Tender Teacher

Sharing stories about my personal and professional life as a teacher.

Posts Tagged ‘Shopping

Sunday School

with 2 comments

Twinkle Twinkle little star (English) Lullaby ...

Image via Wikipedia

Not a Sunday goes by without memories of Sunday School looming up in my head and dwelling there for a while.  In the beginning there was a ‘bring your friends evangelistic contest’ at a church, the Gilman Avenue Methodist, near our home, and my cousins from across the tracks were earning ‘points’.  I was barely five years old and I wanted to go soooo badly.  We went to mom for my permission.  After a lot of begging by all three of us my mom finally agreed that I could go with them.

Excitement bubbled inside me and I could hardly sit or stand still for two days, but I had no idea what Sunday School was.  Lora and Joan told me that you sang songs, listened to stories, said prayers, and took a penny for the offering, and that you put it in the offering plate.  Ruth, Lora and Joan’s, mother, my aunt, brought over to our house a couple of dresses that my cousins had outgrown.  Mom washed, starched, and ironed them, and I picked one out to wear.  She polished my only pair of shoes.  SO, I was all ready for Sunday School, tomorrow morning!

I felt beautiful in my pretty hand-me-down dress, shining shoes, and my best hair bow.  With two pennies in my fist, off we walked to Sunday School with Lora holding one hand and Joan holding the other.  They took me to my class which was in a little room, called the Nursery.  They said that I couldn’t be in the big room, called Primary with them, because you had to be six years old, and go to school before you got to go in there.  I was beginning to feel pretty scared and all alone, and then the teacher, who had comforting, friendly, smiling eyes took my hand and said to come on in, we would have lots of fun.  There were lots of little kids giggling and playing with toys, so it looked inviting.  I soon began to lose my fear, and feel more comfortable.

A bigger boy brought the offering plate around, a big, heavy, fancy, decorated, brown bowl, which was not at all like our dinner plates, which I was expecting to see, and I dropped my penny into it.  It jingled with the other pennies.  It felt good to give to God.  Then I thought of the other penny mom had given me to spend at Jackson’s Newsstand after Sunday School.  Anticipation of spending it felt good, too.

My next memory, and there are lots more to come, was when my Sunday School Teacher said that it was time for us to sing.  She asked if anyone remembered the song, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  I loved to sing, and I called out, “I do, I do!”  She said, “Would you please sing it for us?”

Oh!  This was great!  I began to sing, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, Twinkle, twinkle, little star, Twinkle twinkle, little star, Twinkle, twinkle, little star”, repeating on and on.  The nice teacher took my little hand, looked smilingly  into my face, and said, “That was very good, thank you, you can sit down now.”  Somehow, I felt that I had done something wrong, but I didn’t have any idea what it was.  I, as you can see, have never forgotten that troubling feeling.

It was later after we sang, Jesus Loves Me, and the teacher sang Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to us, and we sang it all together, that I remembered there were more words to it.  Years and years after, by reliving this experience in my mind, time after time, I was able to put together what I had “done wrong”.  However, I always looked forward to going to Sunday School.


Written by kjskjp

October 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

The Forties: Neighborhood Stores

leave a comment »

Corner grocery store, Pensacola, Florida.

Image via Wikipedia

Our family never owned a car.  Most people really didn’t NEED a car in our neighborhood.  Mom walked to work at the drugstore, and dad got a ride with his boss to the lumberyard where he graded lumber.  AND within two blocks of our home there were four grocery stores, Tilton’s,  Morris’, Apple’s, and Wilhelm’s, and one newsstand, Jackson’s.  People stood around in the grocery stores and talked for a bit.  So, besides providing access to food stores were for socializing, too.  I liked to eavesdrop, while I took my time to choose penny candy from the candy case.

I learned to “remember” by going to the store for mom.  She would send me to the store for milk, and I would come home with bread.  She’d send me for sausage, and I’d get hamburger.  It was frustrating for her, because I would also forget to hurry home, and then to boot, I’d arrive home with the wrong thing.  Her frustration led to my learning to “keep my mind on what I was doing”, but it didn’t happen over night.

The little old ladies and gents were always sitting on their porches, and would usually invite me to talk with them.  Mr. and Miss McDermott, brother and sister, who lived near Tilton’s Store, would always want me to sit between them (so they could both sit beside me) on their swing.  It was so cozy and they’d really listen to everything I had to say.  I sure wish I had a recording of even just one of those conversations.  Mrs. Bear who lived on the way to Morris’ Store gave me a barrette for my hair one day.  She had made many comments about my beautiful straight black hair, that hung down in my eyes.  I loved that barrette.

Some days I’d make two or three trips to the store for groceries, and occasionally mom would give me a few pennies, and I’d take my little brother and sister to the store for penny candy, and then we would go to the playground on Flander’s Field.  It was good exercise, socialization, and I learned to count change before I started to school.  By the way, Morris’ Store had the best price for candy, and Jackson’s Newsstand had comic books for ten cents each.  Jackson’s was the only store open on Sunday.

Mutt and Jeff as reprinted in All-American Com...

Image via Wikipedia

Written by kjskjp

August 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm

%d bloggers like this: