Remember when you were a kid? Remember how simple things were? And how about the old “Dime Stores”?
When I was young there was a store called “Places”, and it was only three blocks from where I lived. I could’ve hung out there all day if my folks would’ve allowed it. Such a cool place where a kid could find just about anything they could imagine. Model cars, squirt guns, cap guns, balsa wood gliders, army men, marbles, games, dolls; and the list could go on and on. I loved it!
Every year my wife and I travel to West Virginia to visit her family. About 20 miles from her Mom’s house is a town called Harrisville, the County Seat of Ritchie County. Within the town is Berdine’s, America’s oldest five and dime store. It has been around since 1908.
We love to visit the store each time we’re in the area. So much stuff, so many memories. There’s no hurry as we casually meander through the narrow aisles, handling items that trigger memories of a time when life was fun and care free. A time when the burdens of our life were basically non-existent. A period when we felt secure and cared for, and were free to use our imagination.
Memories, good memories, are important to hold onto. They can help us stay calm even during troubling situations.
In Joshua, chapter 4, the Lord instructed Joshua to have 12 men build a Memorial using 12 stones from the Jordan River.
“Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, “that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ “Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:4-7 NKJV)
The memorial was a place where people could remember the time they felt secure and cared for by God. As they looked upon the memorial stones, the victories of yesteryear would be replayed in their mind and heart. The joy and faith that had sustained them before would rise up in them, reminding each one, “Our God is for us! He has brought us here, and He will bring us through. He will finish what He started! He cares for us.”
Just a little reminder is all we need at times. A little Bible verse, someone’s picture, a bag of marbles, or maybe a little Gumby doll, could be enough to help us not give in or give up.
Here’s an idea that just may help you. Know where your good memories are kept! Store them in a place where you have easy and quick access. A journal, a photograph, a book, whatever you have as a memorial of God’s love and care; keep them handy.
And, whether you need to buy anything, or not, it’s always enjoyable spending a leisurely afternoon reliving the memories of “the good ol’ days”, when you knew Someone cared for you…
…and He still does!
For those interested in reading more about Berdine’s:
America’s Oldest Five and Dime Store
Harrisville, West Virginia
Hope you enjoy the pictures!