Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hurry Up To Look Back

School Days Title Image

[This is a submission for the 17th Edition "Smile For The Camera" hosted by footnoteMaven on  The word prompt for this edition is "School Days".  The "School Days" banner above was generously provided by footnoteMaven.]

The First Day
I can still remember my first day in kindergarten.  Carrying my brand new red plaid satchel & dressed in my matching red plaid uniform, I was scared all the way down to my black and white saddle shoes because I didn't know anyone.  It was a small private church school, and I still managed to get lost.  A lady stopped and asked me who I was and if I needed any help.  Later that day I found out that she was my Spanish teacher [where I'm from, Spanish is taught from kindergarten and on up]. Though I thought that day would never end, it did finally, and the second day was a little easier.  When we're young, school seems like an endless task that interrupts our lives, but when we're older, we wonder, "Where did all the time go?"  It seems that we hurry up only to look back.

My Secret Obsession
Though I'm not in school anymore [not for a while now], I still look forward to the beginning of school for my kids [and not just because my kids will be out of the house for seven hours straight ~ really...].  You see, I have a deep secret: I love school and office supplies.  Oh, to have that perfect pen ~ the one that is a perfect weight & shape and its ink flows so nicely.  The smell of the erasers [and no, I don't sniff the Sharpies] is divine.  Likewise, who could forget the perfect pencil pouch that fits so well in the brand new binder?  I could go on, but I think you get the picture.  I am obsessed with school & office supplies.

What Does the Past Smell Like?
When I was about 10 years old, after I would complete my "chores" at my mom's pet shop [a story for another time], I would sometimes walk down the main street where our pet shop was located.  One of the places that I would frequent was what we would now call an old-fashioned office supply store.  It was the kind that had an all-glass front.  The bell hanging on a rope attached to the handle on the glass door would ring when I opened the door announcing my entrance.  As I would walk in, I would take a deep breath in order to savor the smell of the store ~ the smells of paper, ink, and a bit of mustiness.  [In my humble opinion, the smell of an old-fashioned office supply store is only second to the smell of a bookstore or a library, but don't get me started on those...]

New Inventory
One day as I was looking at the calligraphy pens in one of the glass cases, I noticed something different.  There were 2 red plastic boxes that were "new" to the case [ah, new inventory] ~ one was opened and one was closed.  Inside of the box was a ruler, tape measure, box cutter, tape dispenser, stapler, scissors, and glue ~ all miniature sized.  I instantly knew that I had to have that kit.  Everything was so cute!  I hurriedly walked back to the pet shop to tell my mom all about it.  She said that I could buy it with my paycheck on Friday.  Boy, did that week go by slowly!  When Friday finally rolled around, I couldn't cash my paycheck quick enough.  I went back to the old-fashioned office supply store and purchased my travel-sized supply kit.

The Journey Forward
You know, I never really used it a whole lot because I didn't want to run out of anything, and I was so very proud of it.  I was so proud of it that I managed to keep it all these years.  So, even though we may hurry up only to look back, sometimes we take a little memento of the past with us on our journey forward.

[Below is a picture of my kit as well as some designs of family members' school photos ~ enjoy!]

School Supply Kit

Dad School Days

Joe School Days

Susan School Days

Terri School Days



  1. I always thought an obsession with office supplies was "my thing" until I found out my sister had one too!

    I think it's pretty common. Ooohhh look, folders! That's normal... isn't it!?

  2. Does having an obsession with the "new" pencil box in elementary school count? ;-) Love the photo collages. Nice.

  3. I so excited to start school because it seems every one went to school but me.
    My obsession was keeping my pencil point looking brand new, until the teacher complained to my parents that I wasn't doing any work in class for the first two weeks.

  4. This is such a timely post for me; my husband and I made a trip to the office supply store last weekend and had such fun. We had to laugh abut our special "date"! This is a great post and brings back so many happy memories.


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