Tag Archives: high school

Vintage Me

IMG_3264There are times when my memory gets jogged but for the life of me I cannot reconstruct the details.

My sister noticed this newspaper photo on our vintage hometown Facebook page.  Yes, I am officially one of the vintage people now I guess!  The article mentioned “centennial year”‘ so clue number one, it’s 1967.  This morning I rummaged around until I unearthed my five high school yearbooks.  I knew there had to be an excellent reason for hanging on to them all these years.  Leafing through the 1967 edition in an attempt to put names to these faces, this turned up.

filename-1Centennial year must have been a popular time for not listing identities of grade twelve students who went on bus trips.  I recognize myself, back row, third from the left.  I can name a dozen more.  Batting 500 so far.  But here’s the mysteries.

If thirty-four students attended, where (and who) are the other eleven?  Bathroom breaks?  Lost?  Smoking behind the bus?

Why was looking at furniture considered educational?  Maybe it was, but who made that decision? And thrust it upon us?

Did we voluntarily agree to this excursion? Seventeen and eighteen year olds in 1967 be like hey, let’s hop a bus to TO and check out carpeting and new age dining room sets.  Yeah!  I don’t know. And on a Saturday too.  Very curious.

Was that thing I’m wearing a precursor to my furry grey winter coat that a few years later W would say resembled a dirty polar bear?  Like he had seen a great number of dirty polar bears in his lifetime up to that point?   It’s not a very flattering look, but then when you consider everyone else is wearing similar versions of the same boxy big collared giant buttons style, I guess in respect to small town centennial year Canadian winter fashion, I fit right in.

Did we dine at the Westminster Hotel, or the Town and Country Restaurant?  Or was the restaurant IN the hotel?  What did we eat?  I had a friend once who ordered lobster and then couldn’t figure out how to eat it and was too embarrassed to ask, so she shoved the whole thing in to her purse and took it home.  Like that would fool our waiter into thinking we were so sophisticated.   But I’m pretty sure that happened on a different trip altogether.

I don’t think any of us furniture voyeurs went on to become famous designers, but many of us made it to the vintage stage of life, Fifty One Years Later.  Sheesh.  That’s either remarkable or depressing, I can’t decide which.

So many details about this trip elude me completely.  My brain is no longer able to recall the things that happened or the things we saw, or who I sat with on the bus or why not one of us is wearing a hat in January.

Chances are good that my mind registered very little of it all in the first place, having been known in high school for a lot of zoned out day dreaming. The little poem written about our 12B class includes the line …”while Linda is thinking of whom we can’t guess…”.  Understood to mean also “or of what or where or when or even why”. Mystery woman.  Or vacuum head.  Could go either way.

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Sew Saturday

I’m not actually doing any sewing today, I just like alliteration.  And I used to sew using purchased McCalls and Simplicity patterns, and I found this hilariously funny.  I don’t know, blame it on lack of sleep.  Or how strange these outfits are.

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I’m not even kidding, we used to wear those bloomer type get ups in gym in high school.
Be thankful those went the way of the dinosaur, and have a fun weekend.

Sharing My World 43

First month of my "World According to Curly Girl" calendar.
First month of my “World According to Curly Girl” calendar.

This is the last world sharing prompt from 2015, number 52.  Answering it now feels late, but isn’t really because the next one is due out Monday, and today is Saturday, right?  Even though the first of January felt like a Sunday all day to me.  Two days in to the new year and already I don’t know what day of the week it is for sure.  It’s going to be a great year.

Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance of showers, etc.)

Mostly sunny with a few foggy patches.  Much like yesterday, also predicted for tomorrow.  If there are clouds they will quickly disperse revealing silver linings.  Long range forecast…. rain will fall and then it will stop.  The snow will eventually melt.  The sun will rise and set and rise again.  This is the most boring weather forecast I have ever heard, but sometimes boring is the best thing you could wish for.

What is most memorable about your high school years?

Five years of my life, (this is way back when there was still a grade thirteen) and the first thing that pops in to my head is the hours and hours and hours spent riding in a school bus, to and from, day after day.  Sometimes running late and missing it, sometimes the weather and the road conditions making the bus late.  My brother missing the bus on purpose so he could take the car.  He had to space those out so it wasn’t so obvious.

