Double oven

Not such a pretty picture today – however, it is practical, sleek and shiny – and even better, it fits into the slot left by the old oven. I have to confess that I am not the cook in our house. Umpteen years of feeding growing sproggits and their assorted friends put paid to that. I have the occasional foray into the world of gluten-free baking, but apart from that I restrict myself to boiling an egg or making beans on toast or even scrambled eggs.

So HBTW or Him-with-a-spatula-and-a-spanner set to over the last few weeks to source and fit a replacement oven. Judging by the smells coming from the kitchen, it is already being put to good use.  I tend to be the clearer-upper, so I am glad that it has got self-cleaning sides. I have to admit that seeing any new item of kitchen equipment reminds me of my mother.

That leads to a meander down memory lane. I found this photo of my mother dating from around 1966. It is from a 35mm slide, so the quality is not all that great. She looked happy and youthful here and I found myself thinking how poorly I have aged. Then I realised that in 1966 Mum would have been round about 42……. and I’m 25 years older. Enough said.

Anyway, if you haven’t wandered off you may be wondering why talk of a pristine new oven reminds me of the previous generation. My mother was a housekeeping Diva. Everything had to be kept as new; the floors sparkled and everything smelt of lavender polish. The trouble was that she started to take things too far……. not quite into the level of OCD but not far away. She stopped cooking (so it’s a generational thing with me – drat!) but only because it would have dirtied the cooker. When she died the cooker looked brand new, yet it was over 30 years old.

Even though many of the old memories are sad I’m still glad to have them. They are kind of bitter-sweet. However, it’s true to say that the older we get the more we understand our ancestors. I try to remind the generations after me to ask all the questions they can think of. Especially as it doesn’t look as if I am ever going to write my Opus Freda – though there is now the blog. Flights of whimsy or torrents of anger, glimpses of joy and serious questions.

What questions do you wish you had asked a relative who has now passed on?

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5 Responses to Double oven

  1. Lyn says:

    Oh, there are so many questions I can’t even narrow it to only one! The longer is is since my parents have been gone, the more I wonder about one thing and another. I tried to ask and find out things, especially when we knew she had Alzheimer’s, but it is impossible to think of them all.

  2. I would have asked my mom and grandmothers to tell me about their moms and grandmothers. Too often female history is overlooked. I have a photo of a female relative wearing a dress that dates from the end of the nineteenth century. I don’t even know who she is. The Aunt who gave me the photo told me she never saw it before and it must have come from the “other” side of the family. How sad.

  3. Anne Gibert says:

    In many ways I had too much information (TMI) about my parents’ lives. They were from a generation that was reacting against the Victorian idea that such things as sex, bodily functions, politics, religion, — anything really interesting — should never be discussed. So they discussed it all too much for a child to absorb.

    But the past is gone, and we constantly delve into it, wishing to know more than we do. I am saddened not only by the things I don’t know about my parents and grandparents, but about the things I have forgotten about my own youth and my own history. I can only view the past in light of the present, and the present subtly and irrevocably erases the past.

  4. Marcia Mayo says:

    Millions of questions, especially to my grandparents. As for my parents, I think of something every day, a question I’ll never have an answer to.

  5. Lyn says:

    Freda, I could not find a way to email you, so I’ll leave a note here. I responded to your comments at my blog today, including some websites in which you might be interested. :)

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