By Doris Schroeder
I finally realized something I had noticed several years but didn’t think about it. Women and men talk differently when they are within a group of either women or men.
This was brought to my attention a night not long ago when we had a Bible Study in our teacher’s home in Buhler. We had a pot luck supper and this time, the women met in the family room and the men in the dining room. We women sat on different kinds of chairs, some high and some low. It really didn’t bother us as we talked about different experiences when we were young…actually it is rather fun to sit low or high as we tell about the interesting events in our lives, and I guess you could say we women enjoy dramatizing just a little for our enjoyment. We do have to cope with many highs and lows in our lives.
Somehow we did get on the subject of children’s behavior in today’s world in comparison to when we were little.
LaDonna told us of an event that happened many years ago when she attended the old Buhler Grade School in the third grade. In previous years she had gone to the country school of Lily Dale and enjoyed great lunches cooked by the farm wives of that area. She wasn’t saying the Buhler lunches were not as good but there was one item that didn’t seem to agree with her tummy. It was the fried potatoes, and for some reason they always made her gag. Now, she was brought up to be an obedient girl of that era and certainly didn’t want to disobey her teacher who told them “Never waste any food of any kind because that is wrong!” In my own mind I remembered how we were warned many times in my day about “the poor starving children in the rest of the world!”
This particular day they had the dreaded fried potatoes and just looking at them made her want to gag. “What to do?” she wondered. Then she devised a life saving plan. She would roll the potatoes into a ball, put them in her lap and throw them as far as she could under the lunch table. That way they wouldn’t know who the guilty one was and her honest reputation would be intact. That she accomplished. The potato ball, however, landed down the row by one of the boys.
Now we all know that boys, in those days, had a little more of a tendency to be naughty…at least more than a nice little girl who always did what the teacher said.
She breathed a sigh of relief as she went back to her classroom on the next floor. However, a teacher by the name of Bertha Thiessen went to all the classrooms and asked the children out right if any of them had thrown any food on the floor in the lunchroom. Of course little LaDonna couldn’t be quiet and she admitted she had done it. The boy who had picked it up also admitted his part. This left a memorable impression on her mind. More so then children of today when they get caught at something.
I remembered a time I had to “tough it out” when I went to Junior High. This was after we moved back to Hutch from the farm. I also ate my lunch at the school and it seemed as if they macaroni and cheese at least every other day and it began to not agree with me.
Eating my lunch at school one wintry day, I soon began to feel very queasy. After school let out, I walked home in a drizzly rain. I didn’t have any bus money on that day so then I had to walk the 24 blocks home. On the way, I began to run a fever, threw up once in awhile but finally made it. My parents weren’t home so I laid down on the couch. I think this is where the phrase comes “sicker than a dog!”
When my parents got home, I was so sick I couldn’t even swallow my own saliva, so they called Dr. Blank. Doctors made house calls in those days so he came.
The verdict was streppe throat and scarlet fever. Of course, our family was quarantined for two weeks, since my Dad got it also. We made arrangements with our neighbors down the block, the Friesens, who had also been our neighbors on the farm. They would come to our back porch and Mom would give them a grocery list and the money and they certainly delivered. Ruth even brought my class assignments so I wouldn’t get behind in my studies.
It is strange that even though we were sick, I had the best time of my life.
Dad and Mom visited with us as much as we wanted. I think I had the best time of my life as there was nothing to interrupt us and of course, my Mom was a very good cook and my Dad a wonderful listener.
It does seem that God does work out everything for our good. As I look back, it is the things that started out as trials that helped me to learn to trust God completely because it is then we learn some of life’s lessons.
Anyways, guys, that is what we women talk about…some of life’s lessons. As we listen to each other, we recall some of our own and that’s the way we learn.
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org