Blog Your Blessings: Sears and Roebuck

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This week's blessing is Sears & Roebuck. Sears & Roebuck 25 or so years ago, when a hunter green "Free Spirit" touring bike advertised in its catalogue became a reality under my Christmas tree, a gift from my parents.

I never rode the thing. Instead, it hung in my parents' garage and endured the extremes of hot and cold by which Connecticut people measure time. Then it made its way to their garage on Topsail Island, North Carolina. Last week, I brought the bicycle pump so dad could breathe new life into those old though never used tires. That he did, and Adella spent her evenings coasting up and down the bike path along the North Shore Road.

That is, she rode the thing after several days of pure reluctance followed up with a clear and steady "no thanks" when I asked her if she wanted to give it ago. I don't know what changed her mind, exactly, though I know when it did: the evening after we got caught in a rip tide and found ourselves facing wall after all of relentless and powerful water. "Don't take my daughter," I thought as I watched the water overwhelm her little body and she swam for her life. I was able to push her in now and again and to swim her in, but she did the lion's share of the muscle work. She saved herself. She didn't panic. She found her feet a lifetime later.

Silently, we walked back to our towels so she could sit down and have some fresh water. "That scare you?" I asked. "Yeah." She kept walking. "Me, too," I said.

Later that night cycling on a bike that's got the gear shift in a weird place, brakes that are a little tight, and a seat that's a little high ain't nothing to putting your 70 lbs. up against the Atlantic and surviving.

Next day, she was anxious to get out in the water again. I couldn't move fast enough. "You look bored," I said as the waves whacked us in the knees over and over again. "I am. I want to go out there." She pointed so I'd understand. There is the place that rocks deep and sure before it comes to shore and breaks. I wanted to be there, too. "Let's go, kid."

On her bike ride on our last night in Topsail, she turned to me and grinned: "You want to learn how again?" Oh no. "Learn how what?" Yeah, mom. "To ride. You taught me to scull, I'll teach you to ride.

"You did what I told you to do in the water the other day?"

I do try her patience. "Yes, mom!"

So I got on the bike. And I didn't fall off.

What the Sears people make possible. Amen.

Comments

  1. Very interesting post! A scary moment in the water with your daughter, and then the reminder of a past skill to re-embrace. How neat that you still have the bicycle! Aren't kids great!
    Marie

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  2. Glad God took care of both of you safely in the water. . . I am proud of you trying something your daughter asked you to do which you didn't do when her age. I bet your Dad was grinning from ear to ear!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Good for you and Adella.

    But I don't want to know where you stored that 25 year old birthday cake...

    That's a page out of Charles Dickens, with Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.

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  4. Thank you, Lord, for swimming lessons, faith, and Sears & Roebuck!
    GREAT post, Sandy~

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  5. Pivotal moments for both of you. I'm very glad she was safe.. and that you didn't fall off. :)

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  6. what a great lesson in determination and self confidence! I guess they don't make em like they used too either. I have not had a bike last more than a few years!
    Thank you for sharing that poignant story My Dear Friend

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  7. Interesting story, Sandy.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  8. sweet story, full of life's lessons. thanks for sharing.

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  9. so nice to reminisce those times and the things valuable to us. nicely written as always sandy.

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  10. Ah, you bring back memories of my bicycle days. Numerous cuts and brusies and lazy days riding through the countryside.

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  11. That was a scary experience (my heart skipped a beat). Love the photo of the bike, too.

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  12. Great story. Very scary at times also.

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  13. Preciosa fotografia.
    http://cruzmfiap.blogspot.com
    http://cruz-pedro.blogspot.com

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  14. Oh how I loved my first bike...it was a birthday gift and I parked it lovingly at the back stoop every evening...one night it was stolen and two weeks later one of the ambulance drivers (Milly, she was a Cuban refugee...had been a Doctor in Havana) saw a man riding what she new to be my bike and with her tiny 5'3 self, ran him down yelling for help from others and they got my bike back. They beat the stuffing out of him and tried to hold him for the police but he was anxious to be gone! I was so glad to get my bike back! Thankful for Milly and my bike...God is always good!
    Sandi

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  15. leaving the safe territory, taking risks, growing and learning.

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  16. Sandy: When I got a bike I was on it all the time. I even survived a fall that split open my head. There were no bike helmets back then. I'm glad you got on and rode.

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  17. Rabbit, Rabbit!

    A scary and uplifting story all in one. I love your subtle way of saying you should keep taking chances.

    * * *
    Please visit me at The Chrysalis Stage and Esoteric Uncovered.

    Follow me on twitter and facebook

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  18. Ooo that ocean can be wicked at times. Glad you made it to shore safe and sound. A good lesson learned and tons of self esteem packed on the survival train.

    I got my old bike out last week after watching the Tour de France. I actually rode it down the street and back a couple of times.

    When I was your daughters age my bike was like another appendage.

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  19. I really enjoyed reading this touching story Sandy!

    Happy Weekend, G

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  20. I'm not sure if your story qualifies as coming round full circle, but it's full of depth and delight that thrummed my heartstrings!

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  21. What a beautiful post! So glad istumbled upon your blog today; I needed to hear these words on a very fundamental level.

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  22. Brings back memories of my own encounter with a nasty tide.

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  23. Wonderful story from a mother's heart.
    Loved reading this.

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  24. Man, that is some kind of special kid you got there Sandy. I really don't know what else there is to say. Just... wow.

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  25. Amen. I know that feeling when you have to leave to God the life of your child. I am glad your prayers were answered.

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  26. Lovely story and well written. Your daughter is one parents hope for but don't always get. You are fortunate to have her in your life and she clearly has a wonderful mom.

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  27. A lovely look into mother and daughter.

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  28. Thanks for sharing that beautiful slice of your life with us... I'm going to bed with a smile on my face. ;)

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  29. Sandy,
    only a Sears bike's rubber tires would not have disintegrated after all those years!

    Wonderful story,
    I enjoyed reading it,
    it brought back memories of the seaside down the East Coast.

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