There was a moment of panic this morning when I realized that August had crept up on me and I felt that I wasn’t ready! For as long as I have had children in school, summer has been defined as the period of time between the last day of school in June and the first day of school in September. It’s funny how that block of time seemed longer when I was a kid than it does today and how I always looked forward to the first day of school more as a kid than I do now.
Getting ready for school back in the day was a big event…it would come in August when the second cutting of hay had been baled and there was a lull in the farm work that needed to be done. Back to school shopping would be one of the few trips that we would make to London (unlike now when my children commute back and forth to work). Back then, there was a downtown mall in London on the corner of York and Wellington with a parking garage attached to it and that’s where we would shop. Our school bags were sturdy and lasted us for years and our metal lunch pails only needed to be replaced if they had been damaged or if they got rusty. I still remember a certain smell that metal lunch pails had or maybe it was just the ketchup sandwiches that I took to school! We didn’t have juice boxes or pre-packaged snacks. Instead, we would go to the garden and pick a tomato or some grapes for our lunches.
Our back to school shopping would have mostly been to buy a new outfit to wear on our first day back and only a few school supplies because our pencils and workbooks were supplied at S.S.#8 Beechwood; the one room school house that we went to. For the first couple of grades, we were given fat pencils to use while we learned how to print in workbooks that had three lines; one on the bottom and one on the top for capital letters and one in the middle to show us how high lower case letters should be.