Every year when the summer heat beats down without relent in Oklahoma I look forward to school-supply shopping with my granddaughters. They love it. I really love it. Not just for them, but because I have an “addiction” to office supplies, pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, binders, planners, dividers, and reinforcements.
I volunteer at my granddaughter’s school helping teachers, reading to the kids, and just passing out hugs and words of encouragement. The little ones make my heart swell. They don’t know how much good they do me when they hand me a perfectly colored picture or something they’ve written for me.
I will share some of my favorite school memories in the blog post, but I hope you get as excited about the process of school as I do. Children are our futures, we owe them a few special words every now and then.
When I was a young girl preparing to return to school at the end of the summer I looked forward to getting school supplies. It wasn’t as extensive or expensive as the supply lists these days, but it was just as special to be sure.
First, in elementary school, we had to find an empty cigar box at the grocery store. The best ones still smelled of sweet tobacco. The typical supplies included an eight pack of waxy crayons with their unique scent, a jar of thick white paste that wasn’t our own until we pulled the little paddle out and ate some of the sticky goop, two pencils, a pair of blunt tipped scissors, and a red Big Chief tablet. It was so hard not to write on any of the pages until the first day of school.
During the junior high and high school years it was important to have just the right binders, just the right color of spiral notebooks, just the right pens, just the right number of map pencils, and a small pencil sharpener to tuck away in a pencil case.
Every year until I graduated from high school my mother made me five new dresses during the summer. One for each day of the week. As I grew older I was self-conscious because they were homemade rather than store bought. I got one new pair of shoes. And, a Toni home perm that I detested. I looked like a blonde Little Orphan Annie.
During the earliest years I walked to West Elementary in Levelland, Texas. On the way, I passed a florist shop. It was like finding treasure each time the window displays were changed. I remember each season being represented by the flowers and greenery. The walk seemed endless, but it wasn’t likely as far as it seemed.
When I was in the second grade I had some coins in my pocket and the school store across the street called to me like a siren. I was forbidden to go to the store, it was mostly for the junior high students. But . . . I was in the crosswalk on my way to buy some candy and my dad was driving home for lunch. Oops! He picked me up, took me home, spanked me, and took me back to school. I was devastated. It was the only spanking Daddy ever gave me. It was also the time I learned that I never wanted to disappoint him again.
I was ten when we moved to a new house. I don’t remember if I had to change schools, but I had many new friends in the neighborhood. When I was twelve we moved from Levelland to Lovington, NM where I would graduate.
I always enjoyed going to school. Probably still would if I decided to take a few more college courses.
I imagine all of us have special memories of the end of summer and the return to school.
May your journey be special,