Memories of Mother’s Days Past

5C93CC37-7C33-49EC-9775-968D6FFE0A4EA double repost today, both about past Mother’s Days.

As you will discover, we don’t pay much attention to these commercialised ‘Days’, but every once in a while, I receive a lovely surprise. Plus, I never tire of telling these stories of my children’s Mother’s Day surprises.

I won’t be seeing my family on Mother’s Day, but my son, daughter-in-law and their family of littles will be visiting next weekend – although I am under no illusion that he is coming especially to see me, it is the prospect of a long bike ride with his dad and the club that lures him here in reality!

If you’re celebrating, I hope you have a lovely day together. If you find this time difficult, my thoughts are with you, and I hope you can find a way of nurturing yourself through it.

An Impromptu Mother’s Day Adventure or How We Survived the Vortex that is Our Local Bermuda Triangle …

  Mother’s Day: A Tribute to My Children

 Copyright: Chris McGowan

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An Impromptu Mother’s Day Adventure or How We Survived the Vortex that is Our Local Bermuda Triangle …

28064096_Unknown… Actually, the fact that it was Mother’s Day was almost incidental. The adventure wasn’t planned because it was a special day. It just happened to coincide with the clocks going forward, Spring conjuring up a spectacularly sunny day, and Hb wanting to scout out a bike place some distance away for a bike fit session the following week. (For those of you who are not members of a family whose lives revolve entirely around bikes and their mechanical whatnots, this does not mean getting sweaty in a large room on a stationary bike, but having your bike adjusted to give you the optimum fit, thereby (hopefully) avoiding any aches and pains in neck, back, hips or knees).

28063888_UnknownI don’t know about you, but I always feel discombobulated when the clocks go forward, it takes me ages to adjust. I got up at my usual hour which was now halfway-through-everyone-else’s-morning time, but before I could reach the shower, my favourite Daughter phoned me for a Mother’s Day chat. (I have only one really). Having been given a cup of tea in bed, she was instantly abandoned by her boys in favour of a Minecraft game and as I was in the role of bike widow, we were able to have a rare, uninterrupted natter until eventually son number two demanded she put the phone down as he’d brought her breakfast in bed. It would be some time before I got mine.

28063760_UnknownI had my shower, then tried to phone my mum, but someone else had got in first, she was busy throughout 20 minutes of trying. I knew she could be in for the long haul and I was starving. A Papaya & Pear Smoothie* beckoned. My whole morning was already awry, when Hb announced his plan for a quick drive to the bike place and asked if I’d like to come. Normally, I would politely decline on the basis that I planned to spend the day watching paint dry or filing my nails, but it was a lovely day, I was going stir-crazy and there was a possibility of seeing water, flowers, trees and birds along the way, so I decided to take the smoothie and go.

Now, normally when we go off in the car I make sure we have plenty of food and drink, a chair, cushions, jigsaw (well, maybe not), because inevitably a ‘short drive’, or a ‘quick there and back’, turns into a ‘why don’t we take the most circuitous scenic route and get lost again’ trip! We have no Sat Nav. We got lost in this same vortex last summer and I should have known better when Hb’s response to taking food was ‘we won’t need it, it’s just a quick-there-and-back.’ Famous last words.

There are four towns popular with tourists that form our local Bermuda Triangle. (I know, but you know what I mean). We can never go straight to the one we want without going round and through the others first, then having found it, we can’t find our way out of it again! Last time, we pirouetted in so many concentric circles, we resembled water going down a plughole and I thought we might end up Down Under.

This morning, or rather lunchtime as it now was, we set off, only to put in some early practice by instantly returning home via a circuit of our block. Hb didn’t feel confident without a map. He had one on his iPad. We came back to get it. It made no difference. The other towns were well signposted, but we couldn’t find our destination for love nor money. I kept saying helpful things like ‘we’ve been past this already’ and ‘I remember seeing this earlier…’

Beeeep. What’s that? Some gauge or microchip had registered a drop in tyre pressure. We needed to look for a garage. Great. Now two things we needed to look for. I, and three dogs, spent 20 minutes in the sun in cars with windows ineffectively cracked open for non-existent air but plenty of petrol fumes, while our drivers checked oil, tyre pressure or bought armfuls of snacks. None of us was in a chatty mood when they finished. The car still noted a drop in tyre pressure.

