Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Photos in my mind

*A note to those who're new to my blog...
My blogs are written on paper while I'm out teaching,
in the 'dead' time between students or on the bus...
just in case you find it doesn't make much sense*

Oh look! Today's Friday the 13th! So far, it's promising to be peachy in spite of my horrorscope promising doom 'n gloom. I think I'll actually take a lottery ticket today. In fairness, the lottery place should be empty barring a few other souls as odd as me.

It's Friday! : )

An old black man got on the bus - his most notable features were his work-worn hands. I looked up at his creased brown skin and my thoughts went back to old Joe. Joe was part of the landscape of my childhood, a short man, his face a map of ebony wrinkles. I'm not sure what his actual job was, but I remember him mostly on his knees alongside my gran as they lovingly tended pansies, dahlias and roses.

He was a quiet man. The only time I remember him actually saying something was when, during some controversial political upheaval in the country ~ "Ek's 'n kaffir. Ek sal altyd 'n kaffir wees." (Translates to "I'm a kaffir and will always be a kaffir") He wasn't being humble or downtrodden when he said that. He said it with an odd pride. I actually think that he had found the equality everyone else was crying for kneeling in the dirt next to a white woman, tending the flower beds they both loved. I was taught to respect him and who could do otherwise? I think he was old before time began.

Another short man from my past comes to mind, Oom de Vos. I can picture him clearly. Actually, I can smell him clearly too. He carried a musty old-man smell about him that made me imagine him carrying mothballs in the pockets of his equally old black suit that he probably dug out especially for these visits. I wish I knew more about him though. He'd known my gran for many, many years. Apparently, he had been a manager on the family farm. He always spoke to my gran with warm deference. I suspect that he could have filled in a lot of the gaps I have in the family history. I'd look his family up, but, sadly, De Vos is a fairly common name in South Africa and I know absolutely nothing else about him. For the lack of photos, I wish I were an artist. I'd paint a picture. The memories are crystal clear.

A young girl, a student, got onto the bus and stood next to my seat. I offered to hold her bags, but she put them on the floor at her feet. She did, however, allow me to hold her book, a thick tome on Clinical Anatomy. Have you ever held a book and wished you could just absorb all the information in it through the covers... osmosis-style? I did. I wonder if she'd have thought me odd or presumptuous if I'd started flipping through the book.


  1. :D I love your descriptions!! Wunderbaar!! :D

  2. Wonderful memories! And a great way of telling them. I can see it in my mind ...

    I remember an old man in our church, when I was about six or seven. We called him Opa Dropje (grandpa Dropje ... drop is a favorite candy here in the Netherlands, a little like your liquorice). Before the service all children younger than ten years old could go to him and they got some "dropjes", to eat during the long and boring sermons. The parents were often not amused, seeing their beloved offspring with black lips and teeth, sometimes loudly sucking their 'dropje'. But Opa was not to be stopped ...
    I remember him, wrinkled in his grey suit, always smiling with his last few brown teeth showing. It was all a bit terrifying and sweet at the same time ...

  3. Aw... thanks Kateybear... or should I say Psychedelic-Riete? Time to change your profile photo, skattie!

    Riete, Tat grew up with an 'Opa Dropje'. I think your comment will bring back a few memories for her : ) It wouldn't have worked for me. I've never been able to figure out what people see in liquorice.

  4. I did change my profile pic. I'm KaleidoscopeBob now.

  5. Ouch! I do prefer the more... .uh... feminine side of you 0.0

  6. This was a very comfortable walk down memory lane. Loved it.

  7. Your words take me right back to a time shelved carefully in my heart, familiar emotion evoked by similar events..awesome read x x

  8. Bob, I'm ... errrmm .. impressed ... I guess ... ;D

  9. Kat, glad it was comfortable (wondering if you read it while reclining on the couch) :)

    Heather, I wondered if it would...

    lol Riete... I'm relieved to have Kaleidoscopic Katey back today!

  10. No...I have to sit on a chair at my desk. But the feelings and pictures you sent out were very comfortable. I could see them!

  11. I love your memories, Tint. It is amazing how you write. I love how you welcome us right into your memories like that. Thank you for even trusting us enough. :) I wish I could write like you, y'know.

  12. I think of my new blogs while I'm out and about too... but I usually forget them by the time I get home...(Oops).

    Some great stories there.

  13. Kat, thanks... I'll definitely take that as a compliment ; )

    Kippy, you're not a shabby writer yourself (I've often wished I could write like you), but thanks.... and you know I trust you with my memories : )

    Ah Bert, the difference is that I write them down while I'm out or I'd definitely forget.

  14. I have the next blogs in my purse from Wednesday started on a picnic table at the River Walk ..continued on through the day, Just not quite up to posting yet :) maybe Monday..Nice to have you as a friend I am enjoying your blog and the way your descriptions bring the scene to life ..it's great

  15. I actually had taken photos of my notebook on the table and the beginning of the write..you have inspired me to move on with it..maybe soon :)

  16. Hm... blogging at a picnic table at a River Walk sounds so lovely. I'm looking forward to seeing that blog.

  17. Hmm, Cheryl makes a good point... Perhaps you could just post a photo of your Blog notes... wouldn't need to type it then ? ? ? ....lol


Thank you for stopping by! Do leave a note, so I know you were here and can visit you too :)