Posted tagged ‘baths’

“Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.”

September 1, 2014

Last night around midnight I was in bed watching a movie on my iPad when all of a sudden the room lit up. That was the beginning of the thunder and lightning and the torrential rain. The thunder was loud and long-lasting. The rain was so heavy I could hear the drops plunking my air conditioner in a constant rat-a-tat. I got out of bed to look out the window at the storm. I watched for a long while. The wind was whipping the oak branches back and forth and the backlash from the rain hitting the overhang came in the window. I didn’t mind. The storm was exhilarating.

Today is humid and ugly. It is an August day, the sort we usually suffer through each summer but not this year when August days, weather defined, have been noticeably missing. The sun managed to break through for a short time earlier but disappeared and left behind a cloudy, darkish day. It is very still and quiet.

Labor Day was always the last day of summer vacation when I was a kid. It meant a week day bath, setting out my new clothes and arranging the supplies in my school bag. The arranging took the most time as I would put the supplies in then take them out to look at them then put them back in a different arrangement. My mother would put our new lunch boxes on the counter and have them open and ready for packing in the morning. She made us go to bed earlier than we had all summer, but we didn’t fall asleep any earlier. I remember lying in bed thinking about the next day. I was excited about school starting.

My mother woke us up, and we were grumpy because of the early hour. She made us eat breakfast first then we got dressed, grabbed our book bags and lunch boxes and left for school. My friend Michelle and I always walked together. We were a little anxious getting to school on that first morning, but the nervousness wore off quickly because every day after that was always the same. The only thing that changed was my sandwich and the dessert.

“I was going to change my clothes, but I changed my mind instead.”

August 23, 2013

Today is simply beautiful, sunny and cool with a strong breeze. The nights will be delightful for sleeping: cool, even cold. Tomorrow night could be down in the 50’s. Gracie has been out all morning, and I will join her as soon as I can!

When I was a kid, I didn’t mind being dirty and sweaty. Both of those were from having a great time. My socks often slipped down in my sneaker, and I didn’t even care when I walked on the lump of a sock. I’d eventually pull up that sock, but in a short time, it would slip again. That was the way it was. I took a bath once a week, that Saturday ritual we all had. For dinner, our vegetables, except for potatoes and carrots, came from cans. I don’t remember fresh vegetables, maybe because my mother knew we would probably not eat them. She had enough trouble getting us to like carrots without pushing even more. In the summer, we’d play all day then go to bed exhausted. A bath wasn’t ever part of the nightly ritual, even in summer. I guess jumping into the sprinkler or going to the pool kept us clean enough.

We girls wore blouses, never t-shirts. Some of my blouses were sleeveless, and they were the coolest for summer, coolest in the sense of the word, the opposite of hot. We wore shorts and sometimes clam-diggers. I know why the pants were called clam-diggers, but I had never dug a clam in my life so in a way it was an odd name. We also wore dungarees, but girls’ and boys’ dungarees were different. Ours had zippers, usually in the side pocket. When I was really young, mine had elastic at the waist. Girls could wear sandals. Boys never did, too risky and too open to name-calling. My sisters wore white sandals with buckles. When I got a little older, I stopped wearing sandals and wore white sneakers instead. The sneakers usually had pointed toes, and when I was in high school, I used to polish them to keep them white. Dresses and skirts were still necessary wardrobe components.

The last time I wore a dress was Easter. My friends and I go out to a fancy restaurant every year so we get dressed up. Tony wears a suit and tie and Clare and I wear dresses. Many of the people at the restaurant are also clad in Easter finery. The few who aren’t stand out a bit. I always feel a bit outlandishly proper when I’m in a dress. It happens so seldom.

My uniform of the day almost always includes a t-shirt. At night, for a play, I do wear a regular shirt and nice pants, but not dressy pants. I don’t even own a blouse anymore. I do happen to have a pair of clam-diggers, but they are meant to be worn around the house or to the dump which doesn’t have a dress code.


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