Friday, October 25, 2013

In The Little Red School House

Great! It's Friday and I'm sorta back on track. 

That's the road home or one of them. The glowing white mailbox on the right is right beside the driveway to my little red school house.

Kindergarten, first and second grade were all accomplished within its brick walls. (Please forgive the blur...I am always passing by when I think to take a picture and John seems to think he needs some speed to make the hill.)

Because there are no buildings between my back lawn and the schoolhouse, if I were to walk out my patio doors here at the haven and down across my back lawn into the ravine and up the other side and do it all over again...I'm not sure how many times...I would eventually arrive on the playground you see at the right side of the building there. It's a parking lot now because it's an apartment house these days. (Once I even thought that I would like to move into an apartment there because I hoped that it would feel like home. Once I visited, not so much. The apartments are so very small.)

(Again, sorry for the blur — seems that life and memories can also be a bit of a blur.) See the windows? They've been modified making them much smaller and thus more energy efficient. Back in the day, they were large and a little scholar could look up and out to the treetops and sky. This was most conducive for daydreaming, something for which I was often admonished.

The bathrooms were in the basement and oh how I dreaded them. It was a horror to descend into the dungeon where the coal furnace lived rumbling and belching and where the janitor sometimes was seen before the flames shoveling coal. Because he was a kindly grandfatherly sort, I found it discomfiting that he was feeding that fire. We had an oil furnace at home. Still and all, we were toasty warm in that schoolhouse through the long, cold Maine winters. 

Though I loved school, my days were much too long since I arrived on the first bus run (our town owned only one bus in those days) and was delivered home at supper time on the last bus run. It was not very good planning on someone's part. I am told that my mother never complained on our behalf. Frankly, I still find that shocking. 

I remember having daydreams about little beds that children could climb into for naps. They floated up toward the ceiling in the large foyer between the classrooms. Cozy little things they were, too, for a daydream.

I really have far many more pleasant memories of schooldays in the little red school house than not. I remember all the teachers, the games we played at recess through the seasons of the year, the music, the stories, and the poems. My first grade teacher taught us Psalm 23 and told us that if we were ever in trouble that we would find it a good thing that we had committed it to memory. 

She may well have thought that we were in trouble since we had so many drills where we had to climb under our desks and huddle there with our hands over our heads. It was all about seeing a brilliant flash of light. Some of us of a certain age remember those experiences very clearly. 

Enough of Memory Lane for today...


We have recently gathered the winterberries and so I'll be able to make up my Christmas baskets in November. I do it early so I don't have to mess about in snow. If you haven't gathered yours, try to do it before too much longer or the birds and deer will have them all. October is the month!

My ivy and geranium are safely inside these days. We had snow in our forecast; it didn't come. Have you seen all the bloggers who have had snow already? Happyone lives in Maryland! Yup, it's just a matter of time...

Do you have a snow prediction for your corner this year? (I predict a warmish, short winter for mine. =D )
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  1. Vee, What a lovely little red schoolhouse !
    No snow predicted here yet , we got our first very light frost last night ~ had been having an extended Indian Summer here in our neck of the woods.

  2. Growing up I went to a modern school named after Sir Walter Scott. Where we live now is a one room school house similar to your little red one. The historical society has preserved it with renovations and it is used for their meetings and special events. I'm glad it's not small apartments.
    I drove through snow yesterday morning on my way to Toronto and coming back it had turned to rain.

  3. Your red schoolhouse days have stirred a lot of memories for me and my own school days Vee. How awful that you spent the whole long day at school due to bussing schedules. Parents would 'cry' about that these days! We had the priviledge of walking to and from school from Grades 1 to 12. Oh Yay. In ALL kinds of weather too. Not even a drive to school in Dad's car! Six blocks from grades 1-9 and even longer in high school. I was thin back then. :) I love the photo of the winterberries. They grow in parts about NB but not near here although I sometimes buy them at the market. Yep, I pay for them! No snow here yet. Maybe flurries Sunday morning. I'm drinking more tea every day to keep warm. I hope you have a lovely cozy weekend. Hugs, Pam

  4. What a great old school house! We had a traditional brick one story building that held kindergarten through 8th grade. But the year I was going into 8th grade, a new high school was finished being built and the town turned the old high school into a middle school of 6th-8th grades and the original elementary school because k-5th. So I was the first graduating class in our middle school. The old high school, now turned middle school was three stories tall. I love the wide steps to each floor.