I was a shy and introverted loner who got crazy high marks in everything.  My classmates were nice to me and most of my teachers liked me.  I had a few good friends.  Not really a recipe for popularity in there anywhere, and yet in my final year I was voted prom queen.  That was pretty memorable.  My sisters friends all voted for me, the rest of the votes were split amongst the popular girls and my favourite teacher counted the ballots.  This is how elections are won.

My first year of high school I had secret crushes on boys who would have been very surprised to learn about it,  since I so studiously ignored them, in case they might notice I existed and try to talk to me or something.  There was a chance they would say something stupid instead of a great line from a romance novel and I didn’t want any illusions shattered.  Gawd, high school.  Weirdest time of your life.

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

No ordinary rocks, definitely no pet rocks, and hardly any jewelry at all except for watches and earrings and a wedding band.  I have never owned a diamond, but that’s another story.

When I was having the mysterious lymphatic lumps on my neck investigated a couple of years ago and saw Yulanda, my favourite psychic, she gave me nothing but reassuring news (which turned out to be bang on, thus the reason she is my favourite).  She also gave me a flat smooth dark yellow stone, almost an amber brown, and for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called except that maybe it started with an A.  It wasn’t just a healing stone, but had balancing properties and other calming helpful things.  It’s the kind of thing I think is a little silly, because, come on, it’s just a rock, but I kept it close to me anyway until things felt resolved.  It was a little worry stone that soaked up my worries.  You do strange things to soothe your soul.  I still have it.  Even put it on a chain so I wouldn’t lose it.  Maybe I won’t need it again, but you never know.

Complete this sentence: I like watching…

Netflix.  Because I want to get every penny’s worth out of my eight dollars a month.  Occasionally I watch movies, but mostly it’s some tv series that goes on for many seasons so I can binge watch until I’m sick of it. There is no end in sight for the mystery shows;  lawyers, police, forensics,  investigators, detectives, criminals, victims, supernatural phenomena – I watch it all.  The latest thing I’m into is Midsommer Murders, but I have to say I’m getting a little tired of women screaming every time they stumble upon a murder victim. Really, there’s a dead body and somebody screams.  Several bodies, lots and lots of screaming.  Other than that, it’s a good show.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for a lazy laid back Christmas and New Years.  I was in bed well before the fireworks on New Years Eve.  The Christmas stuff is packed and put away and W is back to driving and doing the grocery shopping.   The furniture is all back to where it’s supposed to be because we no longer need a wide path for the walker.  I am brimming over with gratefulness for that alone.  There was a much welcomed and appreciated phone call from the latest clinic I visited telling me my fibroid test results were normal.  Normal is such a beautiful word, we really should appreciate it more.

In the week coming up I would like to go through my many unfinished drafts and either finish them or delete them.  I expect most of them will end up in the trash because I won’t remember what I was talking about.  And I am looking forward to the increase in daylight motivating me to make use of it in my little art studio, where the artistic “drafts” are piling up much like the written ones.

There are only twenty-nine days left in January!  Yay!  Let’s all be grateful for that one!

share-your-world2

Sharing My World 35

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Oops….not those words….

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK 42

Sunday seems like a perfect day to share my wacky words and world of wondrous-ness even though the questions are already a week old and probably no one cares what the answers are anymore.  The alternative is to simply post this cartoon and leave it at that, so consider this extra blather your little Sunday bonus.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

When I was MUCH younger and working as a medical receptionist for an ophthalmologist who performed cataract surgery, most of our patients were older at that time than the age I’m now.  So OLD.  Old people are early for everything.  The record for that office was a couple who showed up for an appointment 24 hours early.  They explained that they were doing a trial run to see where the office was and how long it would take them to get there.  They were thrilled that their calculations were so bang on and happily left promising to be back tomorrow.  Now I understand that perfectly.  We are going to do a trial run to the hospital where W will have his surgery, once we know the time, because then we can factor in traffic.  Do we have entirely too much time on our hands?  You betcha.  But I can’t remember the last time we were late for anything.  W likes to arrive right on time.  I like to be ridiculously early.  Especially at airports.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?

I fancy myself a writer of sorts.  Doesn’t every blogger think that way?  My novel-writing dreams are unlikely to ever come true now that I am older and wiser and have figured out how much work is involved in the novel-writing process.  I have written short stories.  And stuff that I call poetry.  But mostly I’m happy to stick with blog posts.  There’s certainly enough words recorded on this blog to fill a novel.  That should count for something.

Where did you live at age ten? Is it the same place or town you live now?

