Day 17: Chance Encounter

“I think I know you,” said the elderly lady pushing the grocery cart. I stopped, checked to make sure she was addressing me, before I studied this woman.

Could it be her I wondered. I think it is. “Mrs. Rummel?” I questioned. A welcoming smile told me I was right. This was my high school home economics teacher.

I was in her class forty-six years ago. I have changed quite a bit from those high school days, particularly my hair color. She did not recognize me from those days. I met up with her about twenty years ago because her granddaughter was a fifth grader at the school I taught at and her daughter-in-law also taught there. She recognized me there and remembered my brother played basket ball with her son.

She quickly caught me up on her daughter-in-law and granddaughter. The granddaughter is a teacher too, and she has two children. Hard to believe so much time has passed!

Seeing her sent me back to my high school days and right in her class. I remembered on the first day of class, she asked, “What do you want to get from this class?”

My response, “I want to learn how to cook without a recipe, like my mother does.”

She said, “That only comes with lots of time in the kitchen.”

I can’t say I accomplished my goal in that class, but over time I do have a few items I can make without a recipe. I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen over the past forty years. However, a recipe is always nice to have at hand.

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16 thoughts on “Day 17: Chance Encounter

  1. After reading your post today I thought about how “home economics” no longer exists…at least not in NY State. No more cooking, sewing, figuring out budgets and all that good, practical stuff we learned. Is it any wonder no one knows how to sew on a button, fix a hem, bake a cake…. I’ll bet you’re a better cook than you’re admitting to!

  2. lindabaie says:

    What a lovely thing to happen, Elsie. I only had home ec in 7th grade & only remember disliking it intensely. I’m glad you had a nice teacher.

  3. Leigh Anne says:

    I have students from just two years ago that I can’t remember…let alone 46 years! What a fun “chance encounter!”

  4. How wonderful to run into someone from your past. It is nice being able to throw a meal together without a recipe, but it is also good to have recipes for what may become new favorites.

  5. How wonderful to see your former teacher again! I still think it’s a thrill to see my school teachers after all these years (the good ones, at least – ha). I’m impressed you remembered what she asked on the first day of school!

  6. Imagine….46 years later and being able to recognize each other. It is grand to bump into old teachers and others from our distant past. Thank you for sharing this reminded me of the time I bumped into an old friend of my mother’s from high school. She is in her 90’s. It made me so happy. Elsie you must have made Mrs. Rummel’s day.

  7. What fun to run into your former teacher in the grocery store! It does seem to be the place for so many mini-reunions. And how appropriate for you and your home ec teacher to meet up and chat in the grocery store.

  8. Judy C. says:

    A chance encounter that brought back many good memories. Such a delight to hear that her granddaughter has followed in her foot steps. I think Mrs. Rummel made quite an impact on your life and others too.

  9. I connected to your post on many levels, Elsie. The grocery store seems to be the place where I most often meet people from the past who take me down memory lane. And, although I probably can cook some things without a recipe, I am most comfortable in the kitchen when I have one. From what I have seen in your posts, Mrs. Rummel’s lessons stuck!

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