“School bells are ringing loud and clear; vacation’s over, school is here.”

I got home around 1:30, let Gracie out, fed her and tried to take a nap. I was too restless so I came downstairs, ate a few anise cookies, read my e-mail and here I am.

The sun is out. The storm was a bust. Now I have to put my deck back together. The furniture and the deck are covered with leaves. The table has about an inch of rain on it. Pine tree branches have fallen in the backyard. They fall easily, even in an every day wind.

The house was stuffy when I got home even with the windows open so I put on the air conditioner. It is now much more comfortable. Gracie has stopped panting, Fern is lying beside me and Maddie is on the same chair as always.

The kids were standing on the corners of my street today. They were waiting for the bus. A couple of mothers were waiting with them. I don’t remember any buses when I was a little kid. I didn’t need one as my walk wasn’t all that long, but some kids walked a couple of miles or even more. No cars were lined up dropping kids off in the morning or picking them up in the afternoon. One of my neighbors was a widow. She was the only mother with a car. When it rained, she always drove or picked up her daughter. I was jealous, especially on rainy days.

I never see kids walking to school anymore. They either take the bus or are driven. Mothers are waiting at the bus stop to see their kids off or to welcome them home. In the winter or when it rains the mothers wait in cars. That brings to mind the traditional beginning of the school year exaggeration passed from one generation to another. I walked to school in three feet of snow, during tropical storms and on the coldest of days when we didn’t dare stop for fear of freezing to the spot.

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6 Comments on ““School bells are ringing loud and clear; vacation’s over, school is here.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    On their first day first grade kids traditionally go to school with a school cone filled with candies, pencils and small gifts. They often make their papercone themselves in playschool or with their parents.

    • katry Says:

      I love this tradition. It is such a great way to get kids to look forward to school. I’ll have to pass this along to my niece with the 4 year old and the 2 year old.

  2. Bob Says:

    Once again the school year begins and we start spending billions of taxpayer money on an education system that doesn’t really work anymore. Public education is based on the knowledge and skills necessary for an industrial society that doesn’t exist in this country. We are living in a post industrial era and our education system fails large masses of urban kids who’s major opportunity is to wind up in the criminal justice system. The only occupation they are trained for is the illegal pharmaceutical business or gang violence.

    Unfortunately, there are many occupations that are going begging because our education system is bent towards a four year academic college education. We need to copy the German system where kids who probably can’t go to college can get into an apprentice program that leads to a well paying career.

    • katry Says:

      I don’t know the last time you studied various school systems and their offerings, but if you had, you would have found schools concentrating on math, science and technology and integrating them into real life problems and situations. Many students take advance placement in too many subjects to name. Many cities too are revamping their school systems and some schools are aimed at developing talented kids in a variety of subjects like a math school or a fine arts school. I am mostly speaking of Boston as it is the only city about which I have knowledge. There are state standards, and if schools don’t meet them for a certain number of years, the schools are taken over.

      We have tech schools on the cape so kids can opt for courses which will give them entrance level skills for a variety of jobs.

      I agree that many urban schools are in trouble, but there is also a number of schools trying to meet the needs of today’s kids and their world.

  3. olof1 Says:

    We had an unusually warm night here, around 65F and it stayed warm all day. The humidity was at 99% they said and we could all feel that they were right 🙂 We did get a few minutes of sunshine when I came home but now clouds reign the sky again.

    We always used the tram and the bus when we didn’t have a car so I always knew what lines I should take if I wanted to go somewhere. Later on I would rather take the bike, cheaper and so easy to just lock to something. Now days bike thieves are faster so a bike isn’t safe anywhere in the cities.

    Out here in the countryside though few of us take the bus since they go so seldom and it takes forever to get anywhere. It is like they have planned that we shouldn’t go with them 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      Our night too was warm. I turned on the air conditioner in the bedroom only. It was a wonderful night’s sleep. Today is warm and humid. A bit of a nasty day.

      My town only had buses to the next towns so none local. We walked.

      The cape has bus lines to Boston and to Logan Airport. There is a bus line connecting cape towns. It even has a bike rack. I took it only once. My friend and I took the bus to Boston and left our car at the parking lot. In Boston we took the boat to Provincetown, the tip of the cape. We had lunch and shopped then took the local bus back to the car. It was a great day.

      Have a lovely evening!

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