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.