Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

I’m over at Sally Cronin’s blog today, sharing a Christmas memory. Hop over and say Hello. I hope all your Holiday preparations are going well.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1200 Posts from Your Archiveswhere bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience…

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

This series is along the same lines and is a celebration of Christmas and New Year.

I do appreciate that this is not a religious festival for everyone but it is a time of year when families and friends come together and our thoughts turn to our hopes and wishes for the coming year. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate in this festive series.

Today children’s author Darlene Fostershares a delightful true Christmas story….do you believe in Santa?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The Year I…

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I am being featured today on Bernadette’s New Classic Recipe blog where I share a Christmas dinner disaster story and a favourite recipe. Enjoy! If you wish to share a Christmas dinner disaster in the comments below, that would be fun.

Canada in the fall is gorgeous with such a variety of landscapes. I started my recent trip on the east coast, in Prince Edward Island, travelled to British Columbia on the west coast, and ended my journey in Alberta, one of the prairie provinces. I want to share with you some of the fabulous scenery I encountered.

Taken as I was landing on PEI. The rich farmland is depicted with its famous red soil.
Even the beaches of PEI are red.
There are many wonderful rugged beaches on Prince Edward Island.
Typical countryside scene on Prince Edward Island
An amazing natural arch
The view from the deck of my favourite place to have lunch in Ladner, BC
On the way to Gabriola Island by ferry. Nanaimo, BC is in the background.
Overlooking the islands from Gabriola Island
Rowing to Mudge Island
A peaceful walk on Mudge Island, BC
The view from my daughter’s house on Mudge Island
Wouldn’t you love to live on Halibut Hill in the forest?
On Vancouver Island near Comox
Goose Spit Regional Park on Vancouver Island
Amazing sunrise in White Rock, BC, seen from my bedroom window!
A typical fall prairie scene in southern Alberta has its own beauty.
There is nothing like a prairie sunset.
Trees turning colour in Calgary, Alberta
One of many beautiful gardens in Calgary, Alberta

I was only in three of the ten provinces of Canada, but you can get an idea of the diversity in the landscape from one coast to another.

I am pleased to be featured on Judith Barrow’s blog where I share a memory of a different time and place. Judith is an accomplished writer of family sagas and runs this wonderful “places in our memories” series on her blog.

Judith Barrow

There are places that remain in our memories, the details may become slightly blurred, nostalgia may colour our thoughts, but they don’t fade. And how those places made us feel at the time is the one thing that remains.

Today I’m welcoming Darlene Foster, a friend I’ve known online for quite a while, and had the great pleasure in meeting and getting to know her in real life at Barb Taub’s writing retreat on Arran, a few weeks ago.

Darlene is here to tell us about the time her baby brother was born during the blizzards at her near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.

I remember when my brother, Timothy, was born. It had been a typical cold and snowy prairie winter. Blizzards created impassable road conditions. Mom expected the third member of our family to arrive in early February. Dad was concerned that when the time came, the…

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My blogging friend, Beetley Pete, has been running a series of posts featuring photographs from post-war Britain. They are fascinating, a great look back at another time and another place. I would suggest you check them out here.

I love old photographs and am so pleased that my family is a family of picture takers. Over the years I have accumulated some wonderful old pictures from the Canadian prairies. So I thought I would post a few of them from time to time as others may enjoy them too. Many will be of family and some will be poor quality. The following are from the 1950s.

This four-generation picture is one of my favourites. Seated is my great-grandmother, and on the left is my grandmother holding little me (and teddy). My mom is on the right. These three women were a huge influence in my life. The shadow of my dad taking the picture makes it even more special.

Another favourite with special women in my life. From left to right, my aunt with my cousin, Mom holding my little brother, me (with teddy), my paternal grandmother, a close family friend I called Aunty and her two children (who I’m still friends with).

Now here is one I just love. I am on the right with my aunt and my brother. We were playing wedding and needed a bridesmaid so we put a dress on my younger brother. He looks so happy because we actually let him play with us. We look a bit guilty, I think. He is not fond of this picture but has forgiven us. I think he looks so cute!

Two farm kids from the 1950s at Hilda, Alberta. One now lives in Thailand, the other in Spain. Who would have thought?

Here I am on the farm with my brother and a snowman we had just built; our dog lurking in the background.

My next little brother with my mom’s teenage sisters, my dear aunts. Another favourite picture.

There you have it, six pictures from another time. I have more to share later.

Thanks for joining me on my trip down memory lane.

Do you enjoy looking at old pictures?

I was invited to share my mom’s pierogi recipe over at Bernadette’s New Classic Recipe blog. A great blog filled with fabulous recipes and stories to go along with them. I love recipes with a story connected to them. Check out the blog post and let me know if you try the pierogi recipe.

Mom’s Pierogi by Darlene Foster

One of my favourite memories about growing up on the farm is when Mom would make pierogi. It’s my ultimate comfort food. After mom passed away last year, I was determined to make them in her memory. Mine are never quite as good as hers were, though. As you mentioned, mothers seem to have a secret ingredient. I think that the ingredient must be love. 

Pierogi are from Eastern Europe and are called by a number of different names. In Russia and Ukraine, they are called varenyky and in our German Canadian home we called them case knoephla, but they are mostly known by their Polish name of pierogi. Here is mom’s recipe. I’m so glad I got it from her. Whenever I start to miss her, I make a batch.

Click here for the rest of the article and the recipe.

What is your comfort food?

PS I had some pierogi last night!

I am part of an excellent series on Sally Cronin’s blog called, I Wish I knew Then What I Know Now. There are many things I wish I had known when I was younger, but I chose to talk about unnecessary worrying. If you haven’t already read it on Sally’s popular blog, check it out and let me know what you think about the subject.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.

