Memory Monday ~ My First School…

Retired Not Tired Memory Monday

The first school I attended was Eastside Elementary School, located in Florida.  I only attended this school for three years, and haven’t seen the school since 1963.  However, I did manage to find the following image of the school on the internet:

images (1) Eastside Elementary

Google photo of Eastside Elementary School

I don’t have many memories of the time I spent at Eastside, and the few memories I do have aren’t good ones.  I’ll share them anyway.

I remember stepping on the grass on the first day of school, then getting hauled to the principal’s office, by an over-zealous ‘patrol boy’, for doing so.  You see, it was against school rules to step off the sidewalks and onto the grass.  I got very upset and cried, but nothing bad happened to me, thank goodness.  The principal just asked me not to step on the grass again–and you can be sure I didn’t!

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In trouble on first day! (Google photo)

I also remember getting a paddling, along with most of the rest of the class, during my second grade year.  The teacher left us unattended for a good while, and told us not to get out of our seats.  Well, kids will be kids, and after a while, most of the class was out of their seats and ‘dancing’, myself included.  We all received a ‘lick’ (or two) with the teacher’s paddle.  I was mortified, and have never forgotten it.

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Google photo

My next memory is one of misspelling the word ‘girl’ on a spelling test, then having to write it on the chalkboard over and over, in front of the class!  Another humbling experience I’ve never forgotten, but I’ve never misspelled the word ‘girl’ again either!

My final memory of Eastside Elementary is that of recess, which I always hated, because of the’organized games’ like Red Rover or Dodgeball.  I hated any kind of organized game, and was often the last one chosen for a team.

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My family moved to Georgia in 1963, and I began fourth grade there.  My school memories in Georgia are much more pleasant than the ones I have from Florida.  I lived across the street from the school during part of my fourth grade year, so I was able to go home for lunch every day.  I could also walk across the street, to play on the school playground, whenever I wanted to. My fourth grade teacher, “Miss Rogers”, had also been my daddy’s teacher, and was very nice to me.

Sixth grade, eighth grade, and twelfth grade stand out in my mind as my favorite years of school. Sixth grade was a favorite year because the teacher was my parents’ friend and our next-door neighbor.  Eighth grade was a favorite because I made great grades and was inducted into the Beta Club. My senior year was my favorite year because…well, because it was my senior year, of course!  I made excellent grades, that year, plus I got out of school, at 1 o’clock, as part of the school-to-work program!  I only had to attend four classes, instead of the usual six.

I never really minded going to school, but, during my senior days, I much preferred going to work and earning a paycheck over sitting in a classroom and studying. My preference never changed, but I did take some on-line college courses–thirty years after I graduated!

I’m linking this post with other ‘Memory Monday’ posts at Retired-not-Tired.  Thanks to Judy for hosting this fun new meme!

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Published in: on October 20, 2014 at 7:54 am  Comments (6)  
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The Age of the Typewriter…

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I have several ideas for posts swirling around in my head, but I can’t proceed without revisiting a topic that came up recently–old typewriters.

In yesterday’s “About Me Quiz” I asked the question, “Have you ever typed on a manual (non-electric) typewriter?”  I don’t know where I got the idea for this question, but I sure enjoyed some of the comments I received!

One of my favorite replies was from jose2shoes :  Typing class back in the dinosaur days was all on manual typewriters and that’s how I learned. Then came electric IBM typewriters and we really thought we were in Heaven. Now it’s hard to type a sentence without spelling errors, we’ve become so spoiled by our ability to spell check and correct on-screen! Makes life a lot simpler in the office though. I remember typing long legal documents in the old days that couldn’t have any errors and had carbon copies… ugh!!

Jose2shoes’ comment brought back a few typing memories of my own:

My earliest memory of a typewriter is from somewhere in mid-childhood. Someone,  I believe it was my brother’s wife, had a manual typewriter, but the keys on it were covered.  I remember trying to type on the machine, and being both fascinated and  frustrated by it.  I couldn’t understand why anyone would have the keys to their typewriter covered up! (I learned it was a “requirement”.)

