“Life is not about perfection. It’s about persistence.” 

The morning is downright cold. It is only 30˚. The high will be 37˚. That sounds like deck weather. As if…

We have a pretty day with lots of bright sun, just not a warm sun. The air is clear. Everything looks highlighted by the sun. I can see through the tangle of pine branches in the back yard to the blue sky beyond. The dogs have been out a while. They enjoy this weather.

When I was a kid, we all gave up something for Lent. Most of us kids chose chocolate having very little else to give up. I rarely made it all through Lent. When I was contemplating eating the forbidden chocolate, I negotiated with myself to lessen the guilt. It helped.

I loved walking to school in the mornings this time of year. The cold felt temporary. My footsteps echoed in the still mornings. My friend and I chatted the whole way. It wasn’t a long walk to school: down the hill, around the corner to the straightaway which ended at the stop sign just on the corner down from school. We looked down both sides then crossed the street. The playground was behind the school. That’s where we waited for the nun to ring the bell, the time to line-up bell.

My school was old. It had no electric bells. It had bellringers. They were in the eighth grade on the top floor. They rang the bell in the hall so all the floors could hear it. I remember my first grade class, what it looked like, where I sat. It was on the first floor. I remember my second grade teacher, Mrs. Kerrigan. She was old or at least she looked old to me. She had grey hair and dressed like my grandmother. She lived in an apartment in an old house across from the church. My third grade class was in the cellar of the rectory. We didn’t have desks. We had tables. By fourth grade, we were in double sessions. The school was overloaded with kids. There were no places to put us so they started building the new school, which was all we called it even after it was old. For the fifth grade, while we waited for the new school, we were bussed to a school a town over as they had space. I never minded the buses. We were patient. The bus rides meant less time in the classroom. Nobody complained. By mid-winter, the new school was ready. We moved in. My class was on the first floor near the door. The school was shiny. It had electric bells.

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4 Comments on ““Life is not about perfection. It’s about persistence.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today was beautiful with a high of 65°. Today we tried a Mexican Restaurant that cooked the tortillas on a hot griddle in the front waiting area. The typical, “TexMex”, food was excellent.

    When we lived here in Dallas in the 1950s we never ate Mexican food. My mother considered it too foreign and spicy for her. My father ate it once when traveling in San Antonio. He went into a cafe for lunch and the only thing he understood on the menu was, “Businessmen Lunch Special”. He had to watch what other people did with the tortillas that they brought to the table. He said it was good, but my mother never tried it.

    You and I are of the largest glut of children ever conceived in the world after WWII, “Baby Boomers”. My high school in NYC was operating on three shifts daily. Some kids came in early in the morning, another shift during midday, and an evening shift. We certainly changed the world, the question is did we change it for the better.

    • katry Says:

      HI Bob,
      I envy you all those Tex-Mex restaurants. It seems the best of the ethnic restaurants don’t last here. I drove a long way to a good Mexican restaurant. It lasted a year. I don’t know why that happens.

      My mother didn’t like spice either, but she did eat mild Mexican. My father hated Mexican. That never made sense to me as he liked spicy foods and tomato based foods. My sibs and I all love Mexican food.

      My elementary school classes had 50 kids in them. We all knew that glut first hand; hence, the need for the new school.

      Some things, more intrinsic things are better.

  2. Birgit Says:

    The second last year in school we were in an old nearby building which was used as a youth center before, the newly built school was already too small for all of us. (Yup, baby boomer too, just later here than in your country.) Only many years later we learned that this old building was known as the Blood Cellar where Nazis tortured and killed several opposing locals in the mid-1930s. Meanwhile we know of many more horrendous places in town thanks to mainly younger generations who dared to take a deeper look into our dark past and made it possible for all of us to remember. Not long ago I read that our so called fairground was a forced labor camp during the war and I could see old aerial photos, a seemingly innocent place I saw each day on my way to school.

    I hope you’ve had a great green concert!

    • katry Says:

      Hi Birgit,
      History is often too difficult to contemplate. That old building should have been destroyed, but that is easy for me to say. Our shameful history here in New England began with our treatment of the Indians. We had slaves here but try to atone by saying we didn’t have many. As if the numbers determined the legitimacy.

      I don’t have local horrors and where I grew up didn’t, as far as I know, have any either.

      The concert was great fun!

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