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Friday, October 15, 2010

My first attempt at a Magpie Tale

This story is posted for Magpie Tales, a meme hosted by Willow, who posts a photo for poets and writers to use as inspiration. Here are the thoughts this picture immediately brought to my mind.


Look at that beautiful door, with the top half open and the bottom half closed. My mother always called this “a Dutch door” so I looked it up. Wikipedia says this term is “American English” while the British call it a “stable door” and the Irish call it a “half door”. Wikipedia doesn’t say what the Dutch call it.
Whatever its name, I always wanted one, but now I suppose I never will. I’m living in Alberta, and all my doors have screens to keep out flying insects.
Nevertheless, I can’t see a photo of a Dutch door without thinking of my mother, who died three years ago after cancer surgery, a heart attack, and a fall, culminating in pneumonia.
Mom would have loved this door, with its knocker, and its four-paned window topped by an arch. I know what she would have said to my father. “Gordon, look! There’s the one I want. See? It’s beautiful. I want one just like it!”
My father would have looked, but he wouldn’t have seen the door unless he happened to be standing right in front of it. “What?” he’d ask, looking around. “What are you talking about?”
“Never mind,” Mom would say, “we’ve already passed it. It’s back there.” In her enthusiasm, she’d have neglected to say “that door” to identify what she meant. She was always like that.
“Gordon,” she’d say, after 40 or 50 years of marriage, “bring me the thingamajig off the top of the whatchamacallit.”
“What?” Dad would always ask. “What do you want?”
If one of us happened to be there, we could say, “She wants the clock from the top of the china cabinet” because we all knew what she meant.
Dad would shake his head. “Well, then, why didn’t she say so?”
Our parents adored one another for more than 60 years, and eventually we began to suspect this was some sort of game they enjoyed playing, but we never knew for sure, and now we can't ask.


By Kay Davies
Alberta, Canada
October, 2010
In memory of
Pauline and Gordon Davies

With thanks to Willow
at Magpie Tales.

20 comments:

Jo said...

What a lovely tale, Kay. Wow, sixty years together, what a blessing to have such loving parents. Thanks for sharing - I enjoyed this tale very much. Blessings and hugs Jo

sukipoet said...

lovely memory

Francisca said...

Isn't life interesting how it shows us images to take us to sweet - and not so sweet - memories. Well done, Kay.

Jingle said...

love the optimism of 60 years long marriage.
very well crafted story.
the loss of a loved one, the turning point of life ...
loved reading you today...

willow said...

Beautiful tribute to your parents. Very nice.

Cezar and Léia said...

Very beautiful!
I wish you a lovely weekend!
Léia

phil said...


Wonderful tribute.
And welcome to the Wide Wide World of Magpies. :)

Kristen Haskell said...

What lovely memories. Thank you for sharing them.

Julie said...

Nice reminisce, Kaye. I like the thingamijig and the watchamacallit. We have them over here, too.

Amber said...

Very well told, and excellent first attempt.

Kristen Haskell said...

Kay your piece is just perfect. I have come to learn that there are no rules in Magpie. Write what moves you. Your parents seemed so loving.

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Amber -- Thanks, and you're right, they were.
K

gautami tripathy said...

Beautiful tribute...

fortune tellers

Brian Miller said...

what a lovely tale that ends a little bittersweet in that last line...they seem like wonderful parents...nice magpie.

Leslie said...

Oh, what a sweet story. I miss my dad, too.

Berowne said...

Sixty years -- that's a marriage!

Tumblewords: said...

Bittersweet memories - well written!

Reflections said...

Sixty years, wow. Such a rarity, but such devotion to be honored for sure! Memories well written to this take on magpie.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

I loved this little slice of your life...a peek through that Dutch Door...and it all sounds so familiar

Rogue said...

A loving tribute to your parents. Welcome to Magpie Tales!