Recent Entries

Long live all maidens

easy and beautiful !

Long live mature women also,

Tender and loveable and full of good labor. 

Gaudeamus Igitur

« Montreal | Main | Trick or Treat »

The Race 

Good Morning Sarah!

Not sure where to begin. So much to say. 

Going to Montreal now can never be the same for you as when you went clubbing in your "dirty days"! (a term I had never heard, till used by a former choir member at the post Brahms party two weeks ago. He was referring to our rowdy pubbing orgies in Yorkshire some eons ago when we were both in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir). Good God! At a very late age I did not even know what a hard-on was! Now what has all this to do with your and my old aunts? Plenty. It's all about The Race.

When I stood in my mother-in-law's home last week, Philomena was resting in the convalescent facility with her new hip. As Carlo and I entered her house a dead quiet seemed to inhabit every room. Her pink satin bed covers seemed extra smooth, her dresser tops gleamed (Endust?). Her numerous little lists (black marker on cardboard cereal box cut outs) on the kitchen counter reminded her to buy cabbage rolls at Polish Centre, get Ready Whip at Sobey’s, ask Daniel to check my email outbox (something stuck), get laptop for Florida. Several walkers and canes stood ready in front of the mahogany stereo cabinet in her living room. In the kitchen her new toaster oven replaced a recently purchased microwave, now relegated to the basement storage area. I didn't like it. At 82, she is embarking on a new phase in her life, having devoted herself to an unwell husband for such a long time. She hadn't counted on having that new hip though. I thought I was perfect she’d said to her doctor as a tear rolled down her cheek. After a day and a half in The Home, Philomena signed herself out. The bed was too hard. Her other hip had begun to hurt. The air outside her room was too dry from renovation activities. Just yesterday she had the coffee clan over to her house for the usual.

My Dutch relatives are so very precious to me. As you said, they are an amazing link to past family history and constant reminders of my childhood in Holland. All my life these wonderful aunts were eager to communicate with their family in that cold country, Canada: first it was pen and ink on blue vellum sheets, written in painstaking penmanship (what’s that?), these were followed by typewritten messages on ready-bought airmail sheets whose edges you folded over and licked closed, and now everyone sends these fast flying emails. Occasional pieces arrive per snail mail and then it’s always a bit of an emotional experience: opening the envelope, feeling the paper, often embossed or with specially chosen floral designs, something the sender, most often elderly, had held in her hands and had taken the time to fill with beautiful words that tell of her daily life, that give me comforting advice. I can say I’m proud to be the Family Archivist, a kind of Grand Central Station; ask Adria, they say. She’ll know.

My mother’s eighty-five year old cousin died recently, my second cousin, and my great aunt’s only child (out of wedlock, as the expression went). Out of the blue, I got a phone call from a close friend and tennis partner of his. They’d found my telephone number among his old letters. Marcel was a famous soccer player.

An aunt of mine struggles with her husband's Alzheimer's and in our emails we sometimes communicate in English in case he is reading over her shoulder. She constantly conjures up images of when they were madly in love. This helps her a lot she says. 

 I picture the laneways, the little castles and quaint museums in the villages, visualizing the traffic circles and cobblestones in their city streets (cobblestones have such a backward connotation in America but their use is simply a smart way of not having to constantly repave roads as we do here in Toronto). The fens, bogs, and heath, the forest glades; it's all there whenever I cycle along the endless paths of my childhood.

The challenge for us is to integrate all these amazing memories, to somehow fit them all into the present, because I just know that the cumulative contributes to the whole and that it's easy to miss out if we don’t try to fully live every moment.

 I don’t usually sound this serious. 

A few updates: Lizzie with the penguin flippers has opted out of lessons for the time being. Whoo-Hoo! School life plus extra curricular were overwhelming for her. I am not getting any flu shot, are you? What do you do to boost your immune system? Your pumpkin looks like a porcupine. Aren’t we lucky to have canes and walkers available to us in this amazing country? 

I adore Tarragon and am thinking of seeing The Drowning Girls. This murderous terror kills off the women he marries, one by one, and cashes in on the insurance he buys for them. Now there’s a race for you! Wanna try it? (the play, I mean) I’m not finding it easy choosing this writing course. We’ll keep searching.



PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (6)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Your Site Name - Journal - The Race
  • Response
    Your Site Name - Journal - The Race
  • Response
    Your Site Name - Journal - The Race
  • Response
    Response: ceuticell Reviews
    Your Site Name - Journal - The Race
  • Response
    Your Site Name - Journal - The Race
  • Response
    The vernal raze can be appear with the full of ground. These razes can be visible from the same ways. This process can be much important on the same ways.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>