Monday, October 13, 2014


an outdoor area provided for children to play on, 
especially at a school or public park

I attended St. Sylvester's Catholic School in Brentwood, Pennsylvania from second grade until fifth when my dad got mad about something and pulled us out and sent us to public school.  I am pretty certain that whatever he got mad about had something to do with me and a lay teacher.  Pretty sure.  The details remain a bit foggy tonight, but they may come back to me. 

My school was shaped like a U with the playground in the middle.  At the top of the U was another building, the convent where the nuns lived.  The basement floor of the convent, which housed the laundry area for the nuns, was at playground level.  Children would take a break from their playing to peek in the window to see what the nuns were up to.  It was shocking to see nuns doing something so "normal" as laundry.  It was even more shocking to see a basket of their undergarments.  

Nuns in those days were covered head to toe in heavy black habits.  The only skin exposed was that of the face and the hands.  No one even saw their ears. They were mysterious and sometimes scary, and definitely did not seem like "real" people who put on underwear!  

All posts from the 31 Words project can be found here.


Sonya Tichenor said...

Well, rats. I used up my favorite playground memory on school. So just go back and read that one. Haha! Just kidding! You have to read another one!

I think I've made it clear that I am not now, nor ever have been, a card-carrying play outside person. So opting for the playground was never a conscious choice. Except for one.

My grandmother was school secretary at the tiny school in Lane, Oklahoma. Their playground was meager and not in great shape -- see saws with very rough boards, old swingsets. But what I loved was the rusted metal merry-go-round. For some reason we didn't see them very often where we lived, so this was a high point of a visit to the school. My dad was such a good sport about turning us endlessly. We never got enough of it. And we had it all to ourselves!

Kathy Wiedemann said...

Day 13 Playground
Swinging on the monkey bars and trying to do what we saw those Olympic gymnasts do on TV! I can remember just hanging upside-down talking and giggling with my friends. If we had a secret, we’d have to move over to the enclosed slide (one of those long tube types) so we could talk without anyone (my mom!) seeing us. We lived on a hill above our elementary school playground when I was in 5th grade so she was always well aware of who I was with and what I was doing down there! Any trip to that playground for me meant blisters on my palms for days because I had a skin condition that caused my palms and soles of my feet to produce too much sweat. I would literally have blobs of blisters 2-inches across my hands from so much liquid building up under my skin. That didn’t stop me! I would swing like Tarzan on those bars until the pain was too bad, then I’d move to the swings until I couldn’t hold the chains anymore. My mother would fuss, of course, but she felt the “fresh air” did me good so she never stopped my trips to the playground with my friends. I somehow “grew out of” that horrible skin problem by the time I reached high school, but my favorite thing to do, still today is to swing around on the monkey bars…when I can find any!

Kimberly Hoyt said...

Being a full-blown, certified klutz meant I wasn't a fan of the playground. It didn't matter whether I was sliding, swinging, or whatever, you could almost guarantee I'd manage to hurt myself.

The one positive memory I have of the playground comes from fifth grade. It had rained all morning but had finally stopped, so we got to go outside for recess after all. Since everything was wet, we were looking for something to do when one of the boys spotted a worm. Soon all the boys were hunting for worms, and once they found one, chased after the girls with it. Worms didn't bother me, so I was the only girl they couldn't scare. I felt rather superior that day :) Isn't it funny the things that make us feel good about ourselves?!

Becca Hill said...

The school I attended didn't have a playground, only a gravel parking lot... Which did NOT help me enjoy red-rover, kickball, whiffle ball or any other game we were forced to play by dividing into two teams. I wasn't the first pick but I wasn't the last pick either. I always felt so sorry for my sister who usually was the last pick.

But my all-time FAVORITE playground memory doesn't involve me. It involves my 5th grade son. He was quietly seated in his classroom when he looked out the window and saw Nana swinging on the round spinning thing on the brand new playground. Instinctively, he blurted out " that's my NANA!" The entire class ran to the window to see & laugh & enjoy. Nana had jumped up and grabbed the circle spinner and when it got started spinning, she was afraid to let go! That's a great one on Patti Hill!

Jen said...

My favorite playground was at the picnic area of the lake near my house because the ground of it was made from recycled tires, and I have always been pro-recycling ��

MsHouse121 said...

I loved the playground, where I attended grade school. The yard was huge, it had see-saws , swings, monkey bars, structures made of tires, tennis courts, basketball courts, slides, jungle gyms ect. I loved running and playing on it! When I think of this play ground I think of all the good times I had on it playing with my friends. Having jump rope contests and playing Hop scotch ect. I especially enjoyed walking on the nature trail that it had! Lots of great memories were made on that playground!

Sabrina said...

Tipton-Rosemark Academy in Brighton. That's the first playground I remember. I only spent kindergarten and first grade on that playground before the school moved. I remember it being huge with an invisible line drawn in the small orange rocks, marking off the half where kindergarteners were not allowed to play (or so the big kids made us believe). The swings were gigantic but only the third and fourth graders played over there. I don't have any specific memories that come to mind, but I do have flashes- I remember it being cold most of the time; I remember feeling left out; I remember "friendships" being gained and lost; I remember thinking we never had enough time to play. Oh, such woes a kindergartener goes through!