Friday, September 7, 2012

School Days

Yesterday was Leanna's first day of school, and her first day at what I call a "traditional" school. After being home schooled their entire life, we enrolled the girls in a bilingual English/Spanish school here in the Canary Islands. Leanna was a little nervous at first, but she did fine and made friends quickly.

The starting of school is so nostalgic. I recall those first days of September, the cooler air coming with the promise of Fall right around the corner. I loved wearing my new outfits and saddle oxford shoes. Each year my mom would take us to JC Penney for school shoes--all six of us children. We each got one pair of every day "school" shoes, and one pair of gym shoes. I felt sorry one year for my parents as we checked out--spending what seemed like a small fortune just on shoes--and back then it was quite a bit of money. My mom always said September was one of the slowest times in the flower shop because all the parents were broke from buying school clothes and supplies.

My mom would sometimes fry us cheeseburgers for breakfast--she realized the importance of a high protein breakfast and knew we would feel better eating that than something sweet, like pop tarts or donuts. To this day some of my siblings still order a cheeseburger when they go out for breakfast.
We had to catch the school bus, and our house set back from the road quite a long way so we couldn't see the bus coming from the house. My worse fear would be to miss the bus, knowing my dad wouldn't be too happy to have to run us up to the school. My brothers learned that they could sleep a little longer if they wore their school clothes to bed--all they had to do in the morning was wake up, brush their hair,  and run out the door. My mom was thrilled when a line of clothing came out called "Garanimals" because they came prematched--all  you had to do is match the same animal figure that was on the tag of the shirt and pants--so no need to worry if your kids clothes coordinated. Today I doubt it would be much of a problem anyway--it seems to be the style not to match anymore.

Entering the school there was a distinct aroma of the school cafeteria. Back then they still hired cooks and they made most of the food. Some menus were more popular than others. Usually spaghetti came with peanut butter sandwiches on cheap white bread that stuck to the roof of your mouth (that was before they worried about food allergies.) The canned spinach made my stomach turn and made the whole school smell--did anyone actually eat that slimy stuff?  Pizza day was the favorite (usually Friday), even though it was just a little cheap frozen, cardboard pizza. Everyone loved the no bake cookies.

It will be interesting someday to hear what memories my own children have of their school and home school experiences.


Reesa Woodman said...


You don't have to publish this comment but please read it and know this is not spam.

As a blogger myself, I know that one thing we often have is a local following or know who does have a local following. I would love to reach out to you. I am leaving a comment because I can't figure out how to email you.

My third cousin's step son was abducted by his father from the States earlier this summer. He is now in the Canary Islands. I'd like to share a few links with you to the Facebook page and a couple other internet pages set up to assist his recovery. The authorities there do know about this situation as it is my understanding that they stripped the father and abducted son of their passports earlier this month (or in late August) but were unable to arrest him at the time because a form had not been translated at the time the authorities found them.

If you have any suggestions for ways for the family to reach out to the residents in the Canary Islands, please share them with me and I will pass them on to the family. They are trying to build awareness of this abduction but are doing so from the States.

If you know of popular social media pages, other bloggers, or any other social media outlets there that you could share with me I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you and God bless!

-Reesa (

Victoria said...

I love hearing people reminisce about their childhoods. You described your school days in such a way, I felt like I was there!

I never knew the reason behind the different animals on the Garanimals shirts! Very cool!

Praying for your daughters as they are in school. I'm sure they will do well and glorify God in all that they do!

Jamie Parfitt said...

Guess that dates ME, since I DID know what the animals were for! We couldn't afford Garanimals, though. Now THAT'S poor. Didn't hurt us, though. :-) You always make me want to write MY reminiscences. That was funny about ordering cheeseburgers for breakfast. As my kids would say, "that's classic." They might say to each other, "It's classic to order a cheeseburger for breakfast when we go out." They call things classic that they just did for the first time! Guess my vocabulary teaching isn't great. They don't seem to know the definition of 'CLASSIC.'