Sears announcing bankruptcy and closing their doors...is another chapter of my life closing.

I grew up in small towns in Idaho. Declo, Ashton and Soda Springs. They were great places to grow up, but not great places for shopping. There was nothing better than getting the Sears Christmas Wish Book (catalog) as December 25th loomed.

My younger brother and I would spend hours and hours with that catalog, laying on the living room floor in our pajamas on Saturday mornings. Looney Toons would be on one of the THREE channels on the TV, and when a commercial for the latest and coolest toy would come on, we'd flip through the pages seeing if it was in the wish book so we could add it to our respective lists. With 4 plus years between us, his list was usually different from mine so it wasn't a big deal that he was into G.I. Joe and I was into H.O. Scale Slot Cars.

Dad would be sitting at the kitchen table with his coffee. Mom would be fixing breakfast, the smells of bacon, eggs and hash browns would filling the house. If it was a special weekend, it was the smell of french toast, warm butter and maple syrup.

As we grew older, the Sears Christmas Wish Book list evolved from toys for kids, to Craftsman tool sets, and more grown up things, like sporting equipment, cameras (yeah...the kind you had to put film in and get developed) and things you would be taking off to college and into adult life, like stereos, even clothes.

What you didn't find in the Sears Christmas Wish Book back then, were cell phones, iPads, XBox, PS4, computers, and whatever the newest and latest electronic gadgets are now days.

When we were lucky enough to get something we had put on the list, we cherished it, and played with it and took care of it. If we were foolish enough to break something, we had to wait until next Christmas to get something to take it's place.

I remember thinking that my kids (all grown now) missed out on some memories of their own when Sears stopped putting out the Christmas Wish Book. Sure, they have memories of their own era, just like my brother and me, but their memories are a little more complicated by the advancement of technology and the internet.

My brother and I both still have Craftsman tools we got as kids. We both have Craftsman tools we inherited when dad passed, and we both have the great memories of a warm living room, the smells of breakfast, the sound of Bugs Bunny making Yosemite Sam look foolish, and the love of two parents.

The closing of Sears is closing a chapter in my life, but it also gave me the opportunity to pause and reflect, and relive some great times as a kid growing up in Soda Springs, Idaho.

Life was simple. Life was good.