Life, Love, Long Hair, Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth, and other mysteries

All this and more, from a semi-Serbian, slightly sane, former editor for physicians and surgeons, who is the mother of seven kids.

Friday, 6 April 2012

A Tea/Coffee Situation

Once upon a time, my sister and I were members of a tennis club.

I don't know how my parents afforded it, but they offered it to us and we gladly accepted, as we loved playing tennis.

My dad, who is a carpenter, built us a house in a beautiful British Columbian suburb, somehow managing to make the payments on the mortgage even though there were times when the carpenter's union had no work for him and we dug for leftover potatoes in a farmer's field in order to eat.

A picture I took of my dad in 1984 when I was standing on the deck of the house he'd built.

I didn't realize back then how poor we were.

I thought it was fun going out to the farms for potatoes, getting to spend time with my dad, digging in the dirt interspersed with playing in the nearby ditch and forest.

I like to think my dad really did love me back then.

I'd not know it if he does now.

He never - and I mean never - answers the phone when I call, and never returns my calls.

Funny how we'll still love those who don't seem to love us.

I don't chase after my dad anymore.

He's got his own life and has made his own decisions for reasons I may never know.

I still love him, though I hate how he ignores me.

I appreciate the sacrifices my dad made in order to raise me for 18 years.

Sure, he made mistakes.  Don't we all? 

When I was 25, showing him my first baby, the sight of whom moved him to tears, my dad looked at me and said, "I'm so sorry for the way I raised you.  I wish I could've done better."

I told him, "It's okay, Dad.  You did the best you could with what you had."

I think he really meant it.  I just don't understand why he has chosen to distance himself from me now.

Oh!  I know!  Maybe I could call him from my cell phone...

Wait, no... that's a tea/coffee situation.

Let me explain what that means:

You see, when I was 10-12, me 'n' my sister*, who's 18 months younger than me, were members of the local tennis club.

This ain't no tennis club, but this was me and my tennis (and badminton and assorted trouble) buddies back then.
Sis and I would go play our guts out on the tennis court, sometimes seriously, other times winging the ball over the fence as hard as we could into the forest on purpose, only to spend hours cooling down in the shade of the trees later hunting for our lost ball, coming out with at least half a dozen others -- and sometimes some empty pop bottles, too.

When we'd go into the club house, we'd brew up a mess of our favorite treat - coffee!

Yeah, I know, we were kind of young for it, but we loved coffee, with lots of milk and sugar cubes.

The sugar cubes were an absolute must.  Without them, we might as well have drank water mixed with dirt, that's how gross un-sugared hot beverages were to us.

One time when we had a hankering for coffee, we found that the sugar cube box was empty.

Our freshly-brewed coffee was sitting there smelling all delicious and tempting as we frantically dug through cupboards and drawers, hunting for sugar, but none could be found.

I said to my sis, "Oh well, that's okay... we'll just have tea."

 (I know I've put this song in another blog entry, but it fits here, too. 
 "No sugar tonight in my coffee, no sugar tonight in my tea.")

Late evening sun rays shone through the windows onto my sister's slightly annoyed face as her deadpan words came out,  "Steen.  We still don't have any sugar."

I knew that, but I'd just had to be facetious.

We burst out laughing at my mock-asinine comment, and for the rest of our lives, any time something came up where either way it wasn't going to work, we'd say, "Well, that's a tea/coffee situation."

Do you see what I mean now about my dad?  If I were to call him from a different phone, he's still not going to answer.

I have to humour myself or I'll let it get to me.

How about you?  Do you have silly things like that with your siblings and/or close friends?  Can you relate?

Love you guys.  Thanks for reading.

*For the grammar police out there, I want to mention that I do know it is improper to say "me 'n' my sister", but today I felt like ignoring the rules.  Thank you for your patience.

And if you still like my writing after all, go up to the top left of this page and click "Follow" to keep up to date with future blog entries.  Lots of old ones in the right-hand sidebar for your reading pleasure, and here are a few related and semi-related posts:


  1. It just occurred to me that beer probably taught me to drink un-sugared coffee quickly for the effect and to ignore the taste.

    Beer is just... unpleasant to me.

    1. I got to where I couldn't drink beer unless it was mixed with tomato juice, salt, and pepper. Then I quit it entirely for 15 years, only recently being able to enjoy the odd Corona, usually while cooking chili or on a warm evening.

      Wine, however, is something that is and always has been entirely unpleasant to me. I cannot stand to even taste a tiny bit of it.

  2. you need to use a bigger heart for my huge head (big enough head don't i have one) can you make a bigger heart just to cover more of my huge head?

    1. LOL, well, I'll see if I can mess with it in the basic photo editing program I've got. I just wanted to block out the eyes to protect the innocent.

  3. Sometimes, you just have to enjoy the aroma and move on. Kinda sad but it can't be helped.

    Ps: I'm going to have to use that phrase by the way. Its quite catchy.


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