Fast forward a few years, to 1970.  By then, I was taking Typing 1 in high school.  Electric typewriters had made their appearance, and typing was a lot easier.  I could never burn up the keys like some of the girls in my class, but I took great pride in making very few errors!  (I guess my strive for perfection was manifesting itself even back then.)  I always looked forward to typing class very much, unlike most of my other classes!  

Here’s the one and only photo I have of me, along with two of my girlfriends, during our Typing 2 class.  I’m the one in the middle, posing for the photo.

3-6-2011 6;35;58 PM Fun times 19717

As I look at this photo, I remember several things- (1) Holly, the girl to my far left, was a fast typist!  She and I share the same birthday, and became friends in elementary school.  (2) Linda, the girl on my right, lived down the street from me, while we were growing up, and caught my bouquet when Ed and I got married.  (3) Notice how the windows are open in the photo?  That’s because the schools weren’t air conditioned back then!

Now back to my story-

While some fortunate people owned their own portable typewriters, back then, I was not one of the lucky ones.  I remember having to find someone to loan me a typewriter to type my English IV term paper on.  I sat at mama’s dining room table and typed every miserable page of that paper.  I also remember using “correct type” to fix my mistakes!  Believe it or not, I still remember the topic of my term paper, a subject near and dear to my heart, at the time–“An All Volunteer Army, Will It Work?”.  (The draft was still in effect at the time.)

My typing skills, learned during high school, finally helped me earn an income in the mid-seventies.  I got a job working as a “file clerk/receptionist” in the radiology department of a large hospital.  By then, I had been married to Ed for a couple of years.  He’d been working in radiology (in the same hospital), as a technologist, for those two years.  We actually rode to work together, and were able to eat lunch together on most days.

I spent the next three years typing “flash cards” (used to put the patients name and information on the corner of their x-ray films), then typing and filing index cards, with a record of each patient’s exams listed on them.  By the time I left, we were moving into the age using computers instead of typewriters and filing cabinets.

Back in the seventies, I never dreamed that one day I’d be sitting on the couch typing for something called “a blog” on a machine known as “a laptop”.  I never dreamed of  “spell check” or “cut and paste”–and certainly not the internet!  I can’t help but wonder how things will be when our children are my age!  I guess only time will tell…and I’ll most likely never know.

Do you have any memories of manual typewriters–or even the first electric ones?  If so, please share!

Published in: on January 22, 2013 at 10:11 am  Comments (4)  
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Memorable Back-To-School Moments…

The back-to-school departments of our local stores have been ransacked.  It’s quiet and peaceful to shop around town once again.  These things signal only one thing–school is back in session! 

In honor of this time of year, this post will contain some memories forever engrained in my brain…from my fourteen years of being a school employee during back-to-school time.

Pre-planningThose first crazy days of coming back to work after having a leisurely summer!  We used to have five days of pre-planning–and spent at least three of them sitting in meetings!  Due to budget cuts, teachers now get only two or three days of pre-planning.  Which leaves very little time to plan!  The classrooms are in disarray from their summer cleaning, supplies have to be put away, bulletin boards and walls need to decorated, classroom lists made, etc…and the teachers sit in endless meetings!  Which means…we all end up working after hours–for no pay.

Fist day of schoolOh my word!  So many crying children.  Children dropped off,  who don’t have a clue how they are getting home at the end of the day.  The relentless heat of August in the south.  Keeping twenty-plus small children interested, and participating in class.  And explaining rules, rules, and more rules.

School suppliesWhat to do with all of those supplies that parents have packed in their children’s book bags???  Where do you store 20-plus boxes of kleenex?  How about 20-plus boxes of zip lock bags?  Why does little Johnny have 54 pencils and a box of 64 crayons in his book bag?  Liquid glue?  Oh no, liquid glue is a disaster waiting to happen!

The lunchroom…Oh my!  The smell of that lunchroom food…It’s not always a good thing!  The noise level!  You can’t even imagine…  Waiting in line forever while each child punches in their “lunch number” into the computer–when some children haven’t even learned what a number is yet!  It takes so long to go through the line, there’s no time left to eat!  Put those trays up, finished or not!  Wait, little Susie just dropped her entire tray in the floor…No!  Tell me little Johnny isn’t throwing up in his tray!!!  Yes, he did.  Once little Johnny even threw up in the substitute teacher’s lap!  Sometimes little Johnny makes it just outside the lunchroom door before he loses his lunch in the school lobby–on the carpet.

