Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One of My Favorite Years

There are just those years of life and school that just jump from the pages of your memory; fourth grade was one of those years. It was just a special year. I remember the boys realized that we girls existed, because we knew they had existed for years. I remember the boys "harassing us" and us girls giggling and giggling. Of course the boy that you hit or chased the most was the one you liked.

I loved my teacher. She was a seasoned teacher, much older than my first three teachers. She loved history and made it come alive, making it the only subject I remember from fourth grade. Books that I read….I have no clue. 

My fondest memory of school that year was...rubbed on pantyhose. Each morning, after arriving at school, a group of girls would meet in the entry way bathroom. I don't know who brought it, but one girl had access to leg cream that would make our legs look like we were wearing pantyhose. I am sure our mother's forbid us from wearing pantyhose because we weren't old enough, but we knew how to have the look. Meeting in the bathroom we would take off our socks and rub down our legs with the cream. On our way home we would meet in the bathroom to wash our legs off….I just have to laugh, don't you know those teachers saw our streaked legs and giggled in the teacher's lounge? We felt we were "so grown up" and had pulled something over on our moms. Feeling stylish with my side pony tail, it was a year of feeling "big".

This was the time of the Cold War with Russia and the country still prepared in case of an attack. We would have bomb drills. We would be led out into the hall to curl up in a fetal position with our hands clasp around the back of our necks, for protection. It seemed like we would stay there forever, but it brought a welcome change in the school day. Fire drills were our favorite distraction because we would go outside and everyone would talk, while the teachers were telling us to be quite. My children have all been homeschooled and had their first fire drill in college.
I started Girl Scouts having finished Brownies. This included selling cookies and summer camp. Summer day camp was good food, lots of girls, crafts and salt pills at lunch.

My sister and I would start outside lessons. This year we tried baton and ballet. The baton was so much fun. We would take it outside and throw it up as high as we could in the air, then attempt to catch it as it came back to the earth…I don't remember many successful catches, but I do remember the laughter and the bruised arms. Ballet was just wonderful. We would perform in front of my parents, who tell the story of trying not to laugh, while my sister and I would try to show them our graceful new dances. One of us was very coordinated while the other one was all arms. Let's just say my sister's talent wasn't in dance, but she passed me up in her piano playing. I would be very serious about my ballet, while my sister, 14 months younger, would be more captivated by the giggles of the viewers. She would perform, while I would work on my skills.

Our family would also venture out for another family vacation. This summer we would mark the states that we had covered…Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and part of Illinois. We boarded a show boat in Mississippi, and visited two Indian reservations.

I rode a banana seat bike. Listened to Beach Boys on 45 records…Beatles weren't ever allowed in our house. We watched the Sonny and Cher Show and Carol Barnett on our single television in our family den. My father usually enjoyed his evening outside in his shop making bullets and custom-made knifes.

We cut down a "huge" Christmas tree from a friend's land. It was so large it extended from the tail pipe of our station wagon to the hood ornament on the front. When we got it home we wondered what we were thinking…shoving it through the door it couldn't even stand up in our house. My engineer father was undaunted by the size, pulled out his saw to cut off the truck and then nailed it the beam in our A-frame ceiling. The branches were so far apart that my mother used them like shelves for our gifts. So instead of gifts surrounding the tree they were up in the tree.

Just a sweet time of life!

I am continuing on my journey with Mommy Piggy Tales, where we are recording our youth for our children.


16 Joining in with more words:

Gretchen said...

Lots of interesting memories, Janette! I can just see the children lined up in the hallway. What a different era that was!

Ginny Marie said...

We never had bomb drills, but that's exactly what we did (and schools still do) for tornado drills here in the Midwest. Your memories are wonderful to read! I love that Christmas tree story, too!

Debbie said...

I soo enjoyed your post Janette. I have to say though I sure don't remember the cream that made your legs look like you were wearing panty hose, haha...I really enjoy reading these memories. I took a pic today of your wonderful pillow you gave me on my new bedspread ensemble. It just goes PERFECTLY
~ as if it was purchased together with everything else. I love it so. I will try and post it tomorrow or the next day if I get the chance. Have a wonderful day. HUGS, Deb

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

I so enjoyed this post...I think leg cream is hysterical....are those your old barbies..from when you were a kid... BIG trees at the holidays I love it...

Sonja said...

When we start thinking about those growing up days, so many stories come to mind. I loved this Janette!

The leg cream was not one that I remember, but it's sure one that I use now!! It sprays tan and voila!, I'm ready for flip flops every day! :)

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I think the leg cream was from Avon if I remember right.
Yes those are my barbies...one grew hair, one is the first talking barbie...none played with much!

Thanks for stopping by...this journey has been fun

Rachel said...

I love the memories, Janette. Thank you for sharing.

(and I really love the pics of the Barbies)

Denise said...

I remember watching Sonny & Cher & The Carol Barnett show. I was so amazed the first time I saw them on a color TV, our TV at home was black & white & I always assumed they were made in black & white.

I've got to LOL at some of the styles in your class picture, hopefully the striped pants will NEVER come back into fashion.

partialemptynester said...

LOVE this post! I was the youngest of four, so I don't really have the exact same era of memories, but I do remember being the one told to get up to change the channel for such shows as Carol Burnett and Sonny and Cher (I remember when Chastity was a guest on their show, too)...I would love to see some reruns of Love, American Style...I can't believe that as strict as my parents were, we did watch those shows!

Thanks for the memories :))

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I don't remember rubbed on pantyhose, but I do remember fire and air raid drills. For the air raid drills, we had to get under our desks curled up like you said. The fire drills were more fun because we actually got to leave class. I had quite a few Barbies too. My favorite was Malibu Barbie :-)

Debi said...

I forgot about those 'bomb drills'!! It's amazing what we accept as 'normal', huh? Your post was so cute - I can remember it well.
So - YOU were one of those girls the boys recognized! :0 - they looked right past me ... :)I was a 'late bloomer'.
Enjoyed this recollection of memories fully!

Janna said...

Reading your post just makes me so happy that I've started this project and get to share it with women who love all those simple things that make life into one big wonderful adventure.

That would be just like my family to get too big of a tree but make the best of it and be completely happy about it. We've never really been perfectionists.

My grandma used that cream during WWII when nylon was scarce.

gianna said...

I'm jealous that you got to be in dance. I wanted to dance in 4th grade, but my mom didn't think that good little Christian girls danced.

Debbie said...

Yes, we have more in common. Twirling, Brownies, Girl Scouts, air raid drills in the halls and oh so much more I know. I love reading these posts of your early years Janette. I don't think I used the cream though. I still wore knee socks then. LOL

Hugs to you,

Eos Mom said...

I love the image of Christmas gifts in the braches of the tree--how fun!

Anonymous said...

Oh, girlfriend, I have so many of those same memories!! What a wonderful post for me to reminisce and think back to the days of owning one car to a family, not necessarily per person. We played hours past dark in the safe neighborhood during the warm summer nights and a mini dress meant above the knee, not below the fanny :)

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