Wednesday, August 20, 2008

why i thought we were going to get bombed heigh ho heigh ho

When I was in elementary school, I was terrified to the point of nightmares about being nuclear bombed. It was the 60s so I suppose there was the threat but I never asked anybody about the reality of my fears, I just suffered privately. Here are the things that made me afraid:
  1. A music teacher who came into class every day and pulled down the map, pointed at the Soviet Union and said they were going to blow us off the map. Then he would release the map and it would make that noise as it went up. You know the one I mean.
  2. I saw my dad putting plastic on the windows. It was an old house and he probably did it for insulation but I never asked. I was sure it was to keep fall-out out of our house.
  3. I saw my dad carry a box of canned vegetables to the basement one time. I knew that this was because of an impending nuclear attack at which time, we would go to the basement as if it were a bomb shelter.
  4. Duck and cover. I don't remember practicing this at school but I knew about it. Did we talk about this in the 60s? Was it on television? In case you don't know, this is something some kids practiced at school like fire drills and spelling bees. They would blow an alarm of some kind and children would get under their desks. IN CASE OF NUCLEAR ATTACK. Really. Who thought this was a reasonable idea?
I wonder if all children have terrible fears like this that they don't talk about to anyone. My fears may have been marginally reasonable, but so are fears of fires and burglars and wheels coming off trucks. Maybe my mom can shed some light on the box of cans and the plastic over the windows. This could all contribute to my current aversion to the news.

We met some friends down at Patricks tonight for a beer and a burger. Kelly resigned after almost ten years so we had to lift a glass. We had a great time with lots of stories and laughs. I walked down which is only about 7 blocks. It makes me wonder why we usually drive the car.

We were sitting around the table, a group of friends the youngest of whom is maybe 45 (sorry Kelly if you're younger...) and we're trying to think of the name of the social networking sites the kids all use. It was hilarious. We're hollering out things like iSpace, Mybook, Myface...until someone finally got it right. My Space and Face Book. It was funny...or maybe you had to be there.

I passed the ginko tree on Third Street. It was planted after the tornado so it's very small yet but it looks healthy. The ginko is my favorite tree and I'd plant one, but in urban (unfavorable conditions) they will get to be 80 feet tall and 60 feet wide. In better conditions they can get much bigger. That would dwarf our little house. I only know of two in town, both in close proximity to our house so I cruise by, check out their growth, and enjoy them that way.

Summer is officially over. Heigh ho heigh ho it's back to work I go. Actually I have extended time so I work quite a few hours over the summer but it never feels like the real school year has started until I put together a string of uninterrupted full days at work and have a list of things to do about eight pages long. I've been lifting my bag in and out of the car so much that my shoulder pains me.

I finished David Sedaris' book last night. I really loved it. I started Plaintiff Blues which is a very good book but very sad and depressing. I'm not sure I can do that right now. I need a book by Bill Bryson or Garrison Keillor.

My car started making some god-awful noise on my way home today. It started right as I pulled away from the curb at work. Whenever I pulled up to a stop sign or went over bumps, I would hear this soft grinding noise. I thought it was the shocks or struts even though I have no idea what those are. Or maybe a branch caught beneath the car even though I haven't been in any dense woods or road ditches lately. I left it home this afternoon and Regis bless his heart, checked it out and said someone had apparently gotten to close to a curb and pulled the bumper and oil pan cover out which is what was making the noise. Dodged another bullet with that car.

There are either crickets or cicadas chirping tonight. Usually you can't hear them over the lawn mowers but there must be a LOUD OBNOXIOUS NOISE ban today. When we were in Iowa last, the cicadas sounded like mallards in the trees. Ours are a softer, gentler version.

1 comment:

Jill said...

I'm enjoying the chirping sound this evening, too. I love it. That, and distant train whistles. Sounds of summer.