Posted tagged ‘thermos bottles’

“Dear beautiful Spring weather, I miss you. Was it something I said?”

March 4, 2016

The snow is already covering the tops of branches. The roads are wet, and I think they’ll probably freeze when the temperature goes down this afternoon. Gracie and I finished four errands, and I couldn’t wait to get home. It’s cold.

The dump was fairly empty. Smarter people than I stayed home cozy and warm. I was the only one in the hardware store which does make sense. I guess whatever you need in a hardware store isn’t always immediate during a snow storm. The cat food stop was a necessity. Agway didn’t have many people either. My last stop was to buy lunch. I bought chicken noodle soup, the ultimate comfort food. Rita, the magician of soups, uses egg noodles, huge cuts of carrots and lots of chicken. I even bought two.

On days like today my mother often packed soup for our lunches. She’d fill the thermos bottles and make sure we had plenty of Saltines. Most times the soup was either tomato or chicken noodle. I liked eating from my thermos. I’d slowly and carefully pour the soup into the cover trying not to splash then I’d put the stopper back to keep the rest of the soup hot. I’d crumple the crackers into the soup. They sucked up all the liquid but that’s how I liked it. My mother also packed desserts, usually cookies. I was never big on fruit for lunchbox dessert. I always thought fruit was a snack. Dessert needed sugar and maybe chocolate.

We’ll only get a couple of inches of wet snow. I keep looking out the window watching it fall. The flakes change direction. Now they are from the north. A while back they seemed to come straight down. Because there is no wind, the flakes aren’t frantic. They fall slowly, individually.

All the bird feeders are filled, and I threw some on the ground under the deck. There were a few goldfinches still clad in winter drab dining al fresco this morning.

I feel a nap coming on!

“Describing her first day back in grade school after a long absence, a teacher said, It was like trying to hold 35 corks under water at the same time. “

September 7, 2015

Labor Day was the last day of freedom for me. School always started the next day. I knew when it was Labor Day even before I mastered calendars as my mother always sang a happy tune. Nothing flustered her. I suspect the chant of one more day was repeating in her head blocking out anything else including our usual squabbles. She forced us to bathe even though we hadn’t gotten all that dirty since Saturday. We complained but she didn’t really care. By bedtime, an early bedtime, more cause for complaint, her inner voice was chanting tomorrow, tomorrow. Had it existed, the song from Annie could have been her anthem.

We were a bit excited but not anything we’d admit. I looked through my pencil box time and again. It could only be new once. Before I went to bed, my school bag was ready with a pad of paper, that pencil box and some crayons, a small box. My mother would make our lunches in the morning and put them in the lunch boxes. She always took out the thermos bottles if we weren’t going to use them. They were easily broken. I can still remember the tinkling sound of thin glass in a broken thermos bottle. Our new clothes and shoes were out and ready. The shoes we’d wear every day but the clothes were only for the first day. After that, uniforms were the order of the day. We already knew our teachers. It was a nun one year and a regular person the next year except in the sixth ad seventh grades. No nuns taught either of those years, but a nun taught each of the eighth grade classes.

I don’t remember when I stopped using a lunch box and used a brown bag instead. I guess it was a milestone of sorts. Gone too were the pencil cases and the school bags. I used pens and carried my books. School wasn’t just the end of vacation. It was also the return of routine. That was the worse part.


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