Thursday, November 15, 2012

Doug Something!

Unless we remember we cannot understand.
                             Edward Morgan Forester


Memory is a strange thing, one minute you are wandering around in a big hall at a consignment auction when you look up and see a lunch box, not an ordinary lunch box but a yellow school bus lunchbox, and then you are whisked back to a classroom and sitting beside Doug something or other. I guess the name does not matter I only remember sitting by him at lunch and I know it was the winter as I only stayed and ate lunch in school and did not walk home for lunch in the winters.

Now Doug was a cute little boy and I must admit I may have been a little smitten because of the red bow tie he wore, or it may have been those big blue eyes and blonde hair. He sat across from me and at lunch time when the teacher told us we could pull out our lunch; I pulled out an old bread bag with a jam sandwich and placed it on my desk and then placed the jam jar filled with warm powdered milk beside it after giving it a good shake. My eyes could not help but drift over to Doug’s cool lunch box. I cannot remember what was in it but I know it had a cool thermos too, I remember thinking at the time I was going to marry that boy and then I could have a cool lunch box and lots of food like Doug. You have to know this was grade one.

This had me thinking about how our memories work and why did I still remember that lunch box. Could it be all about what was in the lunch box even though I did not remember what that was, or just the fact that it was full, or was it all about the lunch box itself?

I have completely forgotten everything about the other kids that sat around me and Doug except for this one kid that never had a lunch and the teacher asked everyone to give him some of theirs but she never asked me. She always asked Doug and he always gave an apple or an orange. Is that why it stays buried deep inside, maybe it has nothing to do with the lunch box at all. Maybe Doug being generous was what it was all about. I now remember thinking maybe I would not bring a lunch tomorrow and Doug could give me an apple. I remember the boy who had no lunch had more lunch than anyone else in the end.

A few years ago I met the boy that had no lunch, he was happy and doing very well, we took the time to have a long conversation. It turned out this boy that never had a lunch, most times never had any supper either. He and his brothers never had very much of anything. I remember this bothered me a lot hearing that that day, and I must admit it still bothers me today. I guess I was one of the lucky ones after all. There was always something on our plates at night even if I don’t remember what that was.

Well I did not marry Doug, if you are wondering, and I never did get a cool lunch box. I did however grow up and marry a man who never owned a lunchbox either and has memories of bread bags and jam sandwiches also, and I am OK with that. I do still like a man with a red bow tie though.

Doug something or other always in my dream, grew up and gave all the poor kids lunch boxes filled with apples and a thermos of real milk. I wonder if Doug really knew just how lucky he was. I can’t help but wonder if he truly is generous and sharing now.

I realized that day years ago just how lucky I was with my bread bag wrapped jam sandwich and my jar of powdered milk. It took a conversation with a little boy who did not have anything and who had grown to be a generous man to make me realize that. We all have something to learn every day and memories it seems are there to never let us forget that.

Later.

29 comments:

  1. It takes a caring heart to receive those lessons...and a caring heart is something you have plenty of!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh that brought back memories for me too, only my lunch buddy was Paul. he was always picked on by the others because he was so big. The teacher too use to slap the ruler down on Pauls desk to get the class attention. What a complex the teacher must have given that boy , too big for his age. But we had great conversations.Thanks for the memories that were hidden in time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to have a lunchbox like the one in your picture!

    I'm so glad that now if kids don't have lunch, there are programs to make sure they get something to eat. We often send an extra box of snacks to school for the kids that don't have snacks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's never too late to learn something from a memory. They seem to pop up just when we need them....
    ummmm...did you buy the lunch box?

    ReplyDelete
  5. It seems no matter how bad we think we have it, there is always someone else worse off. How nice that the teacher had everyone share a little of their lunch and I'm glad that that young boy grew up to be a good man.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh the memories . I always asked my mum to make two sandwiches cause there was this boy at school that didn't have a lunch so she did and I took him a sandwich and an a apple every day and shared my drink with him . His name was John . Wonderful post .

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was a bread bag kid too.
    Powdered milk- ugh- was a staple for us, along with jam sandwiches.
    I remember times when there was no food, and the local dairy farmer gave us milk and eggs. Real milk!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A very insightful comment on life. Things we learn when our brains are still soft stay with us. It looks like you learned a lot about a lot of important things in first grade. A book-worthy post.

    I'm thinking that lunch box might be a valuable collectors item to some people. But the memories it carried for you are priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I never had a lunch box. I had a paper sack. I was one of the poor kids. Even though we were poor, my Mom and Dad always made sure there was food on the table and a roof over our head.

