Friday, April 02, 2010

flashback Friday

In 2006, I responded to a call for entries for "Memories of My Mother," an exhibit organized by the Bruce County Museum and Archives. This is the mat I created....

It doesn't matter what you look like, as long as you're warm • February & March 2006

And here is what I wrote at the time....
My mum, Mary Manuell, is still very much alive....and I speak with her almost every day. It was impossible to choose a single memory to be the focus of my work. Instead, I decided to incorporate several phrases and works that will serve as "seeds of my memories", prompting me to recall events from the past and present, both now and in the future. Many of the words and phrases are unique to our family and my mother in particular. My sisters and I had great fun coming up with the master list.
The rug was hooked with wool strips and slub yarns....and all of the words were needle-felted on top of the hooking, using yarn that was dyed and hand-spun by my Mum. The triple-whipped border was a major pain....but really helps to frame the piece, since it won't be going on the floor.

Here is the legend....

BATHLESS GROGGINS...when my sisters and I were dirty as children, our mother would call us bathless groggins.

DO UNTO OTHERS...We had all heard the golden rule of "do unto others as you would have done unto you" so many times, that soon we only needed the shortened reminder of "do unto others"

...SIT FOR A BIT...when my mum is whirling around getting organized for company, she inevitably wants to "just sit for a bit" and take a break when help arrives (usually in the form of one of my sisters or me) mum has many unique word pronunciations--once we were old enough to realize this fact, and after many failed attempts at correcting her, we now attribute her inconsistencies to the fact that she grew up in Wawa. 1987 our family camped our way around Lake Superior...staying at almost every provincial park along the way. Over the weeks we added several words to our family vocabulary. A "Barney" is when two or more people are grumpy--at the same time!

TOAD IN THE mum has 6 grandchildren, and she often makes them "toad in the hole" when they come for sleepovers. She claims that she used to make it for us all the time when we were kids, too--but none of us remember ever eating it. Now, all unknown events or those not remembered are attributed to the days when Mum used to make us toad in the hole.

OKAY...OKAY THEN do you know that my mum is ready to end a phone conversation? She starts saying "okay..." and follows with several "okay then, fines" before a quick "bye bye".

OH, IS THAT NEW? can be wearing the same sweater for a couple of years, and my Mum can still ask "Oh, is that new?". Either she thinks that I shop a lot, or she doesn't pay too much attention to what I wear most of the time...

MARY LAND...when Mum isn't firmly rooted in the present, she's off visiting "Maryland". Mum is very active in her community. All of her friends always thought that it was so nice of my sisters and I to volunteer whenever needed...but it was not so much voluntary as it was expected, so we coined the term "voluntold" to more accurately define our reluctant participation.

HUBBARD...I went through a phase where I called my Mum "Mother Hubbard", which was later shortened to "Hubbard" and eventually became "Hubbie".

HURLEYS....when I was in high school, I used to read Harlequin Romances to pass time. My mother would sometimes read them, too, when she wanted some mind candy. We referred to them as Harleys for a while...but then we thought that "hurleys" was a little more appropriate since they can be very nauseating and highly predictable.

READING HOLIDAY....once my Dad retired, my Mum became very involved with her craft business. After a busy time getting ready for a craft show and returning from the show exhausted, my Mum would go on a "reading holiday" where she did very little other than eat and read for several days.

GOING BALLY...when my Mum falls asleep in the car, she slowly starts to curl up, starting with her head falling forward, followed by her shoulders...and it looks like she is curling into a ball, hence "going bally".

E.B.D. ...once my sister learned to read and spell, my parents could no longer utter "b.e.d." between them at the appropriate time in the evening. They just inverted the letters and continued their secret code a little longer.

LET'S PLAY PIONEERS...was my Mum's solution when the grandchildren started to tire her out. They'd all trot off to the bedroom where the kids would hop on the horses (straddle the foot board), hold the reins (a scarf or tie wrapped around the cannonballs) while my Mum would ride in the wagon (lie in her bed and read!)

BLACKFOOT is not uncommon for my Mum to go barefoot in the summertime--hence her claim to being a proud member of the "Blackfoot Tribe"

I CAN'T SEE ANY you can't be hurt too badly!

DOG everyone, my Mum has had a few bad hair-dos over the years...the most famous of which was a curly perm on long hair, fondly referred to as her "Dog Hair"