  5. What a wonderful story, Vee. I went to a small 3 room schoolhouse in PA very similar to yours except our bathroom were at the end of a long dimly lit hall and cold as ice in the winter. I remember those drills well and used to have nightmares about my parents trying to get into the house after that brilliant FLASH of light and in the dream I was too scared to let them in. That was a frightening time. I was out of that school by the time JFK was shot...another scar on our young lives. xo Diana

  6. You have wonderful memories (and a wonderful memory) of your days at the Little Red Schoolhouse! Your writing is perfect...I could almost feel the cold in the basement where the washrooms were.

    Your baskets are going to be beautiful. Will they be Christmas gifts?


  7. Good Morning, Vee. Charming school house. What a long day for a small child! I was so terribly bashful and disliked school immensely. We had a new "modern" school built in 1960 that I attended. I look at it now and it seems so low to the ground!
    Pretty winterberries. Hope you'll share your arrangement photos.
    Today is one of our coolest the 40's this a.m.
    I wish you a happy weekend.

  8. Your little red schoolhouse triggers so many memories Vee. Mine was not red and not so little either, but the memories are similar. It was a different time, and I loved it, especially kindergarten! :) It's such fun to hear your thoughts and see the pics to go with it. Maine is so beautiful.

  9. Oh I loved reading this story . You have many wonderful memories!! that is a charming school house looks like something from the movies, and that road is just gorgeous! I would love to drive down that road. everything is flat here!
    have a great weekend Vee!!!

  10. Your little red schoolhouse is so are your reminiscences about your days there. I think that getting off to a good start in one's school career is vital, and it makes me happy to hear such tales of joy. (My own first grade teacher was named Mrs. Joy...really! And my days in first grade were joyful indeed.)

    Thank you for taking me on your trip down Memory Lane!

  11. Thanks for taking us along down memory lane. That was a long day at school for you. Love the photo of you school. My grade school was a 3 room one with outdoor bathrooms and no lunch program. You had to bring your own lunch, however I lived only a couple of blocks from the school so often walked home for lunch. We only had grades 1-6 and so in 7th grade I rode the bus to attend Jr. and Sr. high in another town.
    No snow here yet. But some parts of MN have received snow.
    Love the photo of your berries and the basket and birdhouse on the fence.
    Have a great weekend!

  12. what a sweet trip to your school girl memories!
    i love driving by my elementary school, too, and
    have conflicting feelings. i was always afraid
    that i wasn't smart enough.

  13. Enjoyed the trip down memory lane and your school days. That really was a long day for you. Thankfully for most of my school days I could walk to and from school. There were probably 2 or 3 years of riding the bus and the only thing I remember from those times was jumping off the bus at a different stop than my own to avoid getting beat up at my stop...

  14. Hey thanks for the berry gathering tip. I am on it!
    Your school house memories are what as I child I had hoped for. Pictures of New England's schools surrounded by fall colors showed up in books and calendars and back to school graphics. I always felt gypped that my school was three five room long rectangles surrounded by chain link and some bushes that never bloomed or changed color. Built in the early 50s, it was modern and soul less. The only time daydreams occurred was when coastal fog blanked the area and in the mist I could imagine a different place.

  15. When I saw your post title I started singing the song. I loved seeing your little red school house & hearing your memories. I was in 4th grade during the Cuban missile crisis. We also did the drills to duck under our desks. We were also shown a film about stop, drop & cover. Terrified me. Thankfully that is the only bad memory from my little red school house days.


  16. I loved that trip down memory lane with you Vee!

  17. Hi Vee!

    What a wonderful post - I wasn't ready for it to end!!

    Isn't it wonderful that you remember so much about the little red schoolhouse!? The story about the bathrooms was so cute! I remember the bathrooms in the school I attended in 6th grade...they were scary! What wonderful memories you have! Can you even imagine a teacher teaching psalms 23?! When I was in kindergarten, our teacher taught us The Lord's Prayer; we said it each morning and right before we went home...I still love it!

