Posted tagged ‘Basement’

“Then Sister Aquinata abandoned the nonviolent methods and produced a rolling pin from somewhere.”

September 6, 2014

Today hasn’t had the best start. I turned off the air conditioner and opened the doors and windows upstairs and downstairs. When I opened the doors, a blast of hot humid air immediately made me regret the decision so I went around closing the doors and windows and turned the air back on; of course, Gracie then wanted out so I opened the door, let her out, shut the door and kept watch. She stood by the stairs for a few minutes surveying the yard then turned around and wanted back in so I opened the door and let her in. She did it again and so did I. After she came in, I sat on the couch and noticed one of the cats had been sick on my computer top. I cleaned it up, sat down and started to read the papers. Gracie sat close on the floor by me and stared, just stared and drove me crazy. I gave her a treat which she ate on the rug then she got on the couch for her morning nap, mission accomplished. I then opened the first paper and finally had my cup of coffee. That it didn’t spill I found amazing.

A thundershower for today and rain continuing into the night and maybe into tomorrow is the forecast. The day is dark. A small breeze ruffles the leaves on the oak tree. No birds are at the feeders this morning and not even the spawn has made an appearance. They must be hunkering down before the storm. I guess that’s what I’m doing.

Mostly everybody I knew went to St. Patrick’s Grammar School. Each grade had two classes loaded with kids. Some of my classes had as many as thirty-five or forty kids, but despite the number, there were never discipline problems. When I was young, I thought the nuns were scary and crossing them was done at one’s own peril. Nobody even whispered. I do remember an acceptable sound. When kids raised their hands to be called on for an answer, they’d wave their arms and say “Sisster, sisster,” hoping to be noticed. It always sounded like hissing from a roomful of snakes. Lunch time meant we could talk quietly. We could even get out of our seats but only for a basement or trash run. At our school we didn’t ask to go to the bathroom. We asked to go to the basement as that was where the two bathrooms were. The older we were the higher we were and the longer the trip. The first graders had to go down two sets of stairs while the oldest kids had to go down six. The girls’ bathroom was really old with wooden stalls and exposed pipes across the ceiling. Sometimes there was water on the floor, but I loved that bathroom. It meant freedom if only for a short while.

 

“Memory is more incredible than ink.”

October 25, 2010

The morning is cloudy and will stay that way all day as rain is expected tonight. It’s warm out and that warmth will continue and be most welcomed. We’ll be close to 70° by mid-week, and I’ll be frolicking on the deck. Okay, I don’t really frolic.

I would love to visit my elementary school, the old school not the new school. I know I’ve mentioned it was the neatest place. There were high ceilings and long windows in each classroom. The corridor walls were dark wood. Right as you walked in the door you faced a huge set of wooden stairs with each stair sloped in the middle from years of use. The stairs led to the classrooms, and from the very top floor, you could look down to the very bottom. I’d take my camera and stop at my first grade classroom. It was huge, or at least it looked that way to me. The famous cloakroom was outside that classroom and two doors, one on each side of the room, led to it. We used to go by rows to fetch our coats and boots. I remember one set of windows looked out at the narrow road on the side of the school we seldom used. The other set faced the schoolyard. I have a sorts of memories from that first grade classroom. I think they were etched in my brain from the fear I felt being in school away from my mother and facing Sister Redempta.

My next stop for pictures would be at the very bottom, in the basement. When we needed to go to the bathroom, we asked to go to the basement for that was where the bathrooms were. From the top floor that meant a hike up and down all the stairs including a separate set only to the bathrooms. The boys’ room was on one side of the basement near the trash bins and the furnace. When I was on the drill team, that’s where our equipment was stored, and it was the first time I got a peek at the boys’ side. On the girls’ side was not only the bathroom but also an open room with benches where I sometimes had my brownie meetings. The room was below ground and had only small, narrow windows around the top sides of the room. The doors in the bathroom were wooden ones painted gray. Its ceiling was filled with pipes running across from one side of the room to the other. I remember they were painted white and seemed always to be peeling.

I am constantly amazed at what gets saved in my brain.