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Memory Quirks--2!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Certain associations are sometimes buried under other Memories but something unexpected just jogs them and the rise to they fore front with a refreshing clarity that really is surprising.Just yesterday I was watching a Program on T.V. that I love watching even back home---and one that Sudhir and I were fond of.It's on an Indian Channel called NDTV and titled "The Foodie on The Road.This features a couple of beefy Bikers who roam the Highways running the length and breadth of India--fereting out tiny little places to eat---and these can literally even be a tiny Stall at the Roadside!!!Now since these feature Food---my favourite weakness coupled with another favourite Travel----this is one Program that I just have to watch!!!
Yesterday these two Guys took off from Chandigarh towards Kasauli---and as I watched the old familiar winding Road so many Memories came flooding back!!!The best was the first place they stopped called "Daily Needs"---that did it---my mind went back by 45 years!!!I had tears in my eyes and couldn't watch any further and had to switch the T.V. off.As I sat back with my head thrown back on the Sofa spools of Memories unfurled in my mind with crystal clear clarity---I could smell, sense and taste them!!!My father was very fond of Hiking and his favourite partner to hike with was Pierre Jeanneret--Le Corbusier's younger cousin.Both Daddy and Jeanneret Uncle liked taking me along because I loved Hiking too.The mountainous tracks were pretty steep at times and we had many favourite Trails---one of these being Kasauli.Kasauli even today is a sleepy little Cantonment Town in the Shivalik Hills---the foothills of the Himalayas.Those days Kasauli was sleepy and peaceful and had many residential Boarding Schools in the nearby areas---one of the being Sanaawar.The was Tara Hall too---and these were accessible through the tiny Toy Train---it still operates today!!Having so many Boarding Schools in the vicinity created the need for a "Tuck Shop" as such places were called---and this place "Daily Needs" came into being in the late 1920s---the brainchild of an enterprising Englishman .
We would drive up here early in the morning by 9 a.m. from Chandigarh in Jeanneret Uncle's old Hillman Car having left at Dawn----and would buy our Breakfast of piping hot Bacon and Eggs with racks of crispy Toast,Butter and home made Jam.That done we'd order fresh made Sandwiches stuffed with Ham and Salami from them for a packed Lunch.The best part about this place then and even today is that their Ham,Bacon,Salami and Kababs were all home grown.They farmed and cured their own Pork and till today it is one of the best I have tasted any where in the World!!They also bake their own Bread fresh daily and stock bottles of wonderful Plum,Cherry,Apricot,Peach and Pear Jams---all made by them.Leaving after a satisfying meal we'd drive on to a new path leading to a trail that looked interesting---park the Car by the Roadside and just begin climbing with our packed Lunches in a Rucksack slung across on Daddy's back.There were innumerable Sheep Trails criss crossing the Hillsides and we'd follow those---the Paths worn out by the treads of the Shepherds who herded the Sheep.
For me the early morning Summer Sunshine would look like new minted Gold---sprinkled liberally over the pristine newness of the Day.The faint scent of Pines,Firs and Spruce would invigorating as would be the deep high dome of the Azure Sky that looked like a deep upside Bowl---dotted with small white Clouds----looking like fluffy little balls of Cotton Wool.The Breeze would just whisper past---teasingly playing with my Pony Tail.The elusive perfume of the Wildflowers would waft up to tease my nose---for many times we'd trample on the carpet these had spread underfoot---and I'd stop and try to find out exactly which one had released the wonderful scent!!As we'd climb higher sometimes the strains of Melody would float down to us----for Shepherds would play their Flutes while herding their Sheep---and the Flute is a popular Musical Instrument with the Hill folk.
Even today I can smell the crisp,clear Summer Air--redolent with the mixed scents of Wild Flowers,the Evergreens and Hay as we'd climb up to the higher reaches of the Slopes.The buzzing of the Bees and Dragon Flies and the incessant chatter of the Birds-----flashes of Jewel bright coloured wings were fascinating to watch---there was joyous abandon of just being alive permeating the ambience---and the whole scene was like being a celebration of Life-----and I was a privileged part of it!!We'd climb up steadily stopping on the way each time Daddy or Jeanerret Uncle felt that I need to be shown something---in Daddy's case it was pointing out the various shapes the Clouds took on in the Sky or it could be a strange shaped Rock---or a tiny Flower that Jeanneret Uncle would point out---or a Bird that was a species I'd not seen before---I can still hear Jeanneret Uncle's accented musical tone in my head asking me "Mignonne can you see this?This is ...."We'd eat our Sandwiches under the shadow of the Evergreens next to a tiny Brook---and while we lay stretched out on our backs on the soft Grass Daddy would tell me about the Legends and History surrounding the area---and because I was a Ghoul--Ghost Stories too!!!Those two hours we'd spend up in the Hills became a haven for me---a very precious Memory to be hoarded jealously and savoured at leisure because Daddy and Jeanneret Uncle became increasingly busier with the growing "Planned City" and these jaunts became rarer before they petered out altogether!!!
How clearly they still live on was brought home to me yesterday-----and it made me feel better to reach out to a period of such pure innocent Pleasure in my Life---when materialistic thoughts didn't exist and yet the simplest things could bring Joy to one's heart and a smile to one's face!!!