The playgroundIt’s 110 degrees outside in the shade.  Which means every little boy and girl coming back in from the playground will smell exactly like Fido’s butt!  Really, is there anything more smelly than a hot, sweaty child?  I think not!  Try spending the rest of the day closed up in a classroom with twenty-plus smelly children!

Then of course,  somebody eventually ends up getting hurt, despite everyone’s best efforts to keep it from happening.  Little Suzie  quietly sitting on the Eagles Nest, when little Johnny falls on her from above, and breaks her leg!… then Johnny trips while walking in line–on his untied shoelace–and falls, suffering a concussion from the fall.  Yes, it happens.

Sick children…How do you determine who is sick and who is just sick of school?  So many headaches or tummy aches, especially the first few weeks of school.  A fever or throwing up is a certain ticket home–if the nurse can find a parent willing to come and pick the child up.  It’s amazing how many people do not have transportation to pick up their sick children!  Really?

Irate parentsNever mind that little Susie wasn’t paying attention to the lesson because she was playing with her headband.  How dare I take your child’s headband away from her?  Never mind that your child’s report card looked like the dog ate it when she returned it–I didn’t give her a sticker for bringing it back!  How dare I “diss” your child!  Yes, sadly, these are the types of issues which seem important to some parents.

School pictures…Nothing like 50 plus kids, waiting in line to get a photo made.  Trying to comb each head of hair–with a new comb–then throwing all of those combs away in an effort to prevent the spread head lice!  Fixing this one’s belt or that one’s sash, straighten those shirt collars…No recess or snack until after pictures!  Sorry kids, the photographer is running behind.  So much effort goes into those crazy school pictures, even if the end result doesn’t always show it!

Wow, I’m getting tired just remembering!  That’s not all, only the beginning, but I’m going to stop.  All of these things actually happen–year after year–and more!  Things never change.  Only the faces do.  Some years may be better than others, while some years may be worse, but for the most part, they are the same.

Best wishes to anyone who’s experiencing a new school year–as a student,  parent, or a school employee…and kudos to all of the dedicated people who put their hearts and souls into educating and taking care of our children.  There must be a special place in heaven for people like you!

Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 8:31 am  Comments (7)  
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Wednesday Hodgepodge…August 10

It’s time for a little “Hodgepodge”.  Many thanks to Joyce for another great set of questions!  You really should join in, if you haven’t already.  It’s great fun.  Just click on Joyce’s little button at the top of this post for the details.  Have a great “hump day” everybody! 

1. If you could work for any one government agency which would you choose and why? (if you’re in the US here’s a helpful list)  I really have no idea what agency to pick, so I’ll say “the corp of engineers”.  The reason being, I have a very good friend who worked with them for many years, and always seemed to enjoy her job.  To me, that’s what’s most important, that you enjoy your job!

2. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?  It’s sort of difficult for me to forgive a person, even when they do apologize…so you can only imagine how very difficult it would be for me to forgive if they refused to apologize at all!  Sometimes, I tend to hold a grudge for a while.  It’s one of my many faults, but I’m working on it!

3. What is your favorite meatless supper?  This question was difficult for me, because even though we don’t eat a LOT of meat, we ALWAYS eat a small portion of meat at every meal.  My answer would have to be a salad–but we usually have chicken fingers with our salad, too!

4. Wednesday August 10th is National Lazy Day…will you be celebrating? If so, tell us how so we can be lazy too.  Ha! Ha! Yes, I think I will be celebrating–by spending the day reading everyone’s “Hodgepodge” answers!

5. As a child did you have any special back to school traditions and if so, what were they? If you’re a parent did you carry on those traditions with your own children? 

