Posted tagged ‘high school’

“Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”

October 10, 2015

The big reunion weekend began last night at the cocktail hour. Good thing we had name tags though some people were easy to recognize as they hadn’t changed much, just gotten older. The biggest shock was a classmate who was the all-American boy in high school with button-down collar shirts and chinos of different colors. Now he has long hair and a beard. I didn’t recognize him.

I had a wonderful evening last night with lots of hugs, memories and laughs. This morning was coffee and pastries then a school tour. I went anyway figuring more time to socialize. Tonight is the dinner, the final event. I expect classmates who haven’t gone to anything else will be at the dinner. I have my name tag ready.

Last night it poured. This morning was sunny but clouds have taken over for the mean time. The sky gets dark then the sun comes back then the clouds reappear. I’m thinking the sun is losing the battle.

It is in the 50’s. This three-day weekend is the last hurrah for the Cape. Many places will close after Monday. Traffic will be lighter, lines shorter and people far less stressed. I can use main roads again.

I have my 8th grade picture. We are sitting or standing in rows in front of a statue on the convent lawn. Father Sexton, the pastor, is sitting in the middle of the first row. The picture is a long one so it is easy to see faces. Some kids I remember. We started in the first grade together, maybe went to Arlington Catholic for high school or marched together in the drill team. We haven’t ever had a reunion. Eighth grades don’t do that. The drill team has had a few small reunions, just my friends at someone’s house, and one large one for anyone who marched. I always go.

My classmates and I have only high school as a common experience. Some classmates I’ve seen here and there while others I haven’t seen since graduation. That didn’t matter last night. The room was filled with people enjoying and catching up with one another. All those years apart dissolved.

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

September 27, 2014

Yippee! It is a deck day, warm and lovely. Summer just isn’t ready to leave yet, and I’m glad. Both doors are open and the air smells like cut grass. Early this morning it smelled like the ocean.

When I went to get the papers this morning, I noticed yellow leaves on the bush across the street and red leaves on my burning bush by the driveway. It seems fall is making its presence known a bit at a time.

The best part of being a kid was taking delight in so many things. I mostly remember being happy. Many adults see the world through darker glasses and have learned to be cynical and sometimes distrustful. A kid is wide-eyed. Snow is a joy not an inconvenience. Rain means puddles to run through. Grass is soft and cool and lying on it gives the best view of the summer’s night sky. A bicycle takes us away. A nickel is a king’s ransom, a treasure. Finding a bottle is another nickel, another treasure.

Being a teenager was a lot of work. I had to endure those horrific rollers in my hair, sometimes even overnight. The right clothes and shoes were a necessity. Boys got important. I seldom noticed the weather except for rain. It ruined my hair. School meant hours of homework. I did have fun with my friends and I was out most weekends, but the future was always looming.

College was work but it was fun. We partied a lot. Some weekends passed in a daze. I was far too busy with classes and weekends to notice much about the world. I had choices to make my senior year. I chose the Peace Corps, and I am forever thankful for that. All of a sudden it was a new world and I was wide-eyed again. I stopped and looked and slept outside under a billion stars. I was a little kid again.

I still stop and notice. Once relearned, it isn’t ever forgotten.

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”

November 5, 2013

The sun is among the missing. It’s been gone a while. Today is dark and bleak. Very little color is left in my yard except for one small tree next to the drive-way. Its has red leaves, brilliant red leaves against the backdrop of empty branches.

 I filled the feeders yesterday, and I got really cold. My fingers were the coldest of all. I filled three feeders with sunflower seeds and two with thistle. I also filled one suet feeder, cleaned out the bird bath and added water to it. When I looked later, the birds had descended in full force. When I looked after that, a red spawn was inside one of the feeders. I ran out and scared it so much the panicked spawn had trouble getting out from behind the wires on the feeder. I kept running at it, and the spawn was close enough to touch before it jumped to a branch. It is the same spawn who got hosed all summer. I’m thinking a squirt gun as the hose is put away for the winter. 

When I was young, we’d go into Boston, to the Public Garden, and ride the swan boats. The boat pond was always filled with ducks and the garden itself had a million squirrels and pigeons. People would sit on benches and feed the birds and the squirrels pieces of bread and peanuts from vendors who sold them from red carts along the walkways. I always wanted to feed the squirrels. I thought they were cute. What did I know? I was little. 

Life is filled with routine. It starts when we go to school. We get up every weekday, eat breakfast, get dressed and walk to school. The subjects come in the same order every day except on music and art day. We eat lunch at the same time every day. We go out for recess unless it’s raining. High school doesn’t change the routine much. For me the only difference was I took a bus every day, every day at the same time with the same people. The subjects still came in order. Lunch was at the same time every day . We didn’t have recess but we did go out for air in the small fenced in yard behind the school.

College is when the routine starts to change, and we begin to taste the freedom of choice. Pick your own classes mindful of the schedule. Eat when you have time. Sit around and play cards in the canteen. Skip a class now and then. 

After college, the routine reasserts itself at work. Be there at a certain time, eat lunch at the same time as yesterday and the day before and the day before that, teach the same classes in the same order every day. Go home around the same time every day. That, however, was the first routine I barely noticed and never minded. I didn’t like the getting up part, but I loved the work part. I loved my first two years in Ghana and I loved the next thirty-three here on the cape. I think loving what you do makes the day joyful though not every day because we couldn’t be that lucky, but it does for most days. 

 I have no routine now, and I’m glad. I get to choose whatever my day will be. It doesn’t get much better than that.


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