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Hear That Whistle Blow XII - Katie in Second Grade

Jackie tells of the many adventures and emotions of a little girl growing up in a large family in the fifties.

Katie is on her adventures in a new life and moving on to second grade. There are disappointments and perhaps a couple of surprises.


The Great Outdoors

Katie moved here before she was five but now she was in second grade! She had lived here so long that her mom let her go about anywhere she wanted to. Of course, Katie could hear her mom anytime she yelled for her.

There was a man now that came by sometimes and played his guitar for all the neighbors. She wasn’t sure where he lived but he made money this way. Everyone loved to see and hear him play.

Two old neighbor brothers lived on one side of Katie and ever-changing neighbors on the other side. One of these neighbors became a governor of her state. He was not there long but she was glad to have known him and his wife for the short while. Her parents supported him they said so Katie guessed she did too.

Katie and her family were getting to know so many people here. Being out and about so much Katie knew almost everyone, and they knew her. She really knew more people than her parents did for she was out and about almost daily unless it was cold wintertime.

Her younger brothers weren’t allowed out of the yard because they didn’t even go to school yet. She guessed they weren’t smart enough to go anywhere and get back home. She was glad to get away from them sometimes, anyway. If she had to watch them outside it would have ruined her freedom and fun. They cared nothing for clouds and sky and collecting pine cones or visiting dogwood trees. They only fought and made noise unless engaged in a game for competition. Then sometimes that turned to fight and noise.

Next year Katie’s brother two years younger than her would be starting school. Would that change things for her, she wondered.


Inside Outside

Katie was convinced outside was best for her, for so many things had happened bad inside. First, she had stolen a cigarette from her daddy's pack. She puffed it a couple of times as she had seen him do and blew out the smoke. She nearly choked taking the smoke deeper the second time. It had made her deathly sick. Not only that but the guilt and disappointment in herself was so devastating.

She had to go outside to be sick and to hide for sure her mother would get at the truth if she saw her. Katie knew what her daddy would do to her indeed, for such an act. It would not feel good!

She stayed out of sight for as long as she could so her mother may not think to call her if she didn't see her. Then she suffered so from guilt she went into the woods where the dogwoods had bloomed to pray. There was a log where she sometimes sat or would kneel on to talk to God.

She did not know if she could be forgiven but she truly was so sorry and wished she had it to do over again. She would have never taken that second puff.


Love for Shame

The second bad thing that happened to Katie was telling a little boy that she loved him. She could write pretty good now and so it seemed alright to drop him a note saying I love you. What she did not expect was for him to cry and tell the teacher! He gave the teacher the note to read. Worst yet, she was made to stay inside through lunch and the last recess. She stuck out like a sore thumb and her face burned with embarrassment.

She thought she would never recover from that shame but she did. She had overcome bullies and now she must overcome boys, period! She would never make that mistake again. She had been laughed at more than once and so from now on her feelings would be kept deep inside. No one must know how she felt about anything, ever again!

It was such a cruel world for someone who had never meant anyone any harm. Katie wondered if she ever would truly understand life and the people around her in it. She got her feelings hurt so often.

Outside, alone, just seemed so much the better place to be.

Embarrassed for Loving


Being Laughed At

Embarrassment did last awhile for Katie. Never understanding really what she had done wrong. But apparently, everyone else did.

Again Katie played alone on the playground whenever possible. The only place it seemed, away from the teasing. The lone merry-go-round was her only fun and that only halfheartedly. She had friends she visited with pretty often away from school. But her very best times were spent exploring and enjoying outdoors. She could always be herself without worry of saying or doing the wrong thing. So far teachers only taught what was in books. They never explained about feelings and things you should and should not say.

Of course, Kate never told her mother about these things, She was sure she did not have the answers. She was always so busy too, taking care of Katie's daddy and little brothers. She cooked and cleaned, washed clothes and sewed all the time. She needed to make a bunch of new baby gowns she told Katie. There was going to be a new baby!


Practice Makes Perfect

Good grades seem to be a given to Katie. She picked everything up so quickly. She loved stories better than anything which there were too few of. It made her proud to have all top scores on all her papers. Her report card was always excellent. Deportment was never checked against her or doing as she was told.

She was walking to school still every morning. It was probably a very good thing because after second grade they would be moving. It was farther from this school which meant she had no choices. Katie and her little brother would have a very long walk to catch the bus. Then they would go to a small school with just four grades. It would be a new school and new school children until she was in fifth grade. Then she would be bused back to this school.

She was so glad of that to know she would see her best friends again. Two school years was not such a very long time her mom said. Maybe it was just what Katie needed to erase the bad things she had done. She would never like any boy at this new school. But if she did she sure knew better than to let anyone know, especially him!


Baby Comes First

They were moving to a farm with no houses around anywhere. Just fields and mountains and a big two-story farmhouse with so many rooms! There would be acres and acres for Katie to explore. She would miss where she lived but she could not help but be excited.

She had visited relatives with farms and had always wished she could live on one. Her imagination just would not keep still. The thoughts of it filled her mind even while she still explored the woods where she lived. Her ballerina friend had grandparents right beside Katie's new school. She may get to see her there, so that was exciting news too.

Her older brother was pleased also because he could take his big dog hunting right where they lived. Katie preferred not to think about it but he did bring home many things her mother would cook for them. Her daddy hunted too when he got vacations to allow the time for that. Mostly he just worked and slept. She rarely saw him.

Thoughts of the new baby and the new house raced in Katie's mind. Besides all the outside fun Katie had always wished for a little sister. surely this time she would get one.

Little did she know the wait for the new baby would end first. Before they were ever ready to start moving!

© 2017 Jackie Lynnley

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