Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Misty Watercolour Memories

In September, after a five year absence, I will be returning to the US for four weeks. Since booking the plane tickets, everyday activities such as driving down the street, going to sleep or watching TV have thrown me into deep nostalgic thoughts about times gone by.

Sometimes these nostalgic thoughts are trivial… like the taste of Golden Grahams or my favourite flavour of Hostess Fruit Pie. Some are more innocent like catching lightening bugs, or having a snow day from school and getting to watch
Little House on the Prairie .

The most important thoughts are of the people who have played a strong role in my life and helping me to form who I am. This morning I suddenly recalled my visiting my Grandma.

My Grandma lived on 50 acres of land in a red house on a dirt road just over an hours drive from the city. She had an open door policy, and anyone who was driving by was free to break journey and stop in for a coffee and a chat or a game of pinochle.

Quirky does not even begin to describe my Grandma. She was a chain smoker, but could not stand anyone drinking alcohol. She loved to bake apple pies, and most often forgot to use sugar. She saved the styrofoam holders from packages of ground beef and reused them as dinner plates… she had a special affinity to the pink styrofoam.

I am not sure that I ever saw my Grandma actually wear a pair of panty hose, but they were often seen tied around leaking pipes. Despite her closet full of Chanel suits, she felt that an old pair of strategically cut and tied panty hose made great a hat to keep the hair out of her face when she was gardening. For those hot summer days, her panty hose were transformed into disco-style tube tops. Some people may call this resourceful.

One sunny afternoon she was on her tractor mowing the lawns when a car drove by and honked their horn. My grandma did not recognise the car but being a friendly sort, she gave the car a huge wave hello. A couple minutes later, the same car drove past again and honked the horn. Again my grandma gave a big wave. Almost immediately the car drove past for a third time, and once again my grandma, arm in the air, gave the driver a big wave.

She chuckled to herself and got back to the business of mowing the grounds, when she looked down and realised that her panty hose tube top had slipped down to her waist and every time the car drove past and she waved, she was actually flashing them.

Panty hose used to come packaged in plastic eggs. She saved these plastic eggs, put candy inside and passed them out at Easter. The candy, of course, was from the previous year’s after Easter sale at K-Mart.

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