When I was in the 4th grade, my father was transferred to Pennsylvania. York. To be exact.
The York Pennsylvania school system was much more progressive than the one I left in New York City.
My classmates were much further ahead in their learning than I was.
And I was struggling with trying to catch up.
My 4th grade teacher was Miss Violet Dietsch.
A spinster in the truest sense.
She was diminutive. Under 5 feet. Wore orthopedic shoes. Pulled her grey hair behind her head in a bun. Wore no make-up. Had a prominent nose.
Her dresses were home made. By her sister. Who was also a spinster. And who both still lived in the family home. Where they were born.
She was lumpy. And dumpy. Without being fat.
In winter she wore a black bonnet with a ribbon tied under her chin.
A heavy black overcoat.
And carried her handbag on her arm. Just like Queen Elizabeth.
Not a pretty sight.
But Miss Violet Dietsch was the sweetest. Most gentle. Most caring. Kind. Teacher. Ever employed by the Pennsylvania School Board.
She could see that I was struggling. Not only with my level of learning. But with being dumped in a classroom. Part way through the school year. Where friendships were already formed.
I was an outcast.
One afternoon Miss Dietsch asked me to stay in my seat when the school bell rang. She wanted to talk to me.
I was in panic mode. Was I misbehaving? Without my knowing it?
Rather than call me up to her desk. She came to my desk. And sat in the desk next to me.
She leaned over. And issued me with an invitation.
Violet was a bird watcher. And had a bird watching club. Composed of interested students in her class.
On the 4th Saturday of every month, she took her club on a bird watching expedition.
Would I like to be part of that club?
Would I what!?!?
I couldn’t wait to accept.
I. Of course. Had to get approval from my parents. Who thought it was a brilliant idea.
We met at the school. Miss Dietsch was there when I arrived. Dressed exactly as she was Monday to Friday.
There were 11 of us.
I was dressed according to instructions. It was winter. So I had on long pants. Heavy socks. Rubber boots. A very warm coat. Scarf. A hat with ear muffs. Gloves. And brought with me a packed lunch.
Outside the school was a bus. Parked. Ready to take us on my first excursion.
We were headed for the woods that were bordered by the beautiful Susquehanna River.
Once there, we embarked. And started our walk through the woods.
I was enchanted.
It was teeming with bird life. It was ‘Birdland Extraordinaire In Song’. I had never before seen. Or heard. So many birds.
Miss Dietsch encouraged us to discover as many birds as possible. And to remember what we saw. She had a pair of binoculars which she generously shared amongst us.
At the end of our walk was a camping area. Complete with fireplace. And big picnic tables.
The driver of the bus, who was obviously a friend of Miss Dietsch’s, was already there. And had a fire going in the fireplace. To warm our cold bodies.
Miss Dietsch put a bird book in the middle of the picnic table. And while we consumed our packed lunch, encouraged us to thumb through the book to see how many birds we could identify.
After lunch, we walked back to the bus. But on a different path.
We were a noisy bunch. Talking in loud whispers. Pointing. And tugging each other when we each saw a bird.
Miss Dietsch never asked us to keep quiet.
And it’s a wonder that the birds didn’t take off in fright when hearing us. But they didn’t.
We arrived back at the school in early afternoon.
And when I stepped off that bus. I had made 10 new friends!
I literally skipped all the way home.
I was very sad to see the end of that school year. Because it meant no more monthly visits to the woods with Miss Dietsch. Any my friends.
On the last day of school I brought her a bouquet of intensely fragrant Chrysler Imperial red roses. That grew over an arch outside my kitchen door. And a home made card. That unabashedly told her how much I loved her.
Miss Violet Dietsch’s extraordinary kindness. And generosity. Had a profound effect on me. That has lasted a life time.
It’s the basis on which I’ve formed all my friendships.
And decades later. When I started my business, The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies, it’s the foundation on which I built my philosophy of customer service.
Warm. Friendly. Personal. Caring. Loving.
I’ve no doubt that my devotion to my customers is part of the reason why the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover is in more than 350,000 homes. In 29 countries.
Miss Violet Dietsch has much to be proud of.
Have you had a teacher who changed your life?
Your thoughts? Email me at the bottom of this post.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
PS. This Ironing Diva is fortunate to have a Miss Violet Dietsch in her life. It’s a fundamental reason as to why I’m able to lead an elegant life.
PPS. I am not only an Ironing Diva. But as one friend says, I am ‘The Queen’ when it comes to ironing.
I Am The Purveyor Of The Tantrum Free Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
Made with love and care in RURAL Australia by men and women who have a disability.
It’s not for everyone.
But it’s definitely for you if you’re fussy about the cover you iron on.
And if you love to support Australian made.
And want to put something back into the community when you make a purchase.
The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover cover has more than 350,000 customers in 29 countries. Because it lives up to its name. It ‘Fitz Like A Glove™’ every time you iron.
And these are the ‘Other Goodies’
The share button is at the end of this post.
Have a question? Email me at the bottom of this post.
Or phone me, Carol Jones, in rural Australia on 02 63 588 511.
Photos of my rural property are courtesy of me, Ironing Diva – who is also known as Paddock Paparazzi – and taken at sunrise every morning.
Hooded Robins. A Fledgling Devours A Treat.
PS. And I have a fabulous newsletter ‘A Smidgen Of Gossip’. This is what a subscriber says about it. “Carol. Just had some time to read it and found that it is, as with everything you do, rather wonderful. A great read. W” You can subscribe to it by clicking this link. It’s FREE! This is not a lifetime commitment. You can Unsubscribe at any time. Don’t miss out. Click this link now!
A Hooded Robin Family. Show Pony Papa. Mama. And Fledgling In The Middle.