Looking for answers to life's questions

My little  sister wanted very much to go to school with me every day. At three, four and five, there was no school for her on our Army base in Aschaffenburg, Germany.  Our mother would have liked nothing better than to send this curious and very active child to school.

The school building was just a block away from our apartment building. There was no enticing playground equipment. It was a basic building in an L shape with no frills. Our days were spent inside trying to learn hard things like arithmetic. I loved school with all the pencils, paper and notebooks. I could bring mine home to do my homework. My sister loved them too. We started playing school where I was the teacher about that time.

One afternoon in the middle of class, an office worker summoned me to the principal’s office immediately. I had never been to the principal’s office and was very surprised to see my little sister out their window with her arms full of paper, pencils and crayons. She had a smile on her face and seemed so pleased with herself.

I was told to take her home and then come and clean up the mess she made by turning over the big trash barrels outside to get all this wonderful stuff that had been tossed out. Wow, I thought to myself! How did she know all that good stuff was in those trash cans and how did she manage to dump them over? When I asked her about it on our way home, she said she had seen them tossing stuff out and wanted some of it to play with.

My little sister caught up with me in size quickly. This was taken a couple of years later by the grandparents with a camera our parents didn’t have. I was 9, she was 4 here

Well, I couldn’t fault that or the ingenuity to get it done but when I looked down at her feet I realized she was wearing my slippers, not her own. I asked her why she was wearing my slippers outside and all she had to say was she didn’t want to get hers dirty. Mom would be mad at her if she did. There was that devious mind I knew and finally grew to love.

Remember the slippers? Our Oma gave them to us and we loved them. Mine were never the same.

Always the wise, resourceful little dickens but it was one more fun thing she was not allowed to repeat. I was really sorry about that.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "Suzy Q at School" (53)

  1. What a sweet and funny memory. Little sisters are the best. 🙂

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  2. Such great photos, especially from a time when the convenience of digital didn’t exist. Who is the little chap on the floor behind the two of you?

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  3. Little sisters have a talent for getting away with murder! I know mine got away with all sorts of things I’d have copped a smacked bottom for… At least she wouldn’t have had to be chivvied through the doors when she was old enough 🙂

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  4. Aw….I loved this story, Marlene! The two of you are adorable in that photo. I really enjoy these posts. 🙂

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  5. What a delightful memory Marlene! And your sister was so darned clever – she had Life worked out just perfectly!

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    • Thank you, Clare. She’s still quite clever. She lives her life on her terms. Thanks for stopping by Clare. I have your pages open trying to finish reading. Life is in race again.

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  6. It really is interesting how resourceful and curious she was. And sensible–why ruin her slippers when she could ruin yours?! Great story, Marlene!

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  7. Thank you for a sweet story that brightened my day!

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  8. Another beautiful story of your sisters adventures Marlene.. Wonderful.. What a little bundle of energy she was.. Even if it was always getting her into mischief, she knew her own mind, and went after what she wanted.. 🙂 Including your slippers!.. Clever… I will get my sisters slippers dirty not my own.. LOL.. 🙂 Now that is great planning haha.. ❤

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  9. Terry (and he was the oldest) would always use his younger brother’s stuff…so his would stay nice. 🙂

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  10. Another wonderful Suzy Q story! And the slippers- what a smart one. Thanks, Marlene.

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  11. I wonder why you were the person the school called – normally it would be a parent. There’s injustice in you having to clean up the mess made by your sister……… My sister once stole chocolates from our mother and hid the empty wrappers in my drawer. Guess who got the trouble…… 🙂

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    • That’s kind of like wearing my slippers so she wouldn’t get in trouble. My mother had 2 babies at home and so the cleanup fell on me. I believe that caring for her was kind of a soul contract. Most of my young life was about protecting the kids. It felt like it was what I was meant to do. They may have called my mother and she told them to have me take care of it. Just how it was. My sister was there to help me during some very hard times when no one else could. So I think we are here helping each other at different times. I’m sorry you got in trouble because of your sister. I’m guessing your relationship didn’t heal later? 😦

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  12. I’m the oldest in my family, too. I did plenty of chasing the siblings around, but somehow your stories make it seem more fun! Did your sis end up loving school like you did? Have a great weekend, Marlene!

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    • My sister loved school. School did not return the love. 😦 There were no alternative schools in those days. No box for that kid. Thanks for the visit, Missy. Have a great weekend too.

