nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

remembering place – Grade Four, part one

with 2 comments


School-wise, Grade 4 was a fragmented year.  I began the year in Medicine Hat at Webster Niblock Elementary.  And then my family moved to a new community forty miles away, and I completed Grade 4 in the school there.

~

Webster Niblock Elementary School front yard

Webster Niblock Elementary School front yard

~

I have lots of memories of Webster Niblock.  First, there was the walk to school (red path in the aerial photo below).  On one side of the road were houses, but on the other side of the road was prairie.  Today there is a row of houses on that side of the street, but in 1963 the prairie was undeveloped and raw to its very edge.  I was not allowed to wander on the prairie by myself, or to take a shortcut to school.  Later my Dad told me he was always afraid of rattle snakes when we lived in the west.  But I could see the plants that grew at the roadside.

~

my route from home to school

my route from home to school

~

I still remember the orange-red Prairie Mallow, also known as Scarlett Globemallow (Sphaeralcia coccinea), and the Prickly-pear cactus (Opuntia) with its grape-like berries.  At the corner where I turned from Second Avenue to 11th Street (blue star) was an expanse of pineapple weed (Matricaria Discoidea) – I don’t remember picking or smelling them … to me, they looked like a miniature forest of pine where tiny people could walk.  I think my interest in plants must have begun during those years, encouraged by my Mom who knew the names of all the flowers.

~

'Pineapple Weed'

~

I also remember specific conversations with my best friend Laureen as we walked to school, including the disagreements we had.  I remember that we talked about my moving away.  We decided we would write letters to one another and we laughed that we would probably carry on our childish fights in those letters.

~

Another place I remember well is the ‘courtyard’ where we played at morning and afternoon recess (yellow star).  Spinning tops were all the rage and my Dad made me a wooden top from an empty spool of thread and a matchstick.  We also played marbles and I always lost.

~

It was common practice to bring a ‘recess’, a treat to eat at the morning recess break.  My Mom usually sent a small square of fudge wrapped in wax paper or part of an apple.  When a new little girl joined our class, my Mom, who wanted me to make friends, was determined I would be nice to her.  Every day Mom sent a ‘recess’ treat for the little girl.  And every day, I would run up to her, shove the treat into her hand and run away.  I was generally shy and I don’t ever remember of saying a word to her.  I often think about her – today she is a woman of about sixty years who may, from time to time, remember a peculiar child who used to bring her a square of fudge every day and run away.

~

Webster Niblock Elementary School rear yard

Webster Niblock Elementary School rear yard (we played with tops in the area by the red post at the corner of the school)

~

Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 11, 2014 at 7:19 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Love the pineapple weed drawing. I’ve never been to a prairie… You’re lucky your mother knew the names of plants and inspired your own love of them. Are you still in touch with Laureen?

    Like

    Barbara Rodgers

    August 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    • Hi. Thanks! I know where Laureen lives, but I haven’t spoken to her for years. Your question has made me think I should try to contact her. It would be fun to talk to her after all these years. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      August 12, 2014 at 10:27 pm


I'd love to hear what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: