So often the workweek passes us by with nary a cloud in the sky … but then the weekend arrives and it rains, putting a big damper on our plans.
Such was the case this morning. I got up early, rarin’ to go for a walk, and I was ever-hopeful, even though it was raining lightly while I was having breakfast.
So, I busied myself with some tasks, glancing occasionally out the window, but the cloud cover hung on making it dreary-looking and there was that incessant drizzle.
Finally, rather reluctantly, I abandoned the idea of a walk, and settled in with a second cup of coffee.
I drained my cup and rinsed it out and went in search of a mouse … no, not the kind with tiny ears and a long tail, because I’d never look for one of those, and, I hope one of those never looks for me either. I needed to find my corded mouse, because my wireless one went wacky yesterday. I replaced the battery, but it still acted erratically and finally gave up the ghost.
So, I pondered a minute, wondering where I last stashed it. It seems that I used to be much more orderly and organized when I shared space in the house, but … now, for some reason, I have even encroached on myself, if that is possible. My “stuff” seems to be everywhere and these days there is no rhyme or reason to locating lost items.
I did have an idea where to find it though … in the oldies but goodies cabinet.
For years the kitchen corner cabinet has been the depository for items that are still functional, but are either obsolete, or have been upgraded to a more-modern version, like my wireless mouse. I can zip around without tangling my hand up with a long cord. Unfortunately that corner cabinet looks deceiving as to how much stuff you can really store in it. The shelves accommodate more in the middle sections than the sides, where items can slide off and fall down onto the floor when you swing open the door. Also, this wooden cabinet is tucked way into a corner, and because the kitchen is small, to access it, you must move a chair and pull the table on its braided rug away to crouch down to reach the shelves. This is why only the gone-but-not-forgotten-but-seldom-if-ever-used items repose on its shelves.
Once inside the cabinet, you have to empty it to find anything because it is dark inside. I found a transistor radio with a Ziploc bag of batteries beside it in case the table radio goes kaput, a Princess-style phone which was stashed in there after I got caller I.D., a few incandescent bulbs for the kitchen swag light just in case the 11-year lifespan CFL bulb bites the dust and my corded mouse, which I put there when I bought the wireless gizmo. Wow – I even found a paperback dictionary and thesaurus … now when was the last time you physically opened up one of those books, especially since it is too easy to Google info online.
I grabbed the mouse by its tail, er USB plug, since the cord was wound around it and the plug was sticking out a little. As I gave the plug a tug, some small books threatened to fall off the shelf. I used to generate a daily thought for the day for years and years, and figured it was one of my many quotation books on various subjects. I reached in and grabbed a few of them. I wasn’t too comfortable, all hunched and scrunched down, while I flipped through the books reading some of the pages of quotations I had put sticky notes on to be used for various holidays, so I put the books back, lest I get stuck in this uncomfortable position.
I was about to shut the door when I spied my mom’s autograph book and I rose up and carried it over to the table. I’d seen the book in the past and read through it, but it had been years, so I got another cup of coffee and sipped it while I idly flipped through the worn and brittle pages where careful, slanted writing with a blue fountain pen expressed good luck wishes and held a treasure trove of whimsical poetry like:
The thunder roared, the lightning flashed,
The whole world was shaken,
The little pig curled up his tail,
And ran to save his bacon.
It’s hard to find a good boy when your heart is full of hope,
But it’s harder to find a bath towel, when your eyes are full of soap.
He was teaching her arithmetic,
He said that was his mission,
He kissed her once – he kissed her twice,
And said “now that’s addition.”
And then he added smack for smack,
With silent satisfaction,
‘Til timidly, she gave one back,
And said “now that’s subtraction.”
But Pa appeared upon the scene,
And snorted with derision,
He kicked poor John ten yards away,
And said “that’s long division.”