I remember always getting some new back-to-school clothes (usually ordered from a  “mail order”catalog), and a new blue denim notebook–oh, and a pair of new shoes!   I loved getting new shoes!  My all-time favorites were my black and white saddle oxfords!   Now I’m really feeling old 🙂 

 The back to school tradition was pretty much the same with my own children, except they got more new clothes than I did–and their school supplies were a lot more exciting than a blue denim notebook!  My daughter grew up in the “Lisa Frank” era, while the boys grew up with “Trapper Keepers”.

6. Write a summer tongue twister.  She sells seashells by the sea-shore.  (Okay, I didn’t “officially” write that one–but it’s a good one, none the less!)

7. Would you be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle?  No, I don’t think I’d be interested in watching a surgery–unless it was a c-section  resulting in the birth of one of my grandchildren.  I could- and would- watch that surgery!  I love the miracle of birth.

Random:  Last night every one of our grown children and their families showed up at our house, one by one.  It wasn’t planned, just a spontaneous visit by each family.  It was a pleasant mid-week surprise, and I felt so blessed that everyone lives close enough to get together mid-week! 

Making the visit even more special was the fact that daughter-in-law, Christina, brought the dvd of her latest ultrasound, done yesterday.  We  sat around as a family, and looked at images of the baby who will  become the newest addition to our family in just a few more months.  To see those little hands, feet, even the face, was very special.  By the way, it’s official now–the baby is a boy, and he’ll be arriving around Christmas.  What a wonderful gift!!!

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 8:07 am  Comments (14)  
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About My Clothespins…

I decided to make a banana pudding for supper last night.  I pulled out the box of  Vanilla Wafers, and opened it up.  There inside of the box, clipping the bag shut, was a clothespin.  Written on the clothespin was the name “Patricia”.  I smiled when I saw the clothespin because it brought back some old memories.

Many years ago, whenever I worked as a first grade paraprofessional, the teacher used a cardboard “traffic light” and clothespins as a part of her classroom discipline strategy.  All students began each day with their clothespins on the “green light”.  If a student broke a classroom rule, they  only received a warning the first time.  If they broke another rule, their clothespin was moved to “yellow”.  Continued misbehavior would cause their clothespin to end up on “red”.  Having one’s clothespin moved to “yellow” usually meant missing some recess or “center time”, ending up on “red” meant no recess or “center time” at all!  Ending up on “red” multiple times, called for more drastic measures.

At the end of each school year, the teacher always threw out the clothespins with the students names written on them.  I hate to see anything go to waste, so I’d bring them home with me!  In those days, I still hung out some laundry on a clothesline, these days–not so much!  However, I still use a few clothespins in the kitchen for various things–like clipping cookie bags shut!

When I saw the name “Patricia” on that clothespin, I remembered exactly who she was, and what year we taught her.  The year was 1991-1992.  Patricia is the same age (25) as my youngest son, Brad, and I remember that she got her clothespin moved a lot!  In fact, I recall that Patricia spent most of the last day of first grade standing, facing the corner!  Her male counterpart, Tavarus, spent most of the last day standing in another corner.  His clothespin was moved a lot, as well!

The other thing I remembered when I looked at the clothespin was that we taught D’Nealian manuscript in those days.  There was Patricia’s name, neatly written in D’Nealian manuscript.  D’Nealian manuscript is distinguishable by its “monkeytails” on the letters of the alphabet.  It was supposed to make the transition to “cursive writing” easier. (These days, I’m not even sure if our school teaches cursive anymore!)  About the time I mastered D’Nealian manuscript, we stopped teaching it!  I remember that many of the students had a hard time learning to make the lower case “k”…

Such old and funny memories–and all because of a simple clothespin.  I haven’t worked at school in nearly six years.  My supply of clothespins is dwindling away…and so are my memories of teaching school.