I lived on a farm near Port Elgin, Ontario, but the name has been changed to Saugeen Shores.  That’s where I went to high school, although that old high school is now a shopping centre.  And the barn where we lived has been torn down, and now I think maybe the house has been demolished as well.  Look at that – you leave and suddenly there’s no going back.  There’s still lots of family to visit in the area but I haven’t lived there for going on 50 years.

Would you rather be able to fly or breathe under water?

Even if I had the ability to breathe under water I would still die if you put me there.  That’s how freaked out I get even thinking about going down where scary water creatures dwell.  And if I could fly I would like to be like a hovercraft or a low flying humming-bird.  No extreme heights or speed.  Whoever is granting me this wish will now no doubt tell me to just carry on walking and riding in cars.

share-your-world2

What Are We Doing Again?

IMG_0839
These words are so simple, and yet….

I can’t get them out of my head.  What does this mean?  The phrase takes me all the way back to high school English and teachers who analyzed poetry in particular,  but also pretty much every other written thing, to death.  I admit I liked trying to impress them with my twisted take on things.  I expect a lot of authors would have been totally baffled by the garbage we came up with that they never meant at all.

Anyway, I want to know what you think.  Please take my poll.

There are no wrong answers.  Probably there are no right answers either.  Thank you class.  No going home for you until you finish this.  I will mail you your marks.

 

 

Not Playing Favorites

friends

365 Writing Prompts January 6 – My Favorite:  What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person?  Tell us about it.

I’ve got as many different favorite people in my life as there are reasons for having them so it’s not possible to come up with some finite time period to describe to you.  Who keeps track of that kind of stuff anyway?  An hour can feel like forever and years can pass by in the twinkling of an eye.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in this life it’s that everything changes.  A high school teacher once told us, after a train accident (of all things) had taken the life of one of our classmates, that this was the time in our lives when we would start to experience the grief of death and loss, and that it would continue to get worse as we got older.  Imagine that, life being even more depressing after high school.  It starts much sooner for some of us of course, when a beloved grandparent or uncle or simply someone we assumed would always be around is suddenly physically gone.

But here’s the good thing about that.  If we remember them, they never really leave us.  Everyone we’ve ever met becomes a small part of who we are.  I miss the physical presence of my mother but in every other way she is still with me.  I think she will be inside me for eternity, in my head and in my heart.  Maybe my eternity will last eighty years, or maybe it’s already into eons if my soul is as old as I’ve been told. That either matters or it doesn’t.  Does time have to be measured?

Another thing I’ve learned is that the only one who will for certain be with me for the duration is me.  I am the common denominator in this great math problem known as my life.  So that should make me my all time favorite person and either a raging ego maniac or someone simply comfortable in her own skin.  I can’t get away from myself, no matter what role I choose to play. Might as well like who I am with all the labels stripped away.

A casual friend tried to convince me once that the absolute worst and most feared state we face as human beings is to be alone.  She is that person all of us have bumped into at some time or other who asks for our opinion so that she can go on and on at great length explaining to us why it is not only wrong but also stupid.  I think that explains why we’re not really close.  When I was silly enough to mention that I love my alone time, she just said, no, you don’t.  Inconceivable that anyone could be on their own and happy about it.

Being alone was actually preferable to her company right about then, although I think she would have found that idea preposterous.  Just a guess.  But I do like my own company, I like the quiet and the stillness and how relaxed I feel when I’m being perfectly me with no one to impress or entertain or piss off with my dumb opinions.

If you have a favorite person and you hate it when that person goes away, that’s okay, but it’s also not something to get obsessed about.  Things change.  If that person never comes back, you will go on living.  The hole in your life will fill back up and even though it will never be the same, it can still be good.

Well, is that enough blather for today? Enough of me talking to myself and wishing I would shut up already so I can go read a book or something?   I think that’s a yes.  See how agreeable I am?  I love me.

365 writing prompts

Inconceivable!

Easter postcard circa early 20th century
Easter postcard circa early 20th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Prompt:

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – the White Queen, Alice in Wonderland.

What are the six impossible things you believe in? (If you can only manage one or two, that’s also okay.)

No problem, I can probably manage a dozen.  And all before breakfast as well.  The White Queen’s got nothing on me. But as impossible as this might sound, I am going to limit myself to six, because breakfast cannot be put off forever.

