A Seventies Moment in Time

You never know when or where a scene from your past might suddenly surface.  My cousin Darren scanned this ancient slide and posted it on Facebook.  It’s me and W,  my bearded biologist husband, married for about a year, living in Dryden, Ontario, probably taken at my Aunt Marguerite’s (Darrens grandma’s) house.  She was so incredibly good to us when we lived there in the early 1970’s.  We were both working, but young and stupid with our money.  Thank God she liked to invite us over occasionally and feed us.

Sorry I can’t remember why we were in a hallway, posing in front of the thermostat, and I have no idea what that silvery thing is on the wall behind us.  W is wearing his Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources uniform, jacket in hand.  I’m just standing around looking happy.  I think maybe I did a lot of that in those days.

Future Cast

It’s been awhile since I made fun of the stars predictions.  I read way too many astrological forecasts (and laugh way too much at how seriously they appear to be taking themselves) but I figure its cheap entertainment.  Free if you don’t count what the time it takes you to read them is worth.

Secrets aren’t your favorite state of affairs, so being asked to keep one isn’t easy for you. When need be, however, there’s no one who can hold on to a secret with more tenacity. Like now, for example.

Isn’t that bad English or grammar or does it not break some obscure language law when someone says secrets are a state of affairs?  A current condition?  A frame of mind? How things are?  If somebody asked me what’s happening I can’t imagine “secrets” being my first response.  It isn’t easy for me to keep a secret but no one can keep one better than me.  That’s exactly what it said.  I think.  And YES, the secret I’m keeping right now is certainly safe since I don’t have a clue what it is.

You may be considering going back to school or taking a lecture or class together with a friend or companion who shares your interests. You could learn something that will allow you to improve your productivity, or to start a business of your own.

You may….you could….change those to “you certainly are not……” and “it’s highly unlikely that you will….” and suddenly this one makes sense.

You have an opportunity to empower the future of your love life. If you are still single, you may meet someone promising today. If you are dating, you may be thinking about the next stage in your relationship. If you are already married, it will be an incredibly romantic day.

They’ve certainly given it a good shot to cover all the possibilities – single, dating, already married.  But since there was nothing in there about having been married forever and being thousands of miles apart at the moment I couldn’t make it fit my life. Having an incredibly romantic day on your own is not as easy as you might think.

Your mental energy is stronger today, but you find it easier to focus on social obligations than on the demands of your career. You will be getting a lot of pleasant calls from friends and companions. You could be invited to a sporting event this evening.    

My demanding career had me seeing a lot of contact lens patients yesterday, two of whom paid money to learn how to shove little bits of silicone onto their eyeballs.  I was quite focused on teaching them how to do that, so it’s a good thing there were no social obligations to distract me.  When I got home there were three missed calls on my phone, all from unknown numbers.  I guess all my friends and companions have changed their phone numbers and forgotten how to leave messages.  So I missed the sporting event, unless a two hour nap on the couch qualifies.  There, that one was pretty bang on, wasn’t it?

It’s Monday, and day three in my five days of work in a row.  Yeah, I used to do the five day thing all the time, but it’s amazing how fast I got used to just two days at a time with a day or two off to recover in between.  With enough coffee I should make it to five o’clock alive, but more importantly, awake and still coherent.  I notice that’s not predicted anywhere, but I’ll try to stay optimistic.

My Mother Was A Dreamer (Part Two)

The second letter my mother wrote to herself was on her twenty-fifth birthday, to her thirty-year-old self.  She’s a bit deleriously in love I think.

R.R. 4 Port Elgin

Feb. 17, 1942

Happy Birthday Margaret.

And how does it feel to be thirty?  Today as I sit in S.S. # 4 Saugeen on my twenty-fifth birthday evening, I do indeed wish you the very best in health and contentment as you leave your twenties.  But on this, my birthday, let’s look back a few years.  Yes, carefree Marnie of twenty, I have had a lot of dreams come true.  By June I will have finished six years of teaching.  Marnie never dreamed of a No. 9 Bruce with Mr. and Mrs. White and Helen, all the swell children there at school, and the Christmas Cake and other ways they showed their kindness.  The crocinole games and hockey matches and baseball games and even a high (or was it low?) dash cutter.  But it too is past and it’s funny that I should really be teaching in No. 4 after sort of wishing for that all along.  That’s one dream come true.

But far above them all is the one of really having the love of the only one for me in all I’ve known.  Through the years we’ve known eachother, our lives have in many ways been linked together even though at times we’ve seemed far apart.  For two years now we’ve shared a secret too precious for others to know and so real, we hope this year our dreams may come true.  That is why his Margie is so very happy on her 25th birthday.  And may it be the very special year for us if God wills.

