hollyhocks, September and the school bus

IMG_3618.jpg

I’ve always been in awe of hollyhocks.  When we grew up in the house on Woodlawn Avenue in Oregon the towering plants reached up to the dining room windows and were sentinels watching us celebrate birthdays around the dining room table before school started up again. Continue reading

Advertisements

Peggy’s house

IMG_2286.jpg

 

I played at Peggy’s house most of the time, or any other neighbour’s house for that matter.  I’m trying hard to think of my friends playing at my house and I can’t remember that.  It was only my brother, sister and I at our house but we had the run of the Woodlawn neighbourhood that we rode our bikes through as if it was our world.  And it was.  We would meet up “in the field by Peanut Butter Hill” the dip that bucked us off our bikes regularly and we would ride through the scotch broom listening to the snap and pop of the seed pods spitting at us.  Continue reading

mother’s day redemption – a story

agree-1728448__340.jpg

The three make an unlikely group. The couple, two men who have lived together as lovers for over 20 years, and the child.

The trendy reservation – only restaurant and eclectic menu suit the couple well as they playfully debate which wine will accent the meal so carefully negotiated and ordered.  The child doesn’t know if she can eat at all. She’s quiet, softly petting the tablecloth, the silky lines in the linen, as she listens to their conversation. Not contributing to the festive occasion. She is, as they say, expecting. Pregnant. A bad girl. A shame, and tonight she will have her baby. Continue reading

potato soup

Rumfordsuppe.jpg

The smell of potato soup wafts up from the stove as I hold the seven week old baby girl tucked to my chest, rocking back and forth to try to get her to stop crying. And shivering.  She is shivering. With my free arm, I stir and stir and stir the soup with the big broken metal spoon that I found in the cutlery drawer with a few stray spoons and forks and crumbs.  The spoon grates against the pot with each pass through the thin soup. I can’t let it burn; it’s all there is to eat in the house.

I hadn’t thought of the family for years but they came rushing back to me with all the desperation and fear and hopelessness from so long ago.  With a thick, creamy soup simmering on my stove; bacon, onions, potatoes, rich and creamy, I caught a memory as I lifted the lid to check and stir. Continue reading

where did my dream mouse go?

IMG_3991.JPG

“Are you ok? Oh, I’m so sorry, are you ok?” the lady in the puffy green jacket gushes at me as we watch the sock on my ankle bloom with blood.  Not a big blossom like a  rose but more of a little branch of cherry blossoms across the white cotton. Continue reading