Monthly Archives: November 2013

Friday November 1, 2013

Lynn’s Notes:

The thought of not allowing my kids to dress like punk rockers makes me smile. Unlike some other moms, I encouraged my kids to dye their hair and wear crazy outfits. They wouldn’t go for it. Perhaps it’s because I insisted, or maybe they weren’t into that kind of stuff. Either way, they never did the punk thing, and I’m OK with that, too!

Sunday November 3, 2013

Lynn’s Notes:

Penny candy was my childhood weakness. For a dime (my allowance), I could buy 30 jawbreakers or 5 liquorice pipes or 5 packages of Lik-m-Aid. Pop was 5 cents a bottle, and for a quarter the Dairy Queen made a cone too big to eat. My favourite things of all were the big 5 cent heart-shaped suckers which came out for Valentine’s Day. I could work the whole thing into my mouth, unfazed by the numbness in my lips and laboured breathing. I was a candyholic. Halloween was the night of the big score — the candy rush and the fun of eating all the best stuff first. I could walk for hours even in the rain as long as porch lights were on. One neighbour used to give us money instead of candy, and when my mom told me I should save it, I thought she was crazy. Having a bit of cash meant another run to the corner store for more penny candy!

Sunday November 10, 2013

Lynn’s Notes:

Our first dog escaped the humiliation of being dressed up. Aaron was only a few months old when I sent our big Old English Sheep Dog, Farley, to live on a farm. Willy, our next dog, wasn’t so lucky. Patient and easy going, Willy, a small black spaniel, succumbed to the creative energy of two kids with a full costume box. Willy put up with wigs, hats, pants, bras and footwear. He wore baby clothes and pirate gear. Without protest, he allowed himself to be transformed into whatever the kids conjured up, and I guess from a dog’s perspective, this gentle abuse was a means to an end. When Willy was in full drag, he got what all pets yearn for: extra treats and loads of attention!

Sunday November 17, 2013

Lynn’s Notes:

Next to the sink in my laundry room is a small dish into which I throw the coins, paper clips, nails, and other flotsam that’s sucked out of pockets during the washing-drying process. Right now, I have 75 cents in coins, one metal washer, a zipper pull, and a large green elastic band. I don’t know why I don’t throw out the garbage and spend the change, but there it sits. It’s a harmless collection.

Monday November 18, 2013

Lynn’s Notes:

The Lynn Lake arena had a row of heat lamps along the ceiling, but the warmth dissipated long before it reached the bleachers. Parents who sat through hours of practice and many games shivered miserably despite blankets, parkas and warm winter gloves. We were grateful for rotgut coffee and the occasional shouting match, which kept us pliable.

Tuesday November 19, 2013

Lynn’s Notes:

Boys really can smell terrible. A girls’ locker room might have its ambient whiff, but a room full of young male hockey players can be downright asphyxiating. When it was decided that moms were no longer required for skate tie-ups and supportive hugs, women rejoiced all over town. The news made rink-side hot dogs and all-day coffee taste fine. It was, let me put it this way, “A breath of fresh air!”

Wednesday November 20, 2013

Lynn’s Notes:

One of the best ideas ever was the annual hockey exchange. As our kids grew out of their skates and uniforms, we gladly exchanged them for larger gear — used and still useable. Parents came to the Anglican/United Church basement with everything that didn’t fit and the bargaining began. This event made it possible for many of our kids to remain in the game. For a lot of families, hockey was just unaffordable.

Sunday November 24, 2013

Lynn’s Notes:

Ours was an “English” household. My mom would often invite someone over for tea, and tea was served with a ritual of cubed sugar and freshly baked cakes. Kids had to be seen and not heard. If we wished to stay in the living room within reach of the desserts, we had to be patient, quiet, and still. This gave us ample time to research the guest’s physical attributes and to think of suitable questions to ask later. Sometimes the questions came out before the guest’s departure. I made some gaffes, but I don’t remember saying anything punishable.

What I do remember is my mother telling me something she had once done. One of her mother’s tea time guests was a stern, humourless woman who disapproved of children being within hearing distance of an adult conversation. My mom waited and watched in silence as the two women drank and gossiped. Eventually her mother acknowledged her presence and asked if there was anything she’d like to say. Surprised by the opportunity to speak, my mom turned to the haughty lady at the table and said, “You have a very pretty hat. It would look better if it had a smile under it.”