I learned so many things at the Miller and Paine Department Store in downtown Lincoln as a kid. It wasn't exactly All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum, but it was major life skills. I learned how to go through a revolving door all by myself because my mom and my younger siblings were in the next compartment. I learned how to step onto an escalator, and how to pay attention and step off. I learned that I probably wouldn't be flattened and sucked down into the underbelly of the escalator if I forgot to step off, but that it wasn't worth risking since I was very skinny and easily flattened. Grown-up ladies had to stand on tippy-toe to ride the escalators so that their high heels would not be caught in the stair treads, and they would not be trapped for all eternity and sucked down into the underbelly. Somehow when the third grade Sunday school class sang out "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" each week, I thought He was trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath were stored in black patent leather high heels. My mom helped me learn to step to the back of the elevator, and to tell the elevator attendant sitting on her fold-down stool, "Three please," in a loud and polite voice. I learned that if you know that you like the macaroni and cheese with two cinnamon rolls it's okay to order that every time you go to the tearoom.
My sons are in revolving door and escalator mode this month. One son is finishing grad school, receiving the light blue hood for education, and moving to his new job in Ohio. Another son has zoomed in from Italy with barely enough time here to sell his diggity dawg Dodge Intrepid before zooming back to Germany. My youngest will pass through the Lone Star State for a crash course in the nomadic virtues of traveling light. I can't push the elevator buttons myself, but I can step to the rear of the elevator and go along for the ride!