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

The dogs are out in the yard enjoying the day. They come in every now and then to check on me. Nala brings branches and dead leaves with her. I have found pieces of both in the living room, hall and den. I’m thinking vacuuming and a bit of sweeping are in my future.

When I was a kid, my father would go crazy if we left an unrinsed glass on the counter. He called it the height of laziness, but I knew, even back then, he was exaggerating for effect. Still, we complied. It was a small thing and easier than having to listen to him. My father had a pointing finger, also used for effect. When he had one of us cornered for a lecture about something, he used the finger for emphasis by tapping it on our chests. My sisters have a great story about that finger. They used to sneak out of our house when our parents were sleeping. They’d go to the pond on the street over and swim. Our cousin used to spend the summer with us. She became the sacrificial lamb. My father caught them. He was behind them, my two sisters and my cousin, as they walked up the stairs to their bedroom. My two conniving sisters had put my cousin last. She got the finger on her back all the way up the stairs as he lectured them. My sisters still chuckle about that night.

This weekend always had special significance for me. It was the last weekend before the start of school, sort of my last hurrah. Bedtime would again be imposed with the tag line, “You have school tomorrow.” That only made it worse. Labor Day Monday meant the oddity of a Monday bath night. I had to be clean for school which also made it worse. For school I’d wear my new shoes, blue uniform skirt, white blouse and a blue clip-on sort of cowboy tie. I’d eat breakfast then put on my uniform. My new pencil cases and notebooks were already packed into my new school bag. I did it the night before. My mother packed my lunch in my new lunch box. That first lunch was always spectacular, an attempt to dull the pain.

It didn’t take long to get back into the routine which made me both happy and sad.

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

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today is cloudy and I actually heard a few rumblings of thunder this morning, but alas we received not a drop of rain. There’s a slight possibility of some precipitation again this evening.

    Summer isn’t over here until mid September or early October. We still have predicted temperatures in the low triple digit and upper nineties for the next ten days.

    When I was a kid, by father traveled most weeks from Monday morning and came home Friday evening. If we misbehaved, my mother would threaten us by saying, “Just you wait until your father comes home”. We always knew it was a hollow threat and we could get away with anything until Friday.

    We also started the school year the Tuesday after Labor Day in the Dallas school system because there was no air conditioning in the schools. We suffered with open windows and large fans at the back of the classroom. These days the windows in the schools are sealed closed and every building has air conditioning. Most of the local school districts have been in session since the middle of August.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Today was warmer than it has been, and that will continue for this week. We’ll be in the high 70’s; of course, that happens just as school starts as most schools here don’t have air conditioning.

      My mother used that line on us as well, but she meant when he got home from work though my dad did work in Maine for half a year and only came home on weekends. We were supposed to move to Maine when school ended, but my my father quickly got promoted, and we moved to the cape instead.

      Most schools here start on Wednesday. Teachers start on Tuesday. As an administrator, I worked most of the summer, but I had a couple of weeks at the beginning of August off before I went back to work.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Finally back home now after a 6 hour train ride the day before, still trying to get back to routine. Maybe tomorrow, Monday.
    Last night we saw an Afro-Pop concert downtown, a partly Ghanaian band located in Berlin, it was fun.
    Nice warm summer days again and -late evening here- I’m still sitting outside and I enjoy it. It’s dark more early, – the sad feeling that summer is slowly over now…

    • katry Says:

      Getting back to routine is sometimes almost painful. The part I never liked was having to get up in the mornings not only when I was a kid but also when I was a teacher and had summers off.

      I loved Ghanaian high life music which was the popular music when I lived there. Since then it has changed, but I do love the afro-beats.

      Radios blare in Ghana. Music is everywhere!

      It will be summer warm this week..

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