Monday, October 1, 2012

October Photo Challenge - Where I Stood

work door

I grew up in a red brick house.

It had seven bedrooms and two bathrooms.  It had a large kitchen table that could be pulled out or pushed into the cupboard - depending if six, ten, or fourteen were eating.  A long built in bench was on one side of the table.  Two big toy drawers were built into the bench where wood blocks were stored. My favorite thing to play in the red brick house was jacks on the kitchen floor (especially on Saturday after we'd just mopped, waxed, and buffed it).  From seeing who would go first (by throwing the jacks in the air and seeing who could catch the most on the backs of our hands with our palms down and thumbs together) to playing pigs in a pen, cherry pickers, and over the fence - I loved it all.  

I stood seventh out of ten children. 

I went to grade school in a red brick building.

While I never got head lice, I did get measles, mumps, and the chicken pox in grade school.  I only remember one boy from our school getting perfect attendance and he was in the grade below. (Nine students were in his grade, while mine had seventeen.)  He brought his sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper and ate bell peppers.  

As one of the tallest in the class I stood in the back row with the boys on picture day every year.

I went to high school in a red brick building.

Our math teacher spent five minutes teaching us a new concept, and then played solitaire the rest of the hour - all day every day -  at his desk with an old deck of cards.  

I stood second in my class of 79, but not very strong in math.

I went to church in a red brick building.

Why, pray tell, are empty churches so scary?  With a basement that had lots of stinkbugs and a furnace room, ours was really scary.  I had to go to the church and practice the organ by myself and it was never a comforting experience.  One time as I was practicing a hymn in the chapel I called out to my friend who had come with me and was doing homework in the foyer, "Hey Nita, listen to this song.  I like it."  After I finished playing the hymn a voice came out of the organ speaker, "That was pretty good.  I liked it too.  Play another one."  Oh man.  Even though we were strictly raised to never run in the chapel, I jumped off that organ bench and ran to the foyer.  While I didn't know where the voice came from, I knew it wasn't from heaven.  S.c.a.r.y.  

I stood not very brave.

(Somebody later explained the voice was probably from a trucker on the nearby highway that had picked up the waves on his CB.) 

I go to work in a red brick building.

Going on twelve years now, I've worked in the same building and I look at that corner every morning as I unlock the door.  It's a very good place to work and I like what I do very much.  I get to see the very best in people.  And I get to laugh.  And I get to learn new things.  And I get to stand where people freely talk about God, family, moral values, and what they want to have happen in their lives and how they want to improve.    

I stand among great people.


michelle said...

I love your reminiscences, Jane. What a vivid memory about the voice coming out of the organ! Scary, indeed!

melanie said...

Even now, empty churches do not sit well with me. I'm not sure but I think that voice might have scarred me from even playing the organ again.

I like picturing you in each of these red brick buildings. Most of all your work place. You are so good at what you do.

Melinda said...

I am so glad you said empty churches are scary. Why is that? I have always thought that also but always felt bad for thinking it. I would have freaked out if I heard that voice!! Seriously, may have wet my pants!

I love to read your reminiscences! I am amazed at all you remember about your childhood. It is awesome.