Grit Blogs > Russ-Stick Ramblings

Walk to School Day

Amish school yard

Back in my day, it was pretty clear.

The country kids rode the school bus.

Or their horse.  Or their snowmobile.  Or their John Deere.

Or if you are Amish, a horse and buggy.

Horse and buggy

It wasn't that the country kids wouldn't walk to school, it was just too far.  Up to 30+ miles for some in the district.

The city kids walked to school.

There was no in-between.

This past week, a local middle school in a nearby city celebrated "Walk to School Day."

Have you ever noticed how many things we took for granted as a kid, now becomes a special day?

Police and volunteers assisted middle school kids on the 1/4-mile walk. 

Growing up on the edge of our beautiful bay-side town, I had the pleasure of walking to school, year after year.  Each year was a milestone, as the school locations changed. 

East and North for grade schools.  West for middle school and high school.

Those walks created who I am today.  Smelling the budding fruit trees in the spring, learning neighbor's dogs, cutting through farmer's fields, feeling the warm breeze coming off Lake Michigan in May, contemplating how to handle classmates before entering the school, battling strong winter winds against open fields.

Yes, like Opie from Mayberry, some of my life lessons were learned on the walk to school.

Street smarts.

Parents didn't drive us if we were running late.  We simply ran, clinging to our small paper bag filled with a PB & J, an apple and a cookie.

It was simply your responsibility each day to get to school.  Rain/sleet/snow.  Didn't matter.  You dressed the part.

No police escorts, no orange cones, no volunteers.

My heart aches for children today. 

Please folks – know that "doing for" sometimes actually means depriving your child.

Until tomorrow – grateful for my past – God willing,