Category Archives: images of children

The First Day

daily life color243 (2)With my sister Patti, 1953, setting out for that big journey across the street for my first day in the first grade.

First Day of School

In our house, a pencil sharpener fastened to a shelf
with a little handle I could turn myself.
All the curls of wood and lead safely caught within,
as I gave the pencil sharpener one more little spin.

Five newly sharpened pencils, clutched tight in my hand,
then bound into a secure bunch with a rubber band.
Dropped into my school bag with eraser, tablet, ruler.
Everything unused and clean.  Nothing could be cooler.

The school warning bell rings out as my saddle shoe––
crisp black and white, unblemished, for it’s stiffly new––
makes its first step out my door to cross across the street
and with other six-year-olds, to find my proper seat.

Lynnie, Henrietta, Sheila, Diane, Sharon.
Clevie,  Meridee and I, Rita, Linda, Karen.
Lyle, Keith, Clinton, Jeff, Georgie, Jimmie, Billie––
come from all directions, running willie-nillie

to get to school before the bell sounds its final peal.
All those years of playing school finally here for real.
We stand in lines inside the room as she calls our names.
No more days of playing random childhood games.

Reading and arithmetic, that little cardboard store
where we learned to count out change, make shopping lists and more.
Spelldowns standing up in front, facing towards the class.
Your hand up when you had to ask for the bathroom pass.

Marching all around the room singing “Charming Billy.”
Can he bake a cherry pie? Those lyrics were so silly.
Then we stomped and pointed–our volume without match
as we sent the boys out yonder  to the paw paw patch.

Are you too young to remember? Or is it that you’re old,
your remembrances supplanted, your memories grown cold?
Do you not recall  the ink wells and chalk erasers?
The recess bell, the sandbox, the swingers and the chasers?

The teeter-totters creaking and the merry-go-round?
Every playground adventure? That cacophonous sound
of shouts and jeers and teasings, the tether ball and slide.
All the joyous sounds before we were called inside

to spend time with Alice and Jerry,  and with “Run, Spot, run,”
reading words over and over before the day was done?
They swirled around in all our brains––phonics, words and numbers
stirred our active childhood minds from their former slumbers.

It was so many years ago that we set out that day
upon a road that later would carry us away
from that square white building with its tower and tolling bell
that for the first eight years of school we would mind so well.

Streaming in from all the sides of our little town––
brilliant students, dunces, class bully and class clown.
It was a collaboration that ultimately made
eighteen little boys and girls ready for second grade!

The prompt was collaboration.

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There are two faces in my first grade photo that I have no memory of.  They left before second grade.  I am the little blonde girl in the middle of the second row. If anyone remembers the little girl next to me or the little boy next to her, please let me know and I’ll add them to the roster.  In second grade, they were replaced by two newcomers, Clifford Leading Cloud and Judy Toni. Eleven of us in this photo completed all 12 years of school together.  Our first grade teacher was Mrs. Sandy. Her husband, Pink Sandy, taught generations of Murdo kids how to swim in Johansen’s stock dam!

Scraps of Her

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Scraps of Her

She was the glitter
in our all-too-literal lives.
She left a trail of it,
our littlest fairy. 
It was the dust of her,
like that perfume half
school glue and half strawberries.
All these little paths she created in our lives—
the silliness and dainty nylon net of her,
with sand spilling from her overall pockets
and shed-off Barbie Doll parts left like
clues: one tiny shoe, a pink plastic door
from her convertible.

These small reminders once filled our house
and some of them remained when she no longer did.
We find them like the droppings of her 
in infrequently visited drawers,
the corners of cupboards 
and the hidden pockets of the sofa.

I find her signs as I empty vacuum cleaner bags—
a tail of glitter through the dust that, unaware,
she left like breadcrumbs through the forest of our memories.

Little girl.  All grown up.
Off in a different world
that is like a new game of her own concocting,
this house a scrapbook
we would never choose to remove her from.

The prompt today was “glitter.”

Big, Big World: WP Daily Prompt, Nov 5, 2016

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Big, Big World

Remember when your world was new
how in the world surrounding you
everything seemed bigger then?
It often seems that way again
when we see things nostalgically,
for memory boosts them mightily.
Our mother’s lap or father’s knee
becomes a world–a rolling sea
as we remember rocking there—
a child traveling in their care.

