Carol Kubota
4 min readJul 9, 2022


Oh, the things I remember growing up!

Do you remember getting the JC Penny or Sears catalog in the mail?

If you don’t then this post will be obsolete.

The catalogs were big enough to stack on the chair at the dining table so a younger sibling who wasn’t tall enough to reach the table but too old to sit in a high chair could reach the table.

These catalogs were my reading material. They contained my dreams of a future life. I was twelve years old.

I would take the catalog and cut out pictures of furniture and appliances and arrange them in every room of my future dream house.

The Christmas catalogs were the thickest. My brothers and I would fight over who could look at the catalog and for how long. There were time limits for all three of us older children.

When it was my turn I would flip carefully through the pages taking notes on the toys that I wanted for Christmas. I knew that out of the fifteen on my list, I would be lucky to get one.

My parents didn’t have the money to buy a lot of gifts. My brothers received sports equipment and I might receive a doll. I didn’t care if I got the gifts I asked for. I got joy out of flipping through the pages. It introduced me to a world beyond my reach.

Wood furniture carved with designs, bedspreads with patchwork that covered the entire width of a king-sized bed, towels for the bathroom, pots and pans, crystal glasses used for drinking wine, platters for serving turkey and ham, and delicate china that would have not survived in my home of four boys and only one girl. We drank out of plastic cups because they wouldn’t break if dropped on the floor. We ate with cheap silverware and CorningWare dishes. Tupperware was common.

I spent hours in dreamland and planning.

I went to college, to Mexico, and ended up in Japan with my Japanese husband.

The house was small and we were just beginning our life. His parents gave us some furniture as a wedding gift. The house didn’t need much furniture because there was no space. We had what we needed and nothing more. None of my furniture matched what was in the Sears catalog.

We sat on the floor and had a small sofa that fit in our “living room”, a small kitchen table…



Carol Kubota

Life happens when you take chances.