Saturday, November 06, 2010


There are a few good excuses to explain why THE HOPE LADY has been neglecting her blogging lately. I’ll not bore you with the worst of them. You wouldn’t believe me anyway. The best one of them all is that she has been busy counting sleeps, a skill she learned early in life.
Counting sleeps is something her mother taught her to do when she was a little girl. Her mother was sharp that way. If you’re really looking forward to something, and you ask your mother once too often how long it will be before it comes, she’ll teach you to count sleeps and make you count them on the calendar every time you ask. By the time the thing you are waiting for finally arrives, you’ve learned to count backwards and recite the days of the week.
When THE HOPE LADY was a little girl, she used to count the sleeps until she could have vinegar-soaked French fries at the Hardisty Stampede, the sleeps until Christmas, the sleeps until Aunty came for a visit, the sleeps until school let out for the summer holidays. Every day the number of sleeps got smaller. Oh the excitement!!!
These days THE HOPE LADY is counting the sleeps until she will get to see her little girl. Never mind that her kids hover around the age of 30. Never mind that she is old enough to be their mother. Never mind that two of them are near enough to brighten her life on a daily basis. Never mind that the other one can be reached any day by telephone or email or webcam. She’s counting sleeps anyway, because she can, because she wants to. There are 5 more now. One of them will be a little bit longer than the others—falling back, you know.
“Grow up,” chides her inner critic. “Concentrate on the important things of the present, practising music for tomorrow’s church, getting the laundry done, preparing for the by-laws meeting, gathering your wits for the two new groups starting at the Hope Foundation.”
And THE HOPE LADY tries to grow up. She almost makes it too, but then her little girl phones.
“I was thinking about what we’ll do during your visit. We might buy tickets to hear Mark Kingwell speak on the role of the public intellectual in Canada,” she says, and the way her mother’s heart responds, you’d think she’d offered hot fries from the booth, or fluffy castles of cotton candy on a stick. “It all depends on which day we go to the Royal Winter Fair,” she adds.
“What will we do at the Royal Winter Fair?” THE HOPE LADY asks.
“Look at cows,” she says.
Of course, thinks THE HOPE LADY. That’s what you do when you marry a cow psychologist. It’s a good thing THE HOPE LADY is a farmer’s daughter who can appreciate such things, and she wonders if mothers ever really grow up, or if they simply get better at counting, and learn to make better excuses for not getting around to blogging.

1 comment:

The cow psychologist's wife said...

Oh, but it's just FOUR sleeps now!!!