The rooms of childhood were immense,
and all the traumas more intense.
Curtailed play and spilled ice creams
were tragedies expressed by screams.
Time stretched out like a highway then,
however short time might have been
for parents, who saw us grow up quickly.
Time surrounded us more thickly.

The days of summer passed so slow
from sunrise up to candle glow.
Voices echoed in failing light
as we took that last long flight
down the road from England’s hill.
It seemed to last for hours until
we reached the bottom and pedaled home
under that vast dimming dome
that soon the starlight would fill in
until the slow sun rose again.

The night was darker and longer then,
as we contemplated sin
that our prayers brought to mind,
and that inevitably would wind
into our dreams to swell and swell
until they became a hell—
our terrors spreading in the night
until our moms turned on the light,
still maintaining they weren’t there at all
as they followed her back down the hall.

All things were large when we were small–
those tiny cuts, that minor fall.
A childish spat heartbreaking when
you could have been where they were then
but couldn’t because you’d had a fight.
and they were wrong and you were right!

And though  rage hadn’t lasted long,
they had to say that they were wrong!
And so you sobbed and fussed and pouted,
while outside, the others shouted
gleefully from swings and slide.
The pain more than you could abide.

When we were eight or six or three,
the whole world was hyperbole.
And now that we are fully grown,
living free and on our own,
hopefully we’ve learned to season
ire with pardon, dreams with reason.
And before it all blows up,
let us hope the world grows up!

The prompt today is “hyperbole

At First

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At First

Days were not over half so soon
when we ate passion with a spoon.
Swirled chocolate at the Frosty Freeze

melting in the prairie breeze
hot and redolent of soil—
chaff of wheat and rattled coil.
Summer days and summer nights,
rolls in grass and water fights
with uncoiled hoses, cooking pans,
rolled up cuffs and soaked white Vans.

Passion then was not so much
a thing of kissing or of  touch
as of smells and sights and taste.
Baking beans and paper paste.
Brand new tablets, pencil shavings.
Summer nights, then autumn cravings.
Cattle lowing, school bells,
Cool spring water from deep wells.
Throats that ached from drinking it,
brought to light from ancient pit.

All these simple remembered things
that thinking about passion brings:
spin-overs on the monkey bars,
rides on bikes and naming stars.
It’s true some passion rides on night
with pressing lips and gentle bite,
or trembles on the fingertips
straying over breasts or hips.

Yet simpler loves bring lesser rations
of what adults consider passions.
Words like passion must be allowed
to be unfettered, like a cloud
and not confined in connotation,
dictionary or denotation.
Sometimes passion can be bright—
A meadowlark or soaring kite.
Sun-chapped lips just touched with mist
long before they’re ever kissed.

The prompt word today was “Passionate.”

The Princess and the Frog Prince––Cee’s Oddball Challenge, May 8, 2016

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Although he looks like he’d rather be anyplace but here, his hand was actually the first one that shot up when the teacher asked who would like to run for king.  Five years later, he is taller than his mom… and almost as tall as I am.  Sweet Oscar.  Wonder what he’d think of those blue satin knee pants now???

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Here is a picture taken two days ago.  It is of Oscar, his dad Pablo, his mom Yolanda, sister Yoli and me, aboard the pontoon boat Batur for a fundraising concert to send a San Juan Cosala girl to music camp in Huntsville, Alabama.  First time anyone in the family had been on the lake, in spite of the fact that they were all born here.  Yoli was thrilled!  More photos to follow. I look frazzled.  I was!  Oscar has changed from being a frog prince to a bat man!

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge Week 22: Group

Our girls’ dance class has metamorphosed into a kids’ yoga/self-awareness class.  The girls seem to love it and we plan on adding a boys’ class as well.  Cynthy, the 20ish teacher, is a bit of a kid herself and the perfect one to work with the children of our village.

I love the picture of this group of pelicans and gulls flying off after clearing the beach of the castoff fruits of the sea shed on the beach by fishermen clearing their nets.

This group of young boys from our summer camp mugging for the camera is one of my favorites.  What sweet kids they are. Hope to repeat the experience this summer.

Please click on the first photo to enlarge all photos for viewing.

https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/04/19/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-22-group/