- hello maureen blaseckie
- Username: moeb
- In response to: "What was the comfort food you enjoyed most growing up?" was and still is ice cream...any flavour, any time. It can be on the coldest day of the year (and I grew up in Edmonton so I know from where I speak when I say cold) or the hottest.
- moeb's latest answers
- Never be afraid to ask directions
It would depend on the foreign city. In Amsterdam I'd walk around for a few hours, maybe go along the main canal to the flower market. I'd walk among the stands selling flowers, all kinds of flowers. That would go a long way to settle the panic and set a course of action.
Of course I'm stacking the deck here as Amsterdam is a comfortable city where everyone speaks english. It is a liberal enough city I'm sure after asking directions a few times, I'd be able to find someone willing to take me for kaffe. That would take care of the hunger for awhile.
Other than the necessities of food and bathrooms, where I would go depends on where I am. Most cities offer tremendous people watching opportunities. Some cities have free museums and art galleries. That is always a good thing to find in order to take care of the bathroom thing, plus get a handle on the local history.
I love going into churches too. Except for the few in Italy that have a Tintoretto or Carevagio to show off, churches are free, relatively warm and possible places to find a meal. If not, they do provide comfort, tranqulity and the assurance we are never really alone.
When in doubt, head to the train station. Comfort, public facilities and lots of people. If really desperate, dig out a paper cup from the garbage, sit down against the wall and put the cup out in from of you.
As Blanche Du Bois advises, rely upon the kindness of strangers.
- The room in the middle of the house on the corner.
I lived in the same house from age 6 until 17 and then again intermittently until I was 26. The room, however, shifted from the middle to the one at the end of the hall. When I was 7 and had the measles I remember starting out in the end room and ending up in the middle room. Or that could have been a hallucination from the fever.
You can see the challenge here, I'm sure. I'm fairly certain it was the middle room for one important reason. The end room was on the north side of our house. In the winter the northwest corner would actually have frost depending on outside temperatures. I'm not talking pioneer days, here, this was the early 60's in Alberta where the gas was cheap and houses overheated.
So, I'm pretty sure by the time I was 10 I was in the middle room. My sister, 6 years older, was more interested in the larger-ness (yes, I made that word up) of the end room. She didn't care about the temperature as she had her own frost emitting power being 16 years old and resentful of everything.
The house was a standard mid-west bungalow, five steps up to the main floor and full basement. The back door was on the south side, off the driveway. It was one step up to what is now called a mud room. In those days it really was just a landing with a place to hang up coats. Directly ahead were the stairs to the basement and to the right the 3 steps up to the kitchen. The kitchen faced east over the front yard and the street.
It is a smallish open plan style. Directly ahead are the 2 sinks, stove and fridge on the south wall, counter on the right that comes out towards us at 90 degrees from the window and sinks. There are cupboards on the east wall on either side of the window and partly extending onto the south wall.
On the other side side of the partition counter is a small dining area with it's own window on the east wall. In later years there would be glass shelves built above the partition counter to further set aside the dining area.
A round maple wood table sits in the dining area with 4 Shaker style chairs of maple and wicker. The wicker is varnished.
Turn north and head through the kitchen/dining area. Through the door on the right is the front door. It is 7 steps up from the ground level.
Directly ahead is the living room with a nice large picture window. in the north -west corner is a built in fireplace. It was installed after we moved in. When my parents originally looked at the house there had been a fake fireplace there that the sellers took with them. Mom had her heart set on having a fireplace there so, when I was around 9, it became so.
Turn left/east. There is a larger closet here for coats on the south wall and on the right, separating the living room from the hallway is a half wall with a long planter set into it. On the living room side the half wall has shelves for books. This is where Dad keeps his complete set of Shakespeare's works. A gift from his mother-in-law to show there were no hard feelings what with him being Catholic and all. 'see dear, she does like you...'
At the end of this hallway is a full length mirror and a hallway running north/south. To the left is the main bathroom and at the end of the hallway is the master bedroom with ensuite. Just to the right of the mirror is the middle room. My room. When I was 10.
