I wonder how quickly I have reached nearly half way through my seventh decade of life. Perhaps, because I couldn’t wait.
I couldn’t wait to start first grade at five years old. I had been practicing going to school ever since I could remember. I had a pencil box with pencils, erasers, small plastic ruler and a pencil sharpener. I found a wooden crate that served for my school desk and I was both the student and the teacher. I did not have a book because I could not read. I couldn’t wait.
School started the day following Labor Day and I couldn’t wait. Some children were crying and clinging to their mothers, but my mother cried. I couldn’t wait for her to leave and school could start. We all learned the Pledge of Allegiance, Salute to the Flag, a morning prayer, and school was in session. I had arrived.
The year flew by, and there was talk regarding summer vacation. I couldn’t wait. Dad taught me to swim in the method that was popular at the time. He tossed me in over my head in the lake and the phrase “sink or swim” came to reality. Here I am, so I must not have sunk.
Long walks with my grandfather were delightful, carrying my small pail in which to hold wild blueberries. He spoke French and very little English, so conversation was at a minimum. Catching fire-flies in the cool evenings and placing them in a glass jar with holes poked in the lid improved hand to eye coordination. Before I knew it, it was time for back to school shopping. New shoes, dresses, my own lunch box and thermos, larger pencil box, because I would be in the second grade, and I couldn’t wait.
I rode the school bus seven miles one way, and then walked another 10 minutes to home. My friend Linda and I were dropped off at the same stop and walked home together. She had a sister that was celebrating her “sweet sixteen” birthday. I couldn’t believe my ears. Linda and I were 12 years old at the time. Carol was going down to the DMV to apply for her driver’s license the very next morning, and she had a boyfriend. A boyfriend!
Life seemed to revolve around school starting and ending. One momentous event following another – Labor Day and Memorial Day – favorite school subjects and boys – passing one year to the next – and then our senior year, the yearbook committee – the Senior Prom – basketball games and cheerleading – it was all coming to an end and I couldn’t wait.
Graduation came and I won the Essay contest and had to read my essay in front of the assembly. Diplomas were distributed, everyone wept, and it was over. Some went on to college, others got jobs and married, one passed away. Careers started, homes were bought, children were born and raised, spouses died and life went quietly on.
As quickly as the time flew by, it is now in warped speed. I believe it all began with instant coffee – it was no longer necessary to perk a pot of coffee on the stove. Just pour some hot water over some powder and on your way.
Frozen TV dinners came along soon after, and then clothes lines and clothes pins were replaced with the automatic clothes dryer. ATM’s replace the bank teller, drive up to the window for your six pack of beer, auto deposit your check and auto pay your bills. With all that extra time to enjoy life, do not drive 55 mph in a 65 mph zone or the cars following you will pass and salute, safe or not.
Our time on this planet is brief and precious. Practice patience and enjoy the day. Appreciate that we are blessed no matter what the circumstances of our life may be now. Just be patient – it will change.
When are you most patient?
When are you most impatient?
Which one feels better?
(Sandy Lauzon of River’s Edge & Rustic Style Furniture, is a Shaklee Distributor in Dolores, Colorado. 970.882.7505)