Haven’t much changed

I have a clear memory of the view from my grade three classroom overlooking the muddy field next to the black top. On sunnier days the black top was covered with children lined up to take their turn in the perpetual games of square ball which lined side by side.

Likewise on a sunny day, on the field grassy and green, would be the chaotic organization of games of scrub baseball in every corner of the field. The players blended together. Their games indistinct but by the size of the children waiting to field the balls. Grade four children far away from the near teen grade sevens.

But, on the day in my memory there is only one seagull sitting in the muddy field. The horrid mud brought by forty days and forty nights of straight unending miserable soggy wet ugly rain. I remember it being forty days and nights as my Sunday school teacher implied the weather had similarities to a biblical story of note.

Our teacher, Mrs. Swan droned on and on about the value of cleaning beneath our finger nails as I lost interest and gazed out the window at the seagull.

That memory comes to mind fifty two years later as I sit at my window watching the seagulls out in the rain. They are oblivious to how unpleasant it is out there. I imagine they don’t think much of my fortitude. I am a fair weather gardener at the best of times let alone my enthusiasm for cleaning up our work site in miserable weather. They enjoy this rain? Good for them.

E is on the ferry to the city for the day and the water is so rough the Captain has closed the outside decks. I can’t remember a March with not so much as three days of clear skies in a row.

We are fortunate that the renovation is at a point where there are plenty of inside jobs to keep us busy. At some point we need to take the roof off. I would expect a week of guaranteed dry weather would be optimum.

Twenty years ago I met a red haired woman in my office who through a very unlikely conversation learned which elementary school I had attended. She informed me that her neighbour had taught at that same school. As a forty year old professional looking woman dressed in a blue suit, sitting at a desk with not one but two computers and manicured nails, I asked her to give my regards to the teacher. Mrs. Swan, I was sure would be to close to 150 years old by then and I felt confident wouldn’t remember me even if she were alive.

The next morning red head approached me with a broad grin. Not only was her neighbour the Mrs. Swan but she remembered me. In all of her years teaching she only had one Me. What I would have given for a name like Mary or Jennifer. Red went on with Mrs. Swan’s memory. I was apparently a nice enough girl but inattentive. When I wasn’t laughing with my friends I was gazing out the window.

With all of the renovation going on I find it increasingly diffficult to keep my hands clean. My nails look like a long shoremans. Apparently one of my favourite pastimes continues to be gazing out the window at the seagulls and I sill love to laugh with my friends. Fifty some odd years later, I

haven’t much changed

6 thoughts on “Haven’t much changed

  1. I remember grade 3 and the two little girls I longed for without knowing why….Gail Fostmier and Sandra Toner. Either would do. Loved ’em both. 8 years old. And that kind of longing would repeat itself for a long time but, by the half-way point to success, I knew why. Didn’t much change the outcome of unrequited love, tho. Understanding is the booby prize.
    This rain is hampering my f’glassing, making me stare out the window pensively, too. Seems to be contagious.


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