Mom used to make a weekly trip to town with Jim and one of our buggies. Most of the time John and I would stay at Grandpa Masts while Aunt Emma went with Mom.
We always had a lot of fun playing there. Often if Mom was gone over lunchtime Grandpa would sit on his creaky rocking chair and ask us to come to him. He would have both hands closed and tell us we can have whatever is inside. We would tug and pull at his fingers until we finally had them open, and then get the treats he had hidden there for us. Most often it was a kids chewable papaya tablet, that we called monkey candy, other times there would be a few sunflower seeds. We didn't really mind what he held in his hands, the most fun was in opening them.
One day after Mom came back from town and we were talking to Grandma yet before we started for home, she told me that she bought something for me and I could go look in the back of the buggy in a certain bag.
I ran to the see what is there, and found a tin lunch box with Care Bear Cousins. To me it was the most beautiful one I had ever seen. I showed it to John and David and then had to run and find Vernie and Grandpa to make sure they see my new treasure too.
Mom told me I could use it to go to school. I was so excited and eagerly counted off the days until I could finally use it.
When the morning dawned for the first day of school I watched excitedly as Mom packed my lunch. I wore a new green dress that Grandma had made for me. Mom hitched Jim to the buggy and we headed for school. Once we got there they went inside with me and helped find the desk that had my name on it. There was a brand new pencil laying on top and several shiny new books. I loved books and could hardly wait to start coloring and writing and what ever else was involved with this exciting new event.
But then Mom said "Good-bye" and went out the door with John and David and headed home without me. My shiny new lunchbox and the books and pencil lost their charm as huge lumps started forming in my throat. I wanted desperately to cry and run home to Mom. Cousin Emma was also in first grade and was sitting right across the aisle from me. She wasn't having any qualms about going to school and told the teacher that "MaryAnn is going to cry." The teacher was very friendly and soon had me calmed down with some pretty pictures to color.
By the end of the first day Mom was waiting for me as soon as school let out. I decided school isn't too bad, there were a lot of interesting things to do and all my friends were there too. And at the end of the day I could go to the place I loved best. Home.