School Days Part 4

lmschoolIt’s getting colder now and so hard to get out of bed in the morning! I can see the frost on the nails in the attic roof and scurry to get dressed and down the stairs to the wood stove. It takes longer to dress now because Ma insists that come November and snow, I have to wear those long brown cotton stockings. I hate them. They are fine outside in the cold, but seem to suck into my skin the rest of the day at my desk. Rex says I look like a long legged brown wren. Ha! Well, he says a lot of things. Sometimes I pay attention to his remarks and we get fighting. That is when Ma steps in and says her Young Lady speech to me.  You, young lady, are going to be the death of me yet. Yup, that is what she usually says.

I am putting that out of my mind because today is Friday and Fridays are a special day come November. All the “bus kids” bring a bowl and spoon to school because that is the day we have a hot lunch. We never know what it is going to be, but anything warm this time of year tastes wonderful!  We have our bowls and spoons in a bag and we are ready for today’s treat!!

There are ladies in Locke Mills village who take turns preparing a huge kettle of warm soup or whatever they’d like for us. It is almost as much fun trying to guess what we are going to be eating as the eating itself!

All the way to school on Cass’s bus, I have been thinking that November is cold, but it is a special month too. The leaves were pretty in October, but there was nothing really exciting and special. The kids in town go trick or treating on Halloween, but Ma says that is like begging for food and won’t let us do it. Last month, though, Curt asked if he could go out and I was surprised when Ma said he could, but only if I went with him and we were allowed just two houses. We went to Gram Martin’s and she gave us both one of her raisin filled cookies. I did not say trick or treat, but stood back while Curt knocked and recited it to Gram. How she smiled and said you wait just a minute..and that is when she came back with the two big cookies. Then we went to Grace and Charlie Day’s house and Grace laughed, too, when Curt announced he was there to trick or treat. She gave us each a big red apple. Curt had a lot of fun and told Ma all about his adventures when we got home. He showed her the apple, but he had already eaten the cookie!

Here we are..when you get thinking, it doesn’t take long to get to school up the four miles. It is kind of scary if the road is slippery, because there are not many posts on the road to keep us from sliding into one of the ponds. Cass is a good driver, though, and he takes it pretty slow on the curves.

It’s been a long morning. The singing and assembly were fun this morning, but after that were the dreaded classes of arithmetic and writing. I do not like either, but try to do the exercises and do them neatly. I notice neatness counts for a lot with Mrs. Lurvey.

She announces it is time for the boys to go to Mrs. Noyes’ house on the Knoll to get a kettle of soup for our  noon meal. By the time they return, it will be just twelve o’clock. She chooses Rex and three other boys to take the sled for the kettle. They will take turns hauling the sled while the other three balance and make sure it is secure. Meanwhile, we will take out our spoons and bowls and wait.

Noon has come and gone; the town kids have left for home to get their lunch. Mrs. Lurvey keeps going to the window and then back to her desk.  I admit I am getting hungry and wish the boys would hurry. I wonder if one of them had a hair brained idea to stop at a store for candy? No, they wouldn’t dare do that, knowing Mrs. Lurvey is waiting as are all of us! She goes to the window again and this time her hand flies up to her mouth. I wonder what she sees, but I glue myself to the seat.

The door opens and there are the boys! Where is the soup? I can’t smell anything. Mrs. Lurvey is ushering them back out in the hallway and closing the door. Oh, no, what has happened? Now the boys come in and take their seats. Mrs. Lurvey is standing in front of us and tells us that at the top of the hill , by Cass Howe’s store, somehow ( she says this word very strongly) the sled gained momentum and it started down the hill very quickly. Before any of the boys could stop it slipping and sliding, the kettle came loose from the sled, over turned and our dinner is now on the snow covered sidewalk. I can see the boys are not looking at her at all.  She has gone to her desk and opening drawers.

I cannot believe what I am seeing. Mrs. Lurvey has a stash of saltine crackers and a jar of peanut butter. She takes a knife out of another drawer and starts making us peanut butter and crackers. She makes two for each of us in the room. After we eat them, we can go to the hall fountain for a drink of water without asking permission, she says.

Well, so much for my dreams of a warm dinner making its way to my stomach. I look at Rex, who is staring off in space. Hmm, I hope I can get the real story of what happened when we get home. I doubt it because those four boys probably made a pact of secrecy after the spill.

All I can say is that Mrs. Lurvey sure knows what to do in an emergency and boy, am I glad!  Peanut butter and crackers never tasted so good!!

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