Saturday, February 28, 2009
Why I Love Lions
A Fortunoff's Store
Wouldn't this make a great postcard?
First of all, this is my post for Postcard Friendship Friday. It isn't a postcard, but it would make a great one, I think!
The title of this blog is Why I Love Lions. Now that doesn't mean that I'm ready to go and hug one, but I do love pictures of them and I collect statues of all kinds of lions. I've been doing it for twenty-four years ever since I turned a certain age. Here's the story. I wouldn't get out of bed the day I turned this age and this was a problem. I had small children ages six and three. So staying in bed wasn't really an option. My husband had lost his patience and called my mother who lived across the street to come over. She strode into my bedroom and demanded I get out of bed. Now you have to realize that my mother even in her sixties, was a very formidable woman. She had a voice that when raised could break glass.:) Even though I was so much older, it reminded me of when she would shout me into or out of a chair. She was powerful and even my father, not here anymore as is my mother passed on, was afraid of her voice.
So she used that voice to get me out of bed, but I didn't budge. This birthday took the heart out of me. I felt old and tired and couldn't face the day. So my mother bribed me. She told me she'd get me anything I wanted and suggested we go shopping in Fortunoff's, a large department store that had not yet expanded to where it is today. That is another story I will address after this. So I got dressed and we went to Fortunoff's leaving my husband to watch both of the girls. His plan had backfired!
At Fortunoff's we went directly to the jewelry section, because anything to me meant jewelry. And by the way, after that day, I decided that the best birthday present is a piece of jewelry and my family knows it.:) So I browsed the glass counters and found the perfect present, a gold lion pendant! My mother bought a gold chain to go with it and when I placed this necklace around my neck something changed in me.:) My birthday is in July and I am a Leo in astrology. Leos are powerful and of course our symbol is the lion as in the constellation. When I put on that necklace I realized that I was entering a period in which I should be proud to be my age. I was strong and powerful and my experience only made me better. I was healed!! From that moment I have only taken off my necklace once, and that was when I had to go into the hospital to have my gall bladder removed. It is my symbol and keeps me strong. Whenever I lose hope or feel powerless I touch my necklace and feel better. I also have a lion ring and postcards of lions, stuffed lions, and a glass lion given to me as a present. I am a Leo hear me roar!!!
Sadly, to bring this back to the present, the store where I bought my lion necklace is going out of business. It's another example of an end of an era. Fortunoff's began in Brooklyn with a small store and I started going there with my mother when I was just a girl, since we lived in Brooklyn. When Fortunoff's moved to Long Island, we followed it out there and shopped there frequently. It was my favorite store, because it had everything. At the time there was no Target, and WallMart had not moved into the cities. So this store with everything from jewelry to cooking ware and linens, plus a restaurant for a light lunch in between shopping, was so great! You could spend a whole day there and still not see everything. Then Fortunoff's started expanding and moved to Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and eventually one of them moved to where I am now living, White Plains, NY. Recently, the Fifth Avenue store went out of business. It had become the flagship store, though the Long Island store was the main one. Now the White Plains store is going out of business. It occupies the top floors over a Cheesecake Factory and a Whole Foods store as well as Morton's Steak House and a maternity store. There's a huge parking lot on every floor. I can't imagine what it will be like when only the first floor stores are left.
My daughter and I went shopping there today when we saw there was a Going Out of Business Sale. But they were only discounting ten per cent. Plus, though we like the store, their service in this area hasn't always been great. But we did get some fun things and one thing I really needed - a new pot. So it was a successful trip and we had fun, but there was a sadness to it. More people than I'd ever seen in that place crowded into the store after it had been practically empty the last time I'd been there. I'm hoping that they will start discounting things further as they get down to the wire. Though I am not looking forward to the day it leaves.
It's another example of how this economy is affecting everyone. It's just sad when it's your favorite store! But it's even worse when the store carries the last good memories I have of my mother. My mother and I went shopping a few months before she succumbed to the cancer that was eventually going to invade her entire body. But on the day we were in Fortunoff's we had a great time shopping for ourselves and my family - the last good day we ever spent together.
On another note, I have still not written the chapter on Amber's party and keep envisioning it though. I know I just have to put fingers to the keyboard and write it. I'll let you know when it's done.
Meanwhile, have a great weekend and welcome to my new readers. Please leave a comment and I'll try to answer as soon as possible. Don't know what we'll do this weekend, but will probably post before the end. Until then enjoy!!!
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