It’s My Wonderful Life


imgresLast night I was a genius! While lying in bed at 2:30 in the morning, the amazing things that were running through my mind, that I wanted to be sure to remember to write about this morning, were absolutely destined to be part of a Pulitzer Prize winning novel! The list was unending; in fact it played on and on for at least two hours or more until my brain finally powered down. It was as if I was at the theatre, and the trailers for upcoming movies just kept playing and playing and playing. If Rolly had been in that theatre, he would have poked at his wrist watch at least a half-dozen times in the first 15 minutes and said “When are they going to get to the movie? It should have started already!”(Whispered of course).

Right now, you are probably asking yourself “Well, what is she going to write about then, and when is she ever going to get to it?” The trouble is that, in the same way that I always forget what movie trailers I have seen the night before, I also forget those little mental clips I experience during restless nights. I’m usually just left with the knowledge that I spent time seeing them, and that’s it. To experience movie trailers, you need the price of a ticket. It was “Cheap Tuesday” last night, and if we had gone in to London to see something that was playing we could have saved enough on the tickets to enjoy a treat afterwards too. But my middle-of-the-night trailers were enjoyed for the meagre cost of a couple of mini boxes of Smarties. They came out of a big box of tiny treats Rolly bought for a “Just in case I get a really bad craving for chocolate.” moment. He buys chocolate for these “moments” in the same way that people prepare for being stranded in their car during blizzards. To be without, in his mind, would be foolhardy.

imagesThe Halloween displays, with signs urging us to be prepared for our little Trick or Treaters (who will be coming in a few short months) are too immense to be ignored. The boxes of treats are bright red and stacked high. All that red, green, pink, orange and yellow candy coating encasing the little mini jolts of chocolate inside the Smarties boxes pictured on each red box is exciting too. When packaged up, the tiny rectangular boxes remind me of the boxes of  “pretend pills” that little girl’s nurse kits always contained when I was growing up. They were almost the same size, and the little sugar pills inside were always gobbled up first thing by baby brothers, even before they consented to lying down and pretending to be dying.

Food colouring, as pretty as it can be in things like Smarties, tends to give me problems falling asleep or staying asleep, as happened last night, with my movie-trailer-like brain episode. So now that I’ve admitted to that, you must be wondering why I would eat them at all. Could it be because the mini Coffee Crisp, Aero bars, and Kit Kats were already running in short supply? I can resist the stuff if it is in the stores, and walk away from it, but I can’t walk away from it if it’s already in my house. The house is just not big enough! I’m going to see it every time I put the bag of healthy unsalted sunflower seeds back in the cupboard. Even if Rolly moves the box , I’ll run into it accidentally in his sock drawer, or behind the tote of the kids’ first drawings and the box of our wedding cards and left-over invitations at the far back corner of the crawl space!

imagesI love the man I’m married to. In that box of wedding cards, is a pink heart shaped ribbon-bedecked box from the chocolates that he gave me on our Six Week Anniversary. This was the day we celebrated six entire weeks of dating bliss, which commenced with a first date on May 24, 1967! Yes, I really am that old, but I was only sixteen at the time. I guess that he had it figured out already that I loved chocolate as much as he did. In all likelihood, I put this on my list of reasons we were meant to be together way back then. I was always making lists— even then. Lists like the following:

Things I Want When I Marry

To have a husband who will always love me.

To live in the country

To have a nice house

To have a white picket fence in front of our house

To have red roses on it

To have 3 children

To go to church

To live near my family

To always love my sisters and brothers

To have good friends

To become a good cook

To write a book

The above list is not verbatim, as everyone needs a little privacy, (even some of us who tend to be fairly open about what we write), it is however a fair facsimile. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I hold on to very little in the way of material things as we now live a rather down-sized life. My only weakness in holding on to stuff  is that I save cards. I also admit that I have quite naturally saved most written things that had meaning to me way back when I was young, including diaries, love letters (all of them from Rolly) and a few things like the list of marriage goals. In a way it is a synopsis of my life past, rather than a “trailer” of what’s to come. 