    The pictures are so beautiful!


  18. Sounds much like my jr. high school. Bathrooms were in the basement, girls on one side, boys on the other. I wouldn't be surprised if the girls bathroom housed a furnace, I have a vague memory of that. Will have to ask my friend who has a better memory than me. My school was directly across the street from my house. When I was sick, I could look out the window and see the kids. Thanks for sharing pieces of your memories Vee. Have a happy day. ~ Abby

  19. What a lovely building! What wonderful memories (except for the scary downstairs bathrooms!) to have and it's situated so beautifully. Fall, what a wonderful season!

  20. I love your winter weather prediction, Vee. I share the same one. ;-) Love your nice trip down Memory Lane. I have mixed memories of happy and being picked on, which I never realized was bullying until the last few years. Junior high was the pits. High school was just fine. I took it all in stride. More good than bad. I lived 2 1/2 blocks from my elementary school so I walked back and forth, once in a while a car ride by my daddy when he was off from work and the weather was nasty. xo

  21. Your storybook schoolhouse is a great looking building! I too remember those days of hiding under our desks during drills. We also would trek from our school a half block away to a church that had a fallout shelter. I was never afraid--what does that say about me? I always felt safe.
    Loved your comment about John getting a head start for the hill! ♥

  22. The lovely little schoolhouse brings back memories for me. The grade school that I went to had the rest rooms in the basement to and it was dark and damp down there. My goodness I hadn't thought of that in a hundred years till I read your post.

  23. I enjoyed reading your memories of your childhood school house, Vee.
    It's awesome you still live so close.
    I just returned from a snowy walk. It was a light snow though.

  24. A wonderful place of memories. Sorry it doesn't fit your bill for apartment living.

    1. Oh I am much happier where I am. = }

  25. I loved reading about all your school memories. Ah yes, I remember the nuclear fallout drills where we had to hide under our desks if a nuclear blast went off. As if that would do any good… And I shoveled a LOT of coal in my youth. I was commanded to go into the dark, dirt-floor basement, dodging the mice (and a few rats too), and shovel coal into the furnace at all hours of the day or night. I also had to remove the clinkers and take them out to spread on the driveway. Kids today don't know how easy they have it!

    I had to laugh at the mention of John speed up while you want to take a photo. Reminds me of Mr. Jim (and he's a photographer, so go figure).

    No snow predictions here for a while. We only get a couple during the wintertime. I would love to get a doozy snowstorm this year. I think we're overdue.

  26. I so enjoyed reading your memories of the little red schoolhouse. How neat that you live so close by.

    Thanks for the reminder on the winter berries. How do you store them until time to decorate? I'm just wondering how you keep the berries from becoming dried up. Our berries and acorns were very sparse this year. I think it had to do with the rainy summer.

    I was very surprised to hear about snow at HappyOne's house. I like your winter weather forecast and hope it comes true for you. I am hoping for at least one pretty snowfall. I put on socks and a sweater for the first time today. Woo Hoo!

  27. Enjoyed your memories of the little red schoolhouse, I do remember those drills, and of how our schoolhouse was heated by coal, and of how it was so warm.
    I have plans to collect some acorns and leaves tomorrow, plans are to get them ready for the candle wax! Thanks for taking me down memory lane, this post invoked wonderful memories for me.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  28. It was fun traveling down memory lane with you, Vee. I loved seeing at tire of your little red school house. I sure remember coal furnaces. We had one in our basement in Pennsylvania! Goodness, those were the days! We often have snow here in Texas. Last year we had a white Christmas, even! I'm soooo enjoying the cooler temps and guess what I'm drinking my tea from right now???.... My Katie Alice mug!! xo

  29. How precious those school day memories are! You got me thinking of "way back" when I was in grammar school with the good sisters. Oh My!! We used to think they were so rough on us but now when I look back I think that was a better education than can be had anywhere. There was stern discipline.We learned and because of that, when I went to first year of HS at a Chicago public school. I was reading at a college level and about 2 years ahead in English. Your little school house looks so safe and cozy.

