School lunch

free_237895On Facebook, where I get all my news, I recently found some new “old school” photos from someone I’ve known my entire life. Literally. She was born the day before me and our parents met shortly after we were born. Anyway, she posted photos from our grade school years the other day. Aside from the “I was wearing what?” moments, these photos made me think about what life was like when I was 10 and 11 years old. In some ways it was great. In some ways it was really hard. Looking back at myself in these photos, I see the happiness and the heartache in my young face.

Today another classmate of ours posted a comment and said that these photos (he called them ‘The Wonder Years’) made him think of our elementary school lunch room, where we still had “lunch ladies” who cooked the meals each day. His comment took me right back to that cafeteria – low benches and long tables, the smell of wiener wraps and tater tots on Fridays and the milk table where you could buy a small carton of white or chocolate milk for five cents, and where you could get a straw out of a wood container that rolled them out one by one. Those were the days.

Ironically enough I decided to flip open Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird this afternoon, in search of a little writing inspiration and the chapter I opened to was School Lunch. It’s been a long time since I read the book and I didn’t recall that she talked about school lunch. She said that often when her writing students call her and discuss the downside of being without inspiration, she tells them to freewrite about school lunch. And, inevitably, she said, they feel 100% better after having done so.

I have to say that I agree.

(Image courtesy of Dreamstime free downloads)

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