When Lorelai was four years old, we decided that she needed to go to preschool. Oh, she was PERFECTLY happy here at home with her "See See" (known to everybody else in the world as Thomasena) but she needed some interaction with her peers. SO...off we went to school with Mrs. Ruth.
Mrs. Ruth was formidable to say the least. She'd just retired from teaching middle school and didn't miss a beat before going to work with her daughter to teach private kindergarten. She had her hair and nails done each week, played bridge religiously every Thursday afternoon, and wore a skirt and blouse, pantyhose, high heels, and matching beads and earbobs to school every single day.
Talk about a tight ship!! Heavens to Betsy. If Mrs. Ruth said it, then by golly it was the gospel. When she did her lesson on seat belts, there wasn't a parent of a four of five year old in our town who didn't wear a seatbelt EVEN if they were just moving the car three feet. And Mrs. Ruth put on a program at the end of each year that would knock your socks off. Her expectations were high and she didn't put up with one IOTA of nonsense. If your child had Mrs. Ruth for four and five year old kindergarten then he or she would absolutely positively be ready for first grade (maybe second grade!). You could take it to the bank. She identified Lorelai as Most Theatrical, which still rings true to this day. Lord love her, Mrs. Ruth was a community treasure .
Long since retired from the kindergarten business, she passed away this week at the age of 86. I wasn't able to go, but Hank stopped by the funeral home for the visitation. When he got home the first thing he said was, "Mrs. Ruth looked beautiful...just beautiful. I got tears in my eyes when I saw her."
And I have tears in my eyes as I write this post. So many of "Mrs. Ruth's kids" have paid their respects to her on their Facebook pages this week. She was a force to be reckoned with and I am SO thankful that she was such a wonderful influence on so many families in our community.