Post # 136
My mind wanders? What a strange term. What if a wandering mind never returns? I live in a woods, and one thing about woods and fall, is that leaves fall, in the fall. So here I was, mindlessly riding my 1985 lawn mower around the yard with my home-made leaf mulching guard–riding in leaf-mulching circles, with wandering mind.
I flashed back to my early days of living here. I was born and lived, for a time, in northern Indiana. The middle of eight grade found us moving into the deep country of central Indiana. Our house was a mile down a dead-end road. Yes I had to walk to the bus stop (no it wasn’t a mile each way, up hill–although in the winter…..) The nearest neighbor had three school age children younger than me, we were the only bus pickup on that road. Since the county road ended at their drive, I met the bus there at the neighbor’s house, where it turned around.
I came from the hustle and bustle of the Indiana side of Chicago suburbia, this new area was strange. These middle midwest people got excited talking about 8 row pickers, combine heads and euchre . Arguments ensued over till and no-till planting. It was like I walked into another world.
To say the school kids were clickish would be an understatement and I so wanted to prove I knew something, anything, to make friends. Those early months were tough. Summer came, I knew no one, and no one lived close to us.
The next school year started in redundancy. I still not having any friends, nor did I really know any of these classmates.
Then the school PA system crackled, a strange announcement. “ALL HIGH SCHOOL PUPILS REPORT TO THE GYM”. We entered and were directed by the teachers to sit by class. The Senior Class would be performing the INITIATION of the Freshman. WHAT!!! I was a Freshman, what are all those boxes out there on the floor, and EVERYBODY will be watching us. Oh, Woe is me…..
All the Freshman were required to stand on the basketball court sideline, turn and face the bleachers…… a senior was assigned to each of us and then we were blindfolded…is the Principal going to allow this, where’s the teachers? Oh, I’m going to faint. I hope I don’t get hurt, will I breakdown and ball? Luckily, the most popular kids or the younger siblings were taken first. I tried to listen, I didn’t hear any sirens, no one was being taken out in stretchers. There were a number of “things” you had to endure, I can’t remember all. But, each Freshman, was given a senior escort, to guide you through the obstacles. I must have looked frightened. One of the senior girls escorted me, we came to the first test, walking barefoot through broken glass. Two senior boys were holding the box of glass and shaking it, my escort leaned close to me and said “don’t worry, it’s not really glass”. I don’t remember what it was, but being an unknown in the school, provided the advantage that I was not really a target. I made it through the initiation. It’s unfortunate how initiations today have gotten so out of hand.
Here, I sit, mulching leaves…wondering why have we lost our innocence? We’ve moved from humours initiations to sadistic bullying….
I wish my grandchildren could experience yesterday……