I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

I wish I knew then what I know now! by Darlene Foster

I believe we learn as we go, and specific knowledge appears when we need it. If we knew everything at birth, there would be nothing to live for. But one thing I wish I had learned earlier in life is that worrying is futile.

I come from a long line of worriers; my mother and grandmother were masters of the art of worrying. I’m sure the women who came before them…

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Nancy shares an amusing story written by a fellow writer here in our part of Spain. This is sure to bring some chuckles and a few giggles. Enjoy.

US Author Nancy Klein in Spain

Editors Note: I am in a writers group with John here on Costa Blanca. Before each meeting, we get different prompts in case we don’t know what to write about. This week the prompt was: “My hands shook with anticipation.” What John wrote in response to the prompt was so funny that I laughed until I cried. That’s why I wanted to share it with my readers. This piece of writing should really brighten your day. Enjoy!

Young people kissing

By John Dodd

April 1961, and there I was, in the little store room under the school hall
stage, with Rosie Trawler. An acne-ridden teenager, I knew so little
about girls. Yes, my Dad had told me that when a man and a woman
love each other very much, they lie down together and make a baby.
Fat lot of help that was. Everything that we spotty boys knew…

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An emotional bond is more binding than any chain could ever be.

by Pamela from https://butterflysand.com/

York, England January 22

45 years ago in York, England, a girl from the Canadian prairies married her handsome Yorkshireman. And there has never been a dull moment since! We´ve taken risks, travelled much of the world and had lots of laughs. We´ve lived through happy and turbulent times, collected amazing friends and have some wonderful memories. Not willing to be conventional, we even had a Dougal the Dog wedding cake. A few snaps of our wild and crazy life.

Paris. France 2018
Liverpool, England 2017
Spain with Dot, 2017
Spain, 2017
Mediterranean Cruise 2015
Orihuela Costa, Spain 2014
Budapest, Hungary 2012
Germany, 2012
Cozumel, Mexico 2010
Covent Garden, England 1998

May the adventure continue!

Wishing all my followers a wonderful Holiday Season. Here is a little Christmas story for you.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The Year I Discovered Santa Claus by Darlene Foster

Most children dream of seeing Santa Claus. I stayed up as late as possible every Christmas Eve but always fell asleep, only to wake up in the morning to see the jolly fellow had visited and left gifts.

***

It was to be our last Christmas on the farm. Mom and Dad had purchased a house in the city and planned to move in the next spring.  The whole family was gathering at the farm one last time to spend the holiday with them.

We lived in Calgary at the time, a three-hour drive away. The morning of the 24th, Hubby was busy loading luggage as I pulled gifts out from under the tree to take with us. We had a couple of stops to make before arriving at the farm. It was important that the gifts that were to be dropped off first, went into the trunk last. Crawling under the tree to retrieve the carefully wrapped packages at the very back, a searing pain shot up my spine. I couldn’t move forward, backward or sideways. Paul came in for another load only to find me under the tree on all fours and in tears.

“I’ve put my back out and I can’t move,” I croaked.

He managed to lift me out from under the tree and lay me on the couch. From there I gave him instructions as to where to place each gift.

My ten-year-old daughter panicked when she saw me. “Does this mean we can’t go?”

“Are you sure you can manage the drive?” Paul asked.

I assured both of them I would be OK. I was not missing the last Christmas on the farm. So I took medication and hobbled to the car. I managed fine on the three-hour drive. Paul dropped off the gifts we needed to deliver on the way, while I stayed in the car. Once at the farm, getting out of the car proved difficult, but my dad and brothers were soon there, giving me a hand. Dad put me in his comfy chair and immediately put a heating pad behind my back. My brothers helped remove my boots and Mom made me a cup of tea. I was feeling the love, and happy to be home.

The kids of all ages, bundled up and went for a sleigh ride, a tradition in our family. Instead of using horses as he did in the past, Dad used a tractor to pull the open sleigh over the snow. I wished I could have gone along as it wouldn’t happen again, but didn´t want to risk it. I stayed back with Mom who prepared food for the evening meal and the big feast the next day. She wouldn´t let me help with the cooking preparations either.

I took more medication and by dinner, I felt better. We had a great meal as always and played a rousing game of marbles. We are a competitive family, so there was shouting and grabbing and perhaps a bit of cheating. All good fun and no one got hurt. Once the children were put to bed, Mom and I kept everyone out of the living room while we filled the stockings and arranged them around the tree. After a midnight drink, we all turned in. The beds at my parents´ house were comfy but old. The one we were given to sleep on had a very soft mattress and I kept rolling into the middle. Every time I did, the pain in my back worsened.

In spite of the extra dose of medication, I wasn´t getting much sleep. I finally grabbed a quilt, took my pillow and moved into the living room to sleep on the nice firm couch. Mom always left the tree lights on all night on Christmas Eve, which I found comforting. I felt like a kid again and soon fell fast asleep.

All of a sudden, I was woken up by someone switching on the bright overhead light. My brother, bare-chested and wearing a pair of beige jogging pants, popped things into everyone´s stocking. He obviously didn´t see me as he went about playing Santa. Then he left the room, switching off the light behind him. I smiled and fell back to sleep with no problem.

The next morning as we stuffed ourselves with pancakes, Dad asked me, “Did you sleep all right, dear?” 

I replied, “I moved to the living room and slept just fine. And I saw Santa. He came into the room while I was sleeping and filled the stockings. And – he was stark naked!”

My brother turned red and shouted, “I was not. I had my jogging pants on.” 

That was the one and only time I saw Santa Claus.

Enjoy the season, and if you’re lucky, you just might see Santa!


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