Sharing My World 15

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Share Your World – 2015 Week #2

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

Hugs are nice, but I rarely initiate them.  We were not a very huggy family when I was growing up.  I know I hugged my own kids, but probably not enough.  Very public displays of affection make me uncomfortable.  However, all that being said, if you want a hug from me, or think I need one of yours, please go ahead.  I will hug you back.  Sometimes there just aren’t words to express what a hug is able to say.

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

I’m going to go way out on a limb here, or way out into right field….because that would be my ideal place to eat ice cream, where no one can see me….and say fudge bars.  We buy big boxes of them to have in the freezer for when the grandchildren visit.  That’s a joke, because they visit us about every six boxes of fudge bars.  But because it’s just fudge bars, we can claim to never buy ice cream.  I like them because they are chocolate, eating one does not involve getting a spoon and a bowl dirty, and you can hide their little white wrappers at the bottom of the garbage can.  You could also use the wooden sticks for crafts later, if you washed them off and if they were not also hidden underneath all that garbage.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

Of course I prefer exercising my mind, because it requires so little physical effort.  Except maybe for working out those frowning muscles in my face. I can also enjoy a fudge bar while I do it.  However, I have been performing a daily series of very non strenuous stretching maneuvers – I hesitate to call them exercises because they sure don’t feel like that – and can honestly say I feel better for it.  And almost look forward to doing it!  I am waking up muscles that nodded off years ago thinking I was done with them.  My neck and shoulders are less stiff.  My ankles feel stronger.  I’ve been up close and personal with my calves and thighs.  Yikes.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person? Why?

I’m more of a cat person I suppose, because I totally get how much they like to sleep and generally laze about and do whatever they please.  They entertain themselves and require little more from anyone besides food on demand and a clean litter box.  What a life.  I’m not fond of all that hair shedding though.  When we had cats there was hair in and on absolutely everything.  We kept the lint roller people in business.  I would visit my mom and dad and marvel at how hairless their home was, finally understanding why they preferred animals to live outside or in a barn.  We have no pets now.  It’s enough of a challenge to look after each other.  Plus neither of us sheds much.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a lovely quiet week.  I’ve been able to read and write and draw and play word games and watch movies.  Cats got nothing on me.  And we are almost to the middle of the dread month of January!  The temperature has gone up to -4 C today.  Not quite lawn chair weather, but getting there.  Oh, crap.  There’s a freezing rain warning.  And we’re out of fudge bars.  I need a hug.

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Who Says You Can Never Go Home Again?

“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”  Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

The west veranda at the farm.

The west veranda at the farm.

This is such a simple picture, and yet it brings back a flood of memories for me, even though it was taken on a day when I’m sure I wasn’t even there.  My dad was the only one in his family who made his living by farming.  His siblings were teachers and nurses and professionals, and ended up living in towns and cities.  And all of them – every one – came to visit him and mom here with their families.  If they hadn’t, we would never have known all our aunts and uncles and cousins so well, because running a farm means almost never getting away for trips much longer than a day.  But if the relatives wanted to come and stay?  They were welcomed with open arms.  We had lots of room and the doors were always open.  No offer of help was every refused.  You might end up peeling the potatoes or shelling the peas for your dinner, but you never went away hungry.

The garage is on the far left, then dad, mom, the window to the den, Aunt Lorna, the main door, Aunt Marie, the edge of the big kitchen window, extra lawn chairs, a strange looking wooden whirly decoration that twisted in the breeze, flower beds gone wild.  That little thing hanging on the bricks that resembles a bird house is a box that held a pencil and some notepaper.  On it was written “If at home you do not find us, leave a note that will remind us.”  I once pointed out to my mother that it didn’t make any sense.  If you were away from home, surely you knew that already and didn’t need a reminder of it.  I was just being a mouthy teenager.  But I still think the message is stupid.  And I don’t know why I’ve never forgotten it.

The view to the west was of maple trees bordering the laneway, the bank down to the pond, and fences and fields as far as you could see.    Those numerous round white dots that look like holes are actually real holes in the photograph.  It’s been pinned up to a cork board and shuffled around a lot, stuffed in a box, lost for awhile.  And then it made its way to me.  In this shot it looks like the veranda floor has had some repairs and a new coat of paint.  I remember it being a steely blue grey with loose boards you could lift up and hide things under.  I don’t remember dad ever saying he was tired of nailing them back down.

It’s a summer afternoon, dinner is over, the dishes have been washed and put away, and it’s just too nice to sit inside.  If there are kids around, they’re off climbing trees or throwing sticks for the dog, or gathering firewood for the bonfire in the backyard after the sun goes down.  I can almost hear dads voice, saying something profound in a lazy off-hand manner.  Mom saying “Oh, Hank”, and laughing,  Aunt Lorna’s droll observations (we never knew if she meant to be funny or not) and Aunt Marie’s infectious giggles.

The farm was sold years ago.  We drove by it last October and saw the changes.  The front veranda has been closed in, the barn is being torn down, the gigantic garden has gone to grass.  The house is so old I’m surprised it’s still standing.  It’s just another old building to me now.  It hasn’t been ”home” for a very long time.

And yet in my heart it will always be home whenever I remember all the people who were part of it, and who made it come so alive with laughter and fun.  I’ve had a lot of homes in my life and I carry parts of every one of them with me. The pictures in my head are as vivid as the real ones.  I can visit them anytime I choose, simply by remembering the people I loved who lived there with me, and loved me back.