Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sunflower Girls

My dad was quite the character, father of 6 girls and 2 boys, you'd expect him to be loud, demanding and controlling instead of the quiet, passive, humorous man that he was. Before we lost him in 1995, he was a master of his own little cb radio world. Daddy sat in our kitchen in Lucan during my teen years, beside a small 18" x 24" utility table which supported his radio. He started small, just like we do with most things, leaving room to grow.

My dad playing around on his son-in-laws drums.

Before  he had to rely completely on oxygen.

  When he became ill and was diagnosed with emphysema in the 70's, most of my sibs had moved out and in 1975 I did the same, moving on to my own new adventure. My younger brother, sister and foster brother remained at home, with my parents, until they graduated out of elementary school. The family moved to Zurich. Daddy's hard kitchen chair became a much more comfortable recliner chair and the table which housed his radio changed into a full blown 'centre' consisting of a file drawer for his post card contacts from all over the world, pencils, pads, kleenex, peppermints and of course his newer model radio. Because he was always on oxygen and of low energy at the best of times, here is where we'd find him when we visited. Happy as can be, anxious to show us who he spoke to from Texas or Singapore or Newfoundland. Perfect example of making the best of a not so pleasant health situation. 

                                                               His 'handle' was Sunflower.
When my daughter was 2, she couldn't pronounce our last name, Snelgrove, so chose to call my father Grandpa Sunflower. It stuck for her and her brother. It's my favourite flower and we take a metal one with us on each camping trip, I have a tattoo of a sunflower in memory of Daddy and I re-painted his little wood box with the logo.

He got this name from the row of huge sunflowers that they planted and grew along their long country lane way. A few years ago when my sister was beginning a blog where us 6 girls could share our stories, the name Sunflower Girls was an easy choice. We began writing, slowly at the start, and then realizing that we needed no approval, more often, as ideas and thoughts came to our heads. The thrill has slowed down, but not died off and I hope it never does.

Writing has always been a release for me, sometimes poetry sometimes just ramble, and though I tend to be long-winded at times, I feel good about putting words to paper. It runs in the family. The writing, not the long-windiness. Our mom at 88 still writes in her journal every day. How cool is that?

Cathy, Audrey, Gayle, Donna, Wendy and Mom
I am preparing to spend a weekend with my sisters, beginning tonight.

Every year, as I've mentioned on my Family Fun page, we get together and create a handful of new memories. I will keep in touch with how all of that worked out! All we need is some nice weather so the umbrellas don't have to opened all weekend long!

Thanks for reading, y'all come back now, ya hear?