The first day of school “way back when,” was the day after Labor Day. Our school year schedule didn’t include days-off for Mardi Gras and spring breaks.

Like most families we subscribed to the traditions of new school clothes and lunch buckets. Before backpacks, an old belt transported our books for “night work” -- better known as home work. School clothes were purchased from Zayre’s, an inexpensive store chain that met our parents budgetary school needs.

Mom insisted that our trouser length be longer than needed. She would “hem them up,” and “un-hem” them as the school year progressed. The hem lines were evidence of our increasing height, inch-by-inch.

I used the trouser hem lines to measure and catalog monthly rainfall totals.