We were just about ready to turn around and head for home when I got very over-excited at a small signpost indicating left down a narrow road, and I couldn’t get the words out quickly enough as I realised Hb hadn’t noticed. Too late. The local cycle club, of which he is a member, will never appreciate his decision to carry on to the next layby to turn around, rather than mow them down like skittles, as would have happened if he’d responded to my hysterical navigation!

Having arrived in the town, and successfully winning a game of chicken over a single lane ‘Weak Bridge’ to reach a car park, I was so glad we’d persisted as I then spent a peaceful hour sitting outside a lovely old pub on the river in the sunshine, watching the water and the world go by.

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The Weak Bridge, a single-lane iron structure that was just the width of a medium-sized car. BMWs were a bit of a push and their drivers – young and male – extremely rude and impatient! 

 

 

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The water was flowing quite fast, I almost missed this shot of the canoeist 

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After trying to convince me a floating log was Nessie’s cousin shimmying by, Hb strolled off to recce the town for the bike shop. This is always a mistake. He always gets lost. He found his way back just before I sent out the St Bernards, by which time my stomach was telling me I had missed one or other, if not several, of the various meals/snacks/juices it was used to, and a bottle of fizzy water was not going to cut it. I knew we should’ve packed proper sustenance. Being vegan and gluten-free makes it extremely difficult to find emergency rations when your blood sugar starts diving. And now we had to navigate the Triangle again and avoid being sucked into its vortex.

First, though, I had a lovely if somewhat frustrating not-Mother’s Day chat with my son (the signal kept disappearing). He always calls on Mother’s Day but pretends it’s just a normal everyday call because I’ve spent decades telling them I don’t need over-priced cards and flowers to make me feel special. He was just back from a 110 km ride in wind, sun and dust – see what I mean about my family of bike enthusiasts, he does this for fun!  (See the link below to read more about his Mother’s Day surprises).

After a couple of wrong turns, we made it home unscathed. I had my juice, phoned my mum, everything returned to normal.

Hb plans to do this 30 miles-each-way journey next week on his bike. I’ll put the St Bernards on standby.

The car has an appointment with its mechanic.

For those of you who may not have seen it, here’s a link to last year’s light-hearted Mother’s Day post  A Tribute to My Children

*See my Instagram feed for the ingredients @pearsnotparsnips

And here for your delectation and amusement is The Pushbike Song!

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Mother’s Day: A Tribute to My Children

imageTo all our mums, grandmas, aunts, daughters and neighbours caring for families, partners, relatives and friends. We couldn’t manage without you!

(This is the card I made for my mum, I thought I would share it with you all.)

 I also wanted to tell you this little anecdote that will stay with me for all of my life:

Many years ago, I came downstairs one Sunday morning. My husband was working, my daughter was sleeping over at her friend’s. The table was set for my breakfast: grapefruit, muesli, toast, orange juice, black coffee, a flower in a vase, and the Sunday paper all set out like they do in a newsagents with all the supplements lined up on top of one another very neatly. My teenage son was sitting on the sofa looking very proud of himself. He got up and switched on the tv, pushed a video in and pressed play (yes, it was that long ago!) It was my favourite film, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. I was overwhelmed and I said ‘Thank you, this is lovely, but what’s it all for?’ He grinned and said ‘Happy Mother’s Day! ‘ I didn’t know what to say. I was so overcome at all the work he’d put in. I smiled and said ‘This is so lovely, but… it’s not Mother’s Day until next week!’

Do you know what? He got up early the next Sunday and did it all again!

We don’t normally make a big deal out of this day in our house. I don’t need a card company telling my children to appreciate me, they do that on a daily basis. And I feel for all those who have lost their mums or their children. But occasionally my children do pull out all the stops and surprise me.

Last year, I was sitting at the table, reading the paper, thinking about when I should phone my mum and the phone rang. It was my daughter. She wished me Happy Mother’s Day and asked me what I was doing. I told her in a long rambling comment about nothing in particular, and when I finally stopped for breath she asked ‘Could you put the kettle on and let me in?!’ She had left her bemused boys with their dad and travelled the hour and a half with her labrador pup to come and spend the day with me! Her boys said, ‘But your our mum and it’s Mother’s Day!’ And she replied, ‘Yes, it is and I’m going to see my mum!’ It was a lovely surprise. We rarely spend time together on our own and I miss her so much. It is very hard to get anything past me, but she did that day!

Thank you, K and R, I love you very much💕

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Copyright: Chris McGowan