“I want you to have what I didn’t .” said my parents. It was what their parents had said to them.
My grandparents were immigrants from Europe in the late 1800’s. They came to America in search of a better life. They had little or no education. So when they had my parents they sent them to school. They knew it was important to have an education. In spite of the Great Depression, my father was able to finish grammar school. Everything else he needed, he learned in the school of hard knocks. My mother fared a little better as she was able to graduate high school.
My parents, like their parents, wanted a better life for their children. They realized the value of an education and the doors that could be opened if their children went to college or learned a trade. I can still hear my father saying, “No one can ever take away your education.”
My sister and two brothers were 13, 16, and 19 years older than me when I was born. Life was different back then. Girls usually married and stayed home. Boys went off to school, learned a trade or went to work . My sister, at my father’s insistence went to a secretarial school. He wanted her to be able to take care of herself if anything happened to the man she would someday marry. I really wish my sister had been able to go to college back then. It wasn’t until she was in her sixties that she went to college for floral design. She is one talented lady and I am so proud of her. My brothers and I attended college also. No matter what obstacles life put in our path, we persevered and graduated because we knew the value of an education. We were the first generation of college graduates in our family.
Just like our father and mother, all of us have stressed the value of an education to our children. In 4 short weeks, my husband and I will have the privilege of seeing our youngest daughter graduate from college. On that day, I know my grandparents and parents will be smiling down on her as she walks across the stage and accepts her diploma. An education is priceless and can never be taken away.
As easy as a light switch is turned from on to off,
I find this aging body, automatically and unknowingly,
entering a deep, deep slumber
for it craves rest
after a long day of moving from here to there
and up and down.
So simple a thing rest is , yet so vital to function.
When young we fought against what we needed most,
but as an adult we welcome it with open arms
no matter what the time of the day….. Ahhhh, the nap!
My brother-in-law had me climb into the seat behind his. I put on my seatbelt and waited anxiously for us to go. With the hatch closed and the clip attached to the nose, slowly we were pulled down the runway by the small, yellow bi-plane in front of us. Faster and faster the bi-plane moved till it had the momentum to lift off the ground. As it moved higher into the air, the slack in the tow chain lessened till we were air born. Higher and higher we went into the beautiful sky until we reached the proper altitude. Releasing the tow chain clipped to the nose of the glider, the little yellow bi-plane veered off to the right as we went to the left. It was so quiet and peaceful. Pssst, was the only sound we heard. It was so different riding in the glider. With no engine, the glider was totally dependent on the up drafts and down drafts like a bird. The glider moved round and round till we no longer could find an upward air current. So slowly and gently like a feather we moved downward until we landed once again on terre firma.
I was a member of The BJ & Dirty Dragon Fan Club when I was a child. I still have my autographed picture like the one pictured above on the left. It was everything a kid’s television show should be-funny, creative, and imaginative. Characters like The Lemon Joke Kid who would drop lemons from the sky and cause your face to pucker and The Blob, a talking chunk of clay, that would be transformed each day. Last but not least, there was Dirty Dragon, the postmaster, who always accidentally burned up all the mail. The show had heart. It was one of the first shows I can remember that “recruited” kids to hold backyard carnivals to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy. Many children, including myself, were inspired to make a difference in their little corner of the world and to help others. Thank you BJ and Dirty Dragon for teaching me to make the world a little brighter!
The morning light slowly filtered through the beveled glass in the front door. It cast an oblong pattern that seemed to dance across the far wall of my living room. Quietness permeated the house except for the sound of the boiler kicking on to force hot water through the cast iron radiators. I love my old house with plaster walls and arched doorways. In three years, we can apply to have our house declared a historical landmark. When we first purchased our house 24 years ago, we did not realize that it already had a rich history. It was only after visiting our local historical society that we saw a picture showing our house being moved in 1962. Talking to one of the local historians, we learned that our house was originally located on the main street that runs east and west through our village. It was located near the old post office and a vaudeville theater. It turned out that the original owners of our house also owned the vaudeville theater. If only the walls in my house could talk……
Third row to the left of the stage at The Uptown Theater consisted of only three seats. There were no seats in front of the third row to obstruct the view of the performers. My brother, who was thirteen years older than I, had offered to take my friend and I to our very first concert. Every generation has a band that young girls swoon over. In 1976, girls across the United States had their hearts stolen by a Scottish band called The Bay City Rollers. Best known for the iconic song S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y N-I-G-H-T, their faces appeared on the cover of Tiger Beat Magazine for the next couple of years. If you look closely at the picture, there we are-my brother on one end, me in the middle and my friend on the aisle. Fans dressed in plaid shirts and wore pants with strips of plaid going down the outer sides of their jeans . Some girls even sported plaid suspenders. My friend and I were so excited to see them that night. We jumped up and down and sang along to every song they played that night. We were very fortunate to make eye to eye contact with different band members as they moved across the stage in front of where we sat. It was a moment every teenage girl dreams of. When we left that night, we could barely talk for we had worn out our voices and there was a constant ringing in our ears from sitting so close to one of the amplifiers. As we drove home that night, my brother jokingly said “I must really love you to sit through all that screaming.’ “Thanks Al. I love you too!’ was my response.
The Bay City Rollers
Front Row (left to right) -Leslie and Woody Back Row- Derek, Eric and Ian
I had just finished working at my computer and was ready to go to bed. As I pulled myself up from my computer chair, the room moved back and forth. Steadying myself, I regained my balance. I carefully proceeded with my bedtime routine. My body quickly succumbed to slumber. As morning approached, I started to toss restlessly. The bathroom was calling to me. Up I went, but once again that helpless feeling washed over me. I felt as if I was being tossed about in a dingy on the high seas. Oh this is not good I thought to myself. How would I get through my day?
Eventually, the vertigo subsided and I was able to get through my morning.However, any quick movements could have sent me into a tailspin. I tried to drink my vanilla chai but experienced excruciating pain in my left ear with each swallow. Oh I know that throbbing pain! Boom, boom, boom was the sound echoing in my ear. That undeniable shooting pain you get when you have an inner ear infection. I knew I needed to see the doctor. I dialed and finally reached a receptionist after listening to elevator music for 5 minutes. ” Are there any openings today.” I asked. Not till Monday was the answer. There was no way I could wait 5 days to get in. My pain level was at least an 8.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Luckily, there was a minute clinic close to my home. So I drove over, signed in, and waited an hour to see the physician on duty. Although, I really didn’t need it, the physician confirmed that I indeed had an inner ear infection not only in my left ear but also in my right. Sinus congestion and inner ear infection had thrown my equilibrium out of whack. So with one dose of antibiotics in my system, it’s time for me to say goodnight and catch some zzzzz’s.