Archive for June, 2006

 My Nana, Frances Annie (Raine) Archibald, passed away today at 12:55 PM, two days short of her 84th birthday.

Since I can’t say anything at the services, I will recount what I remember of her here. 

When she was fifteen, she looked across the balcony in St. Andrew’s Church and pointed out a young man to her aunt (I think).  She said. "That’s the man I’m going to marry."  That man was my Poppy, John Allison Archibald.  They married in their early twenties and had my Mom and my uncle.

Before I was born, she was an accomplished musician, and played the organ/piano at Knox church from the 50s to the 70s.  She even wrote a song, "September Moon".  She still played the piano for people up until not long ago.  She was also in Kiwanis and the Rotary, and performed in operettas at the Vogue Theatre.  I’ve been wanting to see the Vogue open again, moreso now, in her memory.

She had quite a sweet tooth.  Some of her favorite treats included icy squares, ginger chocolates and ice cream, but she also enjoyed fruit.  I share some of those tastes, especially icy squares (although Lindt Lindor now tastes more like they used to taste like).

She wouldn’t drink a full glass of soda pop… preferring instead to pour some into a little glass slightly larger than a shot glass.  After which she would usually burp, which came out as "bop".  She called herself "the big bopper".    She enjoyed tea, and always liked it and her food piping hot. 

Speaking of food, I remember going over every Saturday to see my brother (she and my uncle looked after him) and she would give me "the usual" for a long time, which was a grilled cheese, followed by strawberry jello and runny but delicious nutriwhip.

 She introduced me to Italian dressing, and shake & bake chicken.  She would also serve my brother and I white cheddar macaroni & cheese, and sliced meats like pepperoni.  She would get up before everyone else and make breakfast, like bacon & eggs or "toad (egg) in a hole".

Every time Mom and I would come in, she would either be sitting at the table reading the paper or playing solitaire… or on the couch watching TV.  She never missed Jeopardy, and watched Coronation Street most of her life, until the last couple of years when it became too controversial to her.

She preferred little cars, like Mom and I… from a Volkswagen Beetle/Bug, to Toyota Tercels.

She had a green thumb, and sometimes had lilacs in the house.

The thing I most regret is that although she adored babies and children as much as I do, she will never interact with my children.  I wish I could have had them sooner.

You really take it for granted that they’ll be there, but I tend to be in denial… but I know I’ll see her again. 

When she would see something that she liked, she would say, "Isn’t that marvelous?"

I had hoped this would be more eloquent than factual… but I guess I’m not thinking terribly eloquently at the moment.


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