Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Easter Egg Hunt

We stood outside the house, cups in hand, waiting for the Easter egg hunt to begin. Everyone was there, even Duncan who is twenty two. We all participate in the Easter egg hunt. Gemma-Rose had already found four eggs even though we weren't supposed to look before everyone was ready. Mum gave the sign and everyone disappeared, trying to find the most eggs.
Tiny foil wrapped eggs lay in ingeneous hiding places. Some were easy. They were snapped up as soon as we started. But others need sharp eyes to be found. Mum has gained skill in hiding the eggs. Every year they get harder and harder. But we also get better at finding them. Still some of the eggs were really hard to find.

People patrolled the garden, ducking every so often to pick an egg up. Areas were checked and rechecked and still more eggs were found. But the amount of eggs being found was becoming less. We decided to count out how many eggs we had found.
Shining eggs spilled onto the outdoor table. Imogen counted them two by two. We needed to know how many were left in the garden.

"Eight left to find," Imogen announced as the last two eggs were put back.

We scattered back into the garden. We had to find at least some of the eggs before we finished.
"Seven," someone called.

"Six," another person shouted later.



"Three," we finally called.

No one could find another egg. We had to leave it at three. But as we flocked towards the door Mum pointed out one of the missing eggs to Gemma-Rose. Only two remained in the garden. But on Easter Monday Gemma-Rose found another of the missing eggs. But the last one is still missing.

I can't remember a year when we've found all of the eggs. One, two or even three eggs never get found. But maybe we might find them all next year. Who knows. I love Easter egg hunts!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Holy Thursday

Evening came and the family gathered at the door. It was Holy Thursday and we were on our way to mass. Coats were donned and shoes were buckled as we prepared for the first of the Holy Week masses.

Six tall cream candles stood in front of the altar, three on one side and three on the other. All the statues were covered in purple cloths and a jug and bowl stood between the candles. Members of the parish choir trickled into the church. This year Dad and Callum were asked to sing in the choir. They joined the choir members around the organ.

We were kneeling down praying when one of the ladies in the choir came over.
"Would you like to sing?" she asked Imogen.
"If Mum says I can I'd love to," Imogen answered eagerly.
She loves singing at the Holy Week masses. With Mum's permission she left us and joined the choir. Of course Imogen hadn't practised any of the music but she did remember most of it from other years.

Mass began and the incense began to float around the church in a misty cloud. Oils blessed at the cathedral were brought in one by one. Father said a prayer as the three children carried them in.

Then Father took off the outer part of his vestments and two altar servers picked up the bowl and a huge pile of white towels. They slowly made their way around the church stopping every now and again to wash a foot.

After communion Father processed slowly around the church with the Blessed Sacrament. We all knelt. The choir sang as Father processed. Mass ended quietly with no recessional hymn and hardly any noise. Barely anyone spoke as they left the church. Holy Thursday is over for another year.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Palm Sunday

For me Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Of course it's actually the last Sunday of Lent. It has a different feel to it than the other Sundays of Lent to it with the palms (very often in our parish we can't get any palms so we use ferns), the blessing of the palms (or ferns) and the readings. This year Sophie and Gemma-Rose decided to get bad colds with the stomach bug. Mum was going to stay home with them but Imogen offered to stay instead. So three members down, our family left for mass. Unusually I was the only of us girls there.

With our palms (ferns actually) we knelt down, waiting for the start of mass. I kept my palm from last year in a drawer but something happened to it. Maybe it disintegrated or perhaps the cats ate it, but now I can't find a trace of it. I like the hymns. They were ones I remembered well. We could have used Imogen in most of them. She sings soprano and the hymns were too high in places for me to sing comfortably. But we muddled along.

Somehow every year I manage to miss being splattered with holy water. Our pew never seems to be in the right place to get splashed. But I'm hopeful that one day I will actually get hit. Holy Week has now started. We just have Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday's masses to go to and Easter will be here. I wonder if my palm will survive the year this time. It'll be interesting to find out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Very, Very Fun Afternoon

Mum, Sophie and Gemma-Rose went out this morning to visit friends so Dad took Imogen and I to our piano lessons. Knowing Dad this day was going to be good. He has a way of making things very fun. I wasn't disappointed.

We had finished lunch, done the dishes and I was settling down for the afternoon when Dad came up.

"Do you want ride your scooters?" he asked, remembering that we usually went to the park on Thursdays.

"Oh yes please," I replied.

