Tag Archives: memories

Party Line

large terracotta pots lined up in a row sitting on six old unused green chairs

having a tea party

joined with more pots and what nots

gathered all in a pushed together spot

satisfaction for the time being

spaces for more to grow so off I go

look around

why not, time to eat

rooted thought

swinging metal gate with latch, long walk, hen house patch

sloping hill, lowland rows

warmer days and cold snap nights

Dad

coldframe of boards and window frames

cabbages, tomatoes tucked away

stepping along the seeded row, gently sliding a soft covering and a firmer press

to wait

for sun and rain

in time

out demanded out

 to get the ruddy beans

 so many

ruddy

 beans

Mom

onions by the handful, braided up

tomatoes filled the wagons, carrot mounds dumped on grass

washed, scraped, sliced , blanched

most of it frozen

canning

gleaning

the last of everything

squash, pumpkins, green tomatoes

all of it

every scrap before the final frost and freeze

first snow on the field and pinetree boughs

barn light on at night

henhouse dark and latched up tight

oven on

 remembered, rooted

thoughts

among the pots

so off I go

a party still

connection

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Escape Route

 

Probably rabid, the racoon came wobbling down the centre of the highway directly towards my car. Maybe it wasn’t sick but I didn’t stop and gather it up into my arms either. Slowing down, I avoided it and drove on. The car behind me stopped momentarily and then drove on as well. The racoon may have been out looking for food along the roadway. It may have been the surviving member of it’s family. With the time change, it was still light but dusk was starting to settle in. Throughout the evening I have thought about the racoon going down the country road and wondered if it was safe, sick or by now, just another racoon by the side of the road.

The other day I found myself in a place I had not visited for some time. The memories I have of the place for the most part are very good ones so my experience was positive, safe and predictable. However, for a moment, going through to another part of the building and glancing about at the still familiar atmosphere I was struck with a coldness and silence that held me there ,uncomfortably. Turning away,leaving it behind I was quick to get in my car for the drive home. Before going directly home, to warm myself up I drove down the stretch of country road to the closest coffee shop we all go to around here.

It was the same road I travelled today.

There is no connection between these two events except that both seemed slightly unsettling to me. Maybe it is the effect of the long cold winter or maybe being a bit hyper sensitive. To see something odd and to feel something odd can just be a coincidence. However, instinctive responses in both the immediate and the past situations were justified.

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Second Cousin

When it was visiting hours it was the same as any other time except for that time when you brought the pretty pink geraniums in a white plastic pot. Speech denied itself except for a p…ppp…ppp…sound. You seemed to understand and nodded and it was enough to remind you  whenever the pink geraniums bloomed. Maybe you try to keep the slips of geraniums now over the winter but most likely you just buy some new plants in the spring.

When you were just a small child there were times for visiting together under the old maple tee  at the front of the farmhouse. There was time for a nice lunch of cold oatmeal cookies from the freezer, cucumber sandwiches and homemade lemonade made from the concentrate from the travelling salesman. Kittens from the barn with sweet wee faces and picky little sharp clinging claws on your school jacket were the most fun to play with after lunch was cleared away. You sometimes made up spoofy stories about elves in the bush or under the bridge by the school grounds.

You have the big dented kettle high up on your kitchen shelf to remind you. It was for all things and was kept boiling for washing up at the stone sink, making tea and sterilizing jars. Parsley tea wasn’t your favourite but now you seem to eat the raw parsley from your garden hoping it is medicinal and the right thing to do.

Age doesn’t matter when you play with a friend having a nice lunch under the old maple tree, cuddling a wee orange kitten. You did all the talking then, a little storyteller. Describing the stories and songs from school and tales about the other kids. You know, don’t you that when you brought the pretty pink geraniums and speech was denied, eyes watered with tears and held yours.

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