Memory Gems – A Musing.


In stolen moments, all alone or with one dog at my side, I sip my coffee and finally relax and tumble my memory gems through my mind.

Passerbys stop to pat my dog which he welcomes. Me too. It is almost as nice to receive compliments about your pooch as your child. My dogs are floozies willing everyone to stop and pat.

My work day week takes a lot out of me. I think, I ponder, I write, I broker relationships between organisations and people, I collate news and share it, supervise staff and monitor programs, read, write and allow the many conversations and information I have gathered during the week to percolate through my brain, allowing new ideas to bubble to the surface. See? Everything is related to coffee.

I gain my energy from time alone, spent writing, reading, drawing, painting, sculpting, pasting, tearing, creating. I wander about my garden and I ponder and plan, plant and pull. There’s a lot of alliteration in my life. I draw energy from the earth, trees, plants, flowers, animals and the sky. I notice those moments of the sunlight through trees, a cobweb stretched across my path, a moment’s fragrance and much like my dogs, ponder it all later. I think about the trees I noticed driving to work and my dog’s faces as I gave them a last pat (and the random cat that joins the throng) and I savour them.

From childhood I learnt to gather those moments, the little treasure troves of gems, to share when life dulls or becomes overwhelming. Dealing with large groups of people is overwhelming, or groups that oppose one another (or think that they do). Worrying about one’s children and other people’s can be exhausting. Other people’s anxiety grinds against my own and I seek solace in my gems. Those shining moments when the world offered a glimpse of beauty. The more you find, the more you see.

Sometimes there are surprises. One evening this week, after completing an intricate drawing, I went into my bedroom, flipping the light on and stopped still with surprise. On my bed, looking equally surprised, was a beautiful chocolate Burmese. “Hello!” I assumed he came in through my open window and made himself at home. The effort it would have taken to get up to my window, balance and jump down probably required a nap. I walked slowly around the bed and offered my hand for a sniff. I quickly worked out that he preferred a stoke to a neck scratch and we were friends. I got ready for bed, wondering aloud to him who he was and who was missing him. A personable gentleman, he made himself at home and tried to settle on my pillow. I had other ideas and scooped him off. He liked the cuddle so settled down to sleep alongside me for the night. When we put him out in the morning, he was unwilling to leave and seemed disconcerted that he had to go before being offered breakfast.

We have wondered about him since. My bedroom window stays open and I watch for him. Handsome and obviously well cared for, we hope he is safe at home.

Another gem for my treasure trove of memories.

My entourage


Here I sit to write again and I am surrounded by my entourage. The inevitable Gem is on my right arm and a flotilla of floofy fluffy canines are milling at my feet. (Hmm, flotilla and milling? Oh well.)

When my grandson was crawling he joined my entourage. My entourage is usually made up of three floofy fluffs and Gem. The little fella was staying with Grandma (me! I know, right?) from the age of six weeks. Night after night, he went to sleep in my arms only to protest the laying down in a cold cot. (I tried warming the sheets while he snoozed on me but he was never fooled.) The floofy entourage watched this with decreasing interest as the nights waned.

My poodle, Miss Daisy Mae Starr (and yes, they do all have names like that), was enamoured of him from the get go. Absolutely besotted, she would stand on arms of armchairs to view him in his cot, wagging and talking all the while. He has taken the dogs attention for granted, never giving them more than their due and seemed to assume that he was one of them.

Wherever I go in the house, my entourage follows. It’s as if they are never quite sure what I might do. They follow in case I do something interesting and they don’t want to miss out. To the computer, check. To the kitchen, double check and hopeful wagging! To my room, check. To the laundry, check. To the toilet, check, check, check. I suspect they think that I will disappear when I go into a room where they are not. Fair enough. The toilet is a bit baffling though. I am often heard to call out in sheer exasperation, “Look you guys, I can go to the toilet by myself!”

When my grandson was finally crawling, he joined the entourage. He would faithfully follow the crowd down the hallway to the toilet, bathroom or laundry. If I had to answer the door, five little bodies came with me. Fortunately he’s never taken up barking though he did startle more than one visitor when bending to pat the menagerie, they noticed a baby in the mix. He didn’t seem to mind.

Now that he’s walking, running and exploring, the dogs are less interested. The cats have always been very tolerant of him, seeming to know that there is much he doesn’t understand. While the dogs generally treated him like a wayward puppy, my senior canine, Mr Wallace Gumble, has always kept his distance. The poodle is enamoured all over again as he is now of the correct height to hold his food just so, which Daisy delicately removes from his fingers. Portable snacks! My grandson always looks up at me with such consternation across his face, ever surprised by this turn of events. As I am an excellent Grandma, I laugh.

We went with the little fella and all the family on the local steam train, Puffing Billy, for his third birthday. He was so excited, he shivered and shook. It’s amazing how many people a cheeky, charming three year old can con into letting him clamber over them. Fortunately we only had the one carriage he could take over.

He still follows me much like my youngest did when she was small. It seems they never know what I might do next.