Posted tagged ‘school bell’

“The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”

May 20, 2016

Today is a perfect spring day on Cape Cod. It is a bit chilly but a long-sleeve shirt should do, the sun is sharing the sky with a few clouds and there is a slight breeze rippling the young leaves of the oak tree outside my window. It is a good day for a walk.

Monday is plant day, one of my favorite of all days. I bring my list and wander the aisles pushing my cart. I buy herbs for the small garden close to the house especially lots of basil for pesto. I buy perennials for the front gardens. This year my list includes native flowers like the butterfly milkweed, the common boneset and the spotted geranium. When I get into the garden shop, I have trouble controlling myself. I so love to shop for plants.

When I was a kid, it never occurred to me that every day was the same. I’d have cocoa and toast, sometimes an egg, for breakfast and then leave for school. The walk wasn’t long. We crossed railroad tracks, went by the junior high school, an old brick building which used to be the high school, crossed a sometimes busy road and walked just a bit more to the school. The convent was across the street, the rectory was beside the old school and the church was beside the rectory. We’d head for the school yard and talk or play until the bell rang. It was a hand bell which the nun would ring three or four times. I liked the sound of a hand bell, and sometimes I’d watch the nun stand by the door to ring the bell. She’d raise the bell high above her head and swing it down as far as her arm could reach. We all knew it was time to get into our lines. I remember watching Little House on the Prairie. The teacher pulled the rope connected to the hand bell. It was the same sound.

“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.