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Posts Tagged ‘ritual’

Every generation blames the one before……

It is just a rusty old tin. Inauspicious with its peeling paint and dented sides.  It once held the weekly cookies and young hands manoeuvred the lid off as quietly as possible to avoid the eagle eyes of a vigilant mother. It has an important portfolio now even though it appears insignificant. It perches alongside with all the grander inhabitants of the work bench. The shiny drill and the sharp saw compete for the honour of being just ‘the right thing for the job.’   But this revered receptacle has tradition on its side and is aptly named The Poppie Tin. It began out of necessity about 30 years ago when The Honey Do List was initiated in the Morkel household. A few ‘jewels’ handpicked by my dad started off our collection and it has been added to by the engineers of the family that never miss a valuable find. It contains screws that fit, bolts that are just the right size and bits that I have not worked out yet. One thing is for sure that it comes to the rescue of my ever increasing list of Mr Fixit chores!

I know I am a prisoner to all my Father held so dear….

Do I really have to do this again this year?

Do I really have to do this again this year?

As with everything here in Canada there is a time and a ritual to the different seasons of the year. The pumpkins have been thrown out to the bottom of the garden. Halloween is over and this mother witch has packed away her broom for another year ….that’s what they think! The witch and her wizard of course……have been busy with the ritual of winterising the house and surrounds. Piles of leaves stand ready for collection, water pipes are drained and the larder is filling up with Yuletide delights. There is a strong feeling of Christmas in the air. My neighbour has even hung his Christmas lights! Clever man that he is! I can see us shivering along the roof as we hang our strings of sparkles. But one thing is for sure, come rain or snow……those lights will go up!

A winter Christmas.....

A winter Christmas…..

Say it loud, say it clear you can listen as well as you hear….

Gone are the bright annuals from along the side of the road. Instead coloured piles of leaves decorate our walkways. The change is evident and the feeling of expectation reigns. As we change our clocks back to daylight saving time, we move into the final ritual of the year. We will celebrate Christmas. I reflect on all my past Christmases especially my earliest memory which was when I was 3. I remember waking up at some ungodly hour. I dressed myself in my new Christmas dress. What a feat that was as it had buttons going down the back! I crept down the passage and proceeded to wake Mother and Father Christmas. Need I say that my zeal and a 4am wakeup call was not well received by my sleeping parents. Broken hearted, I crawled back down the passage and jumped into my bed. Note to self……remember this incident when the twins decide to do an action replay of this event on their Nan.

Mother and Father Christmas get in some early party fun.......

Mother and Father Christmas get in some early party fun…….

One feels your roots and recalls so much of your long forgotten childhood when traditions and rituals are followed. Some might seem insignificant but there is comfort and pleasure in repeating history, knowing full well that it is what makes us all unique. Whether it is the Gluwein served on Christmas Eve or the Ice Hockey Game that is part of the proceedings on Boxing Day……it is a time for us to practise those customs. Need I say that I love Christmas! Preparations are well on their way in this home. We have the added excitement that all our family will be with us here in Canada. It has to rate on the scale of happiness as being right up there!

The toddling twins.....

The toddling twins…..

 

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

 

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I turn 60 today! A milestone in anyone’s book and it comes with feelings of trepidation. Somehow the dreaded SIX has just come around too fast and I don’t feel quite ready for it. It is not the usual fears of the body starting to issue screams of protest when I attack yet a new outdoor hobby or the laughter lines that just seem to grow. It is the dread that I suppose I will now have to grow up!

When does one refrain from wearing your much loved blue jeans? Is there some special code of dress that I have to adhere to at this stage?  Maybe a twin set and pearls is more fitting. But the Woodstock Era with its flower power accessories still run deep in my veins. Can I still don my purple tights with white spots or better still the Christmas ones covered in reindeer?

Out paddling on Lake Ontario.

Out paddling on Lake Ontario.

 

Can I still jump up and dance when I hear a favourite song on the radio? (I know this childish act is usually a source of embarrassment to my family.)Is there still room for a good sulk? Will I be allowed to play pot-hockey in the kitchen when I find the house chores tedious?

