Thursday, November 13, 2014

Boiling then... simmering now

75 degrees a few days ago and now winter is blasting across the nation. 30 degrees today. UGH! Possibly accumulating snow on Saturday.
As I stood in the kitchen watching my tall mug of black cherry tea heat up, I gazed into a window from my past.

There was no school bus transportation. Everyone walked to school. I walked eight blocks. Females were not allowed to wear jeans or slacks, not even on the most brutally cold snowy days... and NO, there was no such thing as "snow days" back when I was a freshman in 1963. Our fingers were frozen stiff and our legs from the knees down were red and chapped when we arrived at school.

Skirt lengths were at the knee, but yo-yoed over the next four years. Granny skirts ankle hovered, then hemlines rose to mid calf, and eventually began a slow thigh-high climb to miniskirts.  

Each year, just before school started, I bought basic white canvas tennis shoes at the dime store for phys ed days, and I polished them with white "baby shoe" polish to keep them looking new.

I wore black and white saddle oxfords, or penny loafers with shiny pennies inserted into the slots.

I loved my "Beatle Boots," flat heeled comfy, ankle boots.
In the spring I headed for Hill Brother's shoe store where their slogan was plastered across the window: "Two for five, man alive!" I purchased flats in a rainbow of pastels.

At McKinley High, the highly-waxed cork floors felt like padding beneath my feet as I darted to my next class. When the public address system crackled with an announcement by Principal Dr. Mildred Hiller that our room was invited to attend an auditorium session, the class rejoiced.

Sporting a suit and tie, a male General Electric representative stood on stage and demonstrated a new-fangled innovative contraption, right off The Jetsons. Large as a dorm fridge, it sat on display on a table. 

"Girls, in YOUR lifetime, in the very near future, you will be able to cook an entire meal in mere minutes. No more slaving over the range."

The only "range" I knew was the open prairie in the western song, "Home on the Range." I had never heard that word used to describe a kitchen stove.

He proceeded to bake a cake in less than five minutes and frost it with a solid Hershey bar as it melted across the surface, much to my amazement.

This morning as I watched the microwave heat my tea in a minute and a half, I realized how I take that thing for granted.

Fifteen years after that G.E demonstration I purchased my first microwave, a large boxy contraption that cost $300.00. I was ticked off at my then husband for something big.

When I took the "for emergency only" charge card to Sears and Roebuck, I also purchased a set of ceramic canisters which cost almost $40, a lot of money in those days. He was lucky I stopped there!

I mainly use my microwave for heating. How about you?  


Bookie said...

NIce memories that I shared. We could wear pants if they were under a dress. A little earlier were bobby sock and can-cans. My dad refused to let me wear either!.
Already the weather is ON my nerves, Linda. I feel like a roly poly bug...want to curl up, roll over, and wait for spring. It is just tooooo sooooo for me! Wah!

noexcuses said...

Wonderful to go down memory lane. Thanks for sharing your memories. I didn't have snow in high school (SoCali), but we had to wear dresses, too. The principals would call us in if our skirts looked too short; we had to kneel...if they didn't touch the ground, we were in big trouble! I just heat things up in mine, too!

Susan said...

Wow! All those memories came flooding in as you waited for your tea!

I use the micro for heating up water and for some frozen items, like Indian (from India) food at Trader Joe's. Quick and delicious! Susan p.s. Linda, thanks for all your visits.

Connie said...

I remember some of those things too. Although I rode a bus to school, we had a strict dress code too. When I was in high school, the code was finally changed so that girls could wear pants (although jeans were still forbidden). I remember all the excitement when my parents bought their first microwave too. I cook in the microwave as well as use it to heat water for tea or to warm up leftovers.

Val said...

Yep. No pants unless they were worn under a dress. Such a fashion trend every winter! I lived out of town, so I had to stand in the driveway and wait for the bus while the wind whistled up my skirt.

Thank goodness, by the time I reached middle school, we were allowed to wear pants. Our men teachers always wore ties, and the women wore dresses. Any kid who wore sandals was a "hippie." The paddle was not spared, and the kids were not spoiled. We knew we'd be safe in the basement locker rooms after briefly hiding under our desks if the Russians nuked us.

Microwaves are for popcorn, baked potatoes, and warming leftovers.

Mevely317 said...

So many memories!!! We, too, walked to school in weather that makes today's school closures almost laughable. Only once my senior year did they allow us to wear our slacks all day.

I don't know that they called it a 'microwave' back then, but our senior year ('68) we had a similar contraption in the cafeteria. Heck, I'd buy a hamburger from the refrigerated vending machine just to put it in the 'contraption', push the button and watch the Sarah Wrap bubble grow larger and larger ... and larger.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Your memory is incredible, Linda! And yep, my microwave is for heating up my water for a hot cuppa--and popcorn. :-)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--You are rich with memories. It was fun sauntering down memory lane with you...

Unknown said...

Love the wonderful memories in this post, Linda. I definitely remember chapped and red knees because we couldn't wear anything except school uniforms. And I also remember my first microwave, very boxy and big! But we thought it was a great invention.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Loved reading these memories, Linda. I love the cold weather and the snow. I was a polar bear in a former life I believe :) Have a wonderful weekend!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Never really cook in my microwave. Dress codes sure have changed for schools. Thank goodness my granddaughters in MN can wear pants to school. My great-granddaughter is in Kindergarten in Georgia and they are not allowed to wear tank tops or skirts without shorts underneath! Kindergarten!

Tammy said...

This was like a little mini-vacation down memory lane. I too remember those cold walks to and from school. Mine had a "cloak room" even though no one really knew what a cloak was. My sister moonlighted during her first teaching job demonstrating microwaves. They really seemed like such a futuristic invention, didn't they? I love mine for lots of things: heating and thawing and boiling water...and micro popcorn!