does grandma, you game?” I’m game I told her and gave her a hug. “How much do aprons cost these days dear? I think this one was a wedding present from my own grandmother”. We both began to giggle our hearts out as we stuff our faces with bacon, eggs and homemade biscuits with jam on top.

I put on my best dress and my Sunday- go- to meeting shoes, threw my long grey hair in a bun, and grabbed my purse. She had already hooked that thing- a- ma- gig that was going to do all the talking into my sweet old Pony. I slid in the front seat and let her show me how it worked.

I thought to myself, I’ll never be lost again with this little helper in tow. I’m going to ask the old man for one for Christmas this year. She must have been reading my mind because she said, “don’t worry about grandpa I’ll see he gets breakfast when he gets up and I’ll put a bug in his ear how you guys need one of these so you don’t get lost so much every time you head out on those day trips you’re always making.”

I swear that man snores so loud I heard him all the way out in the driveway with the motor on my ragtop Pony running.

“Grandma I want you to take my charge card she says to me. Stores aren’t much into cash these days so you just wander around from shop to shop and enjoy yourself and when you find your apron give the person behind the register the card and she’ll take it from there. Got it grandma and gave me a wink?”

“I got it dear. I know what a charge card is, and I don’t approve of them. Do you know dear, charging things makes you a slave to the interest; so, I’ll use it but you’ll be a taken’ cash for my apron when I get home got it granddaughter as I returned her wink.

Dear Lord in Heaven the economy must be booming, I thought to myself when I arrived at this so-called mega mall. It was more like a small city. Acres and acres of stores and little ole’ me, there were a few other cars there so I was thinking maybe I was early and the beat the crowd. Yeah for me, I thought to myself as I found a parking spot.

Off I went looking at all the pretty things you can buy these days. I walked and I walked and I walked, but I never did see an apron in one store window. I went inside several stores but all I heard was, “ I’m sorry we don’t sell anything like your describing. Perhaps on the upper level there is a shop that sells cookware maybe they would have what you’re looking for.”

Now might be a good time to tell you that when you go to a mega outdoor campus mall you should not wear your Sunday- go- to- meeting shoes. My feet were killing me when there before my eyes appeared a shoe store. Not just any shoe store mind you this one must have been at least an acre and a half big. In I go and after a time I found one lowly person and ask for help finding a new pair of walking shoes.

“Would they be for power walking, jogging, using the treadmill etc., etc., etc.”, he ask until I thought my head would explode. I might be a little ole lady that lives in a Forest but what about walking shoes had become so complicated, I shouted. I didn’t mean to yell at him okay well yes maybe I did.

“Now look here you little snot, I retorted. I want a comfortable pair of walking shoes for walking purposes ONLY, not shuffling around, jogging around, power walking around or doing the Zumba in.”

“How about a nice pair of Schetcher’s, he says to me and leads me what seemed like a quarter of a mile ten aisles over. We find a pair my size and when I slipped them on my feet, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I was deaf to his babblings as to their support and benefits. “ I’ll take’em’, if you will please just show me where to pay. I’d like to be out of here before night fall if that’s alright with you?”

It was off to the register we go to pay for them him leading the way. It was so easy really… you simply hand the lady behind the counter that little plastic charge card then comes the Bliss Buster she wants you to slide the card into her little gadget or put it in a slot if it’s a chip card.



Arlene Switzer Flynn
Arlene Switzer Flynn
ARLENE retired from a long and extraordinary career in real estate, both residential and commercial, followed by ownership of her own mortgage broker company. She is a member of Who’s Who for Executives and Professionals in America. She returned to her ‘”forest” with thoughts of retirement, and a new love entered her life – writing. Her first novel “Buzzard’s Glory” hit the market running, and the sequel is hot on its trail. She also writes short stories of humor, old sage advice and inspiration.

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