Posted tagged ‘school lunch’

“I think ‘lunch’ is one of the funniest words in the world.”

March 15, 2014

Today started out dark and rainy, but the sun and blue sky are making headway. The weatherman says warm, even into the 50’s for today, but the cold will be back tomorrow. The good news is we only have to suffer three days in the 30’s before the 50’s break through for a while. That sounds to me as if spring is getting a toehold. This morning I saw the yellow of a crocus poking up from my garden, and I stood there for a while taking in the color. It is so bright and beautiful against the drabness of the rest of the garden. Alexander Pope is right especially during this cusp between the spring and winter when it is neither, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”

I am at a loss for words today. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does I am easily distracted. I leave the computer and look out the front door, polish a table or clean the counter. All the while the keyboard sits undisturbed. I sift through my memory drawers hoping for inspiration but nothing captures my attention. It is just one of those days.

I was required to carry a green school bag in high school, the ones you sling and carry over your back. It always seemed heavy. The rubber inside used to split then peel off in pieces. That meant time for a new bag.

In high school, I bought my lunch then my friend and I volunteered to work dish patrol. That meant I didn’t have to pay for my lunch, but my mother still gave me lunch money. I’d use it to take the T to Harvard Square or for festivities at Brigham’s. That’s where we celebrated Mardi Gras. As for the school lunch, no matter what was served, the lunches always came with corn bread because the government gave free corn flour to the school. I still love corn bread. I think we got green beans more than any other vegetable. I don’t like green beans any more.

“Slotted spoons don’t hold much soup…”

March 10, 2014

Mother Nature has unkindly struck again. She grants us a couple of warmer days, note warmer not warm, and the snow melts, lawns reappear, the shoots of spring bulbs stand tall in the garden, and we are hopeful that winter is finally coming to an end. How silly of us!

This morning I woke to a snow shower. It left very little on the lawns but enough to remind us that winter has a strong grip and spring is still waiting in the wings. I put my optimism away for a little bit longer.

The house is warm, I am in my cozy clothes and I have nothing that needs doing today. I did have a few houses chores planned but they can wait until tomorrow or even the day after that. Very little in my life has an urgency about it.

When I was a kid, my mother packed the best school lunches. On days like today, they’d be chicken noodle or tomato soup in my thermos, always still hot at lunchtime. I’d pour the soup in the cup-top and sip it even though my mother packed a spoon. The sandwich bread was white, and usually it was Wonder Bread. I didn’t know bread came in any other colors or flavors until I was older. Bologna was the most common sandwich filling. I liked mine with mustard, and it was always that bright yellow mustard. She never gave me peanut butter and jelly. They always made the bread soggy and the sandwich ugly-looking by lunch. Fridays I’d get tuna salad. It was a no meat day. Sometimes they’d be potato chips. Mostly I had cookies for dessert. Oreos were my favorite. The day or two after my mother had grocery shopped, I’d sometimes be surprised to find Hostess cupcakes or pink Sno Balls tucked into my lunchbox. I drank milk from the little carton sold at lunchtime. I think it was a dime, and my mother used to put in the lunchbox so I wouldn’t lose it. We could talk at our desks during lunch but only in low voices. It was the highlight of the day.

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