“Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.”

Yesterday was what I always think of as a Cape morning in the fall, foggy and warm. Today is also warm but overcast. It must have rained during the night as the streets are still wet along the edges. Gracie has barely been in the house the last couple of days except she does take a break for her morning nap. That’s a dog after my own heart.

Gracie and I have a few errands this morning, and all of them are practical, but I think I need a bit of whimsy. Maybe I’ll stop in one of those wonderful small shops tucked away on Route 6A and maybe I’ll find a treasure. One must always be on the lookout for a treasure.

My elementary school turns 100 next year. I’m hoping I get to visit. I have wonderful memories of that school, of the smell of the wood, of the cloakrooms, the tall windows and the niches in the walls along the staircase where a few statues of saints held sway. By the time I got there, the wood had darkened over the years and taken on the character which comes with age. The stairs and the old wooden floors in the classrooms creaked. The wooden desks were the sort with a space below the top where you kept your books, and you had to bend over, look and take out a book or two before you found the one you wanted. The top of the desk had a hole for an inkwell and indentation all the way across the top where you put your pencils. I suspect those desks are long gone and have been replaced with the sort where the top comes up so it’s easy to find what you want. I’m sorry for that, but I know time takes its toll on all the places held suspended in our memories.

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10 Comments on ““Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,

    My elementary school was probably 100 when I went there. It’s gone and the property is now expensive new houses.

    We had the same type desks as you for the first few years but in the fourth grade we got the ones with a hinged top. I guess we had more stuff to keep track of by then. The desks still had the inkwell hole and the pencil slot. No one used dip pens then so I don’t know why there were still desks being made with inkwells.

    Dull and damp up here today. Yesterday was beautiful, warm and sunny. Almost made one feel good about global warming. 🙂

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      The convent which was across the street from the school is gone but not the two schools. I wonder if they still call them the new and the ol school.

      When we got into the new school, we had the hinged top desks. Mine didn’t have an inkwell though I actually loved and used foundtain pens all the way through high school.

      It rained this afternoon, but I did get all my errands done-nothing fun though.

  2. olof1 Says:

    My elementary school celebrated 100 when I went to secon grade I think and that was the young part of it 🙂 I loved that place and what I remember the most is the smell of chalk and the thing I think was some kind of sawdust (to keep any dust stayin that instead of getting up in the air)that they threw on the floor before they brushed it.

    Yesterday started out with thick fog (and cold) but ended sunny, today it was cloudy and drizzly in the morning but the day ended with sunshine once again. But it is cold now, already frost outside.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I too loved the smell of chalk dust and the smell of the polish they used on the wood. In my mind’s eye, I can see perfectly my first grade room and the cloakroom outside of it. I think it’s because that’s where it all began.

      Rainy today and getting colder.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    I was disappointed with my return to Bucknell. Sometime, I suspect in the 80’s, they did a restoration to resize the school for more students. It really is the size of a high school. I was amazed coming up the hill to see the unbelievable size. “this was our little school in the woods? at the top of Bucknell Heights?” Even the entrance looks more like an ER. I really think there was tremendous growth in Northern Virginia and over time they had to add 10,000 square feet. Not the same to me at all. The hill is the only thing the same. It rolls down into a creek that when froze over we used to slide down the hill and keep our sleds going into the creek to a walk over bridge. Wish I could have stayed that age.

    • katry Says:

      I totally understand what you mean. My school, Merrimack, is huge now and the woods are a parking lot. I figure little stays the same.

      I wouldn’t want to be college age again.Though I loved my time there, the years after were far more fun. We were all hell raisers in our 20’s.

  4. Bill Sandford Says:

    Central Grammar School in Milford, CT., was probably 75-100 years old when I went there in 1952. We had the same desks with inkwells, and wrought iron curved seat supports. The classrooms had high ceilings and windows, and hardwood floors. In those days there were 33-36 kids in every class, unheard of now. When there was rain or snow, we went to the basement for recess. The basement had heat pipes covered with asbestos, but nobody knew any better. The “new” high school, built in 1950 or so, was next to the grammar school; sometime after I graduated in 1969, the high school was turned into senior housing. Just think: I could have started and completed my life in that one little complex of buildings….

    • katry Says:

      I laughed right out loud at your last line.

      We too had the thirty+ kids per class. There were never any problems and we all seemed to get an education. Each grade had two classes as there were so many of us, the baby boomers.

      I think our basement also had asbestos covered pipes, but we never played there. When it rained, we just stayed in our classrooms though we were allowed to talk and get up and walk around, a rare treat.

      The bathrooms were in the basement which I always thought an odd place. The whole school was filled with wonderful wood while the basement had plaster walls though I swear I remember sheet rock. In the girls’ room the ceiling had all the pipes running across it, and it had a peculiar odor, not like a bathroom but still an odor.

  5. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    Who, what, where, when? Memory? It looks like a lovely day outside, but I don’t like to go outside till near 3..when my head is sort of set on my shoulders. Jewels would like to go out now, but I’m still in tired mode. I did go treasure hunting on Tuesday, after I had to have some spine x-rays… and went to a store that mostly artists go to which is a ” creative reuse store”. I found an amazing folding wood dollhouse, which I took up front to be priced. She gave me an incredibly low price, about 14.00 and when I checked it online it is worth about 40-50– if one can find it. Now, there is some guilt attached to it because after I found it a mom and little girl really wanted it ( which, hanging my head in shame) made me want it even more. I want to do art piece with it, and I haven’t been so inspired in quite some time. The other pieces I found were a children’s book, a pair of cat earrings, an artist’s 12″ model, again for about $3, which turned out to be worth 25, and some odds and ends. Oh, yes, 3 plastic snow globes, for my collection. I stayed until the store closed. I haven’t been back to my elementary school, as there is little reason to visit that area.
    Last night U.C. Berkeley had an occupation which turned out with their police acting horribly. Many people are down there now. I wish I could go, but I’m waiting for the results of my x-rays, because the pain is now with me all the time, except when I am in the warm pool or set in bed in such a position where it doesn’t hurt.
    Waving for magic,

    • katry Says:

      Now that’s a great treasure hunt. I’m sorry I wasn’t with you as I love places like the one you described, and I love small finds. There used to be a store or two like that around here, but they are all gone.

      If I go back to my hometown for any reason, I make it a point to drive by my old school and then take the route I used to walk. Often I drive up the hill to my old house. The route has changed considerably with many old houses gone and the railroad tracks taken up. but the school looks exactly the same.

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