    I too wonder how the poor boy grew up and if he gives from his heart because of kids like you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had memories to this day of a little friend whom I met in Grade one. Her name was Ocena Fox. I would walk her home after school. In those days I was not scared to walk miles. You did back in my time. No modern transportation from my first grade school. When we crossed over the railtracks. I said I can go to her place and play with you outside if you want. Oh , she would say. Better not. My dad is a hobo and I lived in that red house. It was so awful.I have tried to find her on facebook but she could be married.My maiden name was Smith so for her to find Smith what a job.

    So I know she was very poor but when your 7 years old . You never realize what it means. Your a kid and you have a friend who is like yourself.
    We played hopscotch, double rope skipping with other kids. In my mind I see her so much. A sweet girl with dimples.A very soft smile.

    So thanks for sharing your story big time. I rememebr those lunch boxes but I had a leather school bag and my sandwich was sandwichspread I loved or balony sadwich and my Mom used to let me buy choc milk once a week and rest of week white milk. So I was well looked after with food. I did share with Ocena my food but the word Hobo then was not what registered in my mind. It sure did later and still does. Later as we grew up her brother died a freak mishap . He went on his sled and went down the hill fast into a golf course creek.
    They never ever found him till a year later. When Spring came. Then from there I loss intouch and someone said they moved. She never mentioned a Mom neither.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I never had a lunch box either. But I did have lots of food, my family owned a grocery store and then a slaughter house.

    I still don't have a lunch box come to think of it. I just put my food in jars or containers I've saved and put it in a bag.

    don't you love it when a memory like that just hits you unexpectedly?

    ReplyDelete
  12. i am glad for the boy that the teacher realized his plight and helped by asking others to share. so often we'd go on our way without noticing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love this post!!! Doug was one heck of a guy to share!

    It took me back to my own childhood. I was afraid to go to 1st grade because it was the first year of all day school. I was afraid I'd drop my lunch and everyone would laugh. My mom had to call my dad to convince me to go to school.

    My teacher tutored me at recess time because I had trouble with reading. One kid Matt always stayed in with me. He had heart problems and couldn't go outside. We shared an orange soda. It was his favorite color. He passed away from a heart operation the summer after 4th grade. My heart always went out to him.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I loved this one, Buttons! It was neat that you and the other boy met up as adults and had that conversation! Those seemingly small acts of kindness are huge!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Aww, great post. That is a cool looking lunchbox :) It's so strange what jogs our memory and what small things we remember from years ago. For me, certain scents have that effect.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Such a heartwarming story. Now, where can I get me one of those lunchboxes? I must have one.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Such a beautiful and introspective post. I bet Doug something is just as giving now, it takes a special kid to give up some of his lunch every day:)

    ReplyDelete
  18. oh how i loved reading this post of your memories...so wonderful too of the teacher to have all the kids chip in a bit of their lunch for the boy who had none...sweet story :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a beautiful memory that obviously had a huge impact on you. Your post made me feel uplifted today.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You have really shared a special memory. In many ways it is so simple, yet so complex in the social economics factored into it. Glad to hear that you met that young man you remembered.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is a good story, very compassionate and humane.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Funny, I remember having a Holly Hobby lunchbox, but don't ever remember using it to eat lunch. I know I must have. You are such a good writer. I love your stories. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Memories are something that no one can take away..I love yours my dear friend from afar..M xoxoxox

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a sweet story that just tugs at the heartstrings! I was a shy, neglected child and the new girl that nobody noticed except one boy. He carried my books, sat next to me at lunch, put my chair on my desk at the end of the day. One day after Christmas vacation he never came back. The teacher told us he died of an asthma attack. I will always remember the kindness of that boy all my life. Small acts of kindness are so important. Wonderful story, thank you for sharing. xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. Actually there is a lot to learn from experiences.. in the form of memories!

    Volatile Spirits

    ReplyDelete
  26. It is amazing how an article can stimulate memories. This is a great story of one of your memories.
    I often wonder how memories suddenly spring int my head without any obvious stimulation.
    I took lunch in a brown paper bag. A sandwich and a piece of fruit. My mum made the best sandwiches. We had fresh milk supplied by the government at school.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's interesting what we remember from our childhood. I too have lunchbox memories. I was insanely jealous of a little girl who had carrot sticks in her lunch every day. I just KNEW she had the best mother ever. :))

    ReplyDelete
  28. You transported me back in time with this beautiful story.
    I too remember certain instances from my childhood with sharp clarity while the rest blur into the past and fade away.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend.
    Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love how one thought or image leads to another and another. Funny how the mind works. Yours works very well my dear. :)

    ReplyDelete

The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.