Monday, May 31, 2010

Ring those golden bells........

My first year of school was at Andy Woods Elementary in Tyler.  I had a brand new dress for each day of the week and I was so excited.  It was a big school for a 1st grader.  We didn't have kindergarten back then nor did we have color TV.  It hadn't been invented yet.

Miss Knife was my teacher and I remember her long black hair and her red lipstick.  She was so pretty and so nice.  I really liked her.  I remember how much I loved her telling stories in our story corner. Every morning one of the kids in my class would hold the flag while we said the Pledge of Allegiance.  Amazingly enough we said a prayer before lunch.

I don't remember the lunch room but I do remember the bathroom.  I left my birthstone ring on the sink when I washed my hands and forgot about it.  When I remembered it, I went back to get it and it was gone.  Somebody stole it.  I loved that was silver with two pink hearts. I guess crime back then was as rampant as it is today.

I had a rough year my first grade.  I remember having to do a lot of make-up homework because I missed so much school.  I had my tonsils removed and I cut my foot on a broken coke bottle jumping the rows in my grandparent's garden. It cut the main artery and I nearly bled to death.  My parents took me to the hospital where they gave me blood because I had lost so much. I had only gotten about pint when my parents thought I'd had enough and took me home.  God must have had His hand on me because I lived through it.  Thankfully my parents were given a second chance at parenting when they had my brother.  I was the guinea pig...bless my little heart!  He got to have a normal childhood.....thanks to me.  I'm not bitter anymore.

I'm not sure when we moved to Chandler but having to change schools my second year was interesting.  No more sweet Miss Knife, my beautiful teacher.  Instead I had an older lady for a teacher, Mrs Lindsay.  She was gruff and tough and I was afraid of her.  I remember being at recess after lunch when she came out with a hand bell, like the one on Little House on the Prairie, and she was ringing it over and over.  I didn't know why she was doing that but I soon learned that this little country school didn't have the kind of school bells we had at Andy Woods. 
Our class had two grades in it.  While Mrs. Lindsey taught the first grade, the second grade was reading or working on a paper. One morning the first grade class was having a spelling test while we were reading. Mrs. Lindsay was in the middle of the test when she stopped and said, "Rat! I see a rat!"  Because this school was old and creepy, I responded to the warning of a rat being in our room.  I jumped up in my chair and stayed there until I realized that "rat" was one of the first grade spelling words and Mrs. Lindsay's sentence for it was, "I see a rat!".   I never wanted my mommy more than I did at that moment!  The whole class was laughing at me sitting so prim and proper with my feet planted firmly in my little chair..........I certainly didn't want the rat to get me but I think the rat would have been a better fate.

It was at that moment in time that I realized Mrs. Lindsay actually knew how to laugh.  I really wasn't sure she even knew how........until then.

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