Everywhere you look you see the signs and evidence that school is either started or about to start. From college down to the elementary levels parents and kids are gearing up for another year.
My husband always comments, “Those poor children…..”. I have a feeling that his comment stems from the fact that he never really cared for school. For him it was the end of summer freedom and time to be; as he thinks “incarcerated” back in a school building. He has always been an outdoor kind of guy which may be one of the main reasons he is a farmer!
My husband grew up as a farm kid and one of his main memories of school involves his lunch pail. He could never understand why he could not have warm hot dogs in his thermos instead of either jelly or dried beef sandwiches. I laughed when he told me this and that summer when I brought him a lunch pail out to the field I included hot dogs in his old school thermos.
I grew up in the small town where our school was located. Our elementary school did not have a hot lunch program back then so my siblings and I would walk the four blocks back home for dinner. (For us it was dinner at noon as we were a rural community and supper at night.) My mom did, however, purchase us a lunch pail. I am not totally sure why. Maybe we begged enough for them and she gave in? The beautiful red plaid one in the photo was my lunch box……though I did covet my cousin’s which looked like a school bus.
I clearly remember the day my brother did not show up at noon to walk home with me. When I got home my mom asked where he was. I had no idea. She called school and found out that he had taken his lunch pail with his candy bar (which was a snack for recess) and stayed at school to eat his candy bar for dinner.
Once a month, at our elementary school the moms would come in and serve a hot lunch. This was always a great treat for us town kids as we did not have to walk home at noon. We really appreciated this in the winter when it was snowy and cold. The country kids also appreciated it because it meant a hot meal for them after weeks of jelly or peanut butter sandwiches and fruit.
The menu was always the same– one tavern bun (I think this might be a regional name for sloppy joe) or two buns. One would cost us .25¢ or two for .35¢. You also got some chips and either a chocolate or white milk. The milk was amazing. My husband and I both always chose chocolate as that was a huge treat. Back then school milk was in small glass bottles and you had to peel off a cardboard lid thing to open it. (yes, this does really tell my age!). To top it off we always had a choice of a fudge bar or ice cream bar. It did not get much better than that!
When our sons entered this same school years later they were fortunate as the school had a hot lunch program by that time. I also considered myself fortunate as I did not have to pack those lunch pails and try get creative with something nutritious they would eat.
It’s nice to just be a kid and hang out with your friends at lunch.
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