“I went to a Catholic school, so of course we had to wear uniforms. My only form of expression was in shoes and the style of my hair.”

The hoopla is over, the festivities finished. The floor is covered in confetti. The balloons have lost helium and now are floating close to the ground. The cake is but a memory, a sweet memory. Last night my friends took me to dinner at the South African restaurant. It was the culminating event. Now my birthday is put away for another year.

The heat continues. We are still living behind closed doors and shuttered windows. Yesterday It became official. Boston is in the midst of a heat wave, three consecutive days above 90˚. We have been a bit cooler thanks to the ocean so no heat wave. The high 80’s don’t rate. They are just plain hot days.

Usually by this time in the summer, I’d done everything so many times I was getting bored. The joy of playing outside late had lost its luster. It was no longer a novelty. It was too hot during the day to do much. We’d bike ride, stop at a shady spot and just sit there until the sweat had stopped rolling down our cheeks, and we were cool enough to get back on our bikes. At every bubbler we’d drink water and wet our heads so we’d feel cooler. Bottled water was a long way in the future. Behind the town hall was a bubbler and another was in the middle of the field at the back of the baseball diamond near my house. That last one gave me the energy to get up the hill to my house.

We’d never have admitted it but it was exciting to get new clothes even if it was for school. We always got new shoes and socks and one new outfit for the first day of school because we didn’t have to wear our uniforms that day. We’d shop with my mother for the new outfit. The rest of the school clothes she’d just buy without us. The new white blouses and new blue skirts, our school uniforms, were never exciting so we didn’t care what my mother chose. It wasn’t as if there were a lot of options.

When I worked, I’d be back full time by now. Seldom did that mean new clothes for me.The excitement was gone.

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10 Comments on ““I went to a Catholic school, so of course we had to wear uniforms. My only form of expression was in shoes and the style of my hair.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    The high 80’s would definetely count as a heat wave here, they would even start put out warnings about it on tv 🙂 I do live in a cold country 🙂

    Summer has arrived to us finally, we have temperatures in the lower 70’s and doors are open all day long (or in my case from when I come home after work. Too bad it arrived when most people are back to work and can’t enjoy it 🙂

    I can’t remember gettying bored this time of year but I know I liked going back to school again and I doubt we got new clothes just because school was starting again. I think we just got new ones when the old ones were worn out and that could happen any time of year.

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      High 80’s just don’t make it for a heat wave here. That is often an August temperature. They do put out warnings and open cool shelters for people, especially the old.

      I love days in the 70’s. My windows too are opened, and I love sitting on the deck. Gracie and I spend a lot of the time there with weather like that.

      We’d get bored of doing the same stuff day after day. 9 or 10 weeks of vacation were enough. We usually grew out of our clothes as we got taller and older each year but the first day of school merited a new outfit regardless.

      Have a great evening!

  2. Birgit Says:

    Boston 90’s, Cape high 80’s, Sweden(!) mid-70’s, Texas hot by default, Hedley’s Beirut blocked, my hometown rainy 64˚F. Sigh.

    • katry Says:

      64˚ and raining sounds perfect. We haven’t had rain in a long while. The massive storm I drove through on Saturday never made it down here. I forget what fresh air feels like.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Yay for birthday festivities!

    I still wet my head under the sprinkler. I put it on mist and point it up above my head while I sit on the cement wall under the walnut tree and enjoy the cooling effect. The dogs sit way away from me and give me the side eye. We go inside and they get to stand under the blow dryer while I dry myself off. They love that. Then they get to have a piece of watermelon from the fridge. They love that, too.
    I guess the three of us are a little weird each in our own way. 🙂

    Stay cool and enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I don’t use the hose any more except on the deck. The irrigation system waters the lawn. I water the flower pots and Gracie on the deck.

      My outdoor shower works a bit like your hose for me except Gracie doesn’t watch. She waits patiently outside, and she doesn’t like watermelon. We too are weird in our own way!!

  4. Bob Says:

    High 80s is a cool spell here. We’re looking for our first rain tonight and tomorrow in 41 days. When it’s only 96 degrees it’s just a typical August day.

    What is South African food? Is it barbecue zebra, or roasted filet of Hippo? Somehow the thought of it makes me think of Australian food.

    Back to school cloths never thrilled me as a kid. In the Dallas school district jeans, tennis shoes and tee shirts were our uniforms. When I moved to New York City in the early 60s Junior High kids had a dress code. It included no jeans, no tennis shoes, collered shirts and neck ties. It was dress code shock. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      People are bemoaning the heat wave in Boston: 3 days in a row above 90˚. That is not the usual summer weather, too hot.

      South African food is not wild animals. They serve lamb and beef among other sorts of food.


      No one around here was allowed to wear jeans or tee shirts to school, whether it was a Catholic or public school. We had to wear shoes but I don’t remember about the public schools. The boys in my school had to wear blue ties but the boys in the public school didn’t have to wear a tie.

      • Bob Says:

        Thanks for the link. I’m not sure that I would like South African food. I don’t like Indian food especially curry. I knew that there was a large Indian population in South Africa but I was surprised to find middle eastern dishes on the menu. Because the ruling ethnic group in South Africa were Dutch and English I would have expected things like Shepards pie or Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. I’m not sure what the Dutch eat except herring.

      • katry Says:

        The first place I ever ate curry was in Ghana. There was a great Indian restaurant in Accra. The curry is a bit hot, exactly to my tastes.

        We had the samosas and the peri-peri wings for appetizers-they were both delicious.

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