"I'll just finish this bit of work and then we'll go," Dad said, and went to find Imogen.

A little while later Imogen and I were by the door with scooters in our hands. We hopped in the van and headed towards Lake Alexandra. Armed with a thermos flask of coffee and backpack of things to do Dad settled down on a park bench. Imogen and I opened our scooters out(hoping we could remember how to put our scooters together as this was only the second time we've ridden a scooter). We managed just fine much to my relief.

Heaps of people were going around the lake on many types of transport. I saw fleets of scooters, two prams, several bicycles, a girl on roller skates and many people using their feet. In other words the lake was crowded. There were as many different speeds as there were people. The people on scooters zipped along while the prams went at a snail's pace, the bicycles weren't that fast, the girl in roller skates didn't move at high speeds and the walking people generally were looking at the ducks.

We left Dad at the bench and started along the busy pathway. Dodging the walking people, stopping for the prams and watching very carefully for the other people on scooters (they are really really fast) we rounded the lake. Imogen was just that littlest bit faster than me. She always has been. Whatever we do she is a little bit quicker. But I was just glad not to be left in the dust.

I never noticed the time passing. We arrived soon after lunch and by the time that we were tired it was well past four o'clock. The amount of people there had dwindled quite dramatically. It was two tired and happy girls that loaded themselves back into the van. It was a very good afternoon. I didn't think that we'd get to go to the park this week and thanks to Dad we did!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Trials and Tribulations of a Tired Tummy

It all began when my tummy gave up. On Saturday morning I was feeling fine. I was really happy as I had a stack of new books just dying to be read. That was at breakfast time. My tummy was fine all through the usual morning jobs, the weekend cleaning and getting ready for the last day of swimming this term. But when I was in the swimming pool it was a totally different story. I slipped over the edge with a little splosh. "I'm going to do heaps of laps today," I told myself. I pushed off the edge, ready to swim millions of laps. But after a few laps I felt a niggling pain somewhere around my tummy. "Oh well," I thought. "It's probably your imagination." I, being a rather silly kind of person, ignored the niggling pain and kept swimming. A few more laps made the niggling pain into something I knew wasn't my imagination. But as I said before I'm rather silly at times. "It'll probably go away soon," I decided and kept swimming. But it didn't go away and it get any better. After about eighteen laps I had decided that this wasn't just a little ache that was going to leave me alone. But I carried on a little longer. But the more laps I did the worse the ache became. At the end of twenty two laps my tummy was getting rather annoyed. It was insistent. No more swimming. "Stop! Stop!" It wailed at me. "I can't take any more swimming!" "I give up," I finally told it and pulled myself out. My tummy wasn't satisfied with that. I splatted over to Dad, water dripping from everywhere. Clothed and dry, I sat down with a book. But that annoying tummy wouldn't leave me alone. The pain just stayed and got worse. "Maybe some food will settle it," Dad suggested. "Why don't you eat your muesli bar?" I wasn't too sure, and in any case I wasn't hungry. But anything that might stop my tummy being sore would be welcome. It didn't work. So I sat and tried to read while Sophie and Gemma-Rose swam happily. "You don't look too good," Mum said when we got home. "She's got a sore tummy," Dad told her. I was sent off to wash the chlorine out of my hair. Lunch was made when I was finished. But sandwiches and left over dinner didn't sound good to my tummy. "I don't want sandwiches," my tummy moaned. I wholeheartedly agreed with it. Thankfully Imogen came to my tummy's rescue with some soup. The tummy didn't mind soup too much and finally it was happy for a few minutes. But the calm didn't last. My tummy began to ache again and ached all the way from lunch to dinner. I was getting rather desperate for it to stop after that. And to top it all I got a nasty headache. From half past ten to bed time is quite long enough for any tummy to hurt. I woke the next morning and carefully checked for signs that my tummy was still upset. I couldn't find any pain and hoped that it might have gotten better. "I can go to mass then," I thought and wriggled out of bed. But I knew something was wrong when I got out of the van. My tummy wasn't hurting, but there was the feeling that it might happen at any second. My feeling wasn't wrong. Part way through mass I felt a jab of pain in that annoying tummy. "I'm sore again," the tummy announced. "Uh oh," I thought, "here we go again." Of all the places it could have chosen to hurt and it chose the middle of mass. But though it hurt and ached I made a discovery. Sore tummies do not like high notes. The tummy wasn't happy for the rest of the day. Even cocoa pops and crumpets couldn't make it feel any better. But I did get to read a lot. My tummy couldn't stop me from doing that. Thankfully my tummy is better now and I can do more than just read a book and feel miserable. I don't really want to repeat that particular experience but at least I got a post out of it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Poems and Lives

