Do you fit the bill?

DAILY PROMPT
Litmus, Litmus on the Wall
If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

A  friend

All necessary components in
Forming the sought after
Relationship of a confidant is
Integrity, honesty and
Empathy
Nothing less will
Do

The Daily Post

Nosey Delights

From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

 

 

Aunty Etta,

It’s ordained, it has to be, why else would I plant them in every garden that surrounds the home I happen to be living in at any given time, and there has been a few over the years.

Geraniums plain albeit colourful geraniums, the colour isn’t the important feature to my story, nor is the fact that they are not my favourite flower, that honour belongs to the daffodil, it’s the perfume they send up on watering them that sends me spinning back to what, I would credit as being one of the best years of my mid-teens.

After a dissension with my Mother it was decided that I live elsewhere, (mindful that this being  in the late fifties, children did not usually leave home to live on the streets, not if they in anyway respected their elders) I was taken to the opposite end of the city and introduced to an elderly lady as my Aunt Etta, I had met her on a previous occasion, but to this day I have no real idea which twig she was or how she came to belong on a somewhat twisted branch of our family tree. I was reluctant, as from the view point of a fifteen year old, she looked as old as the hills, to be truthful she was about the same age I am now, but selfishly I felt it would be better than nothing, knowing I had no intention of living another minute in my mother’s home.

It wasn’t long before I realised living with Aunty Etta, was a holiday in paradise, it was here I learned to relax and start to enjoy the everyday activities of a teenager. I came to appreciate this dear lady, not for what she looked like or her age but for her kindness and support, she taught me trust, encouraged me to join the scout movement as a cub leader and to go out and to mix with friends or to bring them home, all were welcome

It was while living here I met the first love of my life, he was a tall, handsome young policeman, who used to come daily into the food court where I worked. We dated a couple of times and Aunt Etta always made him welcome. It was her that comforted me when he told me, that as a policeman it was his job to protect young girls from older men not date them. She was the only one that didn’t tell me it was all for the best, that I would find someone else one day, she acknowledged my pain at the time and just held me while I cried.

Aunty Etta was a widow of many years standing; who had a great love of canaries, housing dozens of them in individual aviarys intermittently placed throughout her back yard, each one separated by geranium bushes. On sunny days when she watered her flowers, the orchestra of chirping birds and buzzing bees creating an atmosphere instantly aromatised with the fragrance of geraniums, a memory I will take to my grave.

 

I lived happily with this wonderful lady for twelve months, now every time I smell the perfume or water my geraniums, my heart whispers Thank you Aunty Etta.

Writing 101, Day Sixteen: Serial Killer III

Imagine you had a job in which you had to sift through forgotten or lost belongings. Describe a day in which you come upon something peculiar, or tell a story about something interesting you find in a pile

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-3

What’s in a name

Picking up the phone, I was pleased to hear my niece-in-law calling to have a chat; after swapping different family news came a request, I had no trouble with. Telling me she was trying to trace the family tree down my side, would I happen to have a copy of my parent’s marriage certificate, the answer was no, but in my particular line of work one of the duties was obtaining different certificates from the office of Birth, Deaths and Marriages, so I would be happy to do this for her if it would help .

After filling out the application and handing it and the appropriate government fee to the cashier, there was the usual five minute wait, and under normal circumstances, the certificate was handed to the purchaser. Not this time, the woman bringing up the details on the computer, starts to look concerned, looking at the screen and across to me, eventually she asks if I’m sure of my facts, as they have no record of a marriage between the two names I had supplied. As this had been my mother’s second marriage, I thought maybe she used her first married name instead of her maiden name, so I gave the woman that name, more confused looks and rechecking her computer, then again saying sorry, no match. I’m stumped and tell her they are the only names I have for my mum at the time they married. Never mind there is another way we can try, she says, I’ll look using your fathers details. Again, she asks me to repeat the details I had given her, including the names of my grandparents on his side, all this is verbally relayed to her

The results of that search had her asking if it was important that I get the certificate, as sometimes it’s better to leave things as they are and not to delve into parent’s affairs. Good lord, I thought the poor woman is trying to either save or protect me from embarrassment or prepare me for some shock. Trying not to giggle I quietly informed her that as I knew my mother very well, there was nothing she could tell me about her actions that would spiral me into hysterics. With that, I was handed the certificate by the woman who had no intention of going anywhere, until she heard my reaction to learning that my mother had the same surname as my father before their wedding. All I could do was stare stunned at the information and tell her I had some more investigation to carry out, retreating from the office before bursting into gales of laughter. Mum had struck again.

On arriving home that evening I showed my hubby the certificate, he just laughed and wanted to know what I was planning to do, well sure as eggs are eggs I can’t tell my niece about this until I speak to my dad. Obviously, there had been some sort of monkey business going on wayback then, and I’ll be damned if I want to be responsible for rocking the boat or hurting feelings, I’ll give him a ring. Admittedly, by this time I was intrigued, having come to the realisation that she had to have changed her name by deed pole, but for the life of me I couldn’t work out why.

I was thrilled when Dad answered their phone, (he had of course remarried many years ago, even so there are some things second wives mightn’t be aware of) after the usual pleasantries I asked him if he would mind answering a question regarding mum, if I know the answer it’s yours he told me. Assuring him I wasn’t prying but explained about his granddaughter-in-law doing the family tree and wanting a copy of the marriage certificate, so rather than hassle him for it I had obtained one myself. The infectious chuckle must have started deep in his throat and resounded clearly through the phone, relieving me of all the tension I hadn’t realised I’d built up, having to ask the question. Why did she do it Dad, you obviously knew about it and went along with it … ok I will understand if you’d rather not discuss it, but I am ready to burst with curiosity, what was her reason. It’s ok love, yes she changed her name because I had to return home to Nana & Pop’s, the war had just finished and I had only just arrived back in Australia, no time to marry first, you know what Nana was like, she would not have accepted us just living together, it was 1945 and parents were very strict, and I wasn’t of age, so your mother changed her name and told them we were married, until we could sneak off to Melbourne for a few days to marry at the registry office. There was some more joking back and forth, and we made the decision to give out the wedding date for the family tree, but there was nothing to be gained in handing over the certificate. So it resides in among the usual family papers that may or may not be treasured when the next generation come across them.