Archive for March, 2011
Isn’t it fabulous? And magical? And extraordinary? It arrived on the dreariest, rainiest afternoon, a burst of color in an otherwise grey world. I took so many photos wearing my new hat, I bored my darlings to tears. They wanted to touch it or, in my daughter’s case, try it on, and not just watch me take picture after picture. Somehow my expression just didn’t seem right, though, the hat commands elegance. I’m thinking this expression is most fitting.
Once again, thank you so very much for this generous giveaway, Anya of Couture Millinery. I love it! And I can’t wait to wear it!
My mother firmly believed in children taking naps. Her day was busy. The two hours we were supposed to be sleeping was the only time she could dedicate to herself without interruption. She would shut the shutters and pull the drapes, making the bedroom as dark as possible, then line each of us in the big bed in order of age. Being the oldest, I was the last to get in.
I hated napping. I didn’t need much sleep. Everything has changed the minute I gave birth, of course. Now I can sleep and sleep, but don’t have the time.
Sometimes my mother would sit in one of the chairs and wait for us to fall asleep, scolding us to close our eyes or we would “get it.” Getting it, probably meant a spanking or a slap. I don’t know. We never actually “got it,” although we always expected to. The rest of my siblings would fall asleep, and I would listen to their gentle snores and pretend that I was asleep as well. Then she’d leave the room and shut the door, turning the key and locking us in. I know. I can hear you all thinking: Inhumane. But back then everyone and their grandmother did it.
The bedroom had a glass door covered by a lace curtain. It looked right into what would be called the living room, but what was actually a fancy sitting room that also doubled as a guest room. My mother would sit and read or sit and entertain her girlfriends who’d come visit. I would get out of bed as quietly as I could and make my way to the door, crouching there, waiting to see what would happen. I wonder if she ever suspected me. If she read, there was nothing to see, as soon enough she’d fall asleep herself, and she was not a light sleeper. That’s when I would explore the bedroom’s every nook and cranny for the stashes of chocolate I knew were hidden. My mother rarely came to check on us once she had locked the door.
If her girlfriends came, she would serve them something sweet, and they’d sit around the table talking and laughing. The mother I observed then was a stranger to me. There was nothing serious about her. She was all smiles. I would study her friends’ shoes and clothes, their mannerism. Some were pretty and I was sure they were nice. The not so attractive ones, I was convinced they weren’t. I believed in fairy tales and that outward beauty equalled inward beauty.
Although she never left us home alone, I knew that some of her friends did leave their children to go to work, or stand in long queues for scarce food items. In different cultures people do different things. I used to have a French neighbor here in the States, who’d leave her three year old napping at home, while she’d run her errands. I wonder if that little girl slept the entire time her mommy was gone or if she woke up crying, terrified. But then I realized that it was the American in me thinking that.
If I would get too lonely during nap time, I would pinch the baby whose wails would wake up the others and send my mother rushing in. I would feign sleep. Surprisingly I was never caught; my brother was too young to tell.
Now I wish I had a designated time of day to nap. My children aren’t nappers. My son stopped napping soon after he turned one. He gets by on less than ten hours of sleep. My daughter napped until she turned three, and then just stopped. But I wish I could turn down the bed in the middle of the day and slip between the cool sheets. The room dark and quiet. Ah. Bliss.
That’s what my daughter said after a crazy wind rattled the windows of the house, only for the sun to come out minutes later and the few clouds there were, to start shedding big, fat tears. She may have a point. Yesterday it had rained all day, the day before barely a drop. Last night I fell asleep with the window open, the soft drizzle of the rain lulling me into dreamland. Around three I awoke to the sound of a storm trying to force its way in, and I lay in my cozy bed and wondered if the basement would flood. I tossed and turned with that worry, but I was too lazy to go check. What could I do anyway? Start shoveling out the water?
I am sorry, guys. I have been a lazy blogger lately. I blame it on spending too much of my free time eating pastries, drinking coffee and reading. Also, of course, I have nothing interesting to say. I’ve been thinking that maybe I should start one of those pretty photography blogs everyone seems to have. A picture is worth a thousand words. Right? But to be honest, unless the photo is of me, a member of my family, or a friend, I’m really just not interested. Isn’t that horrible? So.
In other news, I am the winner of a fabulous hat. I am so excited and cannot wait until it gets here. I shall have to think of the perfect place to wear, as Portland is really NOT a fancy hat place. But I still love dressing up, even if I have no place to go, haha. Check the next several posts to see a photo of me wearing the hat.
I’ve been awarded a lovely little award by a new blog friend, and although I’m ambivalent about awards, I don’t want to be rude and not acknowledge the giver, particularly when she has a beautiful blog that I just love to visit. So I’ll tell you a few things about myself you probably don’t know, and if you’d like, you’re welcome to grab the award for yourselves and participate.
1. I own a lot of books. And I keep buying books. And I have books that I’ve bought and haven’t yet read. And it’s been years since I’ve been waiting for the right mood to strike so I could open some of them.
2. Blueberries. I could live on them. Even when I get what feels like horrible indigestion that keeps me up at night, I keep eating them. Oh well.
3. I’m selfish. I’m constantly thinking of ways to hide that last bit of chocolate from everyone else in the house. It isn’t very nice. I know.
4. My husband is a better cook than I am. In fact, he is a better cook than 95% of people I know. Sometimes I experience a bit of envy when I see that he just throws things in a pot, without measuring, without consulting a recipe, and the end result is absolutely amazing.
5. I worry a lot. About every little thing. And some of those little things are important. But most are not.
6. Ah… Foreign films. I am addicted to them. I have so many favorites. What are yours? I like watching them in bed, propped up on pillows, with a box or two of tissues (or an old soft shirt of my husband’s) by my side.
Well, there you have it. Now go visit Snippets of Thyme. You won’t be disappointed. And if you feel like it, grab the award.