Tuesday, May 9, 2006

four score with fervour

my mother always told us stories.
while she stirred, and sewed, and sang, and brewed lemonade-from-scratch, and spun the clothesline out to the far edge of the garden, she told us stories, and this was one of our favourites:
she and her two teenaged sisters shared a room in their ottawa home, and they were - all three - desperately untidy.
my fiery little grandmother soon tired of the total disarray.
"i will take measures," she warned them. they paid no mind. they shed their finery, kicked off their pretty pumps,and went their merry adolescent way. "if i find it on the floor, it will fly out the window", my grandmother reiterated.
snow fell. they began to miss things: a blouse here, a scarf there.
"where is my blue sweater?" my mother asked. my grandmother shrugged. "whatever happened to my tweed skirt?", demanded her sister. my grandmother shrugged again.
their wardrobe continued to diminish. my grandmother continued to shrug.
and then spring arrived.
and the snow melted.
and the thaw revealed a garden splashed with sodden garments, strewn with ruined footwear. the lost had been - uselessly - found.
my grandmother? she, a woman of her word, shrugged, and clucked.
happy 80th birthday, mom! (i usually call her ma, but for this one time.)
i wish you were here. or that i were there.


  1. Wonderful photograph! Oddly enough, it reminds me of the one of you taken an age ago, in your skirt...a real likeness if my memory serves.

  2. Yes, the Jun 8, 2005 photo. It is the defiant way the women of this family look at the camera, smiling and subtly crossing their legs in such a confident way!
    Beautiful story, Lynn!

  3. Wonderful story!! Happy birthday Oma. Big kisses.

  4. Gefeliciteerd met je moeder! ;-)

  5. what a fabulous story...one to be shared and passed down for many generations. and what a priceless photograph. your mother is a true beauty.

  6. I really like your blog very much ! It is the combination of great photos with a story that I find so appealing. I'll make you a link on my blog.
    This one reminds me of the time that I was a kid and my mother and all her brothers and sisters gathered at my grandma's and told stories, stories in which indeed the mother also was : a woman of her word :-)

  7. Nice story!
    Old photos are so appealing. They give you a short-lived illusion that you might go back in time. You look lke your mother, Lynn!

  8. Now there's a lady with character! And might I mention that your mom was born on the same day as mine? She's also always telling stories.

  9. What a refreshing photo! I love vintage photos, this rocks!

  10. LYNNIE!!!! Thank you, merci, danke for "taking me back"! I just know mom is Up There, chuckling at the story of the lesson she taught us (because of course, to preserve our wardrobes, we DID clean our act up). A perfect and poignant birthday gift, my incredible daughter, and I thank you. Too, the comments from Matt, Massimo, et al - they brought smiles and tears. I will cherish them. I love you.

  11. Lynn, this is a really touching photo and story, and I must say, it's a really fun anecdote :)
    Thanks, really, for sharing it.

  12. what a wonderful story and imagery!