Tabby, our favorite feline from the Entertaining Tales®, writes this column to share her thoughts and advice

The Pleasure of Shopping

As I sit here taking a break from the never ending chore of housework that must be done, I am looking around my house and thinking about all the wonderful things Tobias and I have accumulated over the years. So many things bring back so many wonderful memories.

On a trip to Canada we came upon a small gift shop near Niagara Falls. In it I discovered, with much delight, a soup tureen that matched my dinnerware pattern. Of course I had to have it. I can still remember what the shop looked like and how the lady there carefully packaged it up for us. I can even still remember how the outside of the shop looked and what a beautiful weather it was that day. Delightful memories can make a lasting imprint on you.

Sitting on a table in front of a double window is a wood statue of a cat purchased when I was with Prissy on a trip. We saw it in a small shop and I just had to have it. It was one of those items that just has your name written all over it and you just know it was meant to be yours. We were traveling and couldn't take it with us, so I had it shipped back to my house. The store owner set it on the checkout counter under a light, and after he closed for the night, we saw the cat sitting there on the counter under the only light in the store as we walked back to our hotel. It was just like he was waiting to be packed up and come to his new home.

Also on that table is a handwoven table square purchased at the Coopertown Farmer's Museum. I love finding these treasures and having wonderful memories of where they came from. And for some reason one of the images of that day is the old-timey general store with its wonderful display of penny candy. So many memories can come from just one item.

The first piece of original artwork that we ever purchased was a small painting. It wasn't much as far as art goes, but I can still remember that it was a warm, sunny day and the art was on the lawn of a house that sold original art and crafts. They were having an outdoor show that day. Just thinking about it makes me realize that I need to find a better location for this wonderful memory so I can see it more often.

Even items you no longer have can bring back happy memories. We purchased a wonderful pair off wing back chairs from a small furniture store. I can still remember the steps leading up to the store and the windows in front. The chairs were near these windows and it was love at first sight when I saw them. The chairs are long gone but I can still remember how much I loved them and wished I had never gotten rid of them when the fabric was too worn to keep any longer.

I truly enjoy shopping. I grew up knowing the true Pleasure of Shopping: the feeling of a day spent browsing and dreaming at a leisurely pace. Not looking for anything in particular, but just waiting to see if the thrill of discovery of something wonderful would suddenly appear. Maybe it would be a whole day of shopping with a leisurely lunch or maybe it would be just going to one store and taking my time just browsing and looking. A small inexpensive item that I discover can make just as many memories as an expensive item.

When so much is purchased online now or in big impersonal stores, I have to wonder if people have lost the feeling of the pleasure of shopping and the wonderful memories it can bring. So I think that maybe tomorrow I will forget about the housework and call a friend and we will spend the day just browsing in some of our favorite stores.

I think it would be nice for you to take a few minutes out of your busy day and just walk around your house and see how many happy memories you can recall from items in your home that you love.