Monday, April 17, 2006

Sunday Scribblings

(my little sis Jill, me, and Rich on a tiny ferry in False Creek)

This week's prompt was "when we were wee...":

My older brother and two younger sisters and I were lucky to have had the chance to grow up in a magical house. It was a hundred year old house on the campus of the private school where my dad taught (still teaches, over 35 years!!). It was room enough for all 6 of us and had plenty of character in its walls. The high ceilings were my favorite - 10 foot downstairs, 7 foot upstairs. I lived there for my first 18 years and it is part of who I am. My room in the front with the roof of the porch to sit on. Sharing a room with my sister when our little sis was born. The storm windows we kept in the basement to put up every winter, along with the plastic to keep out the drafts. The huge banister to slide down when we couldn't get caught! The sliding doors that came out of the wall between the living room and play room, but which we rarely closed. The great trees all around us to climb for days on end. The huge windows downstairs, all the light they let in. Living in the quiet and security of the campus- we could play outside at anytime of day for hours and no one had to worry; we were always with in shouting distance. Being lucky enough to have a soccer field out my back door to practice on for endless hours. Our tree house on the edge of the woods. Being able to go on adventure walks through the woods and see the pond and get close to nature. The scary basement with two secret rooms where mom hid our Christmas presents- she knew we'd be too scared to go looking! The servants' staircase up the back way from the kitchen to the baby's room- I always showed it to my new friends, a tourist attraction. Our huge attic full of boxes of old toys and books and clothes- so much fun going up to look for something! The big bookshelf full of National Geographics. My dad singing (badly) to all his favorite records, wearing big earphones. Sitting on the corner closet in my own room, up high, talking to my favorite stuffed animals about life. Helping mom paint various rooms throughout- the huge hallway with ceilings so high no one could reach, not even with a ladder. Building snow forts in the driveway. Falling out of the tree out front and breaking my wrist, again. The gigantic Christmas trees, too tall even for this place! Raspberry bushes and a big cherry tree out back. My mom's huge gardens year after year- the tractor coming in to till the soil, that's how big. Out weeding with her after dinner in the summer. Eating "strawberry greens"- have no idea what their real name is! Our "sandbox" which was really just a hole dug out and filled in every year with new sand- also used as a catbox by our two cats! Fireplaces in all the rooms, but only one working. Chimney fires that scared me to death. The blue wall in the spare bedroom- a deep royal blue. Having to go down the tiny, rickety staircase to the basement to do the laundry. Waiting outside the door to go in and open our presents on Christmas day- waiting to make sure Santa wasn't still in there. The piano in the playroom, playing whenever I got a chance, duets with my friends. Playing school in the kitchen with my sisters. The old dishwasher where you have to list the lid up like a hood on a car. The old fashioned bathtub with the claw feet- I want one of those in my house someday!! For some reason, I remember every single doorknob, even now, 12 years after we moved out. All the love inside that house- probably why we needed such a big place! It will always be my home, even though my parents live down the hill now and even though I have my own flat with my Love- it will always be my home.

Had an interesting weekend- great fun with my little sis, Jill, Japanese restaurant and improv comedy theatre at Granville Island- the coolest place in Vancouver! We got to watch her play rugby on saturday and froze our butts off in the unnecessary cold weather. It was good having someone different here, to go try new cafes and find a couple good places for lunch and coffee- I've been searching for a cafe to go read and write in, and with Starbucks being King here, its been hard to find anywhere. She was gone too soon, but it was still wonderful to see her. She's moving to Ontario in September for a year to do her Education degree, we'll miss having family out here, but she'll be back!
Sunday, I tried to go shopping for jeans and only ended up on the verge of tears with frustration. I miss England so badly when I try to go shopping. They don't make clothes for short legged people, and I always find I struggle with the styles here. I never had a problem in England- they always had stuff I loved, so simple, shopping was fun and easy and I miss it terribly. Even R was having a hard time and he's the ideal body type- it didn't help that the sales people were snobby and so not helpful. I did find two brilliant pairs of shoes though, so I'll post them up here soon, forgot my camera cord today. I also got my first Moleskins!!! Can't wait to start using them. It was hard to be me and I think I'm still recovering today- made me want to stop eating forever, but I do so love food! Where do you like to buy your clothes?
Another question- what are your favorite healthy snacks?? Need some new ideas.


Bambina said...

Hi, i´m from chile (do you know Chile??) and I read your blog and by things of the destiny I arrived at this page...
I don´t write in english very well, but i just want to say to you that i like it very much.
I´m a giornalist (girl so don´t think bad ideas), so i know something about "to write", so congratulations...
And i think like you cause "i need a beak" it made me feel equal...
Saludos desde Chile
María José (or Cote)
If you want to see my blog the address
*This is the first time that i write to anyone in a blog!

Laini said...

Loved the descriptions of your magical house! Having moved around so much, I get sort of dreamy about the idea of having one place that's "home", and I hope we can create that magic in our own family, when we have kids. Really nice nostalgic piece of writing!

Also, I can relate to the cafe hunt -- Jim and I are on a mission too, though we had to skip our weekly cafe writing date this week, we'll be back to it next weekend; also, the shopping thing: the only way I've found around the short legs issue is tall shoes. Fortunately I love tall platform shoes, and I look positively comical in all my pants when barefoot, fabric pooling up on the floor around my feet! Are there really so many tall people, I ask you, that pants must be so long?

Anonymous said...

Your childhood sounds so much like the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe! :) Positively magical...thanks for sharing it.

And I know what you mean about the cafes. Feel pity for me LOL--I am in the suburbs and trust me, I ONLY have Starbucks too, which isn't necessarily that bad, except this is a "commuters" Starbucks, with few comfy chairs.

Not that I can sit down and write often these days anyway, with the Madam.

And I hear you on the pants. My pet peeve lately is low rider jeans. Um, I just had a baby nine months ago...must I have muffin top as well? Can't I find a pair of cool non-low-rider jeans that don't look like Mommy Jeans?

Healthy snacks? Fruit leather (without sugar) and popcorn...especially popcorn!

megg said...

nuts- that's my suggestion for snacks - nuts! And homemade hummous.

I loved your entry. My old farmhouse had a lot of those same qualities. Sometimes I really worry that I will not be able to provide that HOME/ house for my own kids.

Shopping does that to me to - no matter which country I do it in.

But trust me on the nuts!

paris parfait said...

Love your description of your childhood and your house. Great memories!

K said...

Don't get me started on pants. I have the opposite problem...they aren't long enough! Haha you knew that though...guess we'll have to keep looking for a pair of travelling pants (seriously read the books, teenager fiction is too juicy to pass by).

Snacks...yes hommade hummus and add PEANUT BUTTER. It's delicious. Also, Pres. Choice (do you have that on the West Coast) has yummy, low fat granola bars with granberries in them. Dried apricots are good too. And if you really need a chocolate fix do a york peppermint patty...just do it!