So Where the Hell Have You Been?

There, now you don’t have to ask me that question. I appear to have stopped blogging for over a year (because unfinished unpublished posts in the drafts section don’t count) and boy do I ever have a years worth of excuses!  Want to hear them all?  No, I didn’t think so.

I’ve been right here this whole time, taking a long break from listening to myself, making actual real useful stuff with my hands instead of my head, and resting my brain.

I have made hats and mats and blankets and slippers and shawls.  Dolls and bears and zebras and giraffes.  I’ve made so much stuff it’s getting harder all the time to find anyone willing to take my latest greatest project home with them.  But I’m not finished and will keep going for as long as I’m able and for as long as Michaels has yarn sales.  I had forgotten how much I love to crochet, just like I’ve forgotten for a bit how much I love to write.

The memories that pop up on Facebook for me are getting downright scary.  Nine years ago my two oldest grandkids were nine years old.  Now they’re eighteen;  and the fifteen, fourteen and thirteen year olds are right behind them, with a grandma getting progressively more ancient by the minute.

Time for me to tell more stories while I can still remember things.  Maybe these beautiful young people I’m so happy to have in my life will one day have questions I’m not around to answer.  I mean seriously, look how fast one year, never mind nine years, whizzes right on by.  Maybe I have another nine in me, but you never know.

My grandma started saying “Well, this could be my last Christmas!” when she was in her seventies, and kept it up for almost 30 years.  I’d like to be that lucky.  Plus, the older I get, the greater the possibility of uttering totally bizarre shit that will make my descendants laugh and roll their eyes and wonder if that’s how they’re going to end up.  I like that feeling of power.

 

 

The Little Red Hen

Another story from the 1920’s grade 2 Primer, written in cursive, so for that alone a true relic from the past.  I know that we had access when we were kids to these readers saved from my mothers childhood and although I don’t know who was responsible for all the underlining, I will plead guilty to the colouring.  That red hen was not red enough for me.

My grandmother was an avid reader, but I never saw her read a book without a pencil or a pen in her hand, underlining what seemed to me to be completely random words and phrases.  She would have loved hi-lighters.  Mom gave me one of grandmas “doctored” books as a keepsake.  It’s full of squiggly pencil underlining from beginning to end.  Maybe she passed this habit on to one of her kids when they were learning to read.

Anyway, here’s the story, underlining, bad colouring and all.  Sorry some of it is hard to see, but the pages have been around for almost a hundred years.  We should all look as good when we’re this ancient.

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Rain Stories

Rain was a popular subject for primary school children learning to read in the early 1900’s.  I am basing this assumption on these stories from the Ontario Readers Primer, authorized by THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION (that part was important enough in the book to print in all caps bold) published in 1920.

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How lucky am I to possess books that are almost a hundred years old? Even if the stories are blatantly sexist.  Wimpy little girl afraid of the rain vs. bold adventurous little boy having fun.

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In this case the smart males all seek shelter and the silly female goose doesn’t. Girls just can’t win.
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Isn’t that delightful? The pages are well-read, faded and stained, the cover is worn and falling apart and the binding disintegrating and barely holding everything together. It’s one of the things my mother felt was worth saving, and it is one of my treasures.

My Three Word New Years Resolution

tell your story

Trifextra Week Ninety Nine:

Michael Hess inspired us with his three word New Year’s resolution – just be nice.  We’re asking
for your own resolutions in just three words.

I made a long list for inspiration.  Carry a pen, stop and look, have some fun, ride the waves, laugh like hell, find what matters, write it down, tell your story.  I aspire to do all these things, plus use more glitter and shoot the moon.  Why?  Because ultimately I want to do this:

Leave Something Behind

It finally came down to those three words when I realized it’s why we do it all and why we write – so that some small part of us will live on after we’re gone.  If you can’t make your words earth shatteringly memorable , don’t worry.  Glitter is almost impossible to get rid of and will keep people thinking about you for a very long time.

Happy New Year to everyone at Trifecta and everyone who participates in these delightful challenges.  Keep making memories.

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The Closest of Confidants

Two little girls in bed, playing with Japanese...

We were kids pretending, playing roles

Being the characters, wearing the clothes

Making up stories, saying the lines

There were no limits and no confines

But no matter who we decided to be

You were you and I was me.

Together now it seems as though

Our grown up selves are just for show.

The walls come down, the pretense dies

We see through each others thin disguise

No matter how old or long apart

You know my honne, I know your heart.

We are at peace and safe and free

When you are you and I am me.

Prompts for the Promptless:  Honne is a Japanese noun referring to the behavior and opinions someone truly believes in– often displayed with one’s closest confidants.

Sisters Are Forever Until One Pisses the Other One Off by Writing a Book

Daily Prompt:  Coming to a bookshelf near you:

Write a summary of the book you’ve always wanted to write for the back cover of its dust jacket.

Before the Lights Go Out by Lara Beckman (not her real name) (also this illustration is not the actual dust jacket and the two people on it are not even sisters)

English: The author Madeline Brandeis (1897–19...

English: The author Madeline Brandeis (1897–1937) and her daughter Marie on the dust jacket of her book “The Little Swiss Wood Carver”, published in 1929 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before the Lights Go Out  is a brilliant collection of timeless stories, illuminating moments in the ordinary lives of two sisters who experience the same growing pains in childhood, but whose adult lives unfold in astoundingly different directions.  There are twists of fate, chance encounters and life altering moments as their two pathways seem to diverge more often than they cross.

Their strongly based family connection and shared history is not something either of them can escape and although they both get lost or go temporarily missing in action over the years their lives continue to sporadically intertwine in delightful ways.  There are beginnings and endings, arrivals and departures; accidents, misfortunes and tragedies, always interspersed with large doses of good luck, good times and miracles.

The sisters chronicles are profoundly memorable, funny, authentic, sometimes irreverent.  Prepare to be amused, shocked and amazed at how strange and extraordinary two ordinary lives can be.

Author’s Note:  Although these stories may strike random family members as being autobiographical in nature, I assure you they are pure fiction and more or less completely made up, based so losely on fact as to be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.  I swear.  Really, I’m almost totally serious about the fictional part.  So stop worrying about it.  Your secrets are safe with me.

Pictures From Moms Kitchen (Part Two)

He followed me into the house – can I keep him?

“Yikes – I think there’s a ghost behind us!” “Really? HAHA Nothing scares me – everything makes me laugh. Everything. Life is hilarious.”

Me and my happy happy boy.

All ready to go to Aunt Ann’s wedding.

Grandpa McArthur tells the best stories and sings the silliest songs.

Yes, in this kitchen I slathered jam on my toast.  It was homemade.  It was delicious.  There were some things I was powerless to resist.  However, the instant coffee was not one of them.  I got a coffee maker for my mother, and she dutifully hauled it out for me every time we came to visit.