Thursday, September 10, 2009

School Begins

John and I were excited about starting back to school. The summer had been both busy and fun. We had spent a lot of time in pinching off all the blossoms from the strawberry plants. That took a long time since we had an acre to cover and they bloomed profusely. The new garden had a lot of stones that we had to pick up and pile on the wheelbarrow for Daddy to dump once he got home from work.

Daddy piled all the stones beside the barn for future use. Once he had more time he would take one by one and smash them with his sledge hammer to make gravel for the driveway in the barnyard.

But today we didn't have to worry about picking rocks, pulling weeds, or any of the other things we were used to doing. It was time to go to school. Mom had sewed new clothes for us and we each had a brand new lunch box. Mine was yellow with flowers around the edges and a little elf girl sitting on a lily pad with the words "Herself the Elf" Elf fun is for everyone.

We each had a pack of new crayons and a ruler. The school would supply anything else we needed.

We started off early. We no longer needed anyone to walk with us. The morning was beautiful as we said good-bye to Mom and David on the front porch and started up the road. We turned into the small dirt road and turned to wave one last time before we rounded the bend. Black Eyed Susan's were growing in the ditch and we gathered a handful to give to the teacher. We were talking and thoroughly enjoying ourselves when our peaceful morning got disrupted by the barking of three huge dogs as they came flying out a neighbors driveway. We dropped the flowers we had picked and ran as fast as we could go. The dogs followed us for a short distance and then turned around and loped back.

We managed to catch our breath and hurried on to school. We arrived in plenty of time and we got to explore the new schoolhouse before the bell rang. It was situated on top of a steep hill. The front door was a nice walk in without any steps. At the back of the schoolhouse there was a fire escape with ten steps and a basement door. There was a big sandbox in the basement for rainy days and a furnace. In a little side room there was a big pile of coal and an area to stack firewood.

School started with everyone saying the Lord's Prayer and singing three songs. As soon as that was done we got our arithmetic assignments. The forenoon passed quickly and it was time for lunch. Mom had fixed an egg sandwich and a small bowl of peaches for our lunch. I closed my lunch box as I was eating my sandwich so I could admire the picture on the front. LV  was sitting across the aisle and happened to see what it said and called out to one of his friends "Hey Norman, MaryAnn's lunch box says Herself the Elf Elf fun is for everyone." Everyone laughed as I cringed in my seat and wished I could disappear.

I hurriedly finished my lunch and ran outside. I was still in the entrance when LV and some of the other boys came out and gathered around me chanting elf elf elf Herself the elf. I felt like crying and managed to get away and run to the girls outhouse where I vowed to stay inside until recess was over.
20+ years later the schoolhouse no longer looks new and exciting. But it is holding lots of memories!
The inside of the school house.


  1. I love reading your memories ... they are wonderful that you can share. TTFN~ Marydon

  2. I have been enjoying reading about your childhood memories. As I do, I start to reminiscence about my own. Thank you for that and blessings to you and your family.

  3. Thanks again for another great story.

  4. Such a great story! You are such a great writer! You really inspire me! So sad that the kids made fun of you! That is one thing that worried me about sending my son to school this year! Kids can be soo mean! Hope you have a fantastic day!

  5. It's sweet nad bitter memories.And beautiful writing!! thank you for sharing your wonderful times and i remind my shcool days.

  6. Great memories. I don't remember nearly as much detail about my early school years.
    Such a shame that kids made fun of your elf lunch pail, when you were so proud of it.

  7. Well, I'm not Amish or Mennonite, but my first school looked very much like that one.

    Children can be so cruel; but I guess that prepares us for the real, grownup world.

  8. You're my real life Little House on the Prairie. And if you knew what a collector I am of all things Little House you'd know that's high praise. :)

  9. thanks for sharing your enjoyable to read about..and your classroom looked much the same as any other...guess when it comes to school..they are all alike...even down to the "little bully" who gave you a hard time...but seemed to me they were jealous of your pretty lunch box LOLOL...have a great day...hugs from Ora in KY

  10. Lovely to coontinue to read your memories, they are truly fascinating.

  11. Those boys were snotty! I remember my mom once saying when boys make fun of you it's because they like you, otherwise they'd leave you alone. OK, even when I was little I thought that sounded WEIRD! That made no sense to me. Just yesterday my daughter was telling me about a new girl at her school who is from New York somewhere and they were talking and Sara asked if she wanted to sit with her and her friends at lunch and the girl told her sure, because she'd been going to the library every day during lunch because she didn't have anyone to sit with. Awwwe. Just remember, elves are COOL!!! ♥

  12. Because I had an English accent, I was made fun of a lot when I started school in the US. For a while I hated school and didn't even want to go. Kids can be really mean!

    Your stories are so enjoyable to read, thanks for sharing.
    Sunny :)

  13. This was such an enjoyable post; reminds me of the first school I went Aunt's neighbor child took me to her school as "show and tell". I was the city slicker come to the coal camp! -smile-

  14. i don't think it matters in what type of community we are raised there always seems to be mean kids! i love your stories, thanks.

  15. Ahhh...memories. It's amazing the details that stick in our minds.

    Thank you for your comment. I scrolled down to the post below this one and was admiring that tasty taco ring. I believe my mother has made that once before, but it's been such a long time, I would love to try it again. :)

    Blessings on your week!

  16. You tell your memories so well......I really enjoy reading them.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.