“We have lunch at ten-forty-five,” Colin said. A stupidly early lunch. At our school, the older you get, the stupider your lunch period.”

On my way back from an early morning meeting, I noticed how many trees have burst into color. I saw yellows and reds and one tree where the leaves were yellow on the edges and red in the middle. Several trees, though, still have green leaves including the ones in my backyard. Full color isn’t expected here on the Cape until close to the end of the month.

When I was a kid, there were no school buses. Everybody walked. The public elementary schools were scattered all over town, but my school was the only Catholic school, and some of my friends walked a mile or more to get there. None of them cared about the walk. It was just part of their day.

We didn’t have a cafeteria so either you went home for lunch or you brought your lunch. Milk was for sale as were candy bars. The milk came in those little containers which were always difficult to open. The candy was in a big lunch box, and you got to pick your bar. It was a nickel. The milk was only 3 cents. It was never really cold.

We had recess every day unless it was raining or single digit cold. Some of us would just stand in groups and talk, and there were always girls jump roping. The boys stayed on one side of the school yard and the girls on the other. It wasn’t a rule, just tradition. The basketball courts were on the boys’ side. They played half court games.

One of the best reasons to go to St. Patrick’s was we got all the holy days of obligation off from school. All Saint’s Day, November 1st, was famous because it was the day after Halloween. We didn’t care about the saints though we did have to go mass. We were just happy we could stay out later trick or treating.

I’d be freezing walking to and from school in the cold of winter and I’d get soaked if it rained. It didn’t matter. None of us ever complained. That’s the way it was back then.

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18 Comments on ““We have lunch at ten-forty-five,” Colin said. A stupidly early lunch. At our school, the older you get, the stupider your lunch period.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We had busses for junior high and high school. My house was just under the one mile distance for both schools so no buss pass for me. My cousin, who lived right behind me, got bus passes for both schools.
    I walked to school every day and sweltered or froze or drowned depending on the weather. I didn’t care much either except on those winter days when the snow came in stinging little wind-blown pellets and I hadn’t worn pants under my skirt because it wasn’t supposed to snow. :/

    Today started out cloudy but there have been bouts of sunshine here and there. I spent the morning futzing with health care insurance again. One phone number was a constant busy signal followed by a request to hang up followed by a disconnect. A couple of other numbers got me a human who transferred me to the busy signal. Finally someone transferred me to someone who could fix it. It was a couple of hours worth of work. I hope it is done.

    Laundry, now. Whoo hoo. 🙂

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t know if there were busses to the high school as I didn’t go to the local school. I took the regular bus to Arlington every day. The stop was on Elm Street about 15 or 20 minutes from my house. Like you, the weather didn’t mean a thing-I went regardless.

      My laundry has made it to this floor from upstairs-one more floor to go to be washed. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll also do a couple of errands tomorrow as it is supposed to be even a nicer day than today.

      I’m glad you got the insurance fixed. Waiting on the phone drives me crazy, but sometimes you don’t have a choice.

      Have a great evening!

  2. olof1 Says:

    No school busses here either, perhaps out in the countryside but I’m not sure. I had to go by tram when I went to high school though.

    cafeterias only existed in high schoolös too but all get free lunch at school and that looks more like a restaurant with a low standard on chairs and tables 🙂 No chance on buying any kind of candy in elementary school still but they usually can in most high schools, in the cafeteria.

    I think they still have breaks avary second hour in schools and lunch was always some time between 11 and 12:30 as I remember it. I loved that food but then again I came from a family where the one cooking never really liked it 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Down here there are buses at every level. A mile is the walking distance, and if you live any further, you get to take a bus.

      Some of the newer elementary schools have cafeterias but every high school does. The law was passed a few years back and it limits what can be sold. The focus is on healthy food. The car at the school where I worked had great food.

      Lunches started at 10:40 and students ate in 3 shifts then when the population went down lunch was down to two shifts and the time was closer to real lunchtimes.

      Enjoy your evening!

  3. Coleen Says:

    I am honored to have a post under Christer… 🙂

    If you watched the “Wonder Years” TV show, that was pretty much my childhood. By the time I went to school we had to take busses. I think maybe a total of six kids walked…

    And I remember lunch in elementary school. Most of the time it was OK, but for a time they made us eat at our desks because fights broke out in the cafeteria. My cousin was involved in one where they knocked out both his front teeth. My aunt was NOT thrilled at the dental bill…

    Waving…

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I would have walked even if there were busses as I lived under a mile from school. It wasn’t a bad walk except going by the field where the wind whipped us every cold day.

      Wow, I never saw a fight ever when I was in school. I saw fights when I was working in a school but never when I was going. I never minded eating at my desk as that was all I knew. In high school there was a cafeteria. My friend and I worked there as we’d get our lunches free, and I then could keep my lunch money for fun stuff.

      Waving from a lovely day on Cape Cod.

    • Hedley Says:

      Winnie Cooper ?

  4. Hedley Says:

    Nigel the Parrot is now speaking Spanish and asking for Larry – Legend

    • katry Says:

      MDH,
      A total legend! Is there a connection with you? He used to have a British accent.

      • Hedley Says:

        My grandparents had an Amazon Green Parrot, one of the most bad tempered fellows that you could imagine but a very good talker. Naturally he outlived both of them.

        I did note that the first thing Nigel did when reunited with his owner was to bite him.

        Good old Nigel was on the NBC world news last night but unfortunately, Larry has still not come forward

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        Larry has plenty of reasons to stay hidden: there’s ebola and now the long missing parrot.

      • Hedley Says:

        Excellent point, perhaps the forthcoming appearance of BARRY MANILOW at 6.00 pm EST this FRIDAY on QVC might possibly have Nigel’s friend surface.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        I wouldn’t count on his appearance on QVC. He is a proud man!

  5. Jay Bird Says:

    Lunch in Our Lady of Victory grade school was walking home around 11:30. Mom was always home in the Fifties (except for the poor widows who had to work). I only had five blocks to hike. I guess the few kids who stayed ate in the classrooms – there was no cafeteria in that overcrowded school.

    High school began the routine of buses and cafeteria grub for lunch. I hated (and still do) opening those milk boxes!

    • katry Says:

      Jay,
      Most of us stayed at school for lunch. Only a few went home. My mother too was home, but she dutifully made our lunches every day. She made great lunches. My friend used to switch lunch boxes when we were in the fourth grade and had the same colored lunch boxes, but I knew she’d done it because her lunch wasn’t near as good as mine.

      When I was older, I got brave and used to hide my lunch and go out with the kids going home as if I were too. My friend and I would walk to some benches under trees and enjoy an outside lunch. We never got caught.

      My high school was two towns over and we took a regular bus. I never brought my lunch then-ate in the cafeteria.

      I am also not very good at getting those containers open. I usually tear it and the milk comes out a couple of sides. Messy!


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