My parents moved to Waynedale 45 years ago and still live here on Old Trail Road. When I was 12, my dad, sister, and I started a tradition of Christmas shopping the first Saturday of December. My mom and brother were not included in this, it was just a "dad and daughters" shopping trip. This year was our 34th year of continuing this tradition. During one of our shopping trips I even stopped at Doc Uebers, when he was on Fairfield, and had a tooth pulled in the middle of our tradition.
It all started in 1970. My dad was a Chemical Engineer at Magnavox and every year they had a Christmas party. My sister Sandy was pregnant and just about due with my niece Kelly, who just celebrated her 34th birthday. We told Sandy she looked like Santa Clause because she had a red outfit on and she was very due to have her first baby. We went Christmas shopping with dad to help him with buying gifts for mom. We then continued the tradition with the first Saturday in December and never missed one in 34 years.
Our Christmas shopping trips have taken us to Grabill, Decatur, and Shipshewana. The main place we used to go was Southtown Mall, back in the days when cars were parked in fields because they were so busy.
My dad grew up in Monmouth, so for many years we would drive through Monmouth to see the house he grew up in on the way to Decatur. One of our favorite places to eat when we went shopping was The Back Forty. Our cousin who worked at The Back Forty would greet us with hugs and kisses as soon as she saw us. My dad reminded her of her dad whom she lost when she was very young. This was always a very fun reunion.
As the years passed, and we all got older, we were working longer hours so we started shopping closer to home. Now we hit Jefferson Pointe and dad treats us to supper at a favorite restaurant, where we reminisce, and are thankful for another year of shopping together.
Last Halloween (2003) my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so last year's trip was very emotional for all of us. I am happy and thankful to say, Dad is doing great and Saturday, December 4, we went on our 34th annual Christmas shopping trip.
We are all Waynedale people. My sister Sandy, her husband Lou, and family have lived in Waynedale on Prairie Grove for many years. Sandy's daughter Kelly Bollander bought the house across the street and then sold it to her brother who still lives there. Kelly's son Craig lives in Waynedale, and my daughter Alicia Russell lives in Waynedale. My husband and I moved to Lake Shores 2 years ago.
Waynedale is the best of both worlds, with a small town feel, and close to everything, especially during Christmas.