This post is part of the Writing Wednesday project started by my blog buddies Mrs. Flinger and Nicole. Today’s theme is lunchbox. In typical creative Flinger fashion, Mrs. Flinger has designed a nifty Writing Wednesday graphic bit of bling to pretty up your blog. Join in the fun, won’t you! If you don’t have a blog and would like to participate in this little creative writing endeavor, e-mail me or post yours in the comments.
I transferred to a rural elementary school in 3rd grade after my parents divorced. Most of the kids lived in the country. They wore jeans and worn tennis shoes. I had been in a private school setting in Nashville where girls wore dresses with ric rac trim and peter pan collars peeking out from cardigan sweaters. My teacher was a kind woman with a gold tooth that fascinated me and skin the color of milk chocolate. My new school was so small that we didnâ€™t have a full cafeteria for dining so we’d eat lunch at our desks in our classrooms. Weâ€™d wait impatiently in the cafeteria line, the air ripe and moist with the smell of food and of dishes being washed, pushing our thick plastic trays along the metal rungs with our stubby little fingers as the nice ladies wearing hair nets would scoop up green beans or yellow cling peaches. Then weâ€™d march back to our classrooms in a somewhat orderly fashion, as orderly as 3rd graders can be without getting distracted by a bug on the floor or someone acting silly, and eat at our desks.
I remember my lunchbox. It was a pink checked vinyl lunchbox with a pink ice cream cone decorating the front. Lunch from home was a sandwich on Roman Meal bread cut neatly in two, most likely bologna and cheese, with chips and carrot sticks on the side, which I rarely ate (sorry mama!) Dessert was a chocolate hostess cake with the zig zag white icing or a Twinkie or Archway oatmeal cookie or some other equally decadent treat encased in shiny plastic. Lunchtime entertainment was listening to an album or 45 records played on an old square record player placed on the floor. The soundtrack to Grease was a favorite and I vaguely remember someone bringing in the 45 record to Behind Closed Doors by Charlie Rich which makes me laugh now. I remember small cartons of Purity milk and rectangles of pizza with the chewy cheese the color of dried rubber cement. I remember eating ice cream with a wooden spoon from a small plastic cup. I remember the old windows and the window air conditioning units. I remember the long hallway with the shiny floors. I remember the excitement of new notebooks and pencils and learning to write cursive and my teacher’s beautiful flowing handwriting on the chalkboard and wanting to write just as pretty as her. I remember trying to fit in at my new school that first year.
Ya’ll, believe it or not, I found what I believe was either my kindergarten or first grade (possibly both) Yogi Bear lunchbox on Ebay tonight (circa 1974).
Check it out!