The Story of The Ruby Slipper–Part 1

Bob Evan’s, our favorite place for coffee.


My Weekend With Mom

Spending weekends with Mom has helped me understand and appreciate the struggles that people have getting in and out of the vehicles.

I live in Maryland and Mom lived in Ohio. I would leave work and drive to Ohio every weekend and our schedule never changed. The first stop on Saturday morning was Bob Evans for breakfast. Mom had her favorite section and table. The girls all knew Mom and her likes and they  would immediately get our coffee once we were seated.  It didn’t matter how long we had to wait to get our meals as long as Mom had her coffee she was happy. We made our own menu combinations. She would order one thing and I would order something different. Once the meals came we would share them. The waitresses brought extra plates out for us.  It was such fun. I never knew what my meal was going to be.

All aboard  for the second stop of the morning which was Sam’s Club. I would drive up to the door and Mom would get out and go get an electric buggy. While I parked the car she started perusing the isles. We enjoyed looking at everything they had and seeing if there was anything new since the prior week. We would go to the back of the store where the food samples were. The ladies who were giving them out had gotten to know us so if I forgot to ask for one for Mom they would say “Would your Mom want one?” The last stop was to look at the books. I don’t think we ever left the store without buying a book.

Our hair appointments were for 2pm. I would start steering Mom to the front of the store by 1:15pm. By the time she was finished at the register I had the car waiting for her. Off we went to Wheeling to get our hair done. I would pull up to the curb and Margie would come out and help Mom inside. While I parked the car Mom would be getting washed and set. We both were under the dryer at the same time. What a perfect time for us to get a power nap got a power nap to get ready for the rest of our day. Once all combed out and caught up on all the gossip in town we were on our way back to St. Clairsville for dinner.

I can’t begin to tell you what an appetite we worked up racing all over the stores. While on the drive back to St. Clairsville  we would decide where we wanted to go and eat. One of Mom’s favorite restaurants was Outback. As we pulled up the aroma of a wonderful juicy steak filled the air and made us even hungrier. We would start off with a bloomin onion and then have a cup of soup. Next was the chopped salad which was divine and then came the steak and baked potato. On one particular night they were singing happy birthday to someone and I said to Mom “Aren’t you glad I didn’t tell the waitress that today was your birthday?” She said yes and smiled. Mom did not like notoriety. Not too long after that our waitress brought out the biggest hot fudge sundae for Mom and whispered “Happy Birthday!” to her. What a really special night that was.

After dinner with our stomachs full we went back to the house to watch our favorite tv shows and munch on popcorn. Sometimes I would toast pecans for a special treat. Um Um good.

Sunday morning comes and we are back at Bob Evans. Once we settle in for a very leisurely breakfast Mom begins reading all the grocery ads to see what she wants to get this week while I read all the local news. Once breakfast is over we head over to Krogers for our weekly two to three hour shopping spree. You would think that with that much time in the store we would be leaving with bags of groceries, but the total wasn’t all that bad. It was always a fun trip and a lot of exercise for me. First I would let Mom out at the door so she could get an electric cart and begin her journey down the isles. I usually found her in the fresh fruit and vegetables. We would begin going up and down every isle. I would stop to look at something for just one minute and lo and behold I lost Mom. I would walk every isle once and still not find her. After two to three trips around the store I would find her. She hadn’t even missed me. The funny thing is that we both had cell phones and it wasn’t until a lot later that I thought to call her and say:” What isle are you in?” Finally we were ready to check out. Back to the house to put groceries away and pack up the car with a supply of lunches lovingly made for me by Mom. Back to Baltimore to get ready for the next Friday trip!

As the weekends went by I began to notice that it took us longer to get to appointments. Mom began having trouble turning once she was on the car seat and even harder for her to get herself all the way back in the seat. I began looking for something that would help. The one item we found that helped her swivel into the seat was uncomfortable for her to sit on. This is where the seed for the Ruby Slipper was conceived. Stay tuned for part two: The making of the Ruby Slipper.

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