I Need Your Help


Mystery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read this to my Writers’ Group today and they liked it. I have a few ideas of where this is going–but if you want to give me any ideas I would more than appreciate it. Some of it is true, some of it is not. The part about the hairy legs is true.


Short Story 1

            She remembers the girl who wore knee socks and long denim shorts to hide her hairy legs. She remembers the girl her mother did not want to grow up.

            The mossy smelling countryside returned to her mind’s eye. Riding her bike down the road. Catching glimpses of the cows in the overgrown pastures, the creek full of brown water, the cars whizzing by her.  Her first freedom.  The wind blowing her long hair into tangles.

            She started riding a bike when she was twelve. Much older than most kids, but she had always been a late bloomer. There had been no bicycles to ride at her house before that. Her brothers had bikes but they were much older. Now teenagers they had given up their bikes long ago for fast cars.

            Her sister, three years younger, was far more adventurous than she was. At least in practice. She went on adventures in her head; her sister went on actual adventures. That her sister started riding “the” bike (they only had one and had to share) at nine was not surprising. A year later her sister would shave her legs, no matter what their mom said. And she would too—if a ten year old could do it—then certainly someone on the cusp of being a teenager should be able to.

            Today, as she sifted through her memories of decades ago, she remembered something that had always puzzled her. Something that had niggled at the back of her mind, but something she had shelved because questions about it had been met with icy silence. But now, she wanted to know.

            As a kid, she knew that things did not add up. But trying to make sense of certain things was stymied. It was like when she asked her dad where babies came from and he said ask your mother, knowing she would not ask her. She was very very old before she understood where babies came from—because no one at her house talked about things like that to her. Her older brothers were protective, her younger sister even more innocent than she.

            In fact, years later, her sister would complain that she had not told her about the “monthly miracle”. She refused to call it a curse—it was part of being a woman, and she often wondered why women did not embrace that part of themselves. She often heard that if men menstruated, they would brag about the pain, the duration, the amount of blood. But no, women tried to hide it, like it did not happen. Like it did not exist. Yet it was a big and important part of their lives.

          Her mind was wandering. She refocused. She remembered little pieces of conversations that would stop when she entered a room. She learned not to interrupt these conversations, she learned to stay where she was not noticed and listen. But not enough was ever said.

            Five decades later she had discovered a clue, one so big and obvious that she could no longer deny what she had felt since she was young. She was not one of them. Her family had always been loving in an uncloying way. They were not demonstrative. Hugs were few and far between.  She had always known she was loved, but there had always been a feeling of not quite fitting in.     

Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm  Comments (30)  
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~ Family Bliss ~

Three butter tarts on a plate, with flash

Three butter tarts on a plate, with flash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favourite definitions of bliss is family harmony. I am in a family sort of mood this weekend as my sister Peggy and my favourite (and only—but that does not take away from him being my favourite) brother-in-law, Herb are visiting us from Ottawa which is about an eight hour drive away. I have not seen them for over a year and a half.

They arrived in our small town of Kingsville at suppertime last night, and are staying at my oldest brother Jim’s house. My kids came over, his kids came over and we had pizza and beer and Prosecco and a lot of hugs and laughs. I am feeling wrapped up in warmth this morning.

Today my sister and I are going to lunch and I am taking her to my favourite winery, showing her our new library, and just spending time with her. We email each other every day and talk several times a month, but having her here in person is such a treat.

The “boys” will be hanging out together today and talking cars and politics, and joking around a lot. Then we will all meet to go out to dinner tonight, using up a certificate my brother was given for Christmas at a nice restaurant up town. The only thing missing is my other brother John and my sister-in-law Starr, but they were here a few weeks ago—so the last few weeks have been rift with family moments that I just want to capture, put in a jar, and save.

So since John is not here, I am going to share one of his favourite treats that my Mom used to make and he devoured. In fact, he would line these tarts up on his arm and eat them one by one with a big glass of milk. It is an image I will never forget.

My mother, unlike her oldest daughter (me) baked up a storm, particularly at holidays.  This recipe is for her famous raisin tarts, and though I have never made them, I can attest to the fact that they are the best ever.

So, on this Saturday in mid-January I share with you a little family bliss and a little piece of bliss from my childhood in the form of these tarts.

Raisin Butter Tarts


2 eggs

2 tbsp.vinegar

1 cup butter melted

2 cups brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups of raisins, nuts, or currants (Mom always used raisins and walnut pieces)

Beat eggs only until whites and yolks are mixed. Beat in sugar, vinegar and vanilla. Stir in melted butter and fruit and nuts. Half fill tart shells. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees for 20 minutes longer.

Enjoy a little bit of heavenly bliss!

This recipe was handwritten in a spiral notebook which is covered in splatters from many many sessions in the kitchen. I may not have lined up my arm with these tarts, but I always had more than my fair share.

Do you have a recipe that harkens  back to your childhood days?

Published in: on January 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm  Comments (51)  
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Comforts ~ Day 8, Or Don’t Gag, I Am Going to be Sappy

wistful rose

wistful rose (Photo credit: macrophile)

I cannot ignore these very important three “things” I am grateful for. They are:

1 Jim, my eldest brother

2. John, my older brother

And last but certainly not least:

3. Peggy, my younger sister.

First of all I am very lucky to have just three siblings because these posts are supposed to be about three things I am grateful for each day, and if I had a fourth sibling I am sure I would be thankful for them too, but it would mess up the whole balance of this challenge (even though I realize I cheated yesterday and just used a quote—but it was a busy day.)

I am seriously lucky to have these three people in my life. I know that not everyone is as fortunate as I am – you cannot choose your brothers and sisters, but I would choose these three without a second thought. I know at least two of them are going to read this and I don’t want to embarrass them too much – but guys—I do not know what I would do without you. You are there for me every step of the way and I know that I could ask any one of you anything and you would do it for me. And I for you. Okay, enough – one can only get so maudlin without the gag reflex factoring in.

I simply could not do a grateful challenge without listing three of the most important people in my life other than the three I listed in an earlier post (my husband and sons). It just would not be complete.

Three Sappy People

Three Sappy People (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published in: on August 20, 2012 at 2:18 am  Comments (33)  
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