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  13. I just have to laugh at your stories. You, always picking up the pieces left by your sister. Yet, you never held a grudge and never seemed to run out of patience. 🙂

    I was a rebel too, at least according to most you speak too. I was quiet about it though. I just did what I thought was right for me. Something my mother never could wrap her head around, which is funny in a way as she was the same way although she never seemed to see it. She and I never did get along because I wouldn’t give in. 😉 And neither would she.

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    • The world needs rebels and I worked to protect that in my sister and in my own daughter. I wasn’t rebel enough. I think I admired her brazenness so it didn’t matter that I had to clean up messes for many years. My job was always to protect that seed of independence in her. It felt like a soul contract. At least you made peace with your mother before it was too late. You both probably learned a lot from each other. Keep taking care, Jackie. Hugs a bunch.

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  14. My grandmother would have called your sister a “Kaepsele”! That would refer to the smoky explosion of a cap gun! We had a Kaepsele in our family too! 😉

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  15. I have never known the joy or perhaps frustration of having a sister. But it is so lovely to read between the lines of the love and tender feelings you have for your sister. Wonderful memories.

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  16. Great post Marlene! Nothing like those old memories.
    I had (and have) an older sister. She is still dear and sweet.

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  17. Your sister was quite determined once she set her mind to something had quite the personality. I do hope she’s held on to some of that in her later years. Love that she thought about the consequences of getting her slippers dirty even if she didn’t think of the consequences of the rest of her actions that day.

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  18. What a lovely and quite funny memory Marlene! And such ingenuity to wear your slippers instead of hers. 😉

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  19. You have always been such an amazing big sister, Marlene! Suzy Q’s antics outside the school made me smile. Since I never had a sister, I’m very grateful that you are sharing your stories here. Have a nice week, dear Marlene! ♡

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    • Thank you, Dawn. I’ve been having trouble with notifications so I’m trying to find blogs I’ve missed. Appreciate you stopping by. She is a rare one indeed.

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  20. Marlene, I just typed a long reply and the darn laptop ate it! It’s late, so I shall have to come back. Wanted you to know how much I am loving those stories about you and your sister. I hope there are plenty more to come! Much love and light to you, and warm hugs. ~ Linne

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    • There are only a couple more of those early stories that I remember. A lot changed after that in our lives so there are a few from her older years. My memory has lots of gaps in it due to stresses in life but I’ll get these few together and put them in a book for her. It needs to be done soon. I’m so glad you liked them and short comments are always welcome. I have a short attention span like most people. Love and hugs, M

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  21. This is wonderful.

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  22. Well, you can’t fault her for being resourceful. How dare a school *throw* out pencils and paper, LOL. Your sister probably thought she’d struck gold 😀 So in that photo above, are you in front or behind?
    The whole slipper fiasco sounds a bit familiar. In my story, I was writing, ‘Kenny’ with a black crayon on the basement floor. It was only painted concrete but my mother felt it required a licking. I actually remenber being held up with one leg off the floor and being hit. Horrifying. I’m surprised I made it out of the 60’s as normal as I am (by my standards anyways). Your sister was lucky to have you to cover for her. My Omma was a very quiet woman. I think she was scared of my mother too. :/

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    • I’m the one with the glasses behind. My sister is still taller than I am. I understand about what you went through. Too many stories like that. I covered the best I could but sometimes I couldn’t,. That had it’s own consequences. I thought my sister had struck gold too. It was in the trash so what was the harm? Unfortunately, there are still parents like that. I just didn’t want to be one of them. I’m sorry you got one of the really rough ones.

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  23. That’s a great story, Marlene. I am the youngest, so I never had anyone younger wanting to follow me around, but my daughter was like that with my son. Your playing school with her brought up great memories for me. I used to play school with my cousin who is one day younger than I am, and I was always the teacher. Then after I had children and my son went to kindergarten, my daughter was three. So she wanted to play school all the time!! It was a great opportunity to teach her a lot one-on-one before she went to kindergarten. And then circumstances caused us to have to homeschool them when she was going in first grade. But it is the best decision we could have made. They are both doing really well now; she is 19, and he is 21. Thanks so much for sharing all your stories. 🙂

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    • Thanks for stopping by and I love that you had that experience as well. I think in many circumstances, homeschooling is the best. My brother’s children did better than the rest being home schooled for many years. It wasn’t an option when mine were growing up and I hated sending them to most of the schools they had to go to. Glad you were able to do that for them.

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      • You’re welcome, Marlene. Well, it sure wasn’t easy the first year, because she loved kindergarten. She kept comparing me with her teacher, but eventually, she was glad to be home with just me and her brother during the day. Also, their dad comes in and out all day since we live where he works. So that was a bonus, too. 🙂

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