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NITAINMN 5/18/2012 9:26PM

    Sounds like fun! :-) emoticon

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    emoticonFun memories!

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BOVEY63 5/17/2012 10:46PM

    I love how you write and are able to bring us right into those beautiful memories with you.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 5/17/2012 2:13PM

    What wonderful memories. I imagine that the scent of some of those flowers can transport you right back there. Those outings sound so special, and I imagine that the way you were included and treated were a factor in the person you grew up to be.

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SAASHA17 5/17/2012 1:46PM


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Back Home!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A comment from my friend Ann on my previous Blog had me pondering over the life I live back home----and the facilities I enjoy---and always have done.So here is an account of all the facilities that we DO have---and which have been brought into sharp focus after my recent bout of not being well.Under similar circumstances I'm now recounting the course my not being well would have taken had I been back home.
The first attack of Chills and Shivering would have resulted in a 'phone call to our Pathology Lab which operates 24 hours---which would have sent round one of their Technicians to take Blood and Urine samples and as I did here I'd have dosed myself with Crocin till the reports came.I'd have called the Family Doctor who would've made a house call to check in on me in the morning as it was a Sunday.In India our GP Doctors are situated locally in most areas and there fore makes for faster communication.We generally have local "Family Doctors" as we call our GPs and they're up to date with the Family's Medical History.In some cases these are further away so one has to travel to get there.Once that was done the rest would have proceeded the same way with one minor change---the Blood Tests would be handed in within 12 hours and for some Tests like Dengue after 24 hours-----here I'm still waiting!!!
The other facilities are very accessible too.The Milk Man,The Bread Man,The Fruit and Vegetable Vendors----all come to the Door everyday---therefore a fresh supply of Produce is possible even if one does not step out of the home.Here Lotta, Mehul and Meha were playing Musical Chairs to manage most of the Chores while ensuring that I was not left alone at home unattended and the worst affected was Lotta---for she had to bear the brunt of it.There it would have been Chhaaya Bai and Vanita who would've looked after me---definitely not with the love and attention and eye to detail that I received here but passably well.One thing though is undeniable----it was a huge strain on Lotta for which I truly feel very sorry and guilty!!!
Marrying young and living with my MIL for the first 5 years of my marriage taught me to take my duties both as a wife and a mother seriously.That I was a better wife than a mother is besides the point---but those years conditioned and formed the way I did things.It was the basic routine to finish one's chores as early as possible so as to leave some time open to indulge in one's favourite activities---in my case Painting,Writing and Reading.During the first year we shifted into our new home was spent inviting people over for Lunches and Dinners.We belonged to a large extended Family and these would be invited in batches of 20-30 people for Lunch----and the entire day would be spent in the Family Bon Homie----with me stuck in the kitchen dishing out first Lunch then Tea and Snacks before the entire brood left.I had plenty of help but it was still my home and the success of each such gathering depended on me and my expertise to provide really good Food that really mattered.In India it is the extended Family that marks you with it's Eagle Eye---and is perhaps the biggest Acid Test to pass!!Luckily I managed pretty well on 1 Gas Cylinder with two burners and 3 Kerosene Stoves------and in having these implements I was definitely luckier than most for owning Cooking Gas Stoves was a very big Plus back then---in 1975!!Unfortunately our trusted retainer's wife fell sick with Cancer and he had to return to his Village----leaving me completely at the mercy of part time employees called "Bai"s.These people would come at specific hours to wash the clothes and utensils and sweep and swab the floors---as against Vithoba who lived in and was available all 24 hours if need be!!This meant that the Flat which usually would be swept,swabbed and dusted by 7.30 a.m. now had to wait till 11 a.m. for that was the time that the "Bai" would make an appearance.So I restructured my routine.Sudhir and the Girls would be out of the house by 8.30 a.m. with their Tiffins packed.I would then take a 15 minute "Power" break---having been up since 5.30 a.m. cooking,preparing Tea for Sudhir and a light Breakfast for all 3,bathing the Girls and getting them ready for the School Bus---those 3 hours were like a whirlwind time for me!!!Thanks to my immense stamina---I revelled in the physical exhiliaration it gave me for it proved to me how efficient and invincible I was!!!After the "Power" break I'd wait for the Fruit,Vegetable,Fish and Flower Vendors to make their appearance---my Menus would be planned in advance so once the daily Ration was bought I'd get down to preparing the Ingredients and keeping these ready----for one of these was grinding the Spices and Fresh shredded Raw Coconut for the daily Curry into a fine paste---a very tiring and pretty sweaty job---given the heat!!!Bathing was accomplished after the Bai came---for then she'd be there to answer the Door!!
As the years passed my days continued to be the same-----with very slight variations.As the girls grew up their personalities emerged---Lotta a strange mixture of extrovertism with introvert shades----she knew everyone in School and mingled well with the children in the Condominium but to date has never had a single "Best" Friend!!!The only time her friends came home was just before she left High School---and then too she had a problem picking just 20 of them!!!Sayali on the other hand was extremely gregarious and prone to having her Friends over----at times without notice!!!I have lost count the number of times I've cooked for them---for they loved my Cooking---and ofcourse I just HAD to show off!!!The last really big "Get-Together" she had was when her entire Group from her Master's Class came over for Lunch-----there were 35 of them and I cooked the entire Meal---both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian where the Indian Bread,Rice,Salads and Sweets were the only common Courses!!!
Today many things have changed----mostly for the better.Women today are more in the forefront and finding one who like me is just a "Home Maker" is becoming rarer as both Education and Progress take hold.Almost 80% of the women hold pretty top Jobs and all the working wives and mothers have access to the latest modern Appliances----we have piped Gas which can cook as well as heat our Water in the Kitchens and Bathrooms in the form of Gas Geysers.The Washing Machine,Dishwashers,various types of sophisticated Kitchen Equipments----we have them all and some of the best selling Brands are Indian. The reason I'm sharing this?Yes it is difficult to find Domestic Help---but not impossible--- the real secret is how to retain them once you do!!!So you see Folks----India is a great place to live in for me---even today.Despite being alone I can never really live anywhere else----for that's where I guess my Umbilical Cord lies buried!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAIN454 5/22/2012 6:05PM

