More than 50 years ago…
We were friends. I don’t mean just friends, we were glued to each other. I don’t know if it was by choice or because we were the only girls in our class of 5 in our one room schoolhouse.
Our family farm houses were a couple of miles apart so it was a trip to go to each other’s house but we did it regularly staying overnight whenever we could.
We each had a younger sister, too, so that had to be dealt with.
We went to different churches so we were not in the same Sunday School class but both churches had the same pastor. One year our church started at 9 and then Sunday School followed. The next year the time was reversed.
One really fun thing about a one-room school is being with bigger smarter kids every day. This was especially good when we played another school in softball. Sometimes when the other team noticed a girl coming up to bat they would step in, expecting a short hit. I remember a time when I slammed it over everybody’s head. The next time I came up to bat they stepped back a little. I don’t know what the real difference is between joy and power.
In the winter we skied on ski’s our dad had made by soaking planks in the reservoir of the kitchen stove and then bending up the tip. A leather strap was pounded into the wood so our boots could get a grip.
Then there was ice-skating when the pond froze over. My ankles always wobbled and I fell a lot. One day one of the boys tripped me and I slammed my head on the ice. All the kids thought it was funny. I felt betrayed and scared. Maybe I was hurt badly.
There were a lot of duties at the school. We sprinkled the floor with sweeping compound when it was our turn to sweep. That red powder was supposed to get the floor clean. Then there were the black boards to wash and the water cooler to fill, not to mention emptying the pail that collected the waste water full of spit and who knows what.
We had hot lunch, I guess, in that there was a round metal basin with water in it that was balanced on an electric hot plate. We could bring meat and potatoes, or anything we wanted, in a glass jar and heat it in that pan.
The lucky kids had store bought bread with bologna. I had home made bread with home made apple butter. I still remember the scolding I got when I complained. The teacher heaped shame on me as she rehearsed the work my mother went through to bake that bread and make that apple butter. I wondered how I could be so terrible as to wish for store bread with bologna.
Anyway, back to my best friend. We loved doing everything together but we were very jealous of each other, too. Whose hair looked the best? Who was the most popular with the boys? Who got the best grades? Who did the teacher like best?
After we graduated from 8th grade we went to the consolidated High School. Now there were 51 in our class instead of 5.
I wonder why we didn’t stay close friends, but somehow we each made other friends or else didn’t have any depending on the month.Yesterday I learned my friend’s husband had died last week. I called her. We have hardly seen each other in more than 50 years but somehow we know each other well.
Best friends need to get together she said. Come sleep at my house.
We are making plans but as I remember our childhood I miss knowing who I am. What a jolt!
Have you recently reconnected with someone from your past? What memories did it bring back? Share your stories with us.