Speaking of clothespins, does anybody actually use clothespins for laundry anymore?  I haven’t had a clothesline in years–but I kept the poles!  I still love the way sheets smell after they spend the day drying in the sun, and blowing in the breeze on the clothesline…

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I’m hopping on board the Tuesday Train today.  Click the button if you’re interested in taking a ride, too…

Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 7:50 am  Comments (9)  
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Flashback Friday…More School Memories

I’m joining Linda at http://www.mochawithlinda.blogspot.com for a few more school memories.  That was  long time ago for me, and I don’t have many memories left–but I can always improvise!  Actually, my own extra curricular school memories are few and far in between, so today  I’ll talk about my children’s school memories instead!  They’ve all been out of school for a while, so they still count as a “flashback”, too! LOL 

While growing up, I didn’t participate in a lot of  “extra curricular” activities myself, but I got my fill of those kinds of activities through raising my children!  My daughter was like me, and didn’t participate in many activities, but she did take dance lessons for seven or eight years, which meant many public performances and recitals.  I was  very proud of her the last year that she took dance, when she and a friend performed a duet together!  I still remember it–they danced ballet to “Almost Paradise”.  I’m not ashamed to tell you that I still have all of her little dance costumes–and her dance shoes!

When my daughter was a sophomore, she was elected as a member of the homecoming court.  This was a strange and unsettling experience, because of how it came about.  That year there were two girls in the sophomore class with the same name (Brandy)–my daughter was one of them.  When the votes for sophomore homecoming representatives were being cast, some students neglected to put a last name on their ballots, so there was some confusion about which” Brandy” was the actual winner.  The other Brandy then made some snide comment   about how she knew she was the intended choice”– which may have been true, but it made the other students mad that she said that.  The students revoted and– my Brandy was elected–probably out of spite.  Not exactly how she preferred to have been selected, but none the less, she enjoyed the experience of being selected, and she represented her class well.

 Now, my oldest son is very smart, and made wonderful grades.  He rarely brought home any books, because he didn’t need to.  I always wanted to fuss because he never studied, but his report cards were straight “A”s.  He always managed to get his homework done at school, and fortunately didn’t require much studying for tests. 

 He also participated in various activities.  He  played the saxophone for a year in the middle school band, was in cub scouts for a year, and played soccer for a year.  He also played basketball from seventh through the eleventh grades.  He worked his way up from a “scrub”, to “most improved player”, to a “starter” in the eleventh grade–then he quit playing during his senior year!….Leaving  us to “shake our heads and wonder what was he thinking?” 

The youngest son participated in a spelling bee or two, took some guitar classes, and even tried playing basketball in his younger years, but didn’t like it.  He switched over from private school to public school for his last three years of high school–against our better judgement.  Fortunately, parents can sometimes be wrong, and it turned out to be a very wise move in his particular case.  He got re-enrolled in the “Galaxy Class”, which opened all sorts of doors for him.  He got an internship at a local bank, and worked there during his last two years of high school.  Through this internship, he became actively involved in various community functions, and he became the youngest member of the local Lions Club.  Brad was also a member of the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America, and won the regional and state competitions for Banking/Finance during his Junior year. 

Our family attended our share of ballgames over the years.  During our daughter’s last years of high school, we attended almost every football game that her boyfriend played in.  He was a large fellow, and played as an offensive lineman.  He went to public school, while she went to private school.  About the time football would be winding down, we would begin to follow our son’s basketball team all over the place.  His team actually made it to the “State Finals” during his sophomore year.  The school had a terrific basketball team that year, but unfortunately, most of their key players graduated that same year. 

As for me, I never liked sports of any kind in school, so I attended very few ballgames.  I attended a couple of football and basketball games through the years, but I was always bored.  I remember attending one homecoming game while I was in high school, I think it may have been in my junior year.  The parade was always the best part of homecoming to me! 

I didn’t join many clubs, except for the Spanish Club.  I was, also,  a member of the Junior Beta Club for one year–in the eighth grade. I was voted as an “Outstanding Senior”, but I don’t remember what that was all about…and that pretty much sums up my school experience.  Now you know why I chose to write about my children!

I’m also linking up with Java at http://www.nevergrowingold.blogspot.com for Bloggers Over 40 Follow Friday.  Thanks for stopping by…Have a great weekend!

