09 May 2010

Mother's Day

Yesterday I set up my stall in the library in Deseronto again for the annual Sidewalk Sale. If the weather had been better, I would have been outside and there would have been lots of customers. As it was, it was cold, windy and wet and, consequently, very quiet indeed. I didn't manage to sell as many seedlings as I did last year. But it was only two fewer, so not terribly bad. One thing I changed this year was the range of tomatoes: there had been one would-be customer last year who had wanted beefsteak tomatoes, which I didn't have. This year, I grew Marmande tomatoes and the same man came back and bought 12 of them. Which shows that it pays to listen to your customers, I suppose!

Child1 came with me and was a great help in setting up and taking down the stall. During the (many) quiet spells of our stay our location next to one of the public access computers turned out to be ideal for her. I sat and read one of the library books - so it was ideal for me, too!

Today is Mother's Day and it is the first time that we've actually had one of our mothers here in Canada for the day itself. We put a bit of an effort into setting the table for lunch for once: the lilacs are in full bloom already, which provided an easy bit of floral colour (flower-arranging not being one of my strengths), as well as being a reminder of the mother who was missing.

I always feel ambivalent about Mother's Day: I know it's a fairly ancient idea, compared to Father's Day and Grandparents' Day, but even when my own mother was alive I thought it was a celebration designed only to provoke guilt and spending (and sadness, if you'd like to be a mother but can't be).

However, my cynical old iceberg of a soul is capable of being partially melted when I'm presented with something like this:

Although (if I'm completely honest) it may have been the correct placement of the apostrophe that caused me the greatest delight. ;-)


Ro said...

Oh dear. You made me chuckle with your apostrophe remark. My mum would appreciate that as well. We have a very ambivalent feeling about Mother's Day in our family too. My Mum, whose b-day happens to fall on May 13th, has always told us to ignore Mother's Day and concentrate on her b-day, which is unique to her and not driven by commercialism the way Mother's Day is.

Seeing as how you are from England, you will appreciate this ... My Mum was born in England and came to Canada when she was 11, but we always have spelled her name with a "u" and would never think of using the American spelling. When I was in Grade 3, we made mandatory "Happy Mother's Day" cards at school but since I knew my Mum didn't particularly appreciate the day, I decided to make mine a birthday card instead.

My teacher did not appreciate this rebellious streak and tried to make me do the card exactly as we were supposed to (this was the 70's and long before most rural Ontario schools had heard of individual expression!). So I was already in her black books and then to top it off, I wrote a big "Happy Birthday Mummy!" on the front of my card. My teacher slashed the "U" with a big red mark and said I didn't know how to spell. I cried. When I gave it to my Mum, I felt so badly that it had that big red mark on it, but she loved it anyway, and whispered to me that it was her favourite! Of course, she probably whispered the same thing to my 4 siblings about their cards as well. :)

Amanda said...

That's a great story, Ro. What an evil teacher, to spoil your card like that. If I'd been your mother I'd have marched up to her and given her a piece of my mind!