    Being born/bred in the US...if you hadn't told me, I would NEVER have thought that India would have any medical benefits. I know thats naive thinking and I should pinch myself for thinking so narrow-mindedly but thanks for the insight! :)

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NITAINMN 5/18/2012 9:35PM

    Well, interesting comparison. Regarding the blood test result time varies from one state and medical center to another. Generally in the hospitals, one can get within a couple of hours. In Mayo clinic if the blood is drawn in the morning, the result is already on mayo's computer in my files. When it comes to service help, despite the problems, India is still better for some and in certain areas....It was good to read all the details. You are really fortunate! emoticon

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XXMILAXX 5/18/2012 3:08AM

    I like this blog very much. Especially you surviving cooking for the whole family and passing the test. You were pretty invincible and you still are!

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EACHDAYAGIFT 5/17/2012 2:11PM

    If I was asked to cook for 35 people, I'd run screaming into the hills, never to be seen again, LOL! Back in the early 60s, Doctors still made house calls when kids had contagious illnesses, at least at my house (my Dad was the hospital administrator, so we may have gotten preferential treatment) By the late 60s, I never heard of any doctor doing that.

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    Of all the things I have heard from my friends who grew up in India, I fantasize of "bed tea".
The idea of waking up and someone bringing me my tea in the morning so I can slowly start my day is a luxury dream.
Oh well, 4:15 am, I've written bills, cleaned up a bit of kitchen while coffee is brewing. Will pack breakfast and lunch, shower, drive to work and start my day.
SIgh, to dream of bed tea! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/17/2012 4:37:22 AM

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CHERIRIDDELL 5/16/2012 7:03PM

    What a fascinating post .I loved reading it.Thank you for the marvelous crash course on life in India.I learned so much.

