Remember when you were a kid and you came home from school, or from anywhere really, and automatically changed out of your school clothes, or church clothes, or going into town clothes? And then put on your play clothes?
Remember the end of June, when you wore your best party dress to the last day of school for the “school closing ceremony”? At least that’s what we called it where I grew up. You know, where they handed out prizes, and the choir sang, and some kids played the recorder really badly, and the principal made a speech, and everyone jumped for joy when it was all over? And then you went home and took off your party dress, and put on your play clothes… and wore them for two whole months. Sigh. Remember that?
|Our summer play clothes: shorts and a pop top.|
That’s me, above, age nine or ten. And those little girls are Chrissie and Char-shie (short for Charlene), my charges that summer. I babysat them for a couple of weeks, with adult supervision, I should add. Mostly I was entertainment director. We played school a lot, I recall. And I ordered them around, which was great practice for my future career. I remember that Chrissy loved to play school, and would sit compliantly smiling while I read them books and wrote stuff on my little blackboard. But Char-shie, well, Char-shie was too little to care about school. She wanted to do her own thing. Always. Pretty much once a day she’d escape, and I’d have to chase after her so she didn’t run onto the road, and we’d come back to our “classroom” and Chrissy would still be sitting in her place, smiling.
I lived in my dungaree shorts and a pop top that summer. When I think about it, I’m pretty sure it’s the only time in my teaching career that I wore dungaree shorts and a pop top to school every day. Ha.
I loved my dungaree shorts. Made from stiff denim, they were high-waisted, and long, almost to the knees when I didn’t roll them up. They weren’t cut-offs; cut-offs came later, in the seventies. Dungaree shorts were perfect for a tomboy like me. I knew that because my early fashion icon, Trixie Belden, wore them. Along with loafers, rolled up jeans, and cotton shirts.
|At home on the deck.|
|Ready to head out on my errands, when I’m done yakking|
|Out and about in the ‘Tick.|
|Feeling a bit constrained by the passers-by.|
Now, back to that long ago summer. My earliest foray into teaching didn’t last long. I finally got bored with reading aloud to Chrissie and chasing Char-shie. Thank goodness that gig didn’t last the whole summer. I had more important and fun activities planned. Like “helping” my brother Terry, and our teenage neighbour Albert, work for my grandfather, scraping and painting the drill machines, and otherwise messing about in the grease and dirt. Real tomboy stuff. Good thing those dungaree shorts were tough because I put them through their paces that summer.
When I attended my junior high reunion a couple of years ago, with the kids I went from grade one through grade eight with, we broke into an old song that everyone remembered: ♫ “We are the Marysville girls. We wear our hair in curls. We wear our dungarees rolled up above our knees…”♫. I’m humming that now, and I have been the entire time I’ve been writing about play clothes.
And speaking of play clothes, and play… Hubby and I are off on our early summer camping trip in the next day or so. We’ll be biking and swimming and fishing and reading. And sitting around the campfire. And hopefully NOT swatting too many bugs.
So I will be off-line for a week. I’ve scheduled a couple of reprise posts for the time I’m away. If you’ve been reading my blog a while, you may have read them before. Hope you don’t mind.
Have a great beginning to the summer, my friends. Talk to you in a week or so.
|Over and out for the next week.|