Thursday, April 17


My Aunt died this afternoon.
I could not wish her back.
But she will leave an unfillable void.
Love into the chasm, that is left with your passing.
17. 04. 2008

No, not another post about old age. This time it is about marbles as toys. We had SG again today, & I decided a visit to a local Op Shop was a good idea. So off we went, SG & I, to explore the wonders of the newly relocated Op Shop. Gom opted to remain in the car. SG & I leapt through the hidden puddles hiding in the grass, & the dancing drops of rain, & into a wonderland.

The new location is more spacious. There is a book room, with a whole section of books for children. Being school holidays it was well attended! A whole room for clothes. Another for Bric a Brac, another huge room, for assorted goodies with tables of toys, kitchenware, furniture, electricals, computers begging for new homes.

We wandered about inspecting all sorts of things. Knitting needles, yarn, pattern books. A Fat 1/4 pattern book was tempting, until I saw it required templates. I am a fast roller cutter girl now! Too old to fuss about with hand drawn templates! Too short of time- while the marbles are still present?

There was a fascinating 'washing centre' which intrigued SG no end. It had a washing machine, with agitator! A dryer! Both of these had wonderful timers! An ironing board- with iron tucked away in the dryer. and a coat hanger. Very tempting, as it was heavily reduced. I could see Gom's frowning face. I could see his mother's sighs at another bulky toy to house. So we let it be.

SG's father is very good at laundry, & very good at ironing. I encourage SG's interests in that direction! As I encourage his cooking interests. His father is also a very good cook now, after our daughter's tutelage. I taught our son to be a good cook, & see no reason why a male should not be as accomplished & capable as a female. Especially in this day & age.

Gom grew up seeing his father often cook the family meal at night. His mother worked full time, & his father usually prepared the vegetables for the evening meal. Gom, for all his faults, is not helpless in the kitchen, & made a very good fast food cook in our Hotel Restaurants. He can turn out a very nice meal, & if I get ill, I will not starve in his care.

Yesterday, Gom & Darcy made a chocolate cake together. They carefully measured, & mixed, & beat, & ladelled. A beautiful cake was the result. The icing was duly made, but it was a little too sloppy for SG to take some home. So it waited until today, when it was cut & celebrated! Very nice, after our return from the Op Shop expedition.

Which is where the marbles come into play. In the Bric-a-brac room, we found a bag of marbles, priced at $1. I was fascinated with marbles, & their pretty patterns when I was a child. I still find them attractive. So SG was delighted when I suggested he could have them if he liked. We went to pay, & found they were reduced to 20c!!

Home we came, & SG chose fabric to make a bag for his marbles. What fun, as he stood next to the machine as Nanna sewed.
"Is it a bag yet Nanna?"
"Not yet, D"
"I am so excited, Nanna, is it ready yet?"
Mummy arrived, breathless, running a little late. She had been going to take SG away for an hour or so, to give us a break. We told her things were going well, to go off & have a little break. She had an afternoon meeting to attend, so off she went. Nanna completed the marble bag.

What fun SG had with his bag of marbles. He tipped them all onto a tray we keep for his use. It has legs, & a melamine base with wooden sides. He swished them from side to side, he found out they sound like the sea, rushing onto the sand. He tried paper on the tray, he tried all the different sounds they made, as they landed on different surfaces. He tried dropping them onto the marble bag.... "Super Quiet!" he declared.

I am kicking myself I didn't get photos. He spent a long time with the marbles, discovering all sorts of ideas & playing possibilities. A friend called. SG played at making a Marble Bridge. He is quite inventive with his ideas. His mother & sister arrived, so we had further demonstrations. He took his bag of marbles home, for further wonderful playing possibilities. We are having him tomorrow. I wonder if he will remember to bring his marbles.


And here, just for fun, are pictures of the wounded Plumbago. Click to enlarge, to see the total lack of order to the trimming.

Before the Gom attacked it, it had quite a compact shape, & quite a few flowers. It fills an awkward spot, & provides a bit of greenery on a bald wall.

This is a wider view, which probably gives a clearer idea about my wonderment at the haphazard nature of the wounding.
This is the unruly & ugly, scraggly Budliea. It definitely needs a damn good tidy up. It has grown very ugly, & far too large. Perhaps the fact that Gom bought it, & planted it, is why it remains a ghastly feature in the front garden.

I am constantly surprised, however, at how unsentimental he is about plants he has planted. He is just as likely to rush in & hack them to death as any other plant. The only things he consistently destroys though, are my herbs. He has left the gifted herbs in the pots alone, so that is something to be grateful for.

So the days go. It has rained off & on, all night & day. Our gardens cannot complain. I have been so glad I have a clothes dryer. Even just for airing, after snarky showers have caught us out!

Though my Beloved Aunt is not travelling well, my life is still filled with 'Free Treats"!
Enya, How Can I Keep From Singing.
( this may seem inappropriate in light of my Aunt. She would not see it so.)


The Sagittarian said...

Hi Meggie, oh thats my favourite Enya song. It is lovely.
I have an Aunt who I am very fond of, she lives in Tenterfield actually so I don't see her very often but we catch up for several weeks when I visit her via Brisbane every two years.
My brothers both had marbles as kids and I was always a bit jealous that I had to have dolls!!

jellyhead said...

It's amazing, isn't it, what kids can imagine and create with a simple toy or 'prop'. It makes me sad to think of kids that are endlessly carted from this lesson to that, plunked in front of TV etc - they never get the opportunity to just play like your SG can, and does.
I've said this before, but you sound like the most adorable grandmother!

jovaliquilts said...

