Thanks to My Rosemary - No Kinks with this Cord
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
It would seem that in my family there is a tradition of the posthumous
gift. I have written about it in several blogs.
Behind this strong and successful woman.
Beyond the grave - a posthumous gift
Jane Rule - a posthumous gift
Beyond the grave - a posthumous gift for my mother
A posthumous gift - a rose
Postumous advice from Fred Schiffer
My Rosemary died on December 9, 2020 and not one day passes
with my noticing her presence or in a strange way a vacancy of her presence.
Some 20 years ago I purchased a 100ft extension cord that I
used in our Kerrisdale garden for our edger and our weed wacker. I also used
the extension cord in my assignments where I had to take studio lights to
offices to photograph business people or lawyers.
When we moved to our present duplex in Kitsilano almost five
years ago the extension cord was in not much use as assignments to offices
ceased. But twice or even three times a year I needed to weed eat the lane
garden outside the former garage that is now my office and little studio.
When I had to use this cord I would subject Rosemary to my
shouting and swearing on how awful the cord was and how nobody should have ever
sold such an aberration. It knotted and kinked and took a lot of time to extend
it and then to wind it back on its black plastic holder. It was the twisting on
the holder that gave the cord the kinks. The cord had a memory for this.
Rosemary would then tell me that I should buy a new rubber
one that would not kink. I told her that a rubber one would cost at least $150
and that if I only needed to use the bad cord three times a year that was fine.
That was not to be. It would seem that a couple of months
before Rosemary was too sick to go out to the garden she patiently unwound the
terrible cord and threw it into the garbage. She put the black holder on the
side of the garden where she knew I would eventually find it. Then a couple of
weeks ago I looked for the extension cord as time was ripe for an initial trimming
of the lane garden.
The extension cord was gone. I realized that beyond the
grave Rosemary had done something for me. Today I went to Home Depot and spent
$180 on a cord that worked very well when I trimmed the back lane.
What else will I discover? I am sure that Rosemary has left
me with many surprises to come. It saddens me.
But I almost feel like smiling.
A House is Not a Home - First & Last
Sunday, April 18, 2021
If there are obsessions that haunt me there are two that
will not go away.
One of them is about moments in one’s past that somehow, few
of us (me, specially), never think about how they will affect us or remember in
the future. Those past moments are called memories. There seems to be no
word for its opposite (to look forward) beyond “prediction”.
Another obsession is that about first times and last times.
This particular one is in my mind all the time. I squeeze the last bit of
toothpaste (I did this this morning) and I immediately think, “This will be the
last tube of toothpaste that my Rosemary will have bought.” I will have to buy
one on my own (I did).
Often in these blog pages I have mentioned that what makes
us supremely human is our ability to connect disparate stuff through association
– thus toothpaste/Rosemary.
As I wrote here April 18 is my real (legal) but fake
birthday. Tomorrow, April 19 is Rosemary’s real birthday. So I immediately think
and have been thinking all day, “This will be the first birthday of hers that I
will not share with her.”
There are enough Facebook postings “My grandmother would
have been 125 today,” that make me gag. I don’t understand these in the least.
But privately and personally I am awfully melancholic on the eve of Rosemary's birthday.
One way for me to celebrate this is to again use that SX-70
Polaroid snap that I took of her in our empty Burnaby home in 1975. It is
now safely framed so that it will not get lost.
My mother used to say that a house was not a home until you
put a picture on a wall. My Kits home is full of pictures and photographs
everywhere. The guest bathroom has lots of them. When I enter it the first
photographs I see are the famous Polaroid and a 1966 graduation-from-Queens
portrait of Rosemary.
But in that first-and-last vain I contemplate sadly that
tomorrow Rosemary will not be around and the constant association of stuff that
reminds me of her; memories that remind me of her; staring at Niño and Niña and
thinking that they are a direct connection with Rosemary (is it how they stare
at me?) will make this April 19 one that I will experience for the first time.
How many years will pass before it will be my last?
And, yes, the house in Burnaby in the 1975 Polaroid (no pictures on the walls) was Rosemary's first and mine in Canada. My present home in Kitsilano was her last.