The first light of dawn in our yard

The first light of dawn in our yard

It never ceases to amaze me how close to the list my life actually aligned. I do, in fact, live in the country on a beautiful three acre lot, in a nice house with a white picket fence— the fence is not across the front of the lot with a gate in the centre, as in my favourite film “It’s a Wonderful Life”; the lot is far too wide. Instead Rolly built me a white picket fence around a garden behind the house. Red roses used to grow over it, but their rambling habit made it difficult to work near them, and they have recently been removed in favour of other tamer flowers. It’s strange when you read what your much younger self once wrote at a time when romantic thoughts of “red roses on a white fence’ preceded your thoughts of children— as the list seemed to indicate. But, I’ve changed a lot since then.

Rolly and I had two kids, rather than the three I originally thought we would have,

Carrie age 3 and Steven age 5

Carrie age 3 and Steven age 5

but Steven and Carrie have made us as happy as a dozen children could have. Even though they are grown we are still very close. Next on my list was church; despite my outward teen-aged rebellion against the idea of going to church “Because there are only hypocrites there!” it was obviously my heart’s desire to one day feel as if I belonged in one. I am happy to say that Rolly and I attend a great church in Poplar Hill, less than a mile away, and that we have enjoyed the experience of worshiping together for most of our married lives.

The list next specified that I wanted to be close to my family. Three of my sisters and my mom live within ten miles of me; my brothers are, at most, a few hours drive away; I have great in-laws too. Only one of my sisters is far away in Vancouver B.C. but, distance aside, we are all emotionally close and they all know that I love them. I have certainly proclaimed that to the world, or whatever portion of the world read what I have written to date on this blog. (It’s on the web now but maybe I’ll make a paper copy anyway. It can always go into my box in front of the candy bar hiding place.) Losing the close bonds of family has always been a great fear of mine, after sadly witnessing some major rifts develop among siblings in so many other people’s families.

Friends are important to both Rolly and I and we feel truly blessed in having those that we have. Some of them we have known for nearly as long as we can remember, though, judging by what I’ve revealed about my memory, that may not sound like much!

Because it is also on the list, obviously, cooking well was important to the young Yvonne. Well, old Yvonne would like to tell her, if she was still around to hear it: “Hey, I can cook as well as any of my friends now, and there are country-fair blue ribbon winners and a gifted cooking blog writer among them!” Actually, I think young Yvonne actually knows this; I think she’s still here— when I try to stand on my head in a pool, or play King of the Castle on a gravel pile with my nephews— or eat Smarties at midnight!

About the book writing—in truth I have spent years being a closet writer; only lately have I become more public about it. I have a children’s book of stories in verse completed, and am hoping to get it published. I am now working on a book about growing up in our big farm family. This one I will probably self publish.

I know that directors, when they are working on a movie, usually leave behind an imprint of their work, certain attributes that identify the end result as theirs. Some do dark and brooding films best, others do light and uplifting ones. The end result is that if you have a good director you will have a good movie. It is much the same with life. I am so thankful that, for me, my life so far has been a good one— not because I, as the star in my own life, insisted foolishly on directing it myself. If  awards or prizes are handed out for Happiest Life Lived, in the year that I complete my days here on Earth, the one thing I’d say for sure in my acceptance speech is: “I’d like to thank everyone who was part of the project, but most especially my director and my God. He is…  ”

One response »

  1. Yes, I too have scoured my cupboards for the sweets I know I have put somewhere but as to where that is, I am not exactly sure. In fact, it must be a family thing because both Aaron and Brinn will walk into the kitchen and without thinking start rummaging in search of the treasures they know I have bought. Now that Brinn and I have become “roomies” of a sort, it has happened that one of us has eaten more then her share leaving the other with none. I won’t name any names but I’d prefer to say I wasn’t the culprit. Having said that, I must confess that I’m also not the innocent party either. Let’s just say, stuff happens when you get a sugar craving that is morally challenging. So Vonnie, I totally “get” the enticement of knowing there is candy in the house and the mindless searching the ensues just because you know it’s there, some where, teasingly tempting you.Love Jeannie

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