Posted tagged ‘tulip bowls’

“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood.”

February 10, 2014

The sun has appeared, disappeared and reappeared. I totally understand why even the sun is despairing. Who’d want to hang around stuck in what feels like a polar weather pattern? We even have a morning breeze making the day feel colder. The dead leaves still hanging at the ends of branches are being blown about as are the tops of the pine trees. We had snow flurries last night which put a soft layer on top of the snow from last week. It wasn’t even an inch, but it is more than enough. I checked the week’s weather in the paper this morning, and it looks as if Thursday may be our salvation. It might just reach 40˚.

Popcorn was one of our TV treats. They were the old fashion kernels. Once one popped, the whole pan had to be shaken or the popcorn would burn. Nothing smells worse than burnt popcorn. My mother was a true believer in butter. She’d melt the butter, put it on the popcorn in stages then use her fingers to mix the popcorn around so you could taste butter all the way to the bottom. My mother had a set of nested white bowls with tulips on them. She used the biggest bowl for the popcorn. Once when she and I were shopping in an antique store, I saw a set of tulip bowls exactly like the ones my mother had. I bought them all because of that popcorn.

Hung across from the toilet in our bathroom when I was young was a picture of a little boy just getting ready for his bath. He carried a brush, soap and a towel and had a halo over his head. His bathrobe was blue and was fuzzy the way old cards and books sometimes were. Santa’s red suit was often fuzzy in the same way. I used to sit and read the verse on that picture. I read it so many times I can still recite from memory. In a B&B in Ireland that same picture with the fuzzy bathrobe hung in the bathroom. I tried to buy it, but the woman didn’t want to sell it. When I got home, I googled the verse and found a metal reproduction. I really wanted fuzzy, but I bought the metal one anyway for my mother’s stocking. She couldn’t believe I remembered it let alone found one. It hung in her upstairs bathroom. Now I have it hanging in mine. The verse, by Mabel Lucie Attwell, starts “Please remember don’t forget, never leave the bathroom wet…”

My childhood lives in my memory drawers, but some of it is also strewn about the house.

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”

October 19, 2013

Last night Morpheus grabbed hold, and I slept for twelve hours. My mother would have said I needed it, and I agree. I woke up not feeling up to par (another one of my mother’s sayings) so I’ll just sort of wait around and see what happens. The TV is filled with aliens and monsters so I’ll have plenty of entertainment.

I can hear leaf blowers and mowers, the sounds of Saturday. I went out on the deck and the air smells fresh, of cut grass and fall flowers. There is a morning chill I expect will be gone by afternoon.

I do have a couple of errands today and laundry to wash. I don’t feel like doing either, but I did finish the last of my bread for toast this morning, and I’m out of cheese, two good reasons to get out and refill the larder.

My mother shopped every Friday evening. My father drove her to the supermarket as she didn’t drive, but he never went shopping with her. When they got home, we all helped to unload the trunk. It was filled with paper grocery bags. The next few days were bountiful as  cookies and snacks were back in the house though some snacks were untouchables as they were for lunches. Oreos were always a standard. They were everyone’s favorite cookie, even the dog’s. My sisters used to feed him the sides once they’d eaten the middle. He sat right by them on the steps while they snacked. He knew what was coming. My mother always warned us to go slowly because once the cookies were gone, that was it until the next shopping day. We were kids: slowly wasn’t in our vocabulary.

We used to pop corn on the stove in a pan with a lid. It was less expensive than Jiffy Pop, but it took more attention and constant shaking of the pan or the popcorn would burn. My father made the best popcorn. He never burned a single kernel. My mother would melt butter and put it on the top then mix the popcorn around to spread the butter. She then sprinkle a bit of salt. The popcorn was served in a huge bowl. In my mind’s eye, I see a green bowl, but I’m not sure as my mother also had a set of white bowls with tulips, and that set also had a large bowl. When I was shopping with my mother once, we found a set just like it at an antique store and I bought the set. It sits on my fridge and holds all sort of memories.

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