As a girl, from the very first day of kindergarten, I LOVED school. Part of it was educational; I enjoyed learning. Part of it, I’m sure, was social. As an only child, I imagine that I liked having variety in my life. I have always been a natural introvert but a weird one. I like people! I just really need to have that time to myself too. School worked great for that. Back to school time was always one of the best times of the year, and tonight, I had a literal taste of those days. I was sitting at the laptop… yeah, this one I’m using to tell you this cheesy story about me and school… like you care. Anyway, sitting here feeling hungry, and remembered the grapes that are stored in our pristine fridge. I cleaned it today. It’s spotless– almost like it just came in the house from the store, but better. No plasticy smell or strange fingerprint smudges on it. It’s perfect. Just don’t ask about the freezer portion. Maybe tomorrow. If I survive the exertions of today.
So, I go in there, and to my immense displeasure, find a package of hot dogs on a shelf. ahem. We have a cold cuts drawer. A LOVELY, spotless, you-could-eat-off-it, drawer. Why were said dogs lounging on the shelf instead of neatly tucked away in their drawer? Not underwear– that’s drawerS– I mean an actual sliding drawer… anywho… So, I put them away like any reasonable fridge-cleaning woman would do, and whilst there in the drawer (get your mind out of the unders!) I saw cheddar cheese and BAM. Nostalgia.
You see, those first couple of weeks of school were the best lunch weeks of the year. It didn’t have anything to do with the fact that it was fresh and new, or that Mom got lazy later in the year and fed me on PBJ and an apple… the only time I had PBJ is if I chose to make one. No, Mom was great at having wonderful lunches. You see, back in the seventies and eighties, grapes were only affordable right around Labor Day. Don’t know why, but that’s when we got the best prices on grapes, so that’s when Mom bought them. I remember having a tuna sandwich, a baggie of grapes (Mom didn’t use zip locks… I had the normal sandwich baggies), a slice of cheddar cheese, and usually cookies or something. Oh, and almost always topped off with a thermos of milk. MMMMMMM Loved those lunches, but my favorite part was always the grapes and cheese.
It was kind of nice stepping back into those days… remembering that happy feeling that came when I opened my lunch box and saw my favorite food. And as I type this, I’m munching the grapes and seriously considering another cheddar stick… just for old time’s sake.