No Teachers, No More Books

burning school houseNo more pencils,
No more books,
No more teachers’ dirty looks,
Throw the pencils in the well,
Tell the teachers go to hell.

No more pencils,
No more books,
No more teachers’ dirty looks,
When the teacher rings the bell,
Drop your books and run like hell.

School is out for the summer tomorrow in our area and the excitement is in the air.

So many memories and so many thoughts about what that means.

To my lovely granddaughter Hope it means graduation from high school.  Congratulations sweet girl.

It seems like just a couple of days ago that I was graduating from high school.  It was an exciting day but one filled with mixed emotion, some fear, a lot of anticipation and some fun.

As a group of us who would see each other for what might be the last time gathered outside the Campus Corner (local hot spot for teens) we shared our plans and hugs and hoped we would gather again but had that gnawing pain in our gut that told us we might never see one another again.  Some I have seen and still stay in touch with.  Some I met in my travels.  Some are a distant memory.  Who knew our fate in those hopeful moments?  What roads we have traveled.

For Hope’s brothers, River and Leo, the day will be less life changing but will be filled with excitement none the less.  They will be looking forward to a summer filled with adventure and fun.  Toads, fish, swimming and their mother chasing them with sun screen will no doubt be part of their summer.

When I was their age the last day of school often meant staying later in school than everyone else.  I had to help my mother who was a teacher take down all the decorations on bulletin boards and pack up her books and tools of the trade.  All those letters of the alphabet had to be neatly put away as did day books and art work that was unclaimed.

As a child it was always fun to hear the emptiness of the school hallways.  The smells of Gestetner ink and sweaty little bodies lingered.

I loved summer.  Most of it was spent on the beach in front of our home.  There were sandcastles to build and hours of play in the water.  It also usually meant swimming lessons in Silver Lake in the morning and chasing the pea truck down the road or sneaking mums from beside the greenhouse at Ivey’s.

Often summer meant Mom would be off to summer school herself, because that is after all, why teachers had two months off.  They went to school for six weeks to learn more things about teaching.  Later she began taking university courses so she was off to London for six weeks of classes.

I had wonderful fun in the summer visiting relatives and especially loved staying with my Uncle Keith and Aunt Nancy on the farm.  They let me believe I was helping with the milking of cows, haying and feeding of livestock.  I suppose I did help a little the older I got but mostly I was the person supervising my younger cousins and keeping them out of harms way.

I had some wonderful summer trips.  At five I traveled to Winnipeg to be a flower girl for my Uncle Don and new Aunt Shirley.  I remember the trip well.  It was the first time I had stayed in a hotel and I  spent mornings dancing to the Scottish music played by my new aunt’s very Scottish father.  A few years later I visited with them again in Saskatoon for a month.  My parents drove us out there but I stayed and flew home with money I had saved from my 25 cent allowance and Christmas money from great aunts.  It cost me $82 to fly home on the milk run flight which stopped in Winnipeg and Detroit before it made it’s way to Toronto.  (I think that flight is worth a whole blog of it’s own – another day.)

At 13 I went adventuring with my Mom again.  We spent the summer at Fern Resort.  She was the Dining Room Hostess and I was the Boat Girl.  I sang and danced my way through that summer.  It was magical.

As a teenager summer meant work but it never seemed too tiring.  There was babysitting the five Knechtel children on the beach, then a summer at the Dairy Bar as cook and waitress and finally the famous Miller’s Bakery.  I believe my then boyfriend and I were the only kids in our resort town who had Sunday morning off so it was almost always spent water skiing.

Now summer also means a little rest from work as a school bus driver.  I will miss the little monkeys.  They make me smile almost every day I drive.

Be sure when they step off that bus tomorrow afternoon that you take seriously your responsibility to help them have a safe and fun summer.

School’s Out for Summer


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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