Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Aftermath....

Lunch and my guests have come and gone. We had a magical, fun, sometimes pensive, but alway interesting afternoon. As I said in my previous post, I prepare far too much food...but what's new? At least, I don't have to worry about where my next ten meals are coming from!

Fia, the distaff side of my friends, and I fell apart in a fit of giggles at one stage. I have no idea, really, what started our hysterics, but they lingered on for quite a while. Tears of laughter flowed down the cheeks of our faces, while Paul, Fia's husband, looked on in askance...which, I might add, is not a foreign expression for a man when two women who understand and like each other are together!

Today, 17th February was/is my mother's birthday. My mother passed away many years ago at a young age...far too young for someone who was once a very vibrant, beautiful woman. Tall of stature, with a proud bearing and perfect posture, my mother had deep auburn hair and blue eyes. As a child, when her teacher asked her from where she got her 'red' hair, her answer was, "My grandfather's moustache". He, I was told throughout my childhood, was a proud, somewhat precocious Irishman, with jet black hair and a ginger moustache. He married a wee lass from Scotland. On the maternal side, a staunch, brave Scots Highlander played his part in the gene pool.

My mother, Elma Flora Hay, typical of her flaming locks, was head-strong. She was an in-store mannequin...not one of those window dummies...but a walking, talking mannequin aka these days, model, who modeled, it is reported, the first two piece bathing suit in Queensland. This story I believe, as I have a photograph of her in such attire from that particular time, framed upon one of my walls. After she passed away, I had the original photograph 're-done' for posterity.

My mother was many things. Spoiled as a child, she learned dancing...ballet and tap, piano, horse-riding and was always dressed well. She was a very good dancer and in my tender years she taught others to dance...and tried valiantly with me. I succeeded to a degree. She was a brilliant pianist, either by ear or what she learned by her years under the guidance of a teacher. She could play anything from classical, to jazz, to blues, to modern..ballads to rock. She knew how to improvise and did it expertly. I don't say this because she was my mother. I say it because she could and did it very well. At one stage she was part of a dance band in Gympie, where I grew up. She was a huge fan of the style of Fats Waller. Even today, when I play his music...I have a couple of CDs of Fats Waller's marvellous ability at the keyboard...I hear my mother playing the piano whenever I play Waller. I must admit I don't do that very often. Something I might rectify this evening...just for old time's sake. Unfortunately, I didn't inherit my mother's excellence at the ebony and ivory. I'm a bit like a herd of elephants when it comes to the piano, even after five years of classes. I have to be honest here, though, while attending piano tuition, I did earn top marks in all my examinations, both theory and practical, I am absolutely hopeless now! I guess I don't have the 'saving' fingers and mind are like sieves as far as retaining the ability of nimble fingers across the keyboard of a piano. I can pedal a pianola quite well, though...if that is any consolation! Please excuse my singing, though!

I did, however, inherit some of my mother's bad traits...impatience, for one! There are others, but I'm not going to divulge those. I'm going to keep you guessing! I would like to keep you thinking that I'm perfect in every way!!!!!!!!!

No matter what direction life took my mother...she always dressed well, sometimes...perhaps often, to the envy of others. She was a good woman, albeit complex. But then, who amongst us, isn't?

Today is a celebration of the life of Elma Flora mother. The good and the bad...the human frailties of us all. Without her and Joe Nicholson, my father, I would not be here today. And...hey! That would be a sacrilege! What would I do without me? Here's lookin' at you kid! everyone who trips through my door and whose door I poke my head around...sorry I've not visited you over the past couple of days. I promise you I will catch up with you all tomorrow!


  1. Hi Lee, I've caught up on all your posts over the last week. As I said in my post, I won't be around too much, mainly in the weekends, because I'm working full time for a couple of weeks. I'll be shattered by the end of it. I love my two days a week and the rest of the time working from home, so it's a bit of a shock to the system to work a full week. I don't know how I did it before!

    I hope all is well with you and the cats in your forest hideaway!

