Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Play’s the Thing: Sunday in the Yard with Sophie

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Hmm... I don't think I could've asked for a better day than today.  After a week of the local weather predicting heavy thunderstorms for Sunday, this morning they suddenly switched their tune & announced it'd be a perfect summer day. Thank God! 

Several days ago, I offered to come down & spend the day with my sister Shawn's little girl (my niece Sophia) and Shawn couldn't have been more appreciative about it.  At first she and her husband Jim were going to have an impromptu cookout (Jim's pretty good with a steak on the grill) but then that got canceled as he couldn't be there, he's on strike & had to go sit on the picket line.  (Gee, even on a Sunday?!) 

Nothin' personal Jim, but the day couldn't have been nicer.  It was just Shawn, Sophia & myself--my sister made a nice pot roast while Sophie and I read books and played with her menagerie of stuffed animals.  (When I asked Sophie if we could go play outside, the kid beat a path for the back door.  I think she lives out there; she's so dark she looks like a little coconut!)

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Sophie begins school tomorrow (Pre-K) here...she's excited about it, but I have a feeling this is going to be a rough week for her--and my sister Shawn

 

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(It's now Monday morning and Shawn just informed me that Sophia had a nervous time with being left "on her own" at the school.)  I know the kid is going to do great...hang in there, guys!  

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This week also happens to be my OTHER niece Drew's first day of high school, a big change for her as well.   These kids are growing up too fast! 

 

As long as we’re on the subject of children and school…  

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This fascinates me to no end.  At the bottom of my sister's yard sits a large boxy structure (part of their property) that they use to store odds n' ends, old furniture, lawnmower, etc.

It's too formal to be called a barn, though it has no windows.  (They were boarded up long ago.)  And it's a historical landmark too!  Why?

Because in the late 1800s-1930s, it was the areas first schoolhouse.  

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Based on the layout of the first floor, I imagine it looked like this...   

 

When you go inside, it's not apparent--it simply looks like an old barn. But when you climb the dark and rickety stairs to the second floor, it's eerie... strangely enough the top floor also contained the school's gymnasium, with the original lighting fixtures still hanging from the ceiling. 

An archaic slate board (chalkboard) still hangs on the wall.     sunday3b        sunday3c

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

It gives me goosebumps to go in there;  I can't even imagine how many generations of kids played and studied and daydreamed about the world outside those long boarded-up windows...

But as the old saying goes, 'that was then; this is now'.  And for the time being, any thoughts about school kids will be reserved for Drew...or this little munchkin!

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