Sunday, 29 December 2013

I have just been ironing

a shirt for the Senior Cat. His own attempts at ironing leave something to be desired. He has other household skills so I am not concerned by this.
The shirt is one of his "good" shirts - in other words a conservative white shirt. He still prefers those. It took us years to get him to graduate first to pale blue and then to other things.
At the same time as I ironed the white shirt I ran the iron quickly over a shirt he now wears in the shed. It is a casual shirt, grey in colour and made from fabric that, when washed, is rather stiff and only softens after ironing.
I bought the shirt for the Senior Cat not long after my mother died. He was not too sure about it when I first presented it to him but soon decided it was "comfortable" and people commented that they liked it. Since then he has worn it to the point of worn out - I had to mark it "H" for "home" when the collar and cuffs showed signs of "about to fray".  They have frayed now but he continues to wear it.
As I was doing this I realised something that struck me as rather strange. If my mother suddenly appeared she would not know about that shirt. She would not recognise many things. We have changed in the past fourteen years.
There would be things missing. I have removed a considerable amount of "clutter" from the kitchen - although not nearly enough.
There would be more books in the house - brought in from where the Senior Cat and I had them stored in the shed because my mother thought there were "too many books" in the house. There would be photographs of her great-grandchildren - children she never met - as she came in through the front door. Or would she come in through the back demanding to know what we had done with her orchids? We gave the orchids away because the Senior Cat could not care for them and did not like them anyway. There is the storage shed too - something the Senior Cat rudely calls "the wool shed" because I stored a plastic container filled with knitting wool out there at one point.
There are other things that have changed - look in the linen press and the sheets are different. We finally wore out the polyester cotton ones she liked as "easy care" and are back to cotton - preferred by both the Senior Cat and myself.
I don't think the Senior Cat realises how many little things have changed. It happened gradually.
But it struck me suddenly that a lot has changed. And then, just as suddenly, I realised that today would have been my mother's 93rd birthday. I wonder what she would make of us after fourteen years...and what would we make of her?

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