Monday, June 7, 2010

Bank Holiday Monday....

Fionn and Aisling at Ventry Beach.  By luck, they both wore red!!
Well, the June Bank Holiday was rather peaceful!  Fionn and I got over the vomiting bug from last week and I cleaned the house thoroughly so we could have fun and relax.  Went round Saturday to the opening of Chowder, a friend's new cafe and had lunch and walked through town.  It's definitely quiet for a June Bank Holiday...

Sunday the weather was fair, but not hot so we went off to Ventry Beach for the afternoon with Aisling, Tadhg, and Ronán.  Lovely afternoon and I couldn't believe how well-behaved all the children were!  Aisling stayed over and she and Fionn have been giggling and running around the house all day.  They refuse to get out of their pajamas. 

I used to stay over at my Grandma's on school holidays. I loved the soft fluffiness of the mattress and my great-grandmother's quilts layered over me, heavy and soft from wear.  Sadly, they were all ruined by seven scruffy grandchildren.  I would treasure them now.  The patterns weren't intricate, but they were handmade and very finely sewn from scraps of old clothing.  They were country people and they grew up re-using and recycling everything.  And since the clothes they wore were generally all cotton (or at lease natural fibres), they could be reused and they would stand up over time and constant washing.  My grandmother didn't really approve of sleeping late, however, and I doubt she would have much time for pajamas days.  I suppose this relaxing and taking it easy is a rather modern convenience.  Previous generations wouldn't have had the luxury of lolling about watching movies and playing.  I adore them because when I am unwell or the weather is bad, you can kind of hunker down in your own home and pretend the outside world and it's problems do not exist--a kind of gift to yourself when you need a pressure holiday. 

What my grandma would have done with us is teach by doing.  She was an incredibly capable person, but it was hard for her to slow down and figure out the steps to teach a skill. You had to stick close and watch. She taught me embroidery, how to cook, crochet, how to be a gracious host.  I used to accompany her to her Lodge in Seattle and help her cook banquets for 300+ people from the time I was nine years old.  I started on desserts and salads, like any good chef de partie.  I was a very shy child and having to make conversation with hundreds of lovely older ladies was a small bit torturous at first, but it got easier.  So easy, in fact, that many people now would never believe that I used to be painfully shy.  But I stuck to my grandmother's side and over time I am realizing more and more what she taught me.  When I was in Seattle last month, I was on Capitol Hill with Fionn and I turned and realized I was beside the Masonic Temple building where I used to go to Lodge with her.  All the Rebekkahs and other Masonic orders have declined and so the building was sold and is now home to funky cafes and bookstores and other small businesses.  I was a small bit sad to see it so changed (although all the businesses were wonderful, my kind of atmosphere). 

The boys and their sand adventures! 
Isn't getting dirty the best??
So, today I made homemade waffles with the kids and had new Irish strawberries and they will have scampi and mac n cheese with broccoli for lunch.  There is chocolate ice cream for them for dessert and a few good movies on the telly.  Aisling is loving it because due to home renovations she has not had cable in months, so she's loving Sky and all her pre-teen shows.  If they get bored, I might do a felting project, but really I am reading and crocheting today.  Recharging the batteries after being away from home and sick.  You get a lot more sensible as you age. And I suppose, I am thinking of the great lady who was so important in my life.  God bless her wherever she is....

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