I don't know you or your aunt, but I do know about the 'unfillable void,' so please accept my sympathy on your loss.

Lovely story about the marbles, the best sort of play for a child!

Kellie said...

So sorry again Meggie!
I must say though that my kids also love marbles and they have had many hours of play with them ... Josh (who shouln't have really had them anyway ... I'm a bad mummy) used to carry them around in his pockets, clinking around the house & running after them when they toppled out and inevitably rolled down the heating ducts! This was all well and good until Josh swallowed one ... then it was great entertainment for his siblings waiting for it to reappear! :)

smilnsigh said...

Gentle hugs to you, on your Dear Aunt's passing. Be happy and remember having her in your life. I had an Aunt, but she was not really in my life.

Marbles! Did you make a hole with the heel of your shoe, to 'shoot' marbles? Were you any good at it? Probably you were. Me, I probably wasn't as I was never good at any sports. But marbles... fascinating things!!!


Joyce said...

Sorry to hear about your aunt. Your marbles story just confirms my belief that the simples toys are the best. We have a box of rectangular pieces of wood and that has been the favorite toy around here for years.

Kitty said...

Marbles are great aren't they? I well remember spending hours playing with them.

I'm so sorry to hear the news of your Aunt .. please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers ((((Meggie & family))))


daysgoby said...

My mom was not well a few months ago and she and I had a talk about what she wanted - to go peacefully, to be at home, to be surrounded by her family. On her headstone she wants her name, followed by
My love goes with you

which I think is the singular most comforting and wonderful thing I've ever heard.

Be comforted, if only for a little while, Meggie.

Rosie said...

I'm sorry that your Aunt has left you...but the love you have for her is still there

Catalyst said...

Sorry about the loss of your Aunt, Meggie.

Good job with the boy. Keep him away from video games as long as you can.

As for GOM, I think he was just trying his hand at topiary!

Thimbleanna said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt Meggie. Sending hugs your way.

Granny J said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your aunt's death, Meggie...

As for men cooking, my LH early on turned to suggesting a restaurant visit when I was too tired to cook. On the other hand, both my Sson and SIL are Good Cooks -- not the kind who put hamburgers on a grill and puff out their chests, but the kind who can read a recipe and improve on it.

Christine Thresh said...

I love marbles, but I lost all of mine.
My DH does all of the cooking, and shopping too. No gardening.
I am sorry about your Aunt.

CONNIE W said...

I send my sympathy.

Having little SG around will bring so much cheer and he sounds like a good one to be near & dear to.

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

I am sending my prayers to you and your family during this sad time. I love all of Enya songs and my son BB does too. He has good taste in music for a 22 year old.

ancient one said...

Meggie, sorry about your Aunt's passing. I have very fond memories of a favorite Aunt. Some of my first blogs were about her dolls and quilts and old school house. She was the one we got to go spend a week in the summer with. She is missed but remembered with such loving memories. Your Aunt will be remembered by you and you will tell that young grandson about her.

I always loved marbles too! But my sister was the marble shooter in my family.. well the younger brothers learned... but I never could..My sister would go to school with a few marbles and come home with her pockets loaded. They played "for Keeps"... I have some in an old canning jar just for looks.. I never see any one playing marbles any more...

Tanya Brown said...

I am so sorry about your aunt and the finality of it all. I feel certain that her life and her last days were brightened by your love and companionship, which is the ultimate gift any of us can receive.

On another topic, after squinting at the photo of the Plumbago off and on, I finally realized what GOM is up to: topiary! That's right, the man is a closeted topiary savant, a plant sculptor in disguise.

As I squint at the first Plumbago photo, I can clearly see a curling tail-like structure at the upper right, a horizontal mass which might be the body in the middle, and a nascent head (am I imagining the eyes and snarl?) at left. The branches at the bottom define legs. As we can see from the greenery at lower right, the creature is in mid-stride.

There are really only a few things to do about this situation. As anyone who's seen Edward Scissorhands can tell you, renting out your husband's services probably shouldn't be at the top of the list. In the movie, that only led to Edward cutting women's hair in avant-garde styles and then being unjustly accused of attempted rape. After that, he had to flee back to his castle and stay there, which just isn't very practical lifestyle for most of us.

No, the thing to do is to invest in some box or privet. In fact, if you could get a fresh large bush delivered each week, sort of like one of those fruit-of-the-month clubs, that would probably be best. Your husband clearly has a very strong creative urge, and he's going to need a steady supply of blank canvases to work with. And new clippers. He's going to need some professional-grade clippers, particularly some which will let him do detail work.

Yes, yes; I know. With friends like me, you don't need enemies ...

quiltmom said...

Hi Meggie,
I am so sorry to hear about your aunt's passing- it is hard to lose the people that we love no matter what age they are- may the memories that you have, sustain you and comfort you in the week's ahead.
My little boys at school love marbles- they come in so many interesting patterns and colors- I love the ones with little spots on them. I bet that your grandson loves his marble bag- especially because you made it.
My husband enjoys cooking and does lots of it- we had our first barbecue this evening and the steaks and bake potatoes were delicious.
Take care of yourself.

Stomper Girl said...

Sorry to hear of your loss Meggie x.

leslie said...

Condolences on the loss of your Aunt, Meggie.

As a former teacher, I am amazed at how SG figured out how to experiment with the marbles - using different textures to detect different audio effects.

We used to play marbles as kids...draw a circle in the dirt, and shoot for "keepsies."

By the way, an award awaits you at my site. ;D

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

Oh Meggie,
Love this snapshot of a day in the life of Nanna. You and SG are so lucky and you seem to enjoy each other so much. What a gift.

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