Three Birthdays

Nana's Birthday party at Forest Pond Nfld.

My mother’s 5th birthday in Newfoundland, 1920.  Mom is the dark-haired, dark-eyed girl under the window.  Mom said that they had sandwiches, lemonade, birthday cake and homemade ice cream.

My fifth birthday in August 1952

This is my fifth birthday in Ontario in the ’50’s. I am the dark-haired girl, third from the left in the second row.  My parents did just what my mother’s parents did and invited the whole neighbourhood.  I’m sitting next to my best friend, Sue (face is blurred).  My dad put up some sawhorses in the backyard and covered them with two doors for our table. I think he made some makeshift benches too for us all to be able to sit around the table. Mom made lemonade and sandwiches and we had birthday cake and watermelon for dessert.  I remember that the boys were spitting watermelon seeds at each other and all over the backyard lawn.  We had a wonderful time.  Everyone got balloons and suckers as their treats.

Birthdays were always well celebrated in our family, whether we were five or twenty-five.  One of my favourite memories is the celebration we had for my mother’s 90th birthday.  We had a party for all Mom’s oldest friends in the church she attended and it was a wonderful occasion which the church women’s group catered.  The very next day we had a celebration at our home in the country to which we invited the whole family. We had three tents put up, one for all the guests, one for the food and one for people to sit and talk.  We all wore name tags  because Mom’s memory was getting a bit hazy.  We played games, watched a video of Mom’s life, made speeches, ate delicious fried chicken and a special cake.  Mom was the centre of attention.  We brought out an easy chair for her to sit in to watch the fireworks which the men arranged and we all enjoyed each others’ company.  Mom was the Queen of the day and the true family matriarch.  I wish we had been able to celebrate my dad’s 90th but he passed away in his 72nd year.  I think he would have approved of Mom’s birthday celebrations.

Heaven’s Handiwork

snow laden branches 2019

Heaven’s Handiwork

©2020 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

 

Delicate Belgian lace

Has historical place

On the clothes of women and men;

And old Ireland’s flair

For point lace so fair

Enhances some now and then.

But Pines in raiment green

Won’t steal the scene

In any mortal art of ours;

So God gracefully encases

His wildest woodland places

In glorious winter’s flowers,

Draping tree to tree

Lace made so intricately

That artful human eyes

Gaze in delight and surprise

At the handiwork of heaven.

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Snowed In

 

Snowed In

©2020 Mollie Pearce McKibbon


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Snow falls on a frosty day

When spruce and pine can barely

Lift their long, sagging branches

With their thick, icy burdens

And my mind, oppressed by 

A tyranny of empty pages,

Determinedly pursues

An erratic, errant muse.

Snow Falls

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Falling Snow

© 2020 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

 

Snow falls on a dreaming day,

When spruce and pine barely

Lift their dragging branches

For the weight of their icy burden,

And the empty white expanses

Of vellum and screen

Press down on my bowed shoulders

While I pursue an errant muse.

Rag Doll Love

My doll, Mary in Grandpa's chair

When I was just a year old my Great Aunt Bess made me a doll from a bleached Robin Hood flour bag.  I know that it was a Robin Hood bag because his picture, although faded, was still faintly visible.  When I was old enough to talk I named her Mary and she became my constant companion.  She had long yarn braids and an embroidered face.  I absolutely adored her and slept with her, ate with her and dragged her (usually by one arm) around wherever I went.  Over time her face got tear stained, orange juice stained, and otherwise well-loved.  I decided that in the face of any disaster she would take precedence over any other possession I would rush to rescue.     The  painting above  is a water colour I made for my parents in 1971.  It hung in my mother’s room until she moved out of her home and into a seniors’ residence.  Now it has returned to me and will be passed on to my daughter.

The chair on which my doll is sitting was won by my grandfather who enjoyed lawn bowling.  My parents had it repaired and reupholstered for a wedding gift for my husband and me.  Hopefully someone will want it as a family keepsake one day.

 

 

 

Winter

Winter

©2020 Mollie Pearce McKibbon 

Snowy landscape

 

The winter howls; the winter blows;

The winter sleets; the winter snows.

The winter makes us put on clothes

In other climes we’d never wear, 

But here there’s winter everywhere.

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The winter’s white; the winter’s cold;

The winter’s ice; the winter’s bold.

The winter’s beauties do unfold

As we trample high and low,

Plowing pathways where we go.

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Winter’s fierce and winter’s mean;

Winter’s silver and so pristine.

Winter paints a magic scene

On earth, in sky and on the glass,

Enchantment never meant to last.

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Snow Beauty

The first snow of 2019 was beautiful.

snow balls at our doorFlocked bush at our front door needs no added decoration.

snow laden branches 2019

The light dusting of snow on the trees brightened up the inside of our home.

snow beauty 2019

The last leaves clinging to the lower branches of our maple received a chilly coating.

Fall Asleep

Fall Asleep
©2019 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

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The sky is heavy with cloud;
Pregnant with sleet or snow.
The maples and birches shiver;
Their bright raiment now shed
In scattered heaps around their feet.
No longer wanted, the leaves wait
To travel on capricious winds,
Or to be tucked into hibernation
By gathering mounds of winter,
To sleep undisturbed,
Sheltering the silent soil
And all that lives beneath
Until Spring’s resurrection.

Thanksgiving Doggerel

family-reunion-clip-art-reunion-picThanksgiving Feast

©  2019 Mollie McKibbon

Mama’s in the kitchen

And dinner smells so good,

We’re sent to set the table

As all hungry children should.

We’ve folded all the napkins

And pulled up all our chairs.

Papa is so famished

He rumbles like the bears.

The potatoes have been mashed, 

And the carrots have been creamed,

The turkey bursts with stuffing, 

And the onions have been steamed.

As we sit around the table

With our relatives galore,

Papa says the shortest blessing

Than he’s ever said before.

Our eyes are on the kitchen,

With our napkins tucked to chins,

When Mama brings the platter

And Papa starts to grin.

The turkey smells delicious

As she wafts it by our nose,

And all of us together

Are curling up our toes.

There’s a leg for my big brother,

A wing for my dear sis,

And another leg for mother

While Papa takes some breast.

After all my aunts and uncles

Have each made their own pick,

There’s hardly any turkey left

For me to get a lick.

Because I am the youngest,

When the turkey has been cut,

I’m lucky if I end up with 

What’s on the turkey’s butt.