"...wE mUst bE thE chAnGe wE wiSh tO sEE iN thE wOrld..." K.G.


fish candy

my sister just came back to omaha from our home town in upstate new york. she went to her childhood friends' funeral. while she was there, she took some down time to go to huntington, quebec, 11 miles from malone, and shop. she brought me back some candies and chow chow relish that we used to have when we were little. i'm enjoying a cinnamon fish candy as i write, and savoring the memories filling my thoughts. the other flavor is clove. (no, theres no fish in it, silly) and then there's the scottish white mints that my aunt kept in a little glass jar on her counter in the kitchen. my mom would send me to montreal when ever we were on school break, or during the summer... as a kid. and i'd stay with my favorite aunt germaine, who was also my godmother. i had wonderful times with her. one of my favorite memories is when i was little, she pulled me from her 3rd story flat all the way downtown in the dead of winter, in a little red sled in the snow... it had the wooden rails on 3 sides to lean on and i was comfy cozy under a blanket as she pulled me through the snow. when we got downtown, there were all kinds of lights and stores and venders with firecans...the smells were incredible, and i was toasty under my blanket. this particular time, she took me to a store that had all kinds of journals, and paper, pens galore, tablets i'd never seen before, art supplies, and then, just when i thought it couldn't get any better, low and behold i feasted my eyes on this shiny, beautiful, red and gold accordian that really played music, and i fell in love with it. there's nothing i ever wanted more, and bless her she bought it for me. i was SO happy. of course i didn't have a musical bone in my little body, but that accordian was all mine. we must have browsed in that store for hours, with the sled parked outside. my eyes couldn't look around fast enough to take everything in. she also bought me my first diary that day. the kind with a little lock on it. i can still remember how the store smelled like freshly sharpened pencils, and crayons, and ink from news print and papers. to this day i LOVE LOVE LOVE going to office supply/art/bookstores.....i could spend a whole day browsing, reading, just being,...fantasizing. "borders" and "barnes and nobles" are wonderful stores here to do that in. our little town of malone didn't have any thing like that. we had a woolworths and a drug store. god bless my aunt germaine, she gave me moments of peace and love, safety and grace, in incraments interspaced in my normally lonely, painful life, as i was growing up. her son, my cousin robert, used to pull me in the sled after dark around christmas time and we'd look at all the christmas lights. i used to imagine what it was like in this house or that one as we'd pass by and catch little glimpses of thier lives through opened curtains...it always looked so cozy and warm in other peoples' homes. with a real family and real presents under the tree. families that had 2 parents...
those were also real winters with feet of packed snow on the ground and covered streets in layers of snow that wouldn't melt. up north, you didn't even see bare roads once winter set in, until spring. blue christmas lights were my favorite to see, and often it would start to snow. huge flakes that fell silently on me in the sled and i would stick out my tongue and catch them. i'd lay my head back on the rail and watch them come down from heaven. they came from SO high up you couldn't see where they started and if you looked long enough you'd get mezmerized, almost hypnotized. and i used to imagine things like God sprinkling powdered sugar all over us....until we were all white. my cheeks would be frozen but i was warm inside....peaceful moments, safety, love, no abuse, no yelling, no hitting....just pure white snow, all i could eat. and my older cousin pulling me in the sled, my protector....when we got cold and had enough, my aunt always had a hot meal waiting that i could start smelling in the hallway as we walked the stairs to the 3rd floor.... she was such a good cook, everything she made was dee-lish. and after a good meal and a hot bath it would be time to read or watch TV...and have a little candy from her glass jar. or we'd go visiting other relatives and spend fun evenings with my cousins. most of my memories of my mom's side of the family are ones i cherish. most of them. and if it hadn't been for them, i probly wouldn't know what it's like to be treated decently, and not live in fear of getting hit or yelled at, at any given time. childhood shouldn't be that way. you shouldn't have to live in fear of being hit or molested or yelled at or slapped....or grabbed or embarrassed. it SHOULD be safe and loving, if anything at all. and it shouldn't be lonely. je t'aime matante germaine, puis je m'enyuis de vous. merci pour tout les bonnes temp que tu ma donner. bonsoir.....ta zezette...la petite noir.....

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