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Friday, September 19, 2014

Not the NFL, but…

Emily came in from school Tuesday and showed me her finger. The middle one.  She and her friends had hugged goodbye and were moving toward school busses. She hangs with an extraordinary bunch of huggers! A girl Emily knows from band asked for a hug, too. Moving in the line into the bus, Emily said no and the girl aimed a kick that Emily deflected with her hand. Bent the middle finger right back, Emily said.

Dr. Grandma diagnosed a well stoved finger. In addition to ice, we rounded up a finger splint so old the foam had dried and fallen away. The splint was resuscitated and applied, and I told Emily to go to the school nurse the next day and report the injury.

The report I received from Emily when she came in Wednesday night was completely unexpected. The nurse offered her pain meds and sent her along. She had a test in another class, explained her problem to the teacher and was told to do her best, writing with the injured digit. The same thing happened in another class.  In spite of complete information on the cause of the injury, three teachers and the nurse took a pass.

School is closed for the day by the time these end of the liners get off the bus. I knew I would be making a phone call first thing Thursday morning, but gave school a last chance. Emily had band practice Wednesday night and I told her to tell the band director, who had not been there during the day. The band director (you remember her!) sent Emily along, telling her she could just march with her flute at the game Friday.

Thursday morning I was on the school website looking for a counselor to call when I received a call from a principal. Emily had just left his office; her friends had convinced her she was doing all the heavy lifting over a damaged finger that wasn't her fault, she must see the principal.

The principal told me the staff involved would be retrained, the other girl would be disciplined and Emily should report any incidents in future to his office, even if it meant missing the school bus home. I told the principal I considered Emily’s teachers her first line of defense; I was not happy they did not come to her aid.

Emily filled in the details Thursday night. The other girl received two days in-school suspension and must play her instrument from the sidelines while the band marches at halftime tonight. Apparently playing your instrument from the sidelines with the band on the field is a mark of shame.

We saw the doctor today; x-rays show no break. Ice and routine finger flexing and a supporting splint is the protocol for recovery. Sadly, well stoved fingers recover slowly, and Emily will be paying the flute playing and class note and test taking price for some time.

I stopped at the drugstore tonight after I dropped Emily and Joe off to march at the football game and got her a new splint for the homecoming dance tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Current events

Another sign eating weed,
and a golf cart.

Looking down one of the irregular sandstone sidewalks in town.
Too bad it was trash day.

Laura started after school art lessons.
We "practiced" her ten minute walk from school
before the first lesson,

But of course Grandma showed up the very first time,
to be sure.

In future I won't embarrass her,
and only pick her up after class.

And Hazel and Tony are here for a two week visit.
We certainly need a bigger British flag!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The kitchen towel drawer

The kitchen was not large in the house where I grew up.  It was remodeled after I left; the refrigerator swapped with the stove, yielding counter and prep room.  But when I grew up no one thought about those kinds of things.  Mom cooked on a stove standing alone in a corner and the first refrigerator I remember was an ice box on the front porch.

We were put to work at an early age.  I remember sitting on the counter, drying dishes my mother put into the drainer at my right elbow and stacking them on the counter at my left.  Mom would put the dry dishes into the cupboard when she finished washing up.

All children in turn, then grandchildren, spent time sitting on the counter for a job.  Another counter job was to put peach halves face down in to a quart jar, my mother’s canning method.  The peaches spiraled around until the jar filled and the next jar started.  The years there were fork tine holes in the canned peaches were the years mom had no child available whose small hand fit into the quart jar and left a peach behind.  
The kitchen towel drawer was the last drawer before the back door.  Folding clothes was a job assigned at an early age, and there was only one way to fold towels in my mom’s kitchen.  In thirds.  The towel went on a flat surface, was folded in thirds lengthwise, then in thirds again; a compact little bundle that could be stacked two or three towels high, two towels across, four or five towels deep. 

We did not mess with the system.  Bad towel folding was among the few things that irritated mom. Shoving towels in the back to avoid the routine could have you folding towels long after bedtime, lifted from slumber and sent to the kitchen to correct the oversight.

When I kept my own house towels were not folded in thirds unless my mom was visiting and took it upon herself to redo the entire drawer.  When we all moved in together the subject came up again.  Jan and I both said towels could be folded in any manner that pleased the folder. You know how mom folded the kitchen towels she washed.

And then there were the sheets.  Mother owned more sheets than were in a department store and rotated them.  When we changed our beds, almost weekly as I remember, we had to take clean sheets from the bottom of the sheet stack in the linen closet.  When we folded and put away the laundry the clean sheets went on top of the stack. 

I always took my clean sheets from the top of the stack and mentally defied mom to figure it out.