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SAASHA17 5/16/2012 1:49PM

    I agree:) Trust me Komal. I feel like most women cant manage the house being a full time home maker (i feel its the toughest job till date) and having a career, some of the aspects can be ignored..hahaha...U need to have a certain degree of passion to succeed at being a full time homemaker...and hats off to all of U. u do an amazing job of providing, entertaining, being a full time mom and wife:) and I turned out good..hahahaha...and I am sure ur kids appreciated everything:)
I hope I can be at least half as good as my mom was and still is...:)

And I agree on the medical services:)

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BOVEY63 5/16/2012 1:42PM

    Home should be your favorite place to be.

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Mother's Day!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Both Sudhir and I loved the concept of "Mother's Day" and "Father's Day" for it meant that the day began with our daughters calling us to wish us---their warm,loving voices washing over our hearts and putting a glow into our Day!!!There are so many Memories of their School Days where they learnt of this concept---we Indians revere our parents but don't have a particular day set aside to honour them specifically.The early years meant handmade Cards and Gifts made in Crafts Classes----and those were the best for the love that went into making these was palpable.As the Girls grew up their ideas changed and after they moved far away we waited to just hear their voices----for that in itself was the best Gift ever!!
Lotta was more pragmatic-----she'd look out for something special,buy it and keep it aside for us---gifting it to us each time we visited.Sayali was the romantic---couriering us Gifts and Flowers wherever we were---timing it so that these would reach us on the very Day itself!!!This resulted in hilarious Goof-Ups at times---the Doorbell would chime at unearthly hours in the night and the two of us would wake with a start and then with pounding hearts would cautiously open the Front Door---to find the fellow from the Courier Service standing outside---holding a Bouquet of Flowers for either one of us-----depending on what Day it was!!!Most often than not these deliveries took place after midnight so we'd be sleepily questioning each other as to whose day it was----looking for one or the other of us to blame!!!The same scene would be repeated at her in-laws home and finally all four of us requested her on bended knees to stick to the 'phone calls---during Daytime hours!!
I love the Love it generates----for very rarely do we really acknowledge a person as a whole.I mean I never took time off during my childhood to tell either of my parents how much I loved them----I would give them Gifts for their Birthdays and Anniversary but it was never a special way of saying "I love you" to either of them.I regret that today---for I wish I'd told Daddy more often how much he meant to me and never really did and later could not because he died when I was just 21 years old.In Mummy's case she and I were never really close but we loved each other and after Daddy's death I made it a point to wish her every Mother's Day once my daughters began wishing me.In India we see everything as Duty---the parents fulfill their Duty when they nurture and bring up their young who in turn discharge their debt of Gratitude by looking after the parents in their old age.Hence we live under the Joint Family System---one where every member of the Family benefits from the love and care meted out.Hinduism in fact is not really a religion---it is more a way of Life and the rules by which one lives.Today in India we not only respect and honour our parents but have also thanks Globalisation learnt to appreciate them as well!!!

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BOVEY63 5/16/2012 1:49PM

    I believe that your dad did know how much you loved and appreciated him.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 5/16/2012 8:48AM

    India is indeed different from the U.S.! I can't think of any service that would deliver flowers here even in the evening, let alone after midnight! After midnight, you have the all night grocery or Walmart, the Emergency Room at the hospital, the ATM machine, and a few fast food drive throughs!

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XXMILAXX 5/16/2012 12:56AM

    How sweet.

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SAASHA17 5/15/2012 8:01PM

    that is so sweet..hehehe i stopped sending cake when my mom complained about eating it all and gaining weight..lol..didnt do much this mother's day...I always feel moms get all the attention most of the time..its the dads who get ignored..lol...I cant wait for them to visit in dec so I can celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary...


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JOYCECAIN 5/15/2012 6:39PM



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BARBARASDIET 5/15/2012 6:38PM

    How nice!

