“Memory is more indelible than ink.”

Today is damp and cloudy so the air, at 57°, is chilly. I have resurrected my sweatshirt and donned a pair of socks. The dogs are out longer and run around more. Nala, more than Henry, is affected by heat. That tongue of hers hangs low. They have yet to have their morning naps.

When I think about growing up in my town, I can still see it as it was. All the old places, all the stores up town and all the open fields and woods are bright in my memory drawers. I drive by houses and remember who lived in them. I can remember where houses used to be. I can close my eyes and see my classrooms year by year in my grammar school, in the old and new buildings. I can even remember the faces of some of my teachers. Miss Quilter wore thick glasses. Sister Eileen Marie was huge and seldom stood. She sat at her desk almost all day. Miss Konopacka was strict. She was tall. My mother went to school with her, and my sister still hates her. Mrs. Kerrigan, my second grade teacher, was old. She wore a day dress and had her grey hair in a bun. She was gentle. In the seventh grade, Mrs. Corcoran was the teacher who told me basketball and the like were for boys. I remember she also wore a day dress which I came to believe was a uniform of sorts for old teachers. My grandmother wore the same style. Sister Hildegarde is the nun I remember the most. She was really old and easily duped. I admit I took advantage. Many times I left school early or was late getting back after lunch, sometimes as late as an hour. She never reprimanded me or my friend Jimmy, my accomplice in crime. We had free rein. I wondered if she even noticed.

The American flag and the Ghanaian flag hang off trees in the front of my house. I have a Peace Corps flag which needs Betsy Ross to sew the holes torn by branches before I can hang it. I also have decorative flags for all the holidays. I’m thinking the front of my house will soon resemble the row of flags outside the United Nations.

Today is a quiet day, but I do need to shop for a few groceries to make jollof rice, a Ghanaian dish I’m bringing to a potluck tomorrow, an RPCV event, a returned Peace Corps volunteer event. In honor of the occasion, I’ll be decked in clothes made from Ghanaian cloth, and I’ll greet people in Hausa, “Sannu.” Hello!

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6 Comments on ““Memory is more indelible than ink.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today is partly cloudy with a predicted high of 81°. It’s a bit breezy. This morning my better half and I went out for brunch at one of our favorite local cafes. I splurged and had Eggs Benedict while my bride had an omelet and a pancake. We then fought the crowds at Costco to get some exercise and purchase a few things.

    The last time I visited my old neighborhood in New York or here in Dallas, I’m amazed at how small the houses look compared to what I remembered when I was a kid.

    Your memory for teacher’s names is far better than mine. The only teachers whose names I can remember was my Jr. high school printing shop teacher, Richard Novee, and my high school drafting teacher, Sidney Goldman. Mr. Goldman took no nonsense from any kid. He was a strict disciplinarian. Once during a drafting class a couple of kids were fooling around loudly in the hallway. He grabbed one in each hand by their collars and dragged them into his room. He asked them where they were supposed to be. They replied the lunchroom. He sat them down at an empty drafting table and made them sit in his room instead of having lunch each day for the rest of that week. Those or any other kids respected Mr. Goldman. He was short, bald, wore glasses, had a mustache, and had tufts of hair growing from his ears.

    I’m headed to the computer to finish up my tax return. Thanks to our Republican friends in Congress during Trump’s one term in office, the last tax law upstate makes it almost impossible to itemize deductions. That’s unless you have very high medical bills during the previous year. Only the very wealthy get to deduct everything and pay no taxes. The rich get richer and the poor get kids. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      It is now 63°. The sun came out for a while, but it is cloudy again. I did my errand, and it felt warm. I love eggs Benny and often choose it when I go out for breakfast.

      When you were a kid, you were small so many things looked large. I felt the same way when I went back to my old school, and the corridors had narrowed.

      I also remember many of the nuns I had in high school. Back then my high school had no lay teachers. They were all nuns. In grammar school we had nuns every other year. My first grade teacher was Sister Redempta, and she scared the heck out of me.

      My tax return takes about five minutes so I’ll do it tonight. I usually get around $200.00 back. Back in the old days. I had many deductions related to work and medical. I used to get $2000.00 or even more. I always used that money for my once a year trip to Europe. Now I just buy a few bags of groceries!!

      • Bob Says:

        Unfortunately, no one tells you when you open those tax differed IRAs that eventually, after 70 and a half, they send you money you may not need in the form of minimum required distributions. That money is taxed like ordinary income. When FDR started Social Security, the elderly were considered living in poverty. Today, we are considered wealthy and children are considered poor. As William Bendix used to say in the TV show, “The Life of Riley”, “What a revolting development that was”.

      • katry Says:

        I don’t have an IRA so I live only on my retirement. The best parts of teachers’ retirement is I don’t have to pay state taxes.

  2. Mark Says:

    I’m glad that you had a great time with Bill and Peg. After a few days and seeing any posts from you, I started to worry that you had become sick or injured again. I know that I am not alone in saying that I missed you and your posts.
    I saw a movie earlier this week called “Queen of Glory” and it made me think of you. The protagonist is a Doctoral student in New York and her parents are from Ghana. As life challenges arise for her, she must thread the needle between following her American Dream and following the customs of the Ghanian culture that are expected of her.
    The movie received a 90% rating from the Reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. I saw the movie on the streaming service Kanopy and I believe that it is also streaming on Hoopla. I’m able to stream both services for free through my local Library card.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Mark,
      I’m glad to report no recent falls or injuries. I was going to try to post on Thursday, but it was later in the afternoon when Bill and Peg left.

      I’ll have to check to see if my library has access to Kanopy. I think it does as I have that app on my iPad though I have never accessed it.

      Many expatriates from the US have moved to Ghana. I know they sometimes have trouble with local customs. The chief is the prime ruler in many towns and villages. In Bolga, that was the Bolganaba. Tribal customs are paramount so I can understand the protagonist’s need to honor her parents’ customs and beliefs. Not so long ago, girls did not attend school. Now, of course, they attend all the way through university.

      I taught at Women’s Teacher Training College. It is no longer that school but is now a girls’ secondary school on the same grounds. Ghana has come far.

      Thanks for missing me and my posts.

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