Saturday 23 December 2023

All Things Nice . . .



I love familiar things  . . .  an old clock's face,
A kitchen shelf with a bright cretonne frill,
An old chair with a patchwork cushion on,
Petunias on a painted window sill.

An old grey barn whose weather-beaten ends
Have known the lashing tides of wind and rain;
A cup and saucer from an ancient set,
Of sturdy chinaware severely plain.

Buck brush and willow scrub . . . a rutted trail,
Worn deep and smooth by quiet homing hoofs;
A narrow gabled window in a house,
Soft mossy ridges on old shingled roofs.

I love a kindly face with patient eyes,
Where wrinkles etch a story brave and fine,
Whose understanding heart and quiet strength,
Is written like a scroll in every line.

A home-made quilt . . . a small wood-burning stove,
A little rocker that your mother had,
A little cape hung up behind the door,
An overcoat what once belonged to Dad.

Old shabby bits I know yet in each thing
Something of them seems to forever cling,
~Edna Jaques, Familar Things
Fireside Poems, 1950

This is the book which started off my love affair with Edna Jaques' poetry.  It sat in the bookcase of my childhood home all the growing up days of my life, the dust cover long since gone.  It simply had a green cover with the words, "Fireside Poems, Edna Jaques" etched in black along the spine and across the front.  When  I open it's pages and breathe it in . . .  I am smelling familiar things . . . 

A small wooden book case which held a cornucopia of knowledge, our encyclopedia, the top shelf decorated with a simple doily, my mother's prized cowboy clock and a plastic Eifel Tower  (a much beloved however tacky souvenir of a trip to Paris).  

How many times did my fingers brush against those things with forbidden glee.  Mom did not have much, but what she did have was prized . . .  treasured  . . . kept always as if new. The lampshades still wearing their cellophane wrappings, each doily starched and pressed to perfection, the floors polished and gleaming. Oh how very comfortable our childhood home was in its simplicity, wrapped in my mother's love.  How grateful I am for the memories.


My mother did not have much time for hobbies and things in my middle years as she worked full time, but in our younger years my mother sewed and knitted, embroidered, etc.  She would make  us matching pajamas for Christmas.  One year they were made of flannel, printed with Santa Claus's and trimmed with colored ricrac trim, red and green. 

Oh how I loved my Santa Claus Pajamas.  I am sure that somewhere there is a photograph  of us all wearing them. Lined up next to each other on the sofa, my sister's eyes gleaming with that mischievous twinkle they always sparkle with.  It was the same as my mother's twinkle and I never look at my sister's eyes but what they don't remind me of my mother.  Oh how wonderful a thing it is to see my dear mother mirrored not only in my sister's eyes, but in her loving care for all who are fortunate enough to be a part of her life.

Did you dress up for Christmas when you were a child?  We did.  Once the presents were all unwrapped and stored away beneath the tree for presentation to anyone who might come to visit, we were dressed up in our Sunday finest.  First a photograph of the three of us together, perhaps holding our favorite gift that we had gotten and then we would spend the day quietly playing with whatever we had received, or coloring in our new coloring books with our brand new box of crayons, while the smell of roasting turkey wafted through the air and Christmas carols played in the background.  All played out beneath the sparkle and glow of what was always the most beautiful Christmas tree ever.

My father would sit in his chair cracking nuts and reading, mom would be bustling in the kitchen.  Oh how awfully familiar each year these things were.  Not much varied from one year to the next. We did not know it then, but, we were building memories that we could take out in our old age and hold in our hands like the treasures that they were and are.


Yesterday morning Cindy and I went out one last time before Christmas. I won't be going out again. If I don't have it all now, then that's too bad. The stores and traffic were not as bad as I expected them to be.  Probably most people had gone further up country to do their last minute bits.  Our small town, whilst busy was not out of control.  I like that.  I like to support our local businesses whenever I can.  If we don't then they are in danger of disappearing forever.  

When I was a child this was a thriving town.  Our Commercial street was lined with plenty of businesses.  There was a music store and a shoe store, a jewelers, a department store, several banks, a hardware store and a five and dime. I believe there was even a ladies and men's clothing store. Two grocery stores, a drug store/pharmacy, a builders, etc.  A post office, two schools, lawyers, insurance brokers, the telephone exchange and two service stations, the town hall, a park, fire station, outdoor pools, a beautiful park, playing fields, tennis courts, a library and an indoor rink. 

