Posted tagged ‘lunchbox’

“The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country.”

August 29, 2017

Yesterday was a lazy day. I watered the newly planted flowers and took a shower. That’s it for the day except for the two naps I had. My mother would have said I must have needed the sleep. Today, however, will be different. It is the dreaded laundry day. It’s not the doing but the carrying I hate, the lugging of all that laundry up two flights of stairs. I do it in shifts: one flight, a pause then the other flight. Sometimes the pause lasts a day. The laundry sits on the rocking chair glaring at me.

The day is cloudy and a bit dark. I felt chilly so I shut the windows. It is only 67˚ and won’t get much higher. What happened to the dog days of August?

I remember late summer and school shopping with my mother. The first stop was always the shoe store. My mother had to drag the four of us though only my brother and I needed new shoes. My sisters were still young and didn’t go to school yet. At the store, they’d measure our feet with that silver slide and then have us put each foot, one at a time, into the x-ray machine. I always thought it was so neat seeing the x-ray of the bones in my feet. My mother bought sturdy shoes for us hoping they’d last a while. The next stop was for new uniform clothes. I needed white blouses, a blue wool skirt and a blue cowboy looking tie. My brother needed white shirts and a blue tie. The Children’s Corner, a clothing store up town, carried the uniforms. Uptown was sort of close so we’d walk. My mother bought me a few blouses but only a single skirt. She’d also buy a couple of long-sleeve shirts for my brother. From there we’d head to my favorite stop, Woolworth’s, for school supplies. I got to pick out my pencil case, lunch box and school bag. We’d buy crayons, always Crayola, glue and pads of paper, the ones with the Indian chief on the front. I was so excited with all the purchases and was thrilled to carry the bag home.

When I was working at the high school, I used to call my mother this time of year and asked her when she was taking me school shopping. My mother would laugh, and that was her only response. I hoped for more, shoes at least.

“There is divinity in the clouds.”

May 9, 2017

Gracie woke me up around six this morning. She was panting, a sign she needed out. I put on my sweatshirt and took her out to the back yard. It was so cold I could see my own breath. My heat has gone on a few times. When I went to my early morning library board meeting, I saw people dressed in layers and wearing hats and gloves. Today is spring gone awry.

The sun was shining earlier, but now the clouds have taken over. The sky is a range of grays from dark to light. The prettiest clouds are the darkest of grays so dark as to be almost blue. No rain is predicted, just a cloudy day.

When I go back to my hometown, I pass houses where my childhood friends used to live. I remember them all. I used to envy Kathleen whose house was two houses away from school. She used to go home for lunch every day. My friend Eddie lived right across the street from the church. He also went home every day. Paula and Dennis lived close to each other about a fifteen-minute walk to school. Everyone walked. There were no busses, and very few parents drove kids to school as most families had only one car driven by dads and gone to work early, too early for school. I never gave walking to school a thought except when it rained.

My favorite lunchbox sandwich was bologna with mustard, the yellow kind of mustard. It was always a white bread sandwich. I didn’t even know bread came in a variety of tastes and colors. Friday was tuna fish sandwich day as we couldn’t eat meat. I can’t even remember the number of tuna sandwiches I ate all through elementary school, but I ate my fill. I don’t eat tuna fish anymore. I still eat bologna.

I used to love milk. It was perfect for washing down dinner and even better for dunking Oreos. I stopped drinking milk when I was in the Peace Corps as Ghana had no milk except evaporated in the can. I have milk now but only with my cereal. The best part of that is the flavor of the milk left on the bottom of the bowl after the cereal has been eaten.

Nothing much going on here. Today is a perfect day to stay home, to do nothing. My laundry finally made it upstairs, and I even put it away. That was my yesterday’s accomplishment. I’ll take what I can get and be content, maybe even a bit proud of finally getting that chore done.

“A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.”

September 28, 2010

It’s a warm day which can’t seem to make up its mind. We had sun then clouds, then sun again, and now it’s cloudy. The weatherman said maybe rain, and that’s the forecast for most of this week, maybe rain. Sebastian, the younger, worked on my garden all morning; he is the younger as Sebastian, the older, is my neighbor and the boss of the landscaping crew. The Sebastians are not related and share only a name and a nationality, Brazilian. The younger planted grass seed on bare spots, moved day lilies, cut down the dead flower stalks, trimmed bushes, weeded my herb garden, got rid of the mint and planted the mums I’d bought and be given as gifts. The garden has been readied for winter.

My mother made great school lunches. She never gave us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Most days we had bologna. On Friday it was tuna. On really cold days we had hot soup in our thermoses. Chicken noodle was a favorite. I remember my lunchboxes always had wire holders to keep the thermos from moving around and breaking, but one year the thermos broke anyway. I still remember how scared and horrible I felt hearing the sound of the glass shaking inside the thermos. That was the year of no soup. My mother sometimes put in potato chips and she always included dessert. The days after she had grocery shopped were the best for desserts. We’d get a Hostess cupcake or a sno-ball. Later in the week we’d get cookies wrapped in plastic, usually Oreos. We didn’t get fruit all that much, an apple every once in a while. I used to buy my milk. Just before lunch, a milk crate filled with cartons was delivered to the room. The milk was always in one of those small waxy cartons which were never easy to open. Good thing they gave us a straw.

We used to keep our lunchboxes under our seats. They never went in the cloak room. When the lunch bell rang, it meant we could talk and soon enough we’d be running outside for recess. For some reason I remember the fourth grade the best when my seat was in the back and my lunchbox was plaid.