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Posts Tagged ‘grandchildren’

Today is Mother’s Day and we celebrate it with mothers around the world. It is also the day that my youngest son packed up all his belongings and left home to forge his own path. It was time for him to make his own way and to live his life as he chooses. I have always known that this would happen. But did it have to come around so soon? This is still hard for me, as a mom, to face this reality.

David 3yr old Photo

For the last 37 years we have had our house filled with the sounds of children, then noisy teenagers and finally independent adults. There was never a dull moment with music blaring, meals to plan and the constant flow of visitors through our front door. Oh and I forgot to mention the piles of washing! I always thought that the crawling stage was fraught with grubby leggings but little did I know that muddy overalls and sports kit would follow.

What next, I ask myself?

I am really not sure. I know that I am fortunate to have a wide range of interests. My garden is my passion and reading and writing come a close second. I am grateful to have a close circle of friends. This includes my loyal South African friends who have walked this long road of immigration with me. So there is much to occupy me but still I know this will be a stage of transition. I am going to allow myself the time to gently pass through it. I count myself lucky to be only reaching this stage at the ripe age of 65!

I often wonder whether men need to reevaluate their purpose, as we do, when our role as mom has run its course. The memories of my past career, although immensely satisfying, will not carry me through my ‘golden years.’ Can I feed off the fact that I hopefully touched the lives of some of the children that passed through my classroom? How do we feel valuable to our families and society again? These are all the things that I will be deliberating over the next while.

Today I will celebrate and I will rejoice in the fact that I am a mom to 3 fine sons, their partners and 2 amazing grandchildren. The reality is that my role as a mom is now over. Don’t for a minute think that some of your hard learnt lessons and your wisdom might come in handy to the younger generation.  Oh no, it is seldom needed as it is all to be found on the internet! That lesson I have learnt. But I will continue to revel in the fact that I am a special ‘boy mom.’  I believe my boys chose me to play a part in shaping who they are today.

I could not be more proud.

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Another year another turkey……

“Which one do you think would be better?”

My question was directed at an experienced looking housewife. She had tossed the birds around, examined their weight and made her decision. I marveled at her expertise and the swiftness of her decision making process. After all she had been doing this for years and I had 3 years under my belt!

“ Should I go with the 7 kilogram one or should I go a bit bigger?” The humble pasty- grey bird peered safely up at me from the supermarket fridge. Much deliberation went on.  A few women had gathered around me now and eagerly offered this newbie advice. More questions were asked and preference for white or brown meat was discussed. This was a serious matter. Eventually the decision was made and it was unanimous.

“So this is the one then.” I heaved the 10 kilogram bird into my shopping cart. My back muscles twinged under the strain. It was one hell-of-a fine bird!  Of course I won’t mention this to the family. There is no need for them to know that I was ably assisted by my experienced new helpers. After all, us girls stick together!

My shopping cart trundled off to the check out. The humble bird’s destiny had been sealed.  It was bound for the  Morkel’s Thanksgiving table.

 

 

Cheers!

Cheers!

It is our third Thanksgiving here in Canada and it is probably one of the best times of the year. People scurry around and prepare for winter. Gardens are cleaned up and anything that could be ravaged by the extreme temperatures is packed away. The leaves have begun to add colour to our walks around Oakville. Roads and paths are covered with ‘the drop’ and we notice and appreciate the hues of orange, yellow and the red. We savour the swansong of summer in the form of Fall and recognize that the burst of colour will have to tide us through till Spring next year!

Josh is sue that a skunk lurks nearby....

Josh is sure that a skunk lurks nearby….

But for now we celebrate the bounty of the harvest and all that it brings with it. One such event is Thanksgiving where a feast is held. Each family prepares a sumptuous meal to enjoy with family and friends. Around our table this year will be our adopted Canadian family.( I must add that they have not had much say in the matter….they are family whether they like it or not! ) I am thankful to them for all the support that they have offered us in this our new country. Distance dictates that a few people will be missing from our table. Our family from the US and our beautiful brand new grand children will be with us in spirit.

God only knows what I would be without you……

Happy Thanksgiving!

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“Over here, this way!”

My hands waved around as I tried to make myself understood. I had heard the din outside and had run out to catch the flighty garden service. They whirl in, do as little as possible and then disappear. It infuriates me!  I am trying to revamp the garden of a newly moved into house in Seattle. It does not help matters that the weather has not lived up to expectation. Seattle is much like Cape Town where one always has an umbrella handy. So much watering has ensued and the new shoots are peeking through the brown crusty surface. The lawn was in dire need of a trim and I was on a mission to make sure it was done!

The Constant Gardener...

The Constant Gardener…

 

In my haste I grabbed yesterday’s top as I clambered out of the shower. Time was of an essence here and I grabbed whatever clothing I could find.

 As I ran up the basement staircase I looked down.  I realized that I had forgotten to slip on my underwear!
“Oh never mind, I am sure my dress covers all the ‘bits and pieces.'”
I must add that it was not a long one, as I usually wear leggings under it. But morning brain and lack of sleep had resulted in a bit of fog. My other job had been to act as a pair of helping hands to my new grandchildren…a set of twins. So that explains the lack of IQ points. But I had to put modesty aside and stick to the plan: Catch these shirkers!


Many years of teaching foreign children had fine tuned my gesticulations. I could make myself understood in any language you throw at me. It just involves much face pulling and exaggerated hand movements. My shouts and arm flailing were competing against the thunderous drone of the lawnmower. But this did not deter me from my mission and I continued to attempt to get my message across. Suddenly I remembered the fact that I was minus my under clothes and I tugged discreetly to keep my decency.

 

But very soon my one man act paid off. My dignity was still in tact and the garden looked beautiful!

The 'new nan' explores the Seattle Islands

The ‘new nan’ explores the Seattle Islands

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Mom will always be young and strong in our eyes.

 

 

 

My mom has a special birthday today. She has seen 88 summers! Her voice came through clear and strong as we spoke. She was up on her bed having her ‘hour’s compulsory’ and we were just getting out of ours on the other side of the world. The calls need to be orchestrated when you live in another time zone, so that we don’t catch her napping. “I am 58, no 78….” Her mischievous voice joked with her grandsons.

‘They don’t make them like that anymore’  has been said of the caliber of people like my mom. Is it because they lived through a World War? They learnt to make do and to appreciate the small and important things in life. Whatever it is that has made her this way, she is a star!

She has so many talents …… She can cook a tasty feast to feed the extended family of mainly ravenous boys and men. These culinary skills  appear effortless apart from all the washing up that she generates for us ‘washer uppers!’ But we have to forgive her as the food is so delicious! Her paintings grace the walls in our home and her amazing handwork is known all over Stellenbosch. She puts her hand to everything from quilting to embroidery.

In her quiet moments I know she misses our Dad, her dashing pilot. Hopefully her memories and her children comfort her. I know that her 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren bring her much joy too.

Mom, you have been an example to us all on how to be tenacious, loving and loyal. I can fully understand why Dad chose you as his wife! You have not only been a devoted partner but you have loved all of us so unselfishly.

Happy birthday!

Your loving daughter

Anne

 

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