nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

from the pages of an old diary – visiting

with 6 comments


One of the most obvious activities in my great-aunt’s diaries is ‘visiting’.  Almost every day brought visitors and visits to family or friends. 

In 1957, there are only 30 days when my great-aunt did not either visit or receive visitors and several of these were when extremely stormy weather kept everyone inside.

Visits often involved food.  On February 6, 1957, my great-aunt wrote the following: ‘I had I. and M. to tea. pot [potato] scallop, cold ham, tomatoes, pickles and jelly. coffee rolls. dough-nuts, lemon sq.  [squares] and fruit.’  Wow!

Many of the visits were between family members.  I love to see entries about visits with my grandmother and my uncle and aunt.  They lived in Dartmouth but often came to ‘the old home place’ for weekends.  My great-aunt had a definite opinion about their tendency to stay at the old home instead of with her.  On April 19, 1957, she writes ‘K. and J.  came this p.m. up to their own house and stayed all night.  was too cold and damp to stay in’.

Other visits she recorded were from my own family.  We lived in Alberta and almost every summer we came to Nova Scotia to visit Mom’s and Dad’s families (see posts under the category ‘on my grandfather’s farm’).  In 1957, she records our leaving for Medicine Hat, when I was three years old (August 25, 1957).  Once, when I was a teenager, we visited her and she gave me the bracelet shown in the drawing below.  It has a motif of oak leaves and acorns and I cherish it still.

Other visits were with friends.  Some of the visits had to do with watching T.V. at other people’s houses. After May 7, 1957, when my great-aunt and great-uncle got their own T.V., people would come to her house to watch! 

~

~

curtains, freshly pressed

                -response to a diary entry for October 2, 1957

~

Wed  nice fine. I did a big wash.

washed – my kitchen curtains did them up.

Katie M. here all p.m

–          A.M.W.

~

~

               fine day says Katie hard to say goodbye to September.

I rock and nod, beyond

her shoulder, curtains, freshly pressed

hung this morning

               cold, yesterday. more like November.

light plaits shadow

green window glass, re-imagined

               last May seems a minute ago.  at the Festival.  that girl with the blue dress

               should have won.

first autumn days

and an open casement

breeze busy at the curtain’s edge

               time flies. almost four years now since he died.

the white fabric looks well

against varnished wood

               we missed you at Red Cross. numbers are down.

blue sky and oak trees, bare of leaves

twigs slash rectangles of window

~

I rock and ask her

did you know?

last evening, L. had a son

8 pounds, 3 ounces

~

~

© Jane Tims  2012

Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

February 17, 2012 at 6:53 am

6 Responses

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  1. “breeze busy at the curtain’s edge” I love the way you put this – it brings back memories of taking naps when I was little, watching the breeze move the curtains as I drifted off…

    Like

    Barbara Rodgers

    February 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    • Hi. Kitchen curtains moving in the breeze reminds me of spring… soon! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      February 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm

  2. Wow! I’m really enjoying all of your posts, but the poem today actually brought tears to my eyes – so evocative of so much. Thanks!

    Like

    naturalsenseofwonder

    February 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

  3. I love this post. Calls up so many memories and images of my grandmother. Your poem works well. I enjoy its swing through the seasons and the conversations. Thanks for sharing this.

    Like

    Carol Steel

    February 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

    • Hi Carol. I’m glad you like the poem. It is based on various diary entries about my great-aunt and her friends. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      February 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm


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