Time to Get Busy (and Learn)!

Stack of books and stationery isolated on white

This week’s topic deals with our memories of end of summer or back to school.

I always loved school, so even though I enjoyed summer and not having to wear extra layers of clothing, I always looked forward to the day after Labor Day, which is the traditional opening day of school in Michigan. There are several reasons why this was one of my favorite times of the year. I suppose I could say that I was excited about learning new things. I’ve always been curious. But I imagine my young self had less academic reasons for looking forward to going back to school.

girl friends

An outing with some of my school friends.

First of all, I looked forward to the social aspect. We weren’t encouraged to go more than a block or two away from home by ourselves, so that severely limited our circle of playmates during summer vacation. Yes, I liked our neighbors, but they weren’t always home when we were home. And there was only so much trouble I could get into with the two other girls who lived within my allowed travel circle. So going back to school meant I could socialize with kids who lived more than a half mile away. Once I got to junior high and high school, the social part of school included evening activities such as sporting events and music performances.

Saddle shoes

Yes, I wore these to school.

Second, going back to school always meant new clothes. Since I was the only girl in the family, I didn’t have to wear hand-me-downs. As long as I kept growing, I got new clothes. My mom sewed most of my dresses (this is back before girls were allowed to wear pants to school), but she always let me pick the fabric. And since my feet grew, I always got new shoes, except that my flat feet meant I had to wear heavy shoes with good arch support. I remember the first time my parents finally let me wear “regular” shoes like the other girls. My feet hurt because the support wasn’t there, but I was happy!

Fall leaves

“Life, Death, and Transformation” was an award winning oil painting at Art Prize Nine in Grand Rapids last year.

I’ve always been drawn to fall colors. The changing leaves are what represent the season to me, and gold, burgundy, and brown, and dark green are my favorite colors. They seem to energize me. So even though the thermometer says we should wear shorts and t-shirts, the stores are full of warm-weather clothes, many in the shades of autumn. These days, I wear clothes I purchased myself, and I look forward to school not to interact with friends, but to connect with students. Instead of hot chocolate, I’m more likely to warm up with a cup of coffee. But the excitement and energy are still there. Both of the community orchestras that I belong to will begin rehearsals next week, and I’ll start teaching tomorrow. I’ll start my Christmas gift list soon, and life will speed up.

Now, please excuse me while I lie down for a short nap.

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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6 Responses to Time to Get Busy (and Learn)!

  1. I LOVE Autumn leaves! I have a high arch, but I remember dealing with saddle shoes. My mother also made some of my dresses, especially for first grade. I wore pants a lot before going to school and it took me a few tries to get used to dresses all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I remember wearing shorts under my dresses. They were a must for those of us who had trouble “sitting like ladies”!


  2. I always wanted saddle shoes when I was in school but they just were not that popular when I was in school, at least not here. I don’t think I ever got a pair of them. I hardly ever wore dresses and was so thankful that by the time I went to school it was not required.
    I love the changing of the leaves, as soon as the first leaf changes I start singing about how summer is finally over and Fall is coming. Most of my family likes summer so they’re not amused by my declaration that summer is ending. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Salter says:

    I can scarcely recall any NEW clothing. Everything I can recall had been worn — and in many cases worn OUT — by my brother (3 years older). Furthermore, I believe some of HIS clothes had come from a boy cousin!
    I never got leather shoes that I liked, but that didn’t kill me since I only wore them on Sunday mornings. But the shoes I longed for were KEDS high-tops — what were known as basketball shoes. Somewhere along in junior high years, they came out with KEDS low-tops and I desperately wanted those, too.
    KEDS used to cost maybe as much as a dollar more than the off brands, however, so I often got saddled with the off-brands… though I no longer recall their names.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I guess there are advantages to not having a sibling of the same gender and no cousins in the same country – no hand-me-downs! I remember Red Ball Jets tennis shoes, along with Keds.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Salter says:

        those names don’t ring a bell with me. I guess I’d have to see some shoe commercials from the late 1950s to see if I could recognize any brands. The only other name I remember is Converse, but those were the expensive shoes that only the real basketball players wore. Much too pricey for my feet.


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