Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Grandpa's School Days

As excitement and apprehension began to swell in the month of August, preparations and gatherings filled the weeks ahead for both teachers and students. Excitement over reuniting with friends away during the summer months now expels in giddiness as story after story of summer vacation is aired. Apprehension over classmates, schedules and making the right choices may have at times created a more somber tone but never deterred any of the excitement.

The end of the Labor Day holiday weekend characterizes the closing of summer with the beginning of the new school term officially in full swing, full speed ahead. Whether young or old, kindergarten or senior year of high school, the atmosphere is humming and buzzing with enthusiasm from parent to child to teacher.

Within Awakenings is the opportunity to peer into the past and make connections that embrace days and times long since passed. Perhaps thoughts will shift back to times of a grandparent or even a great-grandparent in your ancestral chain. The accounts of early schooldays expose characteristics void of amenities common today. There was no electricity, running water, or telephone, and the restroom consisted of an outhouse in the back of the school yard.

An old privy or outhouse
(Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
Grandpa's School Days 

The scene, a late 1800s schoolhouse
Of character quite different from now
A one-room building was room enough
With honor and respect a solemn vow 

Grandpa strolled barefoot to school
Humming the summer blues
Often times walked in winter
Despite holes in his shoes

Not centrally heated or air controlled
A cast-iron stove burned wood or coal
Unfinished walls of hand-hewn logs
Revealed at least one bullet hole 

Atmosphere still, damp and dreary
Sought light through an open window
Brightness glowed from within a smile
Graciously spawned by Ms. Winslow 

Sitting on logs or rough lumber

Boys on one side, girls on the other
A watchful eye at every turn

Dodged spitballs one after another

Going and playing outside at recess
Found off limits the old barn around back
The ideal excuse took time off from books
Playing hooky, hiding in the haystack 

Typical Old Barn
GA Hwy 84 E
©2012 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults

What stories do you embrace 
in your ancestral chain of schooldays past?