I stumble into the bathroom and turn on the light. It is one of those awfully bright ones that does not lie. Yes, the face is gently showing the signs of the time and the grey hair is competing like a champion. It is inevitable and I accept it all gracefully……. not too gracefully as I shall continue to ‘put on the face’ each morning. Fortunately my sensitive eyes don’t allow me to use much ‘toorgoedjies’ which is probably a blessing in disguise. I prefer my morning ritual to be as fast as possible so that I can begin my day. So no pink blushing cheeks or purple eye shadow……..a sweep of cover stick and a dash of lipstick will have to suffice. The time has come for ‘less is more.’

'Twinset and pearls' but without the 'toergoed.'

‘Twinset and pearls’ but without the ‘toorgoedjies.’

It is liberating when you don’t concern yourself too much with what others think or say and you can merely be comfortable in your own skin. I have definitely been there and have the t-shirt and I wear my badges with honour. But having said this, I do not intend to just sit and watch my garden grow. Complacency is not something that I visit too often. I wish I did, as it would certainly do wonders for the old blood pressure spike! There is just too much out there to tempt me…….. a whole world still left to explore, books to read, music to listen to and people to meet.  It is good to be alive and hope that I don’t grow up any time soon.

 

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

 

......with a little help from my friends!

……with a little help from my friends!

 

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The mushroom cloud of gas ascended the staircase. It grew in intensity as more particles were exuded by the culprit. The whole house was asleep. It was not surprising, as it was 5 am in the morning and the temperature gauge outside on the deck read minus 9 C. I stretched in my comfortable warm bed and waited for the familiar sound of tea cups. This was our morning ritual…….give mom a cup of tea on waking and she could face anything that might come her way! So the rustling, banging and pinging of the security bell continued downstairs as doors opened and closed. My mouth was dry and I wondered if I should relent and assist the tea maker.  I turned over and decided against it, my bed was just too cosy. I was about to doze off again when my comfort zone was disturbed…….

“That damn chimney stack is probably churning something foul out into the atmosphere,” I shouted down to the tea maker. There was no reply but the flurry of activity continued. I stumbled down the stairs suffering from the effects of my lack of ‘the morning cuppa.’ The tea maker was anxiously sitting at the table with his eyes glued to the iPad.

“What is going on?” I am not big ‘on the morning patience thing’ until my being has been gentle coaxed into consciousness. The magical powers of the ‘English Breakfast’ brew is a wonderful start to any morning. But this morning was going to be a challenge as I would have to face it cold turkey. It was soon to become apparent that I might need something a bit stronger than just tea. The tea maker looked up from the computer An antidote has to be here somewhere…………

Josh had been ‘skunked.’ The little bugger ran off when let out for his ablutions and got into a tussle with our resident skunk. Josh has been watching out for him for ages from the lounge window. He had stared out longingly with his jaws quivering and had built up quite an appetite for the little creature.. He was after all a true terrier! The sight and familiar scent of this ‘delectable morsel’ was just too much for him to bear.  He ran across and seized the moment. There was much hissing and growling. I don’t think he was expecting the retaliation that he received. The skunk furiously responded and did what a skunk does best……. Ready, aim, fire and the target was hit! Bull’s eye! The viscous yellow goop dripped off his head and down the side of his coat. Josh was suitably humiliated and ran back to the front door with his tail between his legs.

 

The look of shame......

The look of shame……

 

I was later to learn that this chemical is known as mercaptan.  It has a strong, sharp lingering smell and was vaguely familiar. My stomach turned as Josh was carried into the bathroom. A memory of a stench I had once endured came flooding back to me. We had lived near a paper mill in South Africa and had endured the ‘aroma.’ You never forget that especially if you combine it with ‘morning sickness!’ Josh hung his head in shame and despair. He knew he smelt awful. He could also hear from the tone of our voices and the odd cuss word that we were not pleased. We washed and scrubbed and still the odour lingered. Oh my, this was going to be a marathon.

Three days later we continue to wage the war against ‘the smell’ and wonder whether this is just another step in the direction of becoming Canadianised. Surely a really cold winter will suffice?

 

 

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