Not long ago Imogen wrote a post on her blog, 'Dancing with Dragonflies', called 'Purple Potatoes and the Creed'. My post is about another chapter of Father Knox's 'The Creed in Slow Motion'. Today we read about another chapter. We settled down on the sofa, preparing for another wonderful talk. Mum opened up the laptop and the chapter title came up, 'Maker of Heaven and Earth'. "That sounds good," I thought. "Father Knox will be able to think of a lot to say on that subject. This will be great." Father Knox filled the chapter with explanations that were designed for girls our age to understand and comparisons that helped us to understand what the words 'Maker of Heaven and Earth' really mean. Then, in the middle of the chapter, Father Knox came up with the best comparison of all. He compared our lives to a poems that God writes. Just as a human poet is allowed to change what he writes, so God may rewrite our poems. When something changes in our lives our poems are being rewritten. "God must be very busy writing all those poems," Imogen laughed. Mum continued to read after we discussed this, and had made all the jokes that were necessary. The rest of the chapter was also good but I think the best bit was about the poems. When we had finished the chapter we were at liberty to talk and joke some more. "I must be a poem as long as the 'Ancient Mariner'," Imogen decided. "I'm one of those muddled up poems," I said, not to be out done. "One of the ones with double meanings everywhere?" Imogen asked. "Yes," I replied. "Heaps of double meanings. Is Mum a ballad?" "No a sonate," Imogen decided. "Yes," I agreed, "Mum's definitely a sonate." So Father Knox has given us another wonderful comparison. We're not likely to forget about this in a hurry. I think the 'The Creed in Slow Motion' has explained a lot of things to me that I never understood before. And there is still a lot of the Creed left for next term.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Wake Up Call

The cats run in and out of mine and Imogen's bedroom all night long. We have to leave our door open all night so that we aren't woken up by a pitiful meow asking us to open the door. So the cats are quiet during the night. But the early morning is another matter entirely.

This morning I drifted happily from sleep into a mostly asleep state. I opened my eyes a fraction. I didn't want to wake up too early. But something huge, warm and furry landed on my bed with a thump. I sneakily glanced at it. Sammy was on my pillow of course. "I'm not awake," I thought. "Go away Sammy. Not time for breakfast yet. I'm still asleep." Sammy didn't believe me though. A nose poked me in the neck. "Time for breakfast," the nose told me. "I'm hungry. I want food." "No," I replied mentally. "I told you before. I'm asleep. Go away." Sammy's not stupid. He has an amazing talent for telling if I'm only pretending to sleep. When he didn't get any reaction Sammy pawed me. But for all his trouble I only turned over. The pawing stopped. "Ah," I thought. "Now I can go back to sleep." But Sammy wasn't to be put off like that. He waited a few minutes then yank! I felt his teeth latch onto a lock of hair. I still didn't get up, much to his disapointment. The weight left my pillow a little later as a hungry Sammy went to try his luck with Imogen.

The warm drowsiness crept over me again. My eyelids drooped again and I was on the verge of sleeping when... Sounds of scurrying, a thump, a small squeak and I'm awake again. Jenny is on the window sill. I blink and Sammy has homed in on me. Another thump and he's pawing me again. There is only so long that I will let him do this. "All right," I grumbled. "I'm coming." Sammy sensed his breakfast coming and turned into Mr I-Love-You. He snuzzled around my legs, face, chin and arms encouraging my slow progress from the covers. As soon as one of my feet touched the floor I was surrounded by frantically mewing cats. "Breakfast! Breakfast!" They called. "Hurry up!" With a sea of fur around my feet I struggled to the kitchen. On the way I glanced at the clock. "What!" I exclaimed. "Sammy! You've gotten me up a six o'clock!" Sammy didn't care. He just wanted food.

I grabbed the food and headed for the bowls. The mewing went even more frantic. The cats jostled to be the closest to the food. "Me first!" they seemed to shout. "I'm hungry." Kibble rattled into the bowls and noses were plunged deep into the food. Happy cats guzzled at top speed. Feeding time was over for another morning. An equally happy Charlotte headed back to bed. "After all," I told myself. "It's only six o'clock. I can stay in bed for another half an hour." Happy in the knowledge that nothing would bother me, I sank into the warm covers.