And as I look into the future and see you in 1947 – if you are still Margie – if you still deserve his care and kindness – if you remember always the little things that help life for others – if you have not forgotten the place your Church should play in your life – if you can smile though life has not given you all you hoped for, then you have not disappointed me.

At twenty five you hoped for someone to call you Marnie now,  and though no one does, well you don’t seem to mind.  Even if your castles in the air have not all come true, I’m sure my dear you’ve had your share of life’s treasures too.  But if you can touch his hand and hold close his curly head, you have a priceless treasure, and that is my true wish for you, my dream girl of 1947.

New friends are probably near, but still there is, now and always,  Blanche, Lena, Vera (who I hope may soon be someone I’ve really seen) and Nina too though she now lives in Manatoulin Island as Mrs. May and Blanche is Mrs. Delbert Wheatley and Ettie is Mrs. Carmen Currie.  And Marguerite will always be someone very special.

Our family too is scattering and I’m wondering where we will all be in 1947.  Mabel is now in Toronto and Gomer in the R.C.A.F. in Toronto, and Edna at high school and Mother and Dad at home.  Many changes have taken place too.  Grandpa and Aunt Abbie both gone and Grandma still with us and very much her old self.

Can you remember the stormy 17th, dusk gathering as you sat writing by the fire at the back of the school, and now home to Jamiesons and maybe a word or two more from there.  There always seems to be things we regret and one of them is the 2 lb. box of chocolates that came yesterday.  But tonight, nothing can mar the happiness – a letter and card from Hank “Looking Ahead” and a telephone call from Dad and home.  Tonight what I wear or what I’m doing seems so very unimportant because life seems all bound up in a certain someone who is in Nobel and still says he does so love his Margie.  And though we are separated by miles tonight we seem nearer than ever, and if that love grows richer with life’s experiences you will, Margie, be very very happy on this, your thirtieth birthday.

Bye from Margie, on her twenty-fifth Birthday.

I don’t know why I know this, but the disappointing regretful box of chocolates was from another man who very much wanted to be in my mother’s life.  She was such a lovely and kind person I don’t think she knew how to get rid of him. Especially without giving away her special secret.

Five months after this letter was written, the “secret” was finally revealed to all and my parents got married.  They had at last saved enough money to buy their first home together.  It was the last year that mom would teach school.  And my brother was born in April of 1946, so I hope you will forgive my mother for not having time for something as silly as writing yet another letter to her future self  in 1947, when he wasn’t yet a year old.

Married to an Alien?

The Plinky Prompt today is wanting me to create a wild alien character for a science fiction story, complete with appearance, personality traits, quirks and life experiences.  Huge sigh.  Maybe the table topic is better?  Not really.  It says ‘what quality do you think is most important in a marriage’.

My horoscope for today tells me my mood is “annoyed”.  Wow, they got that right.

So once again I am forced (FORCED, I tell you) to combine two totally unrelated topics.  I’ve decided to write a self-help pamphlet for distribution in places like doctor’s waiting rooms where there is never anything fun to read.  Although it can be a mood booster to pick up some random piece of reading material which explains how to cope with a perfectly  horrendous condition that you’re pretty sure you don’t have.  Or didn’t even know you could  get, but you read it anyway and store the advice  somewhere deep in your head for future reference, just in case.  Which is of course what I expect you to do with the following.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE UNWITTINGLY MARRIED AN ALIEN

1.  Get him his own computer.   Contacting other galaxies, or whatever it is he’s doing on there can seriously impact your virtual memory and toy with your sanity.  Think aliens are deleting your programs and messing with your hard drive?  You could be right.

2.  Take separate vacations.  Well, not ALL the time of course.  But time away from each other is incredibly therapeutic.  And who knows exactly HOW far away he gets when he’s off on his own.  Let another planet deal with his quirks for a while.

3.  Do NOT interfere when he decides to cook his own meals or do his own laundry or barbecue something for two hours, starting at 10:00 p.m.  If he brings home white bread,  just be quiet and let him eat it.  And all those plastic containers of left-overs he stores so religiously in the fridge until the contents are unrecognizable?  Don’t touch them, they could be toxic.  Maybe he’s working on a formula for rocket fuel.

4. Never criticize how he drives.  Take a tranquilizer if you have to.  Go ahead and agree with him that every other driver out there is rude, stupid, ignorant and blind.  And when he decides to stay behind a snowplow for two hours, that would be a great time to take a nap and dream about buying plane tickets.

5.  Don’t sweat the weird stuff.  Remember the time he burned the old water bed frame in your fire pit in the back yard?  That’s just one of many perfectly normal alien activities that ultimately hurts no one and is best forgotten and not explained in any great detail to the neighbors.

6.  Keep your sense of humor alive and intact.  Do not be discouraged when you find something hysterically funny and he just stares at you vacantly.  He can’t help it.  Try to love him anyway.