My guidelines will be the six definitions of impossible.
1.  not possible; unable to be, exist, happen, etc.  Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Cupid and the Tooth Fairy.  They are all out there.  I’ve seen the results of their existence.  That’s good enough for me

2. unable to be done, performed, effected, etc.: an impossible assignment.  I believe in miracles.  They happen all the time.  You will never get there in time, you will never walk again, you will never beat this disease, you will never be truly happy – all pessimistic lies.  Never, NEVER say never.

3.  incapable of being true, as a rumor.  Here’s the thing about rumors and gossip – what you hear is no doubt true about somebody, and that somebody is quite possibly the person spreading the misery.  We see in others what we most despise in ourselves.  You may think it’s impossible to stop the rumors or to shut some one up, but see number 2 above.  Miracles happen when gossip is important only to the gossip-er and not the gossip-ee.

4.  not to be done, endured, etc., with any degree of reason or propriety: an impossible situation.  Perfect example – High School.  Raise your hand if you thought you’d never make it out of there alive.  And yet, here you are.  You endured.  It’s kind of amazing the impossible situations that can in fact be endured and lived through and written about later with a great deal of humor which was totally inconceivable at the time it was actually happening to you.

5.  utterly impracticable: an impossible plan.  I believe I am going to live forever in some form or other.  I believe there is life on other planets, life after death, life in other dimensions.   One day I believe we will all understand and know everything there is to know about our universe and the cosmos and everything in it,  because we are all part of some great connection and learning process and yes, crazy huge master plan.  I will HAVE to live forever to get all this figured out properly.

6 . synonyms:  unbearable, intolerable, unmanageable.  Hmmmph.  We can bear, tolerate and manage tiny moments in time. We’re doing it right now. We string these tiny moments together, and voila!  There are no impossibilities at all.

So, to sum up, it would appear that I believe in Santa Claus, miracles, gossip, high school, eternal life and living in the moment.  What a bizarre list.

I also believe in breakfast and more coffee.  And in having an inconceivably miraculous day

Sweet Shallow Sixteen

Sixty Four
Sixty Four (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Prompt:  Sweet Sixteen  When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?

Really, how far into the future does a sixteen year old girl dare to gaze?  I don’t remember having any lofty aspirations about my future or any definite long-term goals.  The short-term was more than enough to keep me as completely stressed out as only a teenager has the energy to be.

If my sixteen year old self had drawn up a list of things I desperately wanted out of life, I expect it would have looked something like this:

1.  Get drivers license.

2.  Borrow brothers car.

3.  Find a boyfriend who looks like Donovan.

4.  Let hair grow super long.

5.  Get through second year of highschool with marks of 85% and up.

6.  Go on a car date.

7.  Be seriously kissed.

8.  Learn how to roller skate.

9.  Get a summer job.

10.  Buy some nice clothes.

11.  Have a clear complexion and perfect (PERFECT!) make up.  Every day.

12.  Wear panty hose with no runs or snags or holes.

13.  Figure out how to dance without looking like an idiot.

14.  Sit at the back of every class and pop glasses on in emergency situations only when no one is looking.

15.  Avoid all boys with agricultural backgrounds and even the slightest chance of having a farming future.

16.  Think up a really good reason for missing church and convince mom of its validity.

17.  Remember to shave legs

18.  Never ever miss a homework assignment.

19.  Buy enough records to fulfill membership agreement with Columbia Records and then quit before going broke.

20. Stop smiling so much, because it’s making weird crease marks on your face.

Till I See You Again
Till I See You Again (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s something to be said for making attainable goals, because I was able to check off every one of these objectives in my sixteenth year, right down to the Donovan-like boyfriend and getting seriously kissed.  Both of which scared me half to death.

When I heard a rumor that classmates thought I was a bit stuck up I decided to start smiling again.  If I’d worn my glasses I would have been able to recognize people from a distance greater than 3 feet, and perhaps that would have made me appear more friendly.  But the truth is I was very self conscious about wearing my glasses, and being shy and half blind can easily be misconstrued as conceit.  I was actually a very nice person, even if I wasn’t all that deep.

It’s impossible to say if my life has become what I wanted it to be then, because I had no clear vision of it beyond getting through high school and living in a city someday at that point.  Maybe I’ve never set the bar high enough, or been ambitious enough, or sufficiently driven and determined to do great things.  But I’ve also never really been disappointed in myself either, or dissatisfied with how things have played out.  Is that a good thing?  I think it is.

