musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas past...

Grandma's Tree
Last week, while pondering my post about Dad, I spent some time looking through the cache of photos he and Mom collected over more than 50 years together. A few are displayed in albums, carefully captioned and dated, but many more were just tucked into folders, boxes, and envelopes and eventually forgotten. Smiling strangers, caught in the act of...?
If only they could talk!

Some of the unlabelled pictures called up vivid memories for me —laughing neighbours; newborn puppies; graduation day. Others, like this old Christmas tree, stirred something more indefinable.

Not exactly a memory but a feeling... a knowing.

This photo might have been taken the year I was born but I'm guessing it was a few years before. The tree stands in my Grandparents' house on Norway Avenue in Toronto. I don't remember ever having Christmas trees at Grandma and Grandpa's house but, oh, I remember that room: warm, sweet smells from the kitchen; dust motes dancing in sunbeams; squashy sofa cushions and my feet not touching the floor. The piney smell in my memory isn't a tree, though. It's the green felt tail on the 'Airwick' cat Grandma always kept on the windowsill.

Funny how a faded black-and-white image can hold so much life.


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