Posted tagged ‘jumping rope’

“Recess and lunch are the best.”

November 3, 2015

Today is absolutely beautiful. The breeze is slight, the sun is strong and the temperature is in the 60’s. I think Gracie and I might be taking a ride later. I have a few errands to do then off we’ll go with no destination in mind, a ride just for the fun of it.

Every now and then we’d skip part of the way to school. There was a sense of exhilaration, of joy, when we’d skip. First we’d hop on one foot then we’d hop on the other and we’d keep hopping until we were so tired we had to stop. Skipping wasn’t as fast as running but it was faster than walking and was more fun. Learning to skip looked easy but it wasn’t. My feet seemed to get tangled in the hopping, and I’d lose the rhythm. Finally after many starts and stops I got my feet to work and I was finally a skipper.

Jumping rope was another one of those get your rhythm and your feet working together. We used to jump rope at recess. It was a single rope as none of us knew about double Dutch. We had rhymes we said while jumping. They helped us keep the cadence, the rhythm. I was okay at the slow jumping but once we hit the fast jumping, pepper, I was doomed. I always ended up being the rope swinger.

Probably around the sixth grade we stopped jump roping. We were on the second floor of the school and felt older. We thought jump roping was for kids. During recess we’d just stand around in small groups of friends and talk. Boys started to be a conversational item. We were still too young for dating but we were poring the foundation (sorry-that was the only analogy I could come up with). We’d decide who among the boys in our class was the cutest. We never talked about the nicest or the smartest. It was always the cutest.

“I call this season fake weather. The sun is shining but it cold like the north pole outside.”

February 6, 2015

Winter has us and is holding on far too tightly. Last night was way, way below freezing, a negative temperature with the wind chill. Today is not much better. The walk to the driveway and the mailbox is treacherous, icy and uneven. I take mincing steps. Cars driving on the street make crunching sounds on the icy road. Nothing is melting. More snow is coming starting on Sunday. I am numb from the onslaught.

I bought a pot of flowers yesterday, yellow dafs. They were beside the register and the color caught my eye. I so need more than white. I am so tired of snow. Today I think I’ll wear bright red.

My elementary school yard was mostly a parking lot for Sunday mass. There were two baskets only the boys could use and a green bicycle rack under the trees. In spring that’s where I parked my bike. During recess little kids chased each other and played tag while the girls jumped rope or just stood in groups talking. I was never a rope jumper.

We were directed by bells, hand-held gold bells with wooden handles. A bell would ring every hour, and we’d change subjects. Lunch began and ended with a bell. We’d hear the first bell, pull out our lunch boxes, get milk from the case in the front of the room and then sit down to eat and talk but only from our desks. A bit later another bell would ring and we’d go outside for recess, the only real break in our school day. We went out every day except when it was raining.

The older I got the less I liked recess. It was mostly boring and in winter it was really cold, never a consideration for calling off recess. My friends and I would stand there longing for the bell to call us back into the building. We didn’t care it meant back to work. We just knew it meant being warm again.

“Education is wonderful – it helps you worry about things all over the world.”

September 2, 2013

Today is damp and cloudy. Maybe rain, even a v, is in the forecast. The whole weekend has been the same. I don’t think we had as many tourists for the weekend as usual. The forecast was spot on.

In kids’ parlance today is not Labor Day. It is the day before school starts. The buses roll tomorrow morning. My neighborhood has kids now, little kids, and four of them are headed to elementary school together: two to kindergarten, one to first grade and the oldest to second grade. They’re outside riding bikes now. I suspect their heads are not filled with images of new clothes, buses and the first day of school. They still have the look of summer about them.

The red spawn of Satan got the hose treatment again this morning. A short time later it was back but ran as soon as I walked on the deck. It didn’t take long for the hose and me to have an impact.

If I were to go back in time, to my elementary school days, I’d choose the fifth grade. We got bused for a while to the next town while the new school was finished. It was an adventure which also shortened the school day. We had the same hours as the rest of the school so we were on the bus for a part of the morning and a part of the afternoon. We always got back just as school was letting out for the day. In the spring we moved into the new school. My room was on the first floor. The nun I had that year was a jovial sort. She used to hand out pieces of candy as prizes. Seldom did she leave her desk chair to walk around the room so she’d toss the candy to the prize winner. She periodically had contests like who could list the most homonyms, now called homophones. I remember that contest because I won, and this was before computers. My prize was a miniature book with Bible verses. I was intrigued by the size of the book and not so much by the verses. I don’t remember what I learned that year, but I figure it was pretty the same as all the other years. Nouns and the other parts of speech never seemed to disappear and once we hit decimals and fractions they followed us everywhere. Columbia and coffee are forever linked. There was only so much geography. As for history, I have no idea what we studied in the fifth unless it was the Pilgrims, but in those days history sort of hopscotched all over the place.

We were still young in the fifth grade. We jumped rope during recess and giggled about boys. Fifth grade was when I punched the boy who constantly teased my friend and wouldn’t stop when asked, even nicely asked. That is probably my favorite memory of that year. I learned to stand up for friends and I learned I had a strong right.