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A Lesson-----Well Learned!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The last few months I've not even had a sniffle----forget a Cold or anything more----and even my Sugar's been normal and so without spikes that I guess it made me overconfident and foolish-----so I was ready for a break!!!And WHAT a Break------literally left myself open to be boomeranged into a situation that was familiar 3-4 years back and also weak like a baby!!!Decidedly uncomfortable,unwelcome and infinitely unpleasant!!!
On Sunday the 6th. I posted my Blog and ate Lunch.We were to go shopping for Meha's Prom Dress in the evening and thought that I'd settle in for a siesta---rather a nap---before that---all the better to rest the old legs before embarking on a Shopping Spree!!!By 4 p.m. I was shivering like a leaf in a Gust of Wind----and the next I knew---my teeth were chattering,I was icy cold all over and shivering all over!!!!Lotta covered me up with Blankets,Comforters and Duvets but still I wouldn't stop---and in desperation Meha and she literally pressed down on me to keep me from jerking so hard!!!I don't how long it took but finally I began feeling the warmth creeping back----and the shivering abate!!!By now the Fever had taken over----rising to 103.9 Degrees in a matter of seconds and I slept under all those Coverings---luxuriating in the warmth when actually it was pretty warm in L.A. that day.Early next morning at 4 a.m. the same shivering phenomena was repeated and I was taken to see the Doctor-----who seeing the state I was in analyzed the Urine and pronounced a Urine Infection---with a possibility of a bout of Malaria as well----Blood Tests for which have been duly given.Luckily the Chills didn't recur again and the Fever gradually abated over the Week after the Treatment started till finally by Thursday I was keeping a normal Temprature--but was weak as a baby---and being treated as one by both my daughters and grand daughter---an embarassing situation to say the least!!!
I guess all that high fallutin' gadding about London and U.K. was perhaps the beginning with me becoming over ambitious with every successful venture----my confidence soaring in leaps and bounds after each Jaunt I undertook.The high point was the over 90 steps I climbed at Cardiff Castle------and I was convinced that I was invincible once more!!!The Jaunts continued with a beautiful visit to The Getty Museum and another one was on the anvil for The Getty Villa-----seems a bit difficult since The Raavanaa has vowed not to take me on a day long Jaunt again so here I am---terribly miffed and disappointed!!!The biggest mistake I made was that once more I forgot-----the Body and I are two different entities now and I overstepped the limit----I didn't take into consideration that The Body needed breathing space and winding down time too!!!So I'm now trying to make amends and broker a Peace between the two of us-----and this time I shall keep it---for this last time was really bad----it must have been very tiring for Lotta to keep cajolling me to swallow the Soups,Oats and other liquid nourishment she kept pouring down my throat at regular intervals!!!Back home in India Chhaya Bai and Vanita would have been there---but it does not give the same feeling of security as being with one's own flesh and blood does.I wouldn't put it past it being one of Sudhir's ways of opening my eyes to the fact that I DO have bodily constraints---and that it will do me good to heed and remember that Fact!!Sudhir has once again proved to me how vulnerable I can be---specially on my own!!!

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XXMILAXX 5/16/2012 12:50AM

    Glad you're doing ok, moderation in everything, no matter how invincible you feel.

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    Hey, stuff happens. Remember to drink lots of water, rest and relax. This is a mior setback and you will be "right as rain" in no time!

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MILLISMA 5/14/2012 9:43PM

    So sorry to hear, Komal. I guess we all have to learn to live with our bodies and that we're not as young as we used to be....lol

Take care my friend.

sending extra hugs......Mary Anne

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BOVEY63 5/14/2012 5:52PM

    So happy to hear that you are the mend. Take care my friend!

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SAASHA17 5/14/2012 1:02PM

    I know its easy to do that...
u take care now and be careful..dont over exert...


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Memory Associations--1!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