Oh, and a police station, the armories, a dairy  and a builder's yard as well as the train station.

On Friday nights all the people would come down from the Mountain to do their shopping. The town would be buzzing with activity.

There were two restaurants and a cinema/theatre where we children would all spend our Saturday afternoons armed with 25 cents. Enough to pay for the movie as well as a popcorn and a drink.

On Sunday mornings the air would be filled with the sound of church bells ringing. Nowadays it is filled with the sound of the thing which stands atop the roof of the Subway restaurant which makes noises that supposedly scare the pigeons away.  

It doesn't work, or the pigeons are so used to the sound that they are all lined up on the roof anyways.  

Things change.  Small towns like this are no longer thriving.  Abandoned by the lure of larger urban centers, shopping malls and Costco.  I am grateful for the memories I have of the town that this was, once upon a time.


I have not much left to do now.  Today I am going to make some Peanut Butter Balls and Cherry Cookies.  Do a general tidy up in preparation for tomorrow.  Everyone is coming here for Christmas Eve Supper.  I am looking forward to that. It will be so nice to have Cindy, Dan and dad here.  Last year I had Anthony and his crew as well.   My little house was bursting at the seams.

Yesterday afternoon my friend Christine popped over for a short visit. I have known Christine for about 25 years now I guess. She was one of the first friends I made when I joined my church, having lost all my old friends for the most part when I did.  Anyways, we have been friends for a very long time. It was nice to visit together for a time.

I was sending out my Jaquie Lawson e-cards yesterday, or most of them anyways.  I had to trim my list as many who were on it are no longer with us. Like I said . . .  things change and I expect each year that passes now will see even more change. It was nice to sit and remember each of them with fondness in my heart and to miss them.  What a blessing it is to have had people in my life that I loved, and who loved me back, so much so that I can miss them in this way.  


I am so grateful for the life I have been given. It has been wonderful. Oh sure, not perfect.  I am human. I have regrets, but even with the regrets I am grateful for all that it has been.  I think it is true that in your later years you tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the past.  To be able to think back on it with mostly good feelings in my heart is a special blessing.  

I am able to count it all joy. Even the bad things. They are all a part of what makes me me and which have brought me to where I am and I love where I am now.  Oh, it is not perfect by any stretch, but it is perfect for me. I love and am grateful for the experiences I have had and for the ways in which I have grown.  

I like who I am. Oh sure, who would not want to be a few pounds lighter (Okay more than a few) but life is good.  It is balanced.  I am trying hard to dwell on what is rather than on what might never be or happen.  I finding great joy in the here and the now.  I don't think anyone can ask for much more than that.  I am keeping, or at least trying to keep, my anxieties at bay . . . 

And I am wallowing in the joy and peace that is the present . . . . my present.  The here and the now. Oh how very blessed I am!

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.Lead me not into temptation;
I can find the way myself.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
~Rita Mae Brown ° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •° * 。 • 

This made me laugh because it is so true.  Temptation is my middle name. Why oh why did I buy myself that box of Lindt?

I think I have saved the best Christmas dessert for last!  Oh boy, but these are some good.  Hasselback Baked Apples.  Oh my goodness!  These are some scrumptious and so simple and easy to make as well! Prepare to fall in love!

I wish for you all the merriest of merriest.  Be safe.  Be blessed. Stay healthy.  Hug your loved ones a little closer and give thanks.   I will be back on Boxing Day.  Whatever you get up to over the next few days, don't forget!

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═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════   

And I do too!    



  1. We try to shop local as well, so much better to give your money to local owners instead of the big corporations. We don't plan to go out anymore, except to daughter's house on Monday. A very Merry Christmas to you, the kitties and your family. May you make memories to get you through the long winter.

  2. All the very best Marie!! Meilleurs Voeux de la saison!

  3. Your plans for time with your kin sounds lovely...have a fun, cozy time!
    Elizabeth xoxo

  4. Lovely plans for your dear family! ♥️
    Merriest Christmas! co, V


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