Posted tagged ‘Graduation’

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

May 22, 2016

The rain came during the night. It started around midnight. I could hear the drops on the air conditioner. I listened a short while then fell asleep. When I let Gracie out this morning, the driveway was still wet so I figured it rained for a while. The day is dreary, dark and damp. The breeze is strong. It blows the flags in the front yard so they flutter back and forth. Even the oak trees bend.

Yesterday I complained about having little to say then filled the page with small memories, the day to day stuff. I forget sometimes that something memorable doesn’t have to be big. I have these odd pictures hanging around my memory drawers. They relate to pieces of my life but aren’t important in themselves. They are part of the whole, but for some reason, they stand alone.

High school graduation was huge. It was my biggest step forward. The whole ceremony is somewhere in my head, but I have a few small, bright pictures of that day. One is of my dad in the audience. I had just received a scholarship, and he was mouthing to me, “How much is it?” My mother made lasagna for the party afterward graduation. I’m sure there was plenty of food, but that is all I remember.

College left several images up front. My friends and I sat at the same table in the canteen every morning. We drank lots of coffee and each of us did the crossword puzzle in the paper. It was a race to see who would finish first. I remember Fridays in my cosmology class. Three or four of us sat in the back against the wall. It was for support because between our 8:30 class and cosmology at 1:30 we went drinking. Vodka and orange juice was our drink of choice. It was, after all, still morning. I remember standing in my cap and gown downstairs from the auditorium. One of my professors who was from the history department came by to wish us well. I had had her for two classes, two of my favorite classes. She was stopping to chat with soon to be graduates she knew. I was one of them. She asked us all what we were doing after graduation. When I told her Peace Corps, she seemed thrilled and offered to send books or whatever else my school might need. I remember her well.

The flight to Ghana has three singular memories. One was flying over the cape, and I watched with my face to the window until it was out of sight. Another was my stuck seat belt. It got caught between the seat and the wall, and I couldn’t use it. That was after a fuel stop. The stewardesses, as they were called in those days, were going up the aisle checking the seat belts. I just held the one side of mine, and she kept walking. The third picture was flying over the Sahara. The sand seemed to go on forever. I could see ripples. I could see Africa for the first time.

“Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money. “

May 11, 2015

The sun is gone and clouds have taken over. Maybe rain they said in the paper. I’d be fine with that. It hasn’t rained in a long while.

My neighbor and I get together every Monday. She is Brazilian and wants to learn to speak English better so we just chat. First, though, I had to explain that you don’t need a computer to chat. Face to face works even better. She said that was good to know. Today was a strange word day. We talked about jimmies and sprinkles and frappes and milk shakes and rotaries and roundabouts. We also talked about singular verbs sometimes needing an S as she is prone to leave it off. Good to know she told me. Nicee, my neighbor, and I share a love for coconut ice cream. Her favorite in Brazil is corn ice cream. I was dubious but she swore it tasted the best of all. Her son is graduating from high school this year, and she showed me his new suit and wanted to know where the bottom of the pant leg should be: above the shoe, at the top of the shoe or covering the shoe. I told her I’d check on-line.

I graduated from high school in the days when girls wore dresses and boys wore suits and ties under their gowns. The girls wore white gowns while the boys wore green, our school colors. We sat on one side while the boys sat on the other. Our graduation was outside in front of the school. Some of us were on chairs while those in the back sat on a small bleacher. The Class of 1965 sign was hung above the top-tier of the bleacher on the front of the school. It fell during the ceremony and a few guys were knocked off the bleacher and one guy was knocked out for a bit after he hit the ground. The news traveled fast among us whispered one to another. It was the highlight of the ceremony. I remember the speaker was from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and he was quite boring. We chatted a bit while he spoke and were careful not to be too loud. Scholarships were given out, and I remember reading my dad’s lips after getting mine and he was asking me how much. After what seemed hours came the awarding of our diplomas. My parents gave me a party, and I remember my mother made chicken and eggplant parmesan. My gift was a typewriter to take to college. I was thrilled. I still have it stored in the cellar. I last used it during my teaching years before the computer made it a relic.

“Any subject can be made interesting, and therefore any subject can be made boring.”

May 27, 2011

Today is beautifully sunny and warm. When I went on the deck earlier this morning, I could smell the sweetness in the air. It smelled of flowers and herbs and a touch of the ocean. A slight breeze rustled the leaves of the trees in the backyard. I have a few flowers wanting pots so I’ll be outside taking in the sun and potting some plants for the deck. The fountain needs some tubing so I’ll visit the hardware store late in the afternoon so as not to waste a minute of the sun. It has a tendency to disappear.

I don’t remember my graduation from the eighth grade, and that amazes me as memorable events in my life usually hang around in my memory drawers just waiting to be tapped. I figure it could have been in the church as that was large enough or even the town hall with its stage and rows of wooden chairs. I do remember wearing a frilly dress. The boys wore jackets and ties. The nuns wore habits.

Today is a tabula rasa day. I don’t seem to have much going on in my head. Maybe it’s the sun and my wanting to be outside. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really been doing much of late. Polishing bookcases, doing laundry and changing my bed make for boring conversation. Perhaps I should embroider a story, an adventure, but you’ve been around every day and would know it was make-believe. I did buy a new piece of luggage, a duffel on wheels, and I’m now a Global Entry Member. That means I get to go to the head of any US customs’ line. I just have to wave my passport and card and someone will take me to the head of the line. I’m figuring the person I cut in front of won’t be too happy.

Well, that’s it. The sun is calling my name. I’m done for today!