    Take care :-)

  2. Great to hear from you, Robyn...I was a little concerned something might be amiss, until I read you post in your would have read my comment by now, I guess. :)

    I know how you feel...routine changes when you have to go back out there in that real, outer world! It's a whole different story! That's why I, like you, enjoy being able to do what we can from home...It's bit of a shock to the system, isn't it? lol

    I can sit here and do what I have to day at my computer in bra and briefs or just a sarong...sure beats clothes suitable for an office or whatever! ;)

    Take care...and keep in touch when you can. Maybe Madame will come back a changed person! ;) (You know who I mean!)

  3. great story about your mom..

    I'm sure you are "patiently" waiting for comments...heh.

    wow, first to wear a 2 piece bathing suit!! That photo was worth restoring for sure!

  4. "Patience is overrated," so sayth another woman with no patience.

  5. Hi there Deslily and Corn Dog....yes, that thing called 'patience' is terrible over-rated! ;)

    Thanks to the both of you for your comments.

  6. Hi, Lee. That is a beautiful memoir of your mother. I'm sure she would be very proud of you and glad that you spent the day as you did. She would have wanted you to be happy, Lee, and because we are happy, in our way, that does not mean that we forget.. it is, rather, the greatest compliment that we could offer to our parents. Love, WL and Simi.

  7. lee,
    I'm so glad you blogged about your mom! Today (17 Feb. 1920)is the anniversary of my dad's birth. He too died at a youg age (58) while persuing his dreams. He too had an inate musical ability..A voice with perfect pitch, and although I never heard him play the piano...when I was taking trumpet lessons, he picked it up one day a started playing effortlessly. He was an articulate and well read man. He was a prodigious writer of poetry as well as prose. He graduated High School One year before me with his GED. He taught himself to speak french.
    In 5 days it will be the anniversary of his moving to a higher plane. (22 Feb. 1978)


  8. Wow, that was a wonderful story about your mom. May your mom be looking down on you, smiling and saying to herself,she has grown up to be quite a lady.
    The piano thing I can relate to. My sister plays beautifully but me on the other hand. All those lessons went out the window. :) Maybe my granddaughter will do better, as much as she loves to bang on the piano now.

  9. My mother had a wicked sense of humour, Welsh...I may not have inherited her piano-playing abilities, but I did inherit spades! ;)

    Rel...I hope you have an equally as happy celebration for your father. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. You've definitely inherited his love of poetry. :)

    Hey, Sandra...and the funny thing about the piano-playing bit, I have longer fingers and much larger hands than my that's once case where 'size doesn't matter"! I guess it could be the reason to why I sounded like a rampaging herd of elephants! ;)

    Thank you all for your comments. They are appreciated.

  10. Hi Lee, I am beginning to think we have some sort of a connection in the 'universal consciousness' - which is my way of saying, we've done it again - and hit the same topic - mothers.

    Happy Birthday to Elma Flora, by the way - my mother was Muriel Rachel, always called Rae.

    It doesn't sound like they shared much, but I do know about impatience, I once saw my mother empty all of the kitchen cupboards, out the back door into the yard, in a fit of rage, from the top of the back stairs - when she couldn't find the thing she was looking for - scary...

    We did have a piano, my sisters took lessons and were good at it - not me though...

  11. Hi Lee, a very nice tribute to your Mother.

    I would like to keep you thinking that I'm perfect in every way!!!!!!!!!

    I'll just bet you would too!!!!!!!!

  12. Hi Lee ~~ I enjoyed learning about your Mother who sounded like a very
    interesting lady. I am sure she would be very proud of you.
    Glad your lunch and guests were very enjoyable. (I love left overs.)
    Thanks foryour visits and comments
    when you have been so busy.
    Take care, Lee, Love, Merle.

  13. Hey there careful of flying kitchen cupboard contents! The trouble with doing that is you have to put them all back again! I haven't gotten to that stage yet, but I must tidy out my kitchen cupboards, actually...calmly! ;)

    Of course, Peter, of course! Never shatter the illusion!

    Hi there Merle...always nice to see you. Thanks for your nice comments. :)

  14. Hi Lee,

    A very nice tribue to your lovely mum.


  15. Thanks, Janice...nice to see that you must be feeling better. :)

  16. That is a wonderful tribute to your mother.

    Where would we be without you too?!

  17. Hi there, Liz...thanks. You probably wouldn't have as much reading to do, if I wasn't about! ;)