Posted in Reflections

Slim Pickins’

Tis the season to be Jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la…

Spreading a bit of light and joy is the true spirit of Christmas.  It doesn’t have to be a purchased present.  I remember feeling such joy with hand crafted gifts my children gave me for the holidays. Some of these treasures are still out on display at home.  I understand now, why my mother looked so happy when I wrote a poem in her cards as a young child. No English teacher could ever convince her the poem needed work…no indeed!! I could do no wrong.

A whole year since my mother’s passing and still her absence is felt especially on holidays and birthdays.  Her outrageous laughs, her off-key singing (like me…I think I’m worse) and her dancing like no one is watching, brought me such joy!   She made us laugh until our bellies ached…really.

How many mothers would tell the following story with a straight face?my mom could!

Years ago, when she was a hairdresser, her customer arrived with a new seal coat?  (This was before Brigitte Bardot started her crusades ). Mom, whose mother tongue is French, squeals with joy, “Oh!! I love your f….cking coat!”

The customer who is a very conservative social worker gasps, “No, no, Mrs. Roberts, we don’t say that!”

Mom’s eyes widen, “No, no, I know what this is…let me show you my f…..cking boots.”  She runs up to get her seal boots.  “See!” she says proudly. It took awhile to sort this whole thing.  Finally another customer who is more fluent in English and French than my mom explains that Phoque is the French word for seal but pronounced like that 4-letter word.  Everyone had a good laugh and I still do sharing this cute story.

Well, now that was just one of many moments that my mother brought light into our lives.  And that brings me to a prompt at the Carrot Ranch asking us to write a story in 99 words (no more, no less) about “spreading the light”.    Check out the post  and prompt here where the writer shares a moving story about her friend as well as beautiful message for those struggling with the holiday season  written on the wall where Mother Theresa cared for Calcutta children.

Now here is my short story of 99 words:

SP pushes her cart past the shelter, and then stops to admire the trees for sale. The man selling Christmas trees, asks her, “How come most people call you SP?”

She chuckles, “Well now, that’d be due to my slim pickins’ all day.”

An older woman on her way to the shelter stops, “Hello, TJ! we’re counting on you to play piano at Christmas dinner.”

The man looks puzzled, “TJ?”

“Oh, Sister Mary Mona calls me that.”

She picks up fallen branches behind the trees and adds them to her pile, whispering, “ Yuppers, slim pickins’ turning to joy!”

© Cheryl-Lynn 2015/12/18


A little bit about moi: I am a mom, a nana, a sister, a woman, a friend, a human being…a youth counsellor, Family Life Educator. I have been working in the helping profession for over 25 years and volunteered in various capacities from youths to seniors. Tournesol is my nom de plume for haiku and other Japanese form poetry here at Tournesoldansunjardin I hope you enjoy reading through my daily waka. I also have another blog "Stop the Stigma" where I may stand on my soapbox now and then and hope it will become a place to drop in and share or comment on issues important to you. In that vein this could be a great way to learn from each other. Namaste!

12 thoughts on “Slim Pickins’

  1. I loved your story of your mother’s boots. I can see it as if I was there. Lovely memories of those belly-laughs you had with your Mum. Your flash too is beautiful. You show so well how there are two sides to every coin (person) and depending on the approach, much light can be spread. Happy New Year Cheryl-Lyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheryl-Lynn, what two beautiful stories! I laughed so hard at your mother’s phoquing boots! Can I take a guess — did she get those from Baffin Island? I understand there was a plenty of artistic trade going on at one time, including mukluks made from seal. And your flash is sweet and gentle as a Christmas song. Great dialog and pacing. Thank you for adding your light to Carrot Ranch! May I post your story on the Carrot Ranch Facebook page and in the compilation for the prompt?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pleased you enjoyed this story. You may post it. No matter how many time I tell this story, we always laugh. I’m sure she got her boots at Simpson’s (when it existed) still. We all had leather mukluks though not seal:)

      Liked by 2 people

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