Winter 1977/78  Sense and Nonsense

Monday: Phoned the dentist’s office. As the operator dialed the number I realised I could not remember the word that described the procedure I wanted. The word “impressions” escaped my mind completely! I panicked as the number rang a second time. What could I say? I wanted an appointment to …bite on that icky stuff…? Luckily it was Monday, the day the office was closed!

Tuesday: Phoned the dentist office again. I decided to dazzle the receptionist with my command of the dental language. I not only used the word “impressions” but allowed the even classier term “prosthetics” to enter into my inquiry. I revelled in my own eloquence! There was a short silence before I heard, “I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number.”

Wednesday: Small daughter punched one of my loaves of beautifully risen bread. She burst into tears when she realised I did not approve. I had to explain to her what makes bread rise (left out the sexy part about the little yeasts multiplying themselves)

Bad day for mother-daughter relationships. She is quite well educated for a four-year- old but pronounces the last letter of the alphabet as “zee”. I explained to her that although the Sesame Street monsters do say “zee”, we in Canada are supposed to say “zed”. She prefers to believe the Cookie Monster over her own mother – absolutely insists “zee” is right!

Thursday: sewed up teenage son’s appliqué for his art class. (It was easier than teaching him how to use my old sewing machine.) He had basted pieces of cloth to a burlap backing and the scene represented  a nude (back view) hip deep in water. I felt a little like a female procurer of prostitutes as I zigzagged around her curvaceous, pink polyester form. “Why don’t you put some clothes on her,” I muttered. “But that wouldn’t be art,” he answered. I missed terribly his earlier exhibits of Spiderman, hockey players and way-out space vehicles from the planet Zork!

Friday: as I was re-fueling the woodstove a king-sized sliver embedded itself in my thumb. I stopped the bleeding with a band-aid. Small daughter also insisted on having a band-aid over yesterday’s tiny scratch.

I used to hide my scratches from my mother. She was a firm believer in iodine – poured it profusely on all our skin perforations! She had mercurochrome in the medicine cabinet but would never use it. “It can’t do much good if it doesn’t sting,” she would say.

Of course that was before the miraculous, modern day cure-all called band-aids!

Saturday: went to a dinner at a friend’s home. She had lost 17 pounds since I had last seen her!  I informed her that fat was “in” this year and thin was “out” but she didn’t believe me. She maliciously served us a delicious meal (I had two helpings) after which I decided to go on a diet. For starters I passed up the after dinner mints!

Sunday: I announced my intention of shovelling the snow off the east side of our small house. “Be careful,” said Hubby who was busy mechanicing. “Don’t break any bones until after I get the carburetor back in the truck.”

I climbed up on the trailer which is attached to the west side of the house and navigated my way up through the snow to the roof top. I sat there shovelling the snow down on both sides before tackling the large drifts on the east side.

“Bring the ladder!” I shouted at my husband. “I’m just about finished.” I planned on climbing down from that side of the cabin.

“There’s no way it will reach,” he answered. “You’ll have to jump – course then I’d have to shovel you out from about six feet of snow…”

I tried to make my way back up the short, steep slope. I’d left a clump of snow along the lower edge of the roof, but there wasn’t enough leverage to reach the top. I could not make it all the way up the icy incline!

“Just a minute and I’ll give you a hand,” said my husband. He was on the flat roof of the trailer. But I had cleaned off enough snow on the west side to make that slope too slippery for him to climb. In a flash of ingenuity, I flung one end of my long scarf at him. I wrapped the other end around my wrist and he hauled me, mountain climber fashion, to the top. I sat there for a moment, admiring the view and exulting within myself.

Everest and McKinley could have their mountains. I had just conquered the majestic peek of my very own roof!

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