Two Volcanic Explosions

     When I was in Kindergarten (I sort of hate that word.  It just always feels wrong, somehow, ya’ know?), I lived in Alaska, before Alaska was a state.  While I was there, we were blessed with a middle-of-the-day volcano, prompting those in charge to hustle everyone home as quickly as possible.

     There we were, just before noon, and the sky was as black as midnight.  Everywhere, mama’s hung out of doors, calling for their offspring.  And children of all sizes ran from this new and frightening terror which we had no previous experience with and no emotion which we could reference for recall.

     After a year or so, we moved away from Alaska, the proud owners of a full jar of volcanic ash.  That was my personal badge of honor; my shining star.  No matter where I lived after that, I was the only person in my next class who had lived in Alaska.  And as my crowning jewel, I had experienced something that no one else in any of my classes could even comprehend; a volcano.

     Its amazing how much mileage I got out of that little jar of Proof.  Volcanic Ash, carried in a jar, creates the most remarkable sense of prestige.  At least, it did in my mind.  I was oh, so important, when I told my story of unbelievable fear and danger.  As far as I was concerned, no one else was as important as I was.

     Then came the day when my bubble burst.  Fifth grade and I was the new kid.  Being the new kid was something of a way of life for me.  Ours was a military family and that’s the way things were; transfers.  Since I was almost always the new kid, I had grown rather accustomed to the notoriety of my position.  That is, until that awful day when it all started to come down around my ears.

     Just two days earlier, wearing my brother’s hand-me-down blue jeans, I had given a report which included the horrors of surviving a volcano, as told by a very creative fifth-grader.  I was in my element.  Other students still viewed me as the new kid and I had the added benefit of being very nearly as famous and brave as Superman, himself.  Yep!  My very active imagination had created a real super-hero.

     Then came a knock at the classroom door and the school principal walked in.  With him was one of the prettiest, prissiest, blonde-haired girls I had ever seen.  She wore many crinolines under her showcase skirt and the way she held her arms, bent at the elbows, with her hands hanging limp, told me she wouldn’t know what to do if someone handed her a bucket and told her to play in the dirt.

     Did I mention that I had blonde hair at that age?  Yeah, that was previous to the red hair that started showing up about a year later.  And as if that wasn’t enough, she was being introduced as the new girl.  But the nightmare didn’t end there.  Nope!  It just kept getting better all the time.
     My traitorous teacher, whom I had adored only moments earlier, was introducing this intruder with MY NAME.  My WHOLE name.  How dare she!  And wouldn’t you know it?  She was coming to us from that beautiful land up north… Alaska.

     What I found interesting was that the teacher kept looking at me and smiling, as though she thought this was wonderful news.  She seemed to feel that I should be charmed by this total intrusion into my world.  What was she… NUTS?!?

     Just as the volcano had erupted, years earlier, so began my temper.  By recess, there was a full-blown explosion.

     You’ll be proud to learn that in my entire school career, I was never in a fight with anyone.  Well, except for that one time when a very pretty, prissy girl moved into MY school, using MY name and stealing MY personal Land of Fame.  I don’t think I have ever gotten over that treacherous act.  I wonder what ever became of that girl?

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya


13 thoughts on “Two Volcanic Explosions

  1. Wow! What are the chances? And, I wonder how that other girl felt coming into a classroom with another girl already there, with the same name, and had lived in Alaska? Hmmm…

  2. Thank you, PJ. Interestingly, as I was telling this, I found the old, hurt feelings returning. Hmmmm. I wonder what that says about me?Hi, Mary. You know, until you mentioned it, I had never thought about her feelings, at all. Now, I'm really ashamed. ~ Yaya

  3. Awww, I could sense your disappointment as a child…it's funny that you two didn't become friends because of that connection.Kids! You just never know. You told the story well!!

  4. What! Oh that little girl had to go!!!Very strange coincidence indeed!I will tell you, and only you, Yaya, that Betty is not my real name. I have an unusual one–in fact I have met only two others in my lifetime and when I did I really felt strange! I felt like they should not have MY name!

  5. What are the odds of that happening? I certainly feel for you (I mean the ten-or-so-year-old you), Yaya!You lived in Alaska? Wow! And a jar of volcanic ash — I bet no kid could top your 'show & tell' item for a long time :).

  6. Joany–Polish that story up and send it to someone! Very nice job…I had a similar experience in jr high. I was the English until another English girl arrived with LONGGGG blonde hair.

  7. Ya' know, Kelly, I've thought about that so many times. You would think that with as much as we had in common, a friendship would have emerged. Maybe if she had stayed longer than a week, but I think me and my attitude ran her off. Poor kid.Betty, you KNOW my pain. I just thought that was RUDE the way she took my name like that. I mean, my parents gave me that name, fair and square. It was MINE. LOLThank you, Andrea. You, too.Hema, you GET IT! I did. I had the best project and report information of ANYBODY! In fact, I went to so many different schools that I was able to give that same report at least four or five times in every grade, until the jar got broken when I was in tenth grade. And I always got an A+! I wasn't so dumb.Sharon, do you really think that someone would like to publish this story? Oh, that would be so cool. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'm gonna' try it. Thanks.I'm so sorry, Sharon, that you had someone do something like that to you, too. And how DARE she have pretty, long, blonde hair! How RUDE! There just oughta' be a law, that's all. ~ Yaya

  8. That is an adorable story! And you tell it with such color. Although it makes me scared for what my children have ahead of them. …. don't we create pain and anguish for ourselves just by the way we perceive the world?I am sorry it was painful for you….maybe I will use that story to teach my children how to see the world….so they don't end up causing themselves pain.

  9. I also have an amusing volcano story. My 4 yr old is going through a volcanoes phase. We've had to get a book on volcanoes, and as I was trying to explain about tectonic plates and showing him a map with them on, he said "I can't see the plates" – turns out he expected them to be round like crockery ones.Enjoyed reading your blog, feel free to visit mine at

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