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Posts Tagged ‘mother’

 

She ran down the stairs and a door slammed shut. I heard a shout and then another loud bang. Mother was up and running around the house with a ‘flea in her ear.’ This is what my dad called it when mom got the sudden urge to turn the house upside down and to clean everywhere. As a young child I did not see the need for all this order and cleanliness but I tagged along with it. I knew full well what the consequences were if I did not! I definitely did not want to get into the firing line.

 So we all dragged ourselves out of bed and marched around and joined in on the holiday spring clean. What a way to spend my first day of the holidays! All this cleanliness had certainly not been part of my envisaged plan. I often pondered the merit of all of this and why it had to be saved for our holiday. Why could it not have been done during school time when we had domestic help? But in mom’s wisdom there was a plan…… It was only many years later that I realized this was her way of getting some kind of discipline and routine instilled into all 4 of us kids over the long holidays. After all, we were a lively and headstrong bunch and we all pulled in different directions. What a marathon task it must have been to get us to ‘tow the line.’

There were electric cables lying around with my brother’s latest invention. Tennis rackets and sport equipment strewn around from my sister following her passion. Cricket bats and fishing rods and other little boy paraphernalia lay all round the garden left by my youngest brother. Then added to the mix my dolls with their latest homemade dress ensembles would get in everyone’s way.   So a holiday would have been a nightmare with us all trying to do our own thing. But once we were ‘pulled into shape’ we were much easier to handle.

Those were the early years. Later on as we matured mom was able to share her creative side with us. There were wedding dresses that were carefully sewn for us, pots of her famous marmalade were stacked up on the shelves or she would sneak away and paint in her studio. She was warm and welcoming and our house was always a hive of activity. She spoilt us with the most delicious meals and always made a fuss over our birthdays and special festivities. She had the most amazing capacity to love and welcomed all her grand children and great grand children into her fold.  

Our dear mother slipped away peacefully today and is up there with my dad dancing among the stars. She will be delighted to be reunited once more with her handsome pilot. I am so incredibly grateful for our wonderful mom and the love that she gave so freely.

You will be forever in our hearts.

Moments to treasure....

Moments to treasure….

Our beautiful Mom....

Our beautiful Mom….

 

 

 

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Pastries and breads to delight!

Pastries and breads to delight!

A little bit of what you fancy!

A little bit of what you fancy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-alLxD6Zqwg

 

“The usual, ma’am?” 

“Yes please, a latté with one shot and a buttery croissant. Don’t forget the cheddar cheese on the side.” This is my favourite! I think you could wake me up in the middle of the night and I would devour it with the same enthusiasm. The flakey pastry, the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee combined with the cheese. This is manna from heaven!

I have discovered that Canadians are territorial when it comes to where they purchase their coffee. They all seem to make their usual stop on the way to work or to drop off the kids. Some establishments are even ‘drive thru’ which allow them to make a quick get away. But the less hurried one’s walk out with their coffee poised in the ‘Canadian Salute’ position. A smile breaks out once the first sip of caffeine hits their taste buds.

I, on the other hand, do not go in for the usual chain like establishments. Something quaint, intimate and personal is more my style. In this place I have become a regular too. Oh for someone here to know that I have ‘a usual’! There is a whole lot of comfort in that with so many unknowns. I gaze around and notice the magazines and daily newspaper lie ready for my perusal. The hat rack ready to receive my coat and the best……the croissants are fresh and ready to be eaten! While I order my coffee I notice a few of the other regulars. There is an elderly lady who slowly maneuvered herself around to her favourite corner. Her red velvet hat is perched at a cheeky angle. She eats alone but takes in her surroundings and listens to the chatter. She always orders an English breakfast with all the trimmings and elegantly makes her way through the whole lot. She smiles at those closest to her but seldom speaks.There is also  a quick visit by a hurried mother who charges in to grab a pastry for a fractious child and then darts out again. But most of us who visit this establishment have the gift of time to spare.

The warm coffee thaws my cold limbs and I feel the croissant that touches just the ‘right spot.’ This time I have Josh with me so I am perched outside in the street on a collapsible chair. If I am lucky a sunbeam might just touch the tips of my feet. It is less relaxing as I have to restrain Josh from any canine encounters. But he does initiate some conversation from passers by who are amused by his fervor. I  still receive the friendly greeting and get ‘my usual’ served up to me. The atmosphere stretches out onto the pavement. I savour it amongst my coffee spills from an overly zealous dog.

 

 

 

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The ribbon held tight over the soft tissue paper and I recognized the writing on the handmade card. There had been so many gifts created and lovingly sewn over the years but this one felt different. It had traveled the high seas all the way over in time for Christmas, our first away from South Africa. The soft fragrance from the embroidered lavender hearts was the first to greet me and I was reminded of these floral splendours that I had planted outside my mom’s bedroom window. The hot summer breezes would often soothe us with their aromatic perfume.

Then I wrapped the colourful hand knitted scarf around me that I would wear as I walked the pavements in my efforts to exercise Josh….it felt soft and warm. With the temperatures plummeting we had recently discovered that a scarf had now become a necessity and not a fashion extra. The aromatic spices and red cherries of the Christmas cake were the next to be savoured with a cup of hot tea. I felt it warm me as I gazed onto the bare trees that bent with the wind at the bottom of the garden.

 

As I folded up the last of the Christmas wrappings, I felt the warmth and devotion of my mother all those miles away. In her own way she has shown me what it is like to care for and to give time unselfishly to your family. She lovingly creates her homemade presents and this is indicative of the love that she has for all of us. I am constantly reminded of the foundations that were laid down for me as a child, not realizing how many of those skills would need to be drawn upon with this move abroad. I am grateful for the wonderful mother that I have and hope that I will be able to keep up her legacy as I care for the men in my family all these miles away here in Canada. I love you, Mom.

 

 

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