It s so strange that certain things can trigger off a chain of Memories-----even in alien Locations!!For me the sight of a flowering Jacaranda Tree with it's deep Purply Blue Flowers etched against a hot ,molten Blue Summer Sky did just that------it brought back my childhood vividly into focus!!!I love the Jacaranda Flowers---the beautiful contrast they create with the hues of the Sky despite being two separate shades of Blue is truly paradoxical.There is only one difference however--this is L.A. and my memory is about Chandigarh----more than 50 odd years ago!!!
Our back Lawn had a Jacaranda Tree--and it was something that fascinated me since we moved into that Bungalow when I was 5 years old.I had a penchant for climbing Trees---any and every that I came across but this was placed out of bounds by Mummy--maybe it's slender frame didn't quite aspire confidence about it's strength--or perhaps it's height made her edgy--but any way it became the only Tree I never climbed during my 12 year sojourn in that house!!Anyway this just added to it's mystique--and it became my very own "Faraway Tree" a la Enid Blyton!!!During the Winters I spent many hours stretched out under it on a "Dhurrie" or a handwoven Indian Carpet made with Cotton strands.These Carpets are washable and very tough and are woven on the traditional Handlooms---in bright attractive colours.Daddy had a penchant for buying lots of these for these were extremely practical but extremely durable and trendy too.One of these was mine--and it accompanied it wherever I went.
Lying under the spreading branches of the Jacaranda I'd Day dream about my Future--planning and mapping it out with each detail clearly underlined--just to scrap it and begin again.The scents of Winter would surround me and add to the drowsy,soporofic effect---the smell of the newly mown Grass,the mixed heady Scents of the Roses,Lilies and Narcissisi mixing with the elusive perfume of the freshly blooming "Bakuli" Flowers---all added to the magical effect.Today I still yearn to lie back under such a Tree---catching glimpses of the deep Azure of the Winter Sky dotted with puffs of White Cotton Wool Clouds visible through fine fronds of Green.Those days I used to paint--pretty passably.I painted this Picture in Oils--and Daddy had it framed for his Office wall---it accompanied him right upto his last Office in Mauritius---after that I don't know where it went--it was not among all his stuff that came back with Mummy after he died.No matter--- the Image is printed in my mind and there it will indelibly stay!!
The Summer Sky had it's beauty too---the hot molten Gold of the Sunshine gilded it to a wondrous shade of Blue and the contrast of the Jacaranda Flowers created was rivalled only by the deep Red and Orange Flowers of the Gulmohar at the other end of the Lawn.In between the bright Crimson of the Flame of the Forest or "Palash" as it is known in India bloomed hotly against the froth of vari-coloured Bougainvillae tumbling over the Boundary Wall.The Scents of Summer were heady--the two varieties of Indian Jasmine--The "Mogra" and "Chameli" released their strong exotic perfumes into the hot Air---and for me that was the best part of Summer!!!I spent the Summer days of my Vacations perched high up on my Dhurrie in the spreading branches of the spreading "Neem" or Margosa Tree--breathing in the bittersweet perfume of it's tiny frothy pearly hued Flowers.There was a nook of 3 branches that formed a Bookshelf for my Books--ensuring that I need not come down after I finished the earlier one to replenish my stock.Lunch was a necessary Evil--and after being the recipient of a hard spanking from Mummy the first time I refused made me descend daily---grumbling and fuming-- to present myself at the Table!!
I was a loner---preferring my own company and keeping myself busy either Reading,Sketching ,Painting or Writing and Daddy was very proud of me--specially my Memory.He'd make me read certain Books--for instance say "Gone with The Wind" and then just randomly read out a setence and ask me as which chapter or which incident in the Book did it belong to?95% of the time I'd be right---leading to his full face wreathing in proud and awed smiles!!!

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NITAINMN 5/12/2012 12:22AM

    Beautiful memories Komal...you do paint so well with words. Glad the J- tree brought back happy memories for you and your memories did the same to me. I too enjoyed sitting under the shade of a mango tree in our yard on a dhurrie as you called. Loved climbing mango trees too - we each kids had one of our own. Yes, the J- tree is very special. Our nuns at the school made sure we had one also in our school along with cherry blossom trees, apple trees, etc. Thanks for sharing.

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    Sounds like my childhood although in a totally different setting. I lived in our maple trees. I spend much of my time climbing like a monkey and hanging upside down!
Then and now my nose is burried in a book or I write poetry. Dad loved reading books and especially poetry.
If I asked Dad how to spell a word he'd say look it up in the dictionary. Then read the word before, the word after and tell em how to spell them and what they mean!

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SAASHA17 5/6/2012 3:00PM

    i can imagine u as a little kid reading away....i always wanted a tree house growing up:)

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BOVEY63 5/6/2012 11:08AM

    It does sound so beautiful and in the way you write I can almost see it.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 5/5/2012 7:23PM

    You may have lost the painting, but you paint a vivid picture with words. It sounds heavenly and you were just the sort of child to notice and appreciate it all, which is why you have the vivid memories now. Your father would still be proud.

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