Tag Archives: childhood

Poppa

Poppa's OrnamentThis ornament hangs on our tree every year in memory of my Poppa, Maurice John McInnis. I miss him every day, but at Xmas most of all.
 
When I think of Poppa I think of golf, whiskers & trousers. I think about the way he always kept his glasses in his top pocket in a soft leather holder I used to stroke when he’d cuddle me. I think about the way he would tease me as a little girl, carrying a handbag – how he joked that he wished he had a handbag too.
 
I remember his laugh, how it would crack, half pitched & high in the middle. How his eyes would water when the laughter really took him – the same way my Mum’s eyes do when she laughs.
 
I think about Poppa’s finely manicured lawn that he tended daily & trimmed with scissors if ever there was a blade out-of-place. The feel of that lawn under my bare feet when we would visit in the summer – no matter where he & Gran lived a beautiful lush, green lawn adorned each home.
 
I think about the way Gran called him ‘Johnny’ & he called her ‘Love’. How they had matching recliners with lace doilies Gran hand-made for each one. I remember him in that recliner watching Port Adelaide Football club play on TV – a-top the TV was a model ship – filled with his gold coin change that he put there to save for something he might put in his shed.
 
In Poppa’s shed was homemade Draught beer with a light box he built himself to keep the temperature steady as it brewed. That shed, always neat & tidy & filled with gardening tools. Poppa’s tomatoes were the pride of the family – sweet, juicy, ripe & red. Every year we were treated to fresh ham & tomato sandwiches, homemade sauce & Gran’s tomato relish. I think about how much I miss those tomatoes & watching him in his hat tending to the plants.
 
Poppa loved to fish. He loved to laugh. He loved to garden & he loved his family. He was a proud man – he was gentle & he was the kind of man you met & his soft voice lingered. I think people liked Poppa – he was a gentleman & a hero to my brother. He had a temper – but it was rare & purposeful. I never saw it.
 
I don’t think Poppa ever knew how much we all loved him & how much his impression would linger. But it has & it does.
 
That ornament was given to me by Gran the year Poppa died. Every year I put that ornament on my tree & I think of him. I miss him & I smile – I hear his laughter in the house & I think, I hope, that maybe he knows how much he is missed, how much he is loved, so many years later. My Poppa.

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Strawberry & Lemon

Finally found my favourite Schweppes Pink Lemonade & bought every bottle they had in the store… Now I just have to convince them to order me a whole case 🙂

I remember this as a child & it tasted like magic to me. My first sip was like being 6 years old again – only with the power to drink as much of it as I liked. 🙂

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Winter Glimmer

FIRST DAY OF WINTER
I have been afraid of the dark for as long as I can remember. My parents always let me leave a light on during the night, which they would sneak in & turn off. This would only make the situation harder when I would wake up in the darkness. There would be screaming in my mind during those few terrifying seconds reaching out to turn it on in order to chase the night away. Most of these nights I would escape my bedroom, sneak into Leo’s room & sleep on the top bunk. His quiet sleeping noises were always a comfort.
 
Now it is dark outside so early & for so long that the nightmares are here again.
 
I feel fear & it has been so long. I am afraid of the way they move, appearing in the space between breaths, stilted walk & always a backwards-kind-of-forwards. Never uttering a word that I can decipher, only distorted static.
 
Through the day, in the light they appear at the most unusual times, always quietly before I have realised they are there. I spot the ‘flash’ out of the corner of my eye & see them there in their death. Why always the dead? Why not the living? Are they there? Mum & Dad used to say it was my overactive imagination –
 —Always “overactive”
 —Never “just perceptive”
Where is the distinction?
 
The nightmares are never a comfort even though I pine for them if they are gone too long. Never wanting the nightmares so much as needing them. They are what made childhood my own world. Now they only come when it is truly dark. Every night, a cold haze swallows them, stilted by my bedside, if it were not for the lamp I am sure they would envelop me & I would gladly join.
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