Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"No amount of thought can ever reveal what comes unexpectedly..."

After we walked out of the library, we turned right, making our way down to my old Kindergarten classroom.

The last time I had seen this beautiful room was - gosh - at least 20 years ago.

Me: I have so many fond memories of my Kindergarten teacher Miss Crouse.

Mrs. Ross: My daughter had her too, but after she had married...

Me: I remember that - then she became Mrs. Ludwig.

Mrs. Ross: Yes, that's right.

Me: I loved my Kindergarden room. It was so well-designed. Big. Airy. Homey. I loved the fireplace/mantle area. At least I think that's what it was. I know it had a lot of brick and Miss Crouse used to sit there with Mr. Peabody. Did you know about Mr. Peabody?

Mrs. Ross: The fireplace area - wow - yes. That was a long time ago. I'm not sure who Mr. Peabody was.

Me: Oh. He was the hand puppet that Miss Crouse used to tell us stories.

As soon as I finished that last sentence - I went to catch my breath and instead - I gasped.


This is the area where it used to be. Now, it was an entrance for the food service personnel.

Me: What?! Where's Room 1? Where's my Kindergarten class at???!!!!

Mrs. Ross: Well, it's not there anymore.

Me: I can see that. Wondering if I was going to hyperventilate...

Before she could go on, a teacher (who was well on her way to giving birth anyday), approached us.

Pregnant Teacher: You remember the Kindergarten class?

Me: Yes! You too? Side note: Who would ever think that I would be so emotional over my Kindergarten class.

Pregnant Teacher: I remember it. The door was over here (she pointed to a specific area). It all went away when we remodeled the building and added on the wing.

Me: Oh. (My mouth was turned upside down in a frown - fer real).

Mrs. Ross: Remember how you used to eat your lunch in the gym?

Me: Oh yeah. We used to have to unload those ungodly tables and then fold them back up again. Ugh.

Mrs. Ross: Now, we have a cafeteria and this area backs up to it.

Me: Okay. (breathing. thinking.) So that place behind the library - the new area established in memory of that little boy...that's where my Kindergarten playground was, wasn't it?

Mrs. Ross: Why yes!

Me: Oh man! I remember the sliding doors in the classroom which led out to that playground. I can't believe it's gone - it's all gone.

As we walked away from the place that used to be, I continued telling her about what I remembered about Room 1.

Me: Miss Crouse assigned us all to a group and each group had their own table. I was at table number 6 (the last one of the bunch). In the middle of the table was a center piece with a white number six pushed into a green styrofoam-like mound, with six bumble bees sticking out, all around. Like they were flying. And there were cubbies. Wooden cubbies where we would store our gym shoes. They were stacked, two on top of each other, like a file cabinet. My cubbie mate was Eugene. I was so in love with Eugene (sigh).

I paused. Boy, I was a raving lunatic.

Me: I'm sorry to just be rambling. That filter I usually have in place - you know the one - where there's at least a six second delay between what I'm thinking and what my mouth says?'s just not there today. It's the smell of this school. It has this affect of waking up every single memory I ever had of the place.

She smiled.

Mrs. Ross: Oh, I don't mind. It's nice to hear that you have such fond memories of this place. I've worked here for thirty some years and it means a lot to me too.

I smiled. That Mrs. Ross. She was like so many of the wonderful teachers that I had at Indian Village. sigh.

The tour wasn't over. Oh no. We continued down the hall. We were on our way to Miss McDougall's room.