No one expected that we would still be wearing masks, socially distancing and ordering groceries from the internet almost a year and a half later, but so we are. The situation is lamentable indeed, especially for single moms juggling jobs and in-home schooling and for widows and widowers unable to meet with friends. So we have become couch potatoes, computer-dependent, and telephone haunters. I became a Netflix and You tube dependent. I was feeling frustrated and guilty as I watched my neighbours riding bikes, taking hikes and generally being creative. I had to accomplish something.
I first ordered a kalimba for myself, hoping that I could learn to play it. I learned to play the first line of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and the scales, but the music book I ordered was such small print and so confusing, I lost heart. I haven’t given it up, just put it aside for a time. Next I got out my yarn and began knitting, but there are only so many scarves and afghans a person needs. Besides, my knitting skills seemed to have regressed from lack of practice. I decided rather to teach myself to crochet.
My first efforts were funny little abstract shapes that ended up in my dish cloth pile. They make very good scrubbers. I discovered that all of my attempts to make a square ended up curling upwards. Finally, I decided to go with the flow and make something round. That is when I discovered that I could crochet a fair tam or beret. When I described my dilemma to a friend, she said that she knew my problem and as soon as we are able to congregate she will show me the secret of a crochet square. In the meantime, my family members may all get berets for Christmas.
Follow Me and fish for people;
Follow Me and serve the Lord.
Though the day be long and weary
With God’s pow’r you’ll be restored.
Follow Me and tell My story;
Follow Me and find the strayed.
Roads I travel lead to glory;
For each soul I’ve fully paid.
Follow Me and feed the hungry;
Follow Me and clothe the poor.
Use your hands and heart for others;
As you serve you’ll know me more.
Follow Me and serve My Father;
Follow Me and find the lost.
Ev’ry soul is worth the searching;
Ev’ry soul is worth the cost.
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.
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.