Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Traditions

Every night my father used to check the weather barometer to see what the weather was going to be the next day. He would tap it three times, and I can still hear him doing it. I have inherited the barometer, and I find myself doing the same thing every night - tap, tap, tap. It sits on the same place on my bookcase -- the same place it sat when I was a child -- and if you look closely, you can see the grooves in the wood where the legs of the barometer sit. Of course, in Vancouver it's fairly easy to tell what the weather is going to be. If the skies are dark and cloudy, and there is water falling from the sky, it's a typical rainy day. If the skies are blue and there is a strange yellow orb shining, it is an -- unusual -- sunny day. In Vancouver it is either raining, it has just rained, or it is about to rain. But every night, I still tap the barometer before I go to bed.

I wonder how many of us have, either consciously or unconsciously, picked up some of the habits of our parents. Are we even aware we are doing them? How many times have we said something to our children and then said, "Omigawd, I have turned into my mother!"

Our parents often pass on to us family traditions, customs, superstitions and other habits, and we pass them on to our children, sometimes without even being aware we are doing it. I will often see the Munchkins doing something, and I'll think, "Hmmmm, where have I seen that before?" Sometimes when I look quickly out of the corner of my eye, I can see my father in Phinnaeus -- just for a fleeting moment. And Marigold has inherited a huge amount of my mother's DNA, including her straight dark hair and feistiness. Every Christmas my daughter makes "Gambie's" Christmas pudding, complete with her "special" hot buttered rum sauce, and it simply would not be Christmas without it. Every year my brother says, "Oh, I had better not...." and then he has a big helping, because it is something he has loved since he was a little boy. It's as if a part of my mother is still with us, and it's times like those when we really can feel the spirits of our parents and grandparents. I know the Munchkins will carry on many of those traditions as well.

It's the little, everyday things that connect us the most with our childhoods -- such as tapping on the barometer every night. I think my Dad would get a kick out of that. How about you? What customs and traditions do your find yourself continuing?

24 comments:

tinkerbell the bipolar faery said...

It's true that we see ourselves in our children, just as much as we see our parents in ourselves. Each year I marvel at how my hands resemble my mother's hands, more and more.

Owen said...

Thank you for this piece which stirred many memories. If you have a moment, I just posted a barometer poem which your story about barometers got me thinking about... we too tapped a barometer very often in the house where I grew up... rites and traditions are invaluable.

Hilary said...

Wonderful post, Josie. It's so true that there is a constant of sorts over the generations whether by appearance or behaviour. I see so much of my Dad in my younger son - and they'd never met, as my son was born 8 years after my father passed away. But his mannerisms are alive in him.. that mischievous look in the eye.. even his tone of voice while joking around. It's uncanny.

I love your barometer tradition. I suspect your Dad would too.

The Sagittarian said...

Hi, am visiting via Owen's blog. We have more than one barometer in our house and every day my husband taps ALL of them! When our eldest was a little one she would stand by the one in the lounge begging to be picked up and then would happily tap at that barometer too! Thanks for this post, as I had quite forgotten that she used to do that until I read your post (and Owen's, better mention him I suppose :-)
regards,The Sag

The Sagittarian said...

BTW, why do we tap 3 times? Everyone seems to do the tap,tap,tap...not one or two but three. Hm.

lovelyprism said...

My Mother was a voracious reader, she always had a book on the table. She would get so involved in her book that if you spoke to her it would startle her and you would have to repeat the question. I see that in myself but I make a great effort to not appear as annoyed as she always was by the interruption. lol

KathyB. said...

How true!I catch myself saying or doing familiar things my parents did, and see glimpses of them in my children and grandchildren. Kind of comforting, really. Your grandchildren are more like you than they know, even if they do not know you. Makes me often wonder about the great, great ( and so on ) grandparents we never met but in some ways resemble , either in looks or traits.

Maybe your father's father tapped his barometer or some equivalent!

mo'ikeha said...

What a wonderful entry of you! Enjoyed reading it as much as thinking afterwards about things I might do, following my parents. One 'thing' they taught me, is to stick to the truth, giving it a voice, even if it might be uncomfortable in place/time etc.
Keeping books might be another one. With regard to my son,well, he doesn't play much with toys, but likes to read a book with me, he puts them back on his own (21 months of age), keeping everything tidy...see myself many times in him. Thanks again for your entry.

Rajlakshmi said...

I have already started talking like my mom... repeating dialogues that she used to say :)
im am a voracious reader... got it from dad...
lovely post :)

Judi said...

As I stood in a cemetery this past weekend with my arms wrapped around the waists of my siblings and cousins for a photograph, I knew we had officially become our parents. My post, although not as beautifully written as yours, is here:
http://judi-mindovermatter.blogspