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What Sparks a Memory?

It’s funny that an everyday item can spur a trip down memory lane. Remember when every store you entered gave you a “members” tag for your keychain? You signed up with your email address to get access to special discounts as long as you had your card with you. To make it easier, the

store gave you two smaller versions of the wallet card to slip onto your keychain.

We don’t do that so much anymore; now we often use an app on our smart phone for discounts and coupons. Besides, the bulk created by these all these tags made it difficult to slip your keys into your pocket. Looking for a long unused library card, yes, even Alamance County Public Library got into the game. I found a ring of tags that once hung from my keychain. How did I ever accumulate so many tags?

The Weiss tag certainly brought back memories. There I was in my white scrubs, which identified me as a nurse from the local skilled nursing facility. It was as if I had an arrow floating over my head. Shopping for groceries turned into a game of diplomacy, as I evaded inquiries from distant relatives of residents in the facility. The joys of working in a small community. I became adept at dodging and avoided any HIPPA violations.

Wegmans, in Williamsport, was a little over an hour away. We only went there occasionally. Unless we caught a good sale, a shopping trip there usually wrecked our budget. Our most memorable shopping trip followed a same day surgical procedure for Keith. Once the doctor discharged him from post-op, I expected Keith to fall asleep as I drove home. Nope. He was determined to see if he could find a good steak on sale. Thirty minutes later, he decided we could go home. The last traces of his anesthesia were wearing off. Steaks could wait until we went to Weiss later in the week. We still laugh at his stubbornness.

Jewel is a grocery store in the Midwest. Keith and I, along with our two youngest, had gone to Waukegan to visit our son, David, for Thanksgiving. In order the take advantage of the holiday sales, you guessed it; we signed up again. David and his wife had separated by this time. Kai was just a toddler, but he stuck right with me in the kitchen. His bright blue eyes intent as he helped me open a can of cranberry sauce. Kai introduced me to the joys of cooking with a grandchild as I figured out ways to let him help. For years, he would look at me quizzically and ask, “Help Grandma cook?” or “Grandma cooking?”. That young man now towers over me and is entering high school.

Finally, there’s the old pennant shaped one from Harris Teeter. I had just moved back to North Carolina and was sharing an apartment with my oldest and youngest son until I found a place here for my husband and myself. My youngest son, then twenty something, wanted to show me the “coolest grocery store.” It certainly had a larger selection than the stores I shopped at in Wellsboro. I still shop at Harris Teeter, but they’ve switched to a new system with a phone app.

Of course, there are a lot more tags on that ring. I’m not sure why I got some of them. You know from earlier posts; I collect a lot of what dealers call “smalls”. Things like old over-the-counter medication bottles, but these tags are too small even for me. While they sparked a pleasant trip down memory lane, there are pictures and other things to remind me of those times. The library card has become too fragile, so once I get it renewed, the whole bunch gets tossed in the trash.

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4 Kommentare

29. Juni

I, too had a large collection of tags on keyrings. I experimented with taking pictures of the tags and keeping them on my phone. It worked for most of them.

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Antwort an

That's a good idea!

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28. Juli 2023

Great article. Stirred memories for me. Green Stamps store in Greensboro where I bought lazy susan and chips & dip bowl with stamps (rewards). Still use them.

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Antwort an

Ah, S&H green stamps, that brings back memories

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