Last week I published Do You Remember – A Tuesday List of Ten which was a list of things that have been become nearly obsolete because of changes in technology or social policy over the recent past. The responses from readers listed other things that fit the same category. This week I present a follow-up which includes some responses from readers as well as other items that were omitted from the first list.
I started school at a one-room school-house a few miles from our Wisconsin farm. Grades one through five were all taught in the same room by the same teacher.
I look back at the experience with nostalgia.
There were 8 students in my first grade class which was by far the largest class in the school. There were 4 second graders and three third graders. If my memory is correct there were 4 fourth graders and 5 fifth graders. Of the eight students in first grade only two of us were girls. The first graders were dismissed for recess earlier than the other grades. I had only the one girl to play with. Unfortunately, she moved away in the fall of the year and I was then the only girl. I did not look forward to recess anymore. I would have been fine playing with the boys since I had five brothers, but the six boys in my class saw no reason to include a girl in their play.
I happen to be 63 so she is a much older sister. And I remind her of that every chance I get.
Carol is the sister with whom I made mud pies and with whom I shared a room when we were growing up.
She was always petite and small-boned while I was the big, strapping girl. I was taller and heavier as far back as I can remember. As younger sisters often do, I annoyed her greatly. We would get into physical scrapes. My mom told me more than once that I had to be careful with Carol. I was so much bigger than she was and I could really hurt her. Couldn’t my mom see that Carol was like a bantam rooster, fierce, stubborn and relentless? And that she had the upper hand in almost every dispute?
Today’s Saturday Stitching Post features the lowly, humble outhouse. In the past I have shared projects as varied as angels, a tree at dawn, a girl reaching for a cookie jar, and a slogan “Bless This Mess”. As I decided on which project I would post this week, I had to chuckle. There is a certain bit of humor in taking the time and making an effort to stitch an outhouse.
The reasons for my project choices have been diverse.
The things that keep children most entertained are often not the expensive flashy toys, but rather simple things found around the house. Very young children can be absolutely delighted playing with pots and pans, or cardboard boxes. As a young child in the 50’s, I certainly did not have the quantity of toys that American middle class children have today. But I was never bored. I always found a way to entertain myself. In my case I was aided by having seven brothers and sisters although the oldest of my brothers were too mature (and too cool) to play some child’s games.
Every now and then I hear about someone who has vivid memories from when they were three or even two years old. That fascinates me, but I surely do not remember things from that far back. I do have some clear memories from when I was five years old. I am confident of the age because my older brothers and sisters were in school and I was not. In addition, my family moved when I was in first grade and I can identify the old farmhouse as the setting of my memories.
I had two younger brothers, 21 months and 5 1/2 years younger than me. My first lesson in faith revolved around the birth of the baby brother. My little brother and I told our mother that we wanted to have another sister or brother. Mom told us that if we prayed to God we might get one. Oh my, we prayed. And, voilà! We got a baby! And almost immediately! That sure convinced me of the power of prayer and of God.
I did not actually grow up with a person named Betty Crocker. I did not jump rope with Betty Crocker. It was not Betty Crocker who bested me in anything that required coordination including that new-fangled hula hoop. I didn’t play paper dolls with Betty Crocker and I did not beat her in a spelling bee. She is not the girl who had a crush on the same boy that I did in 6th grade. Betty was none of those things, but she played an important part in my formative years.