Neighbor Logan wasn’t avoiding having his picture taken, but he wasn’t posing, either. I was chatting with his dad and neighbor Marla as he paced back and forth, waiting for the school bus. I got what I wanted – Logan with the decorations Marla put on the sign. If there were a contest for best decorated house for Halloween, Marla would win it. She is gradually adding things to the house and grounds, these being the furthest pieces.

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Looking at Logan’s backpack made me wonder how I carried things to school when I was his age. Gradually it came back to me. I carried a satchel. Backpacks were not the “in” thing in 1949. This image came from Bing on the internet. Note it had a handle, not a shoulder strap.


Some time after second grade I carried books girly fashion in the crook of my left arm. The higher the grade, the bigger the books. There was a heavy textbook for each subject, and homework was assigned from every one. It’s a wonder I wasn’t permanently disfigured by lugging all that weight around. If I remember correctly, fellows held their books with one hand hanging by their sides. Granted, their hands were bigger, but they couldn’t possibly have toted the amount girls did. There! I’ve answered the question, “Why did girls do better in school than boys?”

By the time I married, stores put big items in shopping bags for you to carry home. I re-purposed them for many things as a matter of convenience. They were made of heavy paper with twine handles. I’m sure if I search carefully today, I can find indentations in my hands, cut by those handles. It wasn’t until the mid-70s that I owned a plastic tote bag. Before long, cloth totes were common, and they were certainly a boon for the hands. Now in the 21st century, we have graduated to backpacks for all ages. If you never carried a satchel, shopping bag, or tote bag, tell your hands and your back how very lucky they are. If they say, “Thank you,” please let me know.