Archive for September, 2009

Ironing and other things

September 21, 2009

My Father’s line: “When I got married, I promised I would give her the best of everything. I bought her a glass wash board”.  That was one of his favourite lines. As far as I could tell, it was a popular joke as everyone would burst into laughter. I didn’t get it for a long, long time.*

I hated ironing because that’s what my Mother would say, but I was always fascinated that she was so meticulous, almost artistic, when she ironed every seam and corner. Fabrics were horrible back then. She would hang her clothes on the lines out the back door, summer and winter. She always made us laugh when she stood Elmer’s long johns in the corner when they came in on a freezing day and we would watch as they sank to the floor slowly but surely. Then the laundry would hang all over the kitchen and on a rack over the grate that was pumping hot air into the house from some unknown source. It smelled delicious.  She would sprinkle the dry clothes and roll them up in a basket until it became their turn to be ironed. The iron was heavy and she would work away at the little smocked dresses and puffy sleeves until they were perfect. I loved to watch her. She would say that she hated ironing, but I learned that she must love us so much to work so hard.

Of course I grew up saying “I hate ironing” too. Fabrics became more washable & wearable in the 70’s & 80’s, so I didn’t have to iron too much, and lived one piece at a time or not at all. There was always a basket or two of  laundry to be folded and ironed…someday.

I learned the secret of ironing in 1997 just a few days before my Grand daughter was born. I unpacked a few precious clothes that I had packed away left over from her Mom & her Aunt. (my daughters). I washed them in Ivory Snow and then I stood over the ironing board and meticulously ironed all the little dresses, the corners the frills and puffy sleeves. I didn’t need to sprinkle them, my tears flowed down my face. I don’t cry very often and I made up for it that day. I was crying because I was happy, excited, nostalgic, and lonely. I discovered that I could love ironing, but mostly that it was an act of love.

*Some wash boards were made of tin. The better ones were glass.

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Getting there, and back

September 4, 2009

We visited  Miramichi, NB and attended a family wedding. Everything was beautiful. The bride and groom had made their arrangements with lots of help from the wedding party (bridesmaids, matron etc.) and their loving families, so if there were any glitches, we certainly didn’t notice. The temperature was 100F, or close, which is an unusual occurrence in that neck of the woods, but weddings are such a joyful occasion that we hardly noticed all the wedding programs used as fans in the church.

I enjoy new technology: When we entered the church an attendant led us to a photographer who asked if we would like a photo for the Guest Book.  Why not? I was so surprised when we got to the reception there was a guest book for us to sign, right under our photo and an extra print to take as a souvenir. Nice touch.

The decorations and flowers were exquisite, as was the food, the harpist, the MC and the speeches and video clips of the bride & groom as youngsters. It was all flawless and we had a great time.

Getting there, was a 12 hour drive which we did over 2 days. The evening we arrived, we went for a boat cruise on the Miramichi River. It was two hours + and gave us a nice view of the area.

On the way home, near St. Quentin, we “kissed” a moose. Thanks to skillful maneuvering and a measure of good luck, we avoided a head on hit. As it was, we clipped the hoof. It went down and then recovered and ran to the woods. At a second glance we saw the baby moose waiting by the roadside, ready to cross.  We stopped in St. Quentin, just 2 miles away to celebrate our good luck, and check the small damage to the bumper, at an ice cream stand. There is nothing like “cookie dough” flavoured ice cream to calm ones nerves.  It was our only incident. We found the highways were in good shape for once, and for the most part drivers were courteous and obeying the law which makes it a pleasent drive for all.

We over-nighted at the Quality Inn,  Riviere Du Loup, both ways, and it was very nice, with a big heated pool and lots of nice restaurants in the town (city?). We liked this pretty spot and could spend some time there… someday.

We learned a few things about travelling at our age now. (Besides avoiding Provincial Parks). One week at a time is enough these days, and we need to stay in one place, to ensure restful sleep. Moving from one hotel to another and schlepping our suitcases up hills and down dales (stairs) is not on our agenda anymore.

Cruises are looking better and better…Stay tuned!

SUNSET ON THE MIRAMICHI RIVIER

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