I have been learning all my life. Or I presume that is how I got to be so smart. Oh yeah! I started out in Kindergarten at the age of five in a school in South St. Louis, MO. I really learned a lot in Kindergarten.

First I learned how to get a vaccination. Ouch!!

Then I learned how to watch movies. I had never watched movies before. It was something new. Of course, being only five, I don’t recall a single movie I watched.

I learned also Recess. WOW! That was fun. I could run around on the playground, and play on the teeter totter or see saw, which ever you call it. I could play on the swings and swing as high as I could. That was really fun.

Unfortunately, we moved from South St. Louis, MO, back to our home town in the middle of the year. There they didn’t have a Kindergarten, so my schooling was interrupted till the following year when I began first grade. That was at Deal Town School District out in the country near Poplar Bluff, MO our home town.

After reading, I began learning to write. Ooooh! Writing was the neatest thing. I got gold stars for writing. I practiced writing circles over and over and over till I was really good at writing circles. Then I began practicing the alphabet, I practiced and practiced, A B C D. I loved to write. That was my most favorite subject.

When I was in the seventh grade, my father died and my brother had just gotten married. I lived with my brother’s new wife for awhile. Then we moved; my brother and I moved to St. Louis where he got a job in a glass factory, Mississippi Glass. I was still in seventh grade till they got my school records from Poplar Bluff and they put me up in eighth grade. At the end of the school year I graduated from Clay School in North St. Louis.

The next year I was in the ninth grade; I was a freshman in high school. I really felt grown-up going to high school. But I was so terribly shy; I could not make friends very well.

I did finally make a couple of friends and we met at the Library almost every night. That is where I met my future husband. He was tall with blonde wavy hair. I thought he was so cute and he was funny; funny meaning he was very amusing. We began dating after that, just going to the local movie theater. The first movie we went to he borrowed a dime from me to pay for the movie. He never did pay me back either. I think I will collect now.

Graduation day from High School came all too soon. We were married a week after graduation and here it is fifty-five years later. We now have four grown children and nine grandchildren and two great granddaughters.

We have come full circle, I guess you could say. Time marches on and we are still going strong. My husband will soon be 75 years old and I was 74 in Feb. of 2005.

We have one son who is a carpenter and ordained preacher and one who is a doctor. Our oldest daughter just retired this year from her job as President of the company she worked for. She has two daughters; one graduated from nursing school and got married and moved to Australia where her husband came from. Her other daughter will be getting married next year. She and her fiancé are in the process of building a new home.

My other daughter works for a firm in St. Louis, MO. She is my baby; she was just 41 years old.

It is really strange how we learn all our lives and sometimes do not even realize, maybe never, how much we have learned till we begin to ruminate about our growing up years; a whole lifetime of learning, hopefully many beneficial things as well as a lot of trivia. I have learned mostly that love is not only the universal language, but without love we have nothing. Love is the most essential emotion we can have and we sometimes have to learn to love. If we are not given love when we are babies and in our growing up years, we must learn how to give love.

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal . . . And now abide faith, hope, charity,(love) these three; but the greatest of these is charity(love)." (I Cor. 13:1, 13)

That’s what I have learned in my lifetime.

Nell Berry