Canada Day - A Bittersweet Kind Of DayWednesday, July 01, 2015
Today, Canada Day was a bittersweet kind of day. Lauren, 13 and her mother Hilary came over in the latter part of the afternoon for my barbecued chicken wings, turmeric rice with grilled red peppers, Hungarian style cucumber salad and my very strong and very popular (with the family) iced tea from scratch. For dessert we had mangoes and watermelon. The film we saw was Glory with Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman.
It was a bittersweet kind of day because Hilary’s sister, Rebecca, 17 simply does not visit us anymore. It was a day at the beach for her.
|Papi & Casi-Casi - Photograph Lauren Stewart|
It was a bittersweet kind of day because Lauren was 13 last Saturday. When I tested the birthday present idea of a makeup kit I was bombarded by stiff resistance from my daughter Hilary who said, “This is my second and last child. I want to keep her for a bit longer as a young girl. She will eventually want makeup, a cellphone and the rest of the stuff that teenagers want. Let’s keep her as she is for a while longer.
It was a bittersweet kind of day because Lauren’s disruptive sister Rebecca is making Lauren grow up fast. I can see it behind her eyes and I can sense it in her long moments of silence and her reticence to contribute to conversations.
It was a bittersweet kind of day as I watered the garden and deadheaded my roses wondering (perhaps even knowing now) that this is our last summer in our Athlone garden. The promise of money in the bank, with the freedom to go wherever desire, prompts us is but a bittersweet if slightly pleasant thought.
It was a bittersweet kind of day that was less so when my Lauren snapped my picture with Rosemary’s Casi-Casi (alas! I closed my eyes!). She used a Fuji Instax Mini 90.
In the middle of the night a few days before her birthday last Saturday I had the idea of this camera as the perfect gift. I had seen this unusual camera at Leo’s and Jeff Gin had kindly explained how it worked. He has repeatedly done the same with my Fuji X-E1 which he sold me at Leo's.
In this day and age of digital cameras a squarish little camera (not quite so little) that uses Fuji (spit it out) instant film is a startling anachronism. More so when if you look in the back there is not little screen to see what you have just taken. The camera will shoot 10 exposures (one 10-exposure roll costs $13.00) in a little credit card sized format with a white border on which you can write whatever you want. The camera has a flash, a macro setting, a bulb (long exposure) capability, two shutter releases (one for vertical shooting the other for horizontal) and it has a few more important features like a self-timer so Lauren can include herself and her friends in photographs.
|Clematis florida 'Sieboldii'- Photograph Lauren Stewart|
Perhaps the lowly shoebox will come back in fashion.
I am giving Lauren advice (little advice) as she needs it. I have told her to avoid hard contrast situations. Judging from her picture of Rosemary’s Clematis florida ‘Sieboldii’ I believe she is getting the message. I am now going to have to introduce her to the Impressionists.
The evening is nice and hot. I like to be in bed on the sheets with nothing on. It is luxurious. It reminds me of nights when Rosemary and I would drive from a chilly Mexico City in our Beetle to arrive late at night (usually a Friday after our teaching jobs) to my mother’s house in tropical Veracruz. While there is no smell of humidity and sea air wafting through our bedroom window the fragrance of our roses will do just fine.
Now how to diminish that bittersweet kind of day? I could start by seeing how quietly happy Lauren is with her new "Polaroid" camera.