Slice of Life Challenge Day 23 – Leaky, smelling, soggy lunches

Leaking, smelling and soggy lunches is what I think about when looking for my lunch box.

I still carry a lunch bag to school when I work. It is soft sided, insulated and has a nice ice pack to go along with it. My tea or water goes in the plastic bottle that I can add ice to if I like.

But this in not what I remember when thinking about lunch as a kid. I was a kid who had a metal rectangular box with a red plaid design on the outside. It was white inside (except where there was rust) and had a nice metal clip to hold my thermos to one side.

It was a nice little box and I was quite proud of it. The problem imagesbeing I was not a child who walked quietly to school and placed their lunch softly in the bottom of their locker or nicely on the top shelf.

When I walked to school I started out neat. My hair was combed, my blouse was tucked in to my elastic waist band of my skirt, and my white sock and fake saddle shoes were white and clean.

About a block from home I would encounter mountains to climb, forests to crawl through and monsters to run from. Needless to say by the time I reached the school yard some 8 to 9 blocks away my hair was going in many directions, my blouse was untucked and well, the shoes were not in the best of shape but I was at school on time and in line to go inside.

There was just the issue of the lunch box which was thrown at monsters, or slid down hills or stood on to see over the dangerous wall. The box looked fine until about mid morning when someone would announce to the teacher there was milk running out of the lockers in the the front of the room.

Somehow the teacher knew – she looked at me and together we once again pulled out my lunch box to peer inside. There was a soggy peanut butter sandwich, and smelly stale milk dripping over chips or a cookie. The thermos made a nice rattling sound of broken glass  as we shook it. We did not have plastic bottles or juice boxes in those days.

My lunch went to the garbage, I ate my apple with a cup of water.  At the end of the day I spent the time walking home thinking of  another story I could tell my mother about why my thermos was broken and I did not have lunch.

Really Mothers just don’t believe you when you tell them there were mountains to climb and monsters to run from on the way to school.

Did you have a lunch box that helped you fight monsters on the way to school?

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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9 Responses to Slice of Life Challenge Day 23 – Leaky, smelling, soggy lunches

  1. Wilcox Carol says:

    I don’t know if my lunchbox ever suffered the fate yours did, but I do remember those metal lunch boxes. My favorite one was pink, with a psychedelic design. Great details really bring this story to life!

  2. pittswitts says:

    This post was so nostalgic. I grew up in the time of plastic so we might not have had broken glass or rusted hinges, but we did have cracks and latches that seemed to wear out quickly! I really was drawn in by the way you described your walk to school. I always wished I had been able to do that instead of riding a bus!

  3. Bonnie K. says:

    I’m with you… my Lone Ranger lunch box and glass thermos. Smashed on the way to school but not in that wonderfully dramatic way you lost yours. Just my own clumsy kid way throwing it up int the air… missed!!! Loved your story 🙂

  4. Cindy says:

    I had a Little House on the Prairie lunchbox that I was quite proud of. And being a first-born rule-follower, never would have considered doing anything but using it to carry my lunch. However, lunches still found ways of getting soggy or warm or leaky. Yuck!

  5. Michelle Li says:

    So much fun to take a jaunt down memory lane with you to a lunch memory. I blogged about a lunch memory today too! 🙂

  6. arjeha says:

    I don’t know how many thermoses I broke.Somehow glass lined bottles was not the wisest things to give to kids.

  7. Tara Smith says:

    I broke every single thermos I owned – I guess I was chasing monsters and having adventures, too.

  8. Ramona says:

    I don’t remember using a thermos. Maybe they got broken right away. We could always buy milk in the school lunchroom to go with our lunch from home. But I have dealt with spilled milk in lunches more than a few times as a classroom teacher. Especially yucky when it happens in a backpack full of books, notebooks and papers.

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