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 10:35 am  Comments (10)  
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Flashback Friday…Back To School Memories

I can’t remember any special back-to-school traditions while I was growing up, other than always getting some new clothes and shoes.  Those shoes had to last me  for months, so I was very particular which ones I chose.  We only had one or two pairs in those days!  One year I can remember chosing black and white “saddle oxfords”.  I loved those shoes!  They made me feel like a cheerleader!  Another year I can remember chosing a “loafer” with tassels on top of it.  I always wanted a pair of “penny loafers”.   Everyone would tuck a penny in the slot on top of the shoe!  I thought that was so cool…   For some reason, I could never find a pair that would fit, so I settled for loafers with tassels. 

my face isn't clear, but check out my shoes!

I was never eager to start back to school.  I always hated my birthday of August 30, because back then, school always started back around that date.  I could never look forward to my birthday with much happiness because I knew that I would be going back to school about that same time.  Once or twice school actually started ON my birthday!

I don’t remember any big deal about buying school supplies.  In those days, the choices were pretty limited.  It was always fun to begin the year with a new 3 ring binder though–all fresh and new, just waiting to be doodled on!  We used to have those denim blue binders and everyone wrote on the fronts of them.

I have a horrible” first few days of school” memory.  When I was growing up, school began in first grade.  Our school  had an immaculate lawn surrounding it, and there were “patrol boys”(older students) to supervise the sidewalks to make sure nobody stepped on the grass.  I was playing around on the sidewalk and accidentally stepped onto the grass.  To my horror, I got hauled into the principal’s office!  Nothing happened to me, except I received a warning, but the terror remains with me today!  Imagine, getting hauled in for stepping on the grass– in comparison to what it takes to get sent to the principal today!

When I was in elementary school I always ate in the lunchroom.  One of my favorite school meals was ravioli.  I never got it at home, so I looked forward to ravioli days.  When I was in the fourth grade, my parents lived across the street from the school for a few months.  During those months, I was allowed to walk home for lunch!  I liked that because that was something that not many kids got the opportunity to do.  When I was in high school I took my lunch almost every day.  My girlfriend, Karen, and I ate outside on a bench most of the time.  I brought my lunch in a brown bag, but I had a quart sized thermos of iced tea to go with it!  Those are my most vivid, happy memories–lunch with Karen every day.  Karen and I have remained friends all of these years.

Karen and me posing on our "lunch bench"

I had the experience of walking to school, riding the bus, and riding in a car–all during different years, of course!  I didn’t much care for riding the bus, but I didn’t have to ride for very long before we moved to town.  I lived way across town from the school, and it took me about 45 minutes to walk the distance.  Fortunately, a neighbor began offering me a ride to school each morning.  She worked at school, which meant that I had to arrive  early, but it beat walking any day!  I still had to walk home in the afternoons unless it rained. 

Several of us would walk through downtown, and if we had money, we’d go to Strickland’s Pharmacy and buy a hamburger and a coke.  That was the popular after-school thing to do.  After walking through town, I had to turn left and walk  another 3/4 of a mile to my house.  This last leg of my journey was walked alone.

Once while I was walking that last part of my journey, I was stopped by a car filled with several suspicious-acting older men.  I was probably about 13 at the time.  They acted like they wanted directions, so I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to see what they wanted.  They began talking among themselves while looking at me (as if formulating a plan).  I got scared and high-tailed it out of there!  I ran all the way to my house, went inside, and locked the door.  Then I called my daddy who was working at a grocery store downtown.  He called the police and reported the men harassing me.  The police went to check things out.  When the police arrived, the men were still sitting in that car beside the sidewalk.  They had been drinking, and earlier in the day they had been asked to leave the restaurant near where they were parked.  I guess they were just looking for trouble.  They were asked to leave town.

It makes me shudder when I think of the things that could have happened that day.  I could’ve easily been abducted, and never seen again.  They could’ve followed me home.  After that frightening experience, I began walking a different route home from school in the afternoons.  I missed going through town(and getting an occasional hamburger), but I was never bothered by anyone again. 

Hop on over to http://www.mochawithlinda.blogspot.com if you’d like to read more “back to school memories”, or maybe add a few of your own.  I am also linking up with Java over at http://www.nevergrowingold.blogspot.com for Friday Follow Bloggers Over 40.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Published in: on August 13, 2010 at 7:10 am  Comments (23)  
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