  30. Great post to read here at the end of the day...and share with my better-half who is relaxing beside me with a book. Here's a blogger who has had Boone, North Carolina and on the Blue ridge Parkway. Meanwhile back at home, the sun has been shining for weeks (amazingly) and it is 55 degrees F with no chance of precipitation. I guess I should leave should leave home more often. :)

    Loved your walk down memory lane to the old schoolhouse. It looked rather like the one Elmer started grade school in...and was demolished just last year. We both recall having a coal furnace at school...and a kindly janitor who stoked it. Neither of us had teachers who taught us Psalm 23 at school however! My grade one teacher was also my Sunday School she made sure I learned 'the Lord is my Shepherd' there. I have mostly fond memories of my early years at school. In fact, I usually preferred going to school to staying at home.

  31. I enjoyed reading about you school memories! I remember the drills too.
    I love the first picture and would love to walk there! : )
    Just a dusting but still it was snow. I smiled at the mention of me. : )

  32. I live down the street from the school I went to kindergarten my whole life--at least until this year :) Then my children went there kindergarten through 5th grade. It still had a working coal furnace --one of the last NYC public schools to have one!
    Living so close to where we grew up certainly helps us keep our childhood memories fresh, doesn't it Vee? I remember the fear of the atom bomb and the drills where we would go in the hall, sit on the floor and cover our heads with our coat --as if that would protect us! I went to parochial school from 1st to 8th grade, and we would pray everyday for Russia to convert. to our religion.

  33. PS: We had snow here twice already -- small amounts--and inch, that melted by afternoon.

  34. I loved hearing about your darling little school.
    How can a post 5 yrs old, from the OLD blog that is blocked and I can't even get INTO, post on my NEW blog. It's sooo crazy.
    Wonder how long it was on many people saw it....are you and I NUTS...??? HAHHHAAA....gotta love it.

    1. I'll say! And I'm quite sure that the post Kim at Happy@Home posted this evening is some odd incarnation, too. Wooooo ewwwwwwww ooooooo... Ha!

  35. Loved reading this! I went to the same elementary school that my dad went to, and now my sister is the librarian there. I was afraid to go to the bathroom, too, and because of that I had an embarrassing incident in first grade;)

  36. They say we will have more snow than usual this year... which might mean an inch or two at the most. =)

    I smiled at this...
    "my days were much too long since I arrived on the first bus run (our town owned only one bus in those days) and was delivered home at supper time on the last bus run. It was not very good planning on someone's part."
    That was me and my bus route too! I always thought it unfair and now I realize that happened in other rural areas too.

  37. I remember my school days......brief days though they were. I managed to finish the 7th grade and part of the 8th before I married at age 14. I remember always coming home with a severe headache. Looking back I understand why. Mother was at work and I had to feed and care for my younger siblings. Some people have such fond memories of their - not so much.

  38. What sweet memories! Things were so different when we went to school. My best school memories are of third grade, Mrs Miller. Our class was in a "portable" because the school was getting crowded. It was like a one room schoolhouse with a pot belly stove for heat. It had long windows with many windowpanes. If we were good Mrs Miller would read from her series of Laura Ingall Wilder books. We were in the perfect setting for those stories and they became some of my all time favorites. Thank you Mrs Miller.

    Thanks for sharing your delightful memories Vee!

    Blessings, Edie Marie

  39. Your comments of the basement bathrooms and elderly gentleman who stoked the fire in the furnace reminded me of "Christmas Story". You've made me smile already this morning!

  40. Loved walking down memory lane with you. Too bad about the long bus ride. I smiled to think of you imagining a cozy little bed in which to rest. I think that back then parents didn't confront the system very much - there was more trust, however misplaced. Now we're all about rights and demands and having things the way we want them. Surely there's a balance somewhere.

    No snow here. But I'm sure hoping for some, for a week or two, since that's all I can reasonably expect.

    Forgive me, but isn't the mailbox in the left of the photo? Or is it still too early on Saturday morning?

  41. I loved the stories about your school memories. The bus ride thing is crazy sometimes, isn't it? A few years here the neighbor kids would get on early and not get back until nearly 4:30pm! Long bus rides!

    No snow here but we have had a freeze.

    Love the winterberry!


  42. What lovely happy memories of your school! I went to a modern school but yours is so much more quaint. :)

  43. Memory Lane - that little red school house must hold many.


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