Tag Archives: MEMORIES

Patty and the Nun and First Grade

tracing-number-2Alphabet Tracing
Raise you hand if you went to Catholic Elementary School. No, don’t I can’t see you! I don’t remember much about school until eighth grade which was hands down the worst school year of my then 13 years on earth.

I went to school on the first day of first grade wearing my little maroon uniform and matching beanie. Things went well until recess when I asked this girl if I could play with her and her little clique. Her name was Stella Mack, which I thought was perfectly ugly name. She said no! I sobbed like there was no tomorrow. Three little girls came over and said they would play with me. I don’t remember their names, but one I called Flat Top because her hair was quite flat on the top of her head. I went home, promptly fainted, and did not go back until after Thanksgiving vacation. By that time, I was reading my sister’s 5th grade reader with ease.

On the first day back to school that nun tripped me up. The nun (who we all called Sr. Mary Tissue Paper) asked me to spell the word “two”. I had no idea. I could read a 5th grade book, but I cracked under the pressure. I had to stand at by my desk while everyone else spelled various words. Luckily, there were few other illiterate children standing with me by the end of the lesson.

I went flying across the street to my house. Yes, I was one of those lucky kids that simply rolled out of bed and across the street. I also ate lunch at home most days.
So here I am, with one day of school under my belt, and it’s already December. I hysterically told my mom and aunt I HAD to learn how to spell numbers one through ten or I would be shot by a firing squad of nuns. I believe this was when my fear of nuns and organized religion began to rear it’s ugly head.

My mom and aunt drilled those words into my brain. I went back thinking I would ace spelling nine or ten, when that nun said it was time for the next subject. Arggh! I was not happy.

The other less traumatic things I remember from first grade were singing America the Beautiful and receiving a construction paper Christmas tree and gluing pictures from magazines on the tree. I remember tracing pictures of letters and numbers on mimeographed paper, and circling the word that started with a certain letter.

I also remember The Blizzard of First Grade. I walked over to school while it was snowing, and it continued to snow all morning. The nuns said walkers had to wait for a sibling to take them home, so while I waited for my sister, I made one of those construction paper place mats that we all know so well. Mine was red and green.

I went to school some more until one day my mom said that school was over. FOREVER I asked??? Just for the summer??? Damn it!

Patty Grade 1

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It’s Amazing I Survived My Childhood. Chapter 2

I’m not sure if I was planned or not. I am nearly 10 years younger than my brother, and 3 years younger than my sister. There was a set of twins in there, and I wonder if I would be here if they survived. I don’t think I would want to have FIVE CHILDREN in ten years. My mom was nearly 40 when she had me, so maybe she was worn down a bit. 

It is amazing I survived. 

My siblings and cousins wanted to use me as a guinea pig. If I survived whatever they wanted to try, then they’d do it. I was superfluous. Until I was nearly seven, we lived next door to my aunt, uncle and my two cousins. I guess you’d call it a duplex.

At that time, there was no door from the one house to the other. I had the run of both houses, and I liked going up to my cousins’ attic because they had a train up there, and some type of basketball game that if you turned it on the players kind of vibrated around. It amused me as a five year old, but was probably a boring game for older kids and that’s why it was in the attic. One day, my sister and my cousin Billy told me that there was a secret passage to the other side of the house. All I had to do was walk behind the wall, and I’d be in our house! Oh, God. I am so glad I never did it, or I wouldn’t be writing this. I would like to think I was savvy enough to realize I was being tricked, but I was probably too scared, so I didn’t die that day.

Two yards away from our house was Professional Pharmacy. There was a garage with a flat roof right behind it. it had to be at least 10 feet high. My sibs and cousins were jumping off it onto the grass, and I wanted to try and they said, “SURE!” My mother came out just in time to watch her four year old flying through space onto the ground. I am not what was said to the older kids, but they never jumped off that roof again. 

Patty

 

 

The Next Person Who Says, “Is It Hot Enough for You?”, Will Be Summarily Executed!

Yes, it is hot enough for me. Beyond enough. Probably 20F hotter than I could possibly enjoy. On the good side, everywhere we are going to be today will be inside, and our AC is still chugging along. This is a minor miracle in itself, because the last two times we came down here, it did not work.

I am not really complaining, merely whining. Hey, I brought my Mustang down here so I can drive down here in the fall and winter with the top down. If I did that in Delaware, 15 inches of snow would fall directly on the driver’s seat. 

I am an Army Brat. Although it’s been years since I held a ration card or walked onto an Army post, it affected my life so profoundly, I feel proud to say that I had that experience. OK, enough expounding. When I was living in Korea and my dad was a commanding officer, I did something with one of my two best friends that might have gotten my dad written up. Seriously. Back then kids could indeed do something that would get their dad reassigned to some place like Guam.

Back to the snow and Korea. Barbi and I were typical 15 year olds. We were inseparable. We egged each other on. It starts snowing in October in Seoul. We walked around base a lot because for some reason we both felt the Teen Club was too scary to ever enter. 

We were walking to our homes, when we saw a Military Police jeep running and empty, in front of the PX. For whatever not-too-bright reason, we began FILLING the jeep with snow as fast as could! We had both seats full up to the roof before the two MPs came running out of the PX, cursing at us. We went running home, absolutely joyous. The MPs were still shoveling out the jeep when we disappeared down the hill to safety. 

The reason for this little memory. I am a winter person. I like ice and snow. Stay cool out there. 

PattyImage