The name of the Admiral on base while we lived in Pennsylvania sounded to me like a combination of the words “Flamingo” and “Cadillac” it was fun to say.
I’ll let you imagine what his last name sounded like.
The admiral pretty much scared the other kids that lived near by, but I called him my friend. Admiral F., who is retired now, had a large plot right next to my mom in the naval officer’s community garden. Home school for us sometimes required helping mom work in the garden harvesting massive zucchinis that only mom ate. Occasionally, Admiral was in his garden at the same time as mom and the kids and that is how we met. He would ask mom why her husband didn’t help her with the garden and she would tell him dad was still at work (makes dad look good to the boss man), Admiral F. would offer me green beans from his plot to snack on.
Admiral’s house was near the garden plots and was a wonderful maze of trees and shrubs that I used to play make-believe in after school. One day, during some game, I touched the sun dial in his yard and my friend about died from fright thinking he was going to catch us….silly girl, silly silly girl.
I looked forward to playing outside as soon as morning school was over.
Morning school consisted of: song, prayer, journal writing, World history, American history, read a few chapters from a book (Animal Farm, When Hell Was In Session, etc..), work on Math, practice the piano…. you get the picture?
My mom taught our lessons as if we were all intelligences. I loved George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and to have her describe the Bolshevik Revolution in terms of animals on a farm was brilliant. I do remember struggling to comprehend the stock market crash of the 1920’s.
“How does money disappear? How are people rich and then poor? How did banks crash if they were full of cash?”
Mom explained investing as best she could to a fourth grader, but it wasn’t till I was older that her explanation made sense. But I remember what she taught.
WIth school concentrated in the mornings and the occasional lesson later in the day, there was more free time for creativity and exploring.
Exploring usually led somewhere near the community garden where I would eat fresh green beans out of the Admiral’s plot of vegetables, just because I knew I could.