How the autograph book found its way from my mom’s room to the cabinet, I’ll never know. I’m sure she was not reading and reminiscing about the fellow patients who penned those verses which gave me such a chuckle. She got the book the day she left the Hospital for Sick Children in 1941, having spent the previous four years there in a ward after being hit by a car at age 11. Some of her ward mates wrote such poignant notes as “lucky you to be going home Pauline – I hope to see you again one day” … sadly, that wishful thinking probably remained just that.
I recalled my own autograph books, whose location right now escapes me – they are probably in the box with all my yearbooks, tucked away for safekeeping in the bottom of a closet in the TV room.
When we graduated from junior high school in June of ’70 we collected one another’s autographs, not only in little flip-style books, but we donned a white heavyweight tee-shirt and collected autographs from our peers which they scrawled and did flower flourishes in colored ink. We thought we were pretty darn cool.
When we graduated from high school, which coincidentally was 42 years ago today, we had advanced far beyond autograph books and white tee-shirts and merely collected our fellow student’s sepia-toned, wallet-sized photos. Of course the more popular you were, the larger the stack of photos you gathered. Then, you carried them around, tethered together with a rubber band, flaunting them like a kid with a treasured collection of baseball trading cards.
I wonder if graduates still share their high school graduation photos? Unlike LPHS’ 600 plus graduates in June 1973, which class photo is featured above, today’s class of 2015 will stay connected via social media for as long into the future as they want. We had no Facebook status updates to keep in touch with one another – what we did have was reunions at every five-year mark where large portions of our class got together to update one another as to their families, higher education or livelihood. But, as time progressed, each reunion found the ranks had dwindled, either due to lack of interest, relocation out of state, or, even death.
I’ve wondered the past few weeks if the 2015 grads even celebrated their graduation from high school because I only saw one car decorated, a white Hummer with the words “Class of 2015” painted in neon orange on one window. There were no antics like wild and crazy honking or cars brakes and girls squealing while tooling down Champaign Road. I saw no leaning out the windows and saluting one another with your mortarboard as its orange and royal blue tassel was swinging erratically. Where did all those good times go, or, is that just something that the oldie-moldies did?
I must admit that I feel old when I looked at the pictures of the recent grads featured in the local paper. I know that sometimes it seems like just yesterday that I was walking across the stage at Cobo Hall to get my high school diploma. It was hotter than blazes that night, and I unzipped my heavy gown, and when we began to finally assemble to cross the stage, I discovered the zipper was broken and I needed at least a half-dozen of my pals working on the tracks to get the gown zipped back up again. Good thing my last name begins with the letter “S” and I was near the tail end of the 600 plus grads.
This year I know two graduates from the Class of 2015. I met them as little boys and they have both grown into fine young men.
Though they don’t know one another, they have had many similarities in their young lives.
Both had divorce rear its ugly head when they were very young. But unlike many youngsters from a broken home, neither of the boys gave their respective families one moment of heartache – they were always obedient and stellar students. Each young man was raised for many years by a single parent, but eventually had a step-parent come into their lives and provide alot of love and support to them, just as if they were their own flesh and blood.
Both excelled in football in high school – in fact, both were defensive lineman.
Both graduated with special certificates acknowledging their academic skills.
Both will further their high school education by matriculating toward their eventual goals and college degrees.
Frank Aiello is my neighbor Marge’s grandson, and, whom I still think of as “Frankie”, a little boy running around barefoot in the backyard and jumping with a big splash in the wading pool. He friended me on Facebook a few years ago and recently he posed for a picture holding his diploma from East Valley Institute of Technology, having completed a course as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Frank is a grad from Apache Junction High School where he was #64 on the Prospectors football roster. He will continue in the medical field, specifically nursing, with his end goal to be an R.N. and eventually be enrolled in the Master’s Degree program at University of Arizona.
Greg Schlimmer is a former bus buddy’s son. Sharon proudly posted a picture of her son Greg holding a certificate touting him as “Roosevelt High School’s Journalist of the Year for 2014-2015” and he was #54 on the Bears football roster. He will study film production at Grand Valley State University beginning this Fall.
Congratulations and Godspeed to Frank and Greg in your studies and through life.
You have brains in your head; you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. ~Dr. Seuss