If You Could Read Me Now

The Daily Prompt :  Audience of One – Picture the one person in the world you really wish were reading your blog. Write her or him a letter.

AP English Books
AP English Books (Photo credit: Dave Kleinschmidt)

Dear Mr. Thornburn:

I don’t imagine that you will remember me, one of a thousand students you taught over your long career, so here’s a little memory jog for you.

You taught English Literature to my grade twelve class in 1966.  I was seventeen years old.  I thought at first that you were way beyond the point where it was healthy for you to still be teaching, and imagined you must be in your seventies with your bifocals and your grey hair and your vivid memories of the ancient history that happened in your lifetime before we were even born.

Once you actually called me by my mothers name because you had taught English classes to her too, and I wanted to shrink down under my seat and disappear.  No teenage girl wants anyone to think she’s anything at all like her mother.  You shook your head as if to clear it and laughed and then went on to highly praise some little thing I’d written, reading it aloud to the rest of the class and explaining exactly why it was so brilliant.

Sketch of William Shakespeare.
Sketch of William Shakespeare. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was embarrassed, but I was also elated and inspired by your words.  You, lover of literature and grammar and composition, who made Shakespeare come alive for us by reciting some soliloquy on top of your desk while wielding a plastic sword – you  really liked something I’d written.  You made me want to write more.

That’s why I wish you were still around to read my blog.  It’s not Shakespeare, but it is words from my heart.  Almost always grammatically correct.  Except right there of course, since that wasn’t a real sentence, and this one is a bit of a run-on mess, but you know what I mean.  You were so enthusiastic and encouraging and supportive.  You always pointed out the good stuff.  You brought out the best in me.

You saw that spark inside me and you blew on it until it became a fire that would never burn out.  I am reading, I am writing, and I am appreciating the power of the written word. When a book or a story or even just some delightful little phrase makes me joyful, I think about how much you would have loved it.

So thank you Mr. Thornburn.  I will never be a best selling author or famous for any other reason, but that doesn’t matter.  Someone, somewhere will be inspired by some small thing I decided was important enough to write down.  I wish it could be you, because I owe you.

Yours sincerely,

Not My Mother, but finally able to see what a compliment it was to be the one who made you think of her.

A Letter to Me in 1963

Okay fourteen year old me, listen up.  I’m only going to tell you these things once, and some of them will hurt your feelings but they’re for your own good.  Of course you won’t believe that and you will never thank me for this, but that’s okay.

It’s just one of those pesky writing prompts which will show everyone I have a faulty memory and entirely too much time on my hands.  (As if you would listen to me anyway, unless I could make it all into song lyrics, and for some things I simply won’t live long enough.)

George Harrison

1.  You are never going to marry George Harrison.  You will never even get to meet him in real life.  Maybe set your sights just a tad lower.  You didn’t really want your children growing up saying things like tally ho and bloody hell, did you?

2.  The lyrics to “Louie Louie” are not as gross and disgusting as you have been lead to believe.  (Last night at ten, I laid her again, I f**k all girls all kinds of ways….) – not even remotely close.  Those idiots saying that’s what they get from all that moaning and mumbling are just yanking your chain.

3.  I know you love John Diefenbaker and you’re mildly annoyed when Pearson wins the election, but Lester B. does bring us a cool new national flag, so he turns out to be less than completely disappointing after all.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4.  It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World is not the funniest movie you will ever see.

5.  Knowing what is going to happen to JFK in November will not make it any easier to comprehend or any less shocking for you or anyone else in the world.  So I’m not going to warn you.  Although I wish I could.

Barbra Streisand

6.  Barbara Streisand is never going to get her nose altered.  So you can stop wondering what she’d look like with a different one.

7.  High School in Ontario in the sixties is five long years.  Right now, in grade nine, it feels like it will never end, but it does. Then in less than the amount of time it takes for you to live through it, you will have forgotten about 80% of the reasons you came up with for all that angst.

8. Panty hose is not the worst thing you’ll ever have to wear.  No, I take that back.  It is.

9.  Your mother says you can’t go out on a car date until you’re seventeen.  We both know that’s crazy shit.  But it’s not nice to laugh at your mother, so stop it.

Cover of "Surfer Girl"

10.  You are going to have the words to Surfer Girl by the Beach Boys in your head for the next fifty years.  Fifty!  I am not even kidding.  And the one by the Four Seasons where they tell you Big Girls Don’t Cry?  You’re right.  It’s a lie.