The rain arrived sometime after 1:30. At 5 I woke up and could hear drops hitting the window. I don’t know how long it rained, but it rinsed away all the humidity and heat. This morning is a delight. The deck is dappled with sunlight. The air is dry and cool. All the windows and doors are open letting in the feel and smell of fresh air. Gracie is sleeping on the rug by the front door. She knows a good thing.
I sing but am always off tune. I wish I weren’t. Mostly I sing at home or in the car. I never sing in front of people. In the third grade I was told to mouth the words during the May procession. I was eight. Luckily that never dampened my love for music. I still remember that nun, Sister Eileen Marie, who was one of my favorites until that fateful practice. She was the only nun who let my dog stay in the classroom when he followed me to school. With other nuns, I had to leave school to take him home which was actually sort of fun. It was permission to take a field trip of my own, just the dog and me. My mother was always surprised.
Duke slept on a rug on the floor under the clock. Our classroom was in the cellar of the rectory as the school had run out of rooms and no one knew except us that Duke was allowed to stay. I thought that pretty neat, like we had a mascot. We had tables instead of desks, and the windows were high up and small like cellar windows are. We entered through a door beside the garage as the cellar was mostly above ground. We were the only class not in the school, and I loved having a private room. I loved the tables and folding chairs instead of desks. We piled our books and supplies in front of us down the middle of the tables. We had our own bathrooms: one for girls and one for boys and it was one at a time like a real bathroom. There were no bells. In the old building a student would stand on the top floor and ring a hand bell to tell us to change subjects, eat lunch or go home. In the cellar we kept an eye on the clock especially as we got closer to the end of the school day. We didn’t want to stay an extra minute.
The next year we were back in the old building on the top floor. We were one among many. It just wasn’t as fun.