At the other end of the hallway is the 3rd bedroom, larger than the middle but smaller than the master. This is the coldest room of the house...in Shirley Jackson terms you'd think it was the dark heart but it was painted a fairly blinding yellow. So, frosty yes, dark, not so much.
Back to the middle room. It is a light green. Through the door immediately to the left is the 3/4's bed I sleep on. There is a headboard, scalloped style and lightly padded. White. Probably unmade and a heap of clothes at the foot of it.
Directly ahead are the windows that run the length of the room starting about 4 feet up the wall. Standard aluminum style windows. I can't remember the curtains. Probably a beige colour and darker brown leaf or flower pattern of some description. Perhaps those were the tan curtains with dark red flowers...something very 60's.
To the right of the windows is a closet. Under the windows is a large oak desk. The same one I am currently using. The window over the desk opens to where a fence runs to the neighbor's yard. The cat - Pudy - likes to sit on the fence as it is 4 feet high so she can jump/climb it and then jump up to get in the house through the window. One day I was doing homework, eating supper - stew - and she came in, landing squarely in the middle of the plate. Possible excuse for not having homework completed: the cat spilled dinner on it.
I'm not exactly sure why I was allowed to eat in my room as we always had supper at the table. Perhaps this was lunch on a Saturday I had reheated stew?
To the left of door is my dresser. It is a startling combination of yellowish cream with bright red handles. Thick enamel paint. This is what happens when you tell a 9 year old she can pick the colours.
On the floor is a green wool carpet from my grandfather's house. It is that mossy green shade popular in the 40's, thick, plush and expensive. Nowadays it would be easily over $500.00 just for that 10X11 size. With white wool fringe.
In the winter the light is always tinged with blue. It is bright white because of the snow but there is that indefinable blueness that comes with prairie winters. Especially just before twilight.
In the summer it is more intense, full spectrum with lot's of ultraviolet and green tones in it. The summer light bleaches everything and winter light darkens, enriches everything with the essence of memory.
- Cartesian duality on the interweebs.
I blog because I have a deep need to write and to communicate. I have itchy, twitchy fingers that love nothing more than to fly across the keys and help bring my thoughts to life. I actually have a difficult time talking but put a keyboard in front of me and I can articulate quite well. Not perfectly, of course, but decently and with far better cohesion than I ever manage to achieve verbally.
- The cure for everything that ails you.
There are many tastes that remind me of childhood. The one that actually evokes all the feelings associated with childhood is hot tea with milk and sugar. I don't take sugar in my tea anymore but on the rare times I feel very much in need of comfort, there is nothing like a cuppa.
As a child I could expect to spend a few nights barfing. No reason was necessary and there was no predictability to the episodes. I am still unable to bear the taste of rhubarb from one memorable bout and it was reinforced a few times just to see if it still had that emetic force.
Regardless of the reason, it was pretty much assured I would go through bedding, pillows, blankets and pajamas in the course of an evening as I didn't actually wake up until I was in full fount.
So, Mom would hear me retching and then crying. She would come to my room, take me and the pillow to the bathroom to be cleaned up. Then we sat down in the kitchen and she made me a cup of strong tea with milk and lots of sugar.
I know. The worst thing you can give a person who is vomitting is milk products. But, to this day, if I am not feeling well or sad or upset, a cup of hot tea is the best cure.
Oddly enough, it works for my two girls too. And, on 2 occaisions, it was my saving from travel sickness and jet lag when first arriving in Scotland and in Ireland. 2 countries that are famous for strong, black milky tea. And the firm belief it will cure a child or adult of everything from a chill to the death of a puppy.
- Don't delete, archive.
Would I delete a memory? Well, first of all, it is becoming painfully obvious to me that my memory is doing a fine job all on it's own of deleting whole days, some of them within the past week.
Secondly, no matter how of a horse's ass I've acted in various times in my life, the other people involved are dear to me. Otherwise I doubt the memory would still be on file. Deleting those memories because they are painful would mean fewer memories of the people I love.
The older I get, the more people I have memories of move into the category of people no longer available for future memories. That makes every moment I've shared with them too precious to sweep out the door.