There was a message on our voicemail the other day.
“Good morning,” said a little voice.
Then, “How are you?”
It was a very polite little voice.
It’s strawberry season in south-eastern Ontario and my fairy godson, age 2 and 3/4, was calling to invite me out for the picking.
Or, as he knows it: the eating.
I like strawberry picking, except for the bending and standing up (which makes me feel faint-ish) and the turning-my-head and picking (which makes me feel spinny-ish) and of course, there is The Nature to contend with.
But, how could I resist an invitation from someone who calls me “Auntie Kiss”?
Oh sure, my name is “Chris” and you might think this is his 2 and 3/4 year-old way of pronouncing my name, but even when he’s 14 and possibly slightly stinky and drama-tudinal, I like to think this will be my fairy godmother name forever.
(As in: one who gives kisses and loves to receive them.)
Is there a better name for a fairy godmother than that? I think not.
So, after the lovely invitation, I met Fairy Godson, his Kitemama and baby Fairy Godsister at the patch.
It was soggy and muddy from all the recent rain, so we wore our rubber boots (one of us had new and very exciting firefighter rubber boots!) and squelched around in the mud in the parking lot.
Squelch, squelch, squelch.
You know how The Nature can get sometimes. Verrrrry squelchy.
Then, we waited for the tractor to come and pick us up to take us out to the part of the patch we were picking.
It was a “big, DEEN TAK-TOR with a bucket!” and someone wearing new firefighter rubber boots was pretty excited. We hopped on the wagon with our empty baskets and the giant, DEEN TAK-TOR tires squelched around the muddy trail to our patch of the strawberry fields.
Squelch, squelch, squelch.
Then, we squatted in the field and searched for bright, red pockets of sunshine to put in our baskets.
Fairy Godson had two baskets because he knew to look for the “really red ones”. He also knew how to deftly remove the stems, fling them into the plants, and pop the “really red ones” in his mouth.
Squelch, squelch, squelch.
As you do.
Kitemama and I got going with the bending and standing up (which makes me feel faint-ish) and the turning-our-heads and picking (which makes me feel spinny-ish) and of course, The Nature had made everything sort of soggy but I was having a great time picking berries and squelching in the mud.
Fairy Godson guarded the berries for me, polite child that he is and soon, the DEEN TAK-TOR came to pick us up for the ride back.
Squelch, squelch, squelch went the TAK-TOR through the mud.
There was a little sprinkling of rain from The Nature but, we didn’t mind as we were already soggy and our new firefighter rubber boots were muddy anyway, and with a belly full of strawberries (at least one of us), we got off the tractor and lined up to pay.
And then, I had my annual, mild heart attack at the price of 8 scant litres of fresh, local strawberries. But, I also remembered about the bucolic, vintage pleasures of the tractor ride and how good the “really red ones” taste and how many were in the belly of a small helper–and no doubt, countless other helpers across the field–and I opened my wallet and handed over the money.
After a stint driving the play structure TAK-TOR at the entrance, we carried our treasures to the car.
Bye, Bye Kitemama and baby Fairy Godsister.
Bye, Bye Fairy Godson.
Bye, Bye, Auntie Kiss.
Squelch, squelch, squelch.
Not the mud, that time.
When I was 5 or 6, I decided to run away.
I can’t recall what unspeakable childhood injustice led to the moment when I flounced into my room and started packing my suitcase, but I do remember the dilemma:
how to fit everything in?
The little blue suitcase that I kept my doll’s clothes in wasn’t nearly big enough to hold the non-negotiable running away necessities such as:
- a flashlight to guard against bogey man,
- books and books and books to read while “on the road”,
- clean underpants (in case I was in an accident),
- penny bank (a plaster, brown-and-white pig approximately the size of my entire torso),
- and red-and-white checkered umbrella and raincoat ensemble (one can never be too stylish while running away),
let alone my TREASURES.
Red cowboy hat:
Mickey mouse record player:
and my Elizabeth doll:
I should have known right then and there, that I was never going to be a footloose and fancy-free kind of gal.
Too. Much. Stuff.
My new vintage suitcase evokes a 1974, running away kind of vibe too.
As in, Practical Man wants to run away when he sees the loud pattern.
I think he might have some kind of rare retinal disorder.
I love him anyway.
This suitcase is approximately the same size as my old running away version.
The inside is pristine, as if someone 5 or 6 years old couldn’t quite fit all her treasures in there either. As a result, it probably rested, only occasionally disturbed by a fleeting fancy of running away, until it was returned to under the bed.
I think it wants to be my new briefcase. It is not only (obviously) fabulous looking but eminently useful with both interior and exterior pockets and a handy umbrella slot. I can’t wait to take it out into the world and around the university, full of fun stationery supplies, snacks, a sunhat, music, assorted Sharpie markers, and life’s essentials: books and books and more books.
Some things never change.
One more confirmation this week and with that post title:
Yes, indeedy, I am one of those strange, childless people.
Case in point: it’s October in southern Canada. The leaves have tarnished to beautiful shades of russet, scarlet, sunflower and indigo and the darkness has started descending before 7:00 pm. That’s right around the time my body starts poking me with messages of “why aren’t we in bed? It’s dark! Darkness means we should be in bed!”
My body is rather bossy when it comes to sleep. October also means that the time for hot summer nights with the sunroof open and the music loud, having my summer romance with my car is over, over, over.
Our vintage Fiat 500 has to snore away the winter in a cozy building (luckily, it only takes a tiny, tiny corner). No more waking up in the morning to open my eyes and admire the inside of our pudgy Boler travel trailer, resplendent in its vintage loveliness.
No air conditioning, tiny bed, avocado green appliances. A world of retro goodness all wrapped up in an adorable fibreglass shell. Love it, love it. This summer has been busy, what with re-building after the fire last November and the giant mole that’s been digging holes all across our lawn.
At least, I think it’s a giant mole.
It looks a lot like Practical Man grinning, atop a borrowed Kubota tractor, as he digs a ditch for a new power cable to the shop building.
All too soon, it will be winter. My vintage babies will be stowed away in their buildings, like hibernating bear cubs.
I picture them snoring which is perhaps unlikely, but so cute.
There they snore and sleep and sigh the winter away, cozy and warm. But, not as accessible to my every whim of affection.
The season of separation has barely begun but already I need to visit them, way across the yard, near the forest and all the nature.
And, possibly a man-eating cow.
I make the treacherous journey and then, I sit in them. I talk to them. I giggle a lot.
In the Boler, I dance and lounge on the couch and sometimes pretend I am Laurie Partridge from The Partridge Family.
Shoop, shoop. Sometimes, Zzzzzz, Zzzzz, if it’s nearly dark and my bossy body is insisting I should be in bed.
In the Fiat, I review double clutching (and sweat a bit about my first attempts at this next summer) and caress the steering wheel a little.
Okay, there might be some kissing involved.
But just on the door.
And the roof.
Strictly first base stuff.
I l-o-o-o-ve my vintage babies. I love real babies too. But, weird and childless as I am, I have noticed that vintage babies don’t grow up, leaving me in their newly-sophisticated dust. Vintage babies stay cute and portly, forever.
Even when they look slightly nose-y when shot at an angle that does not elevate their best features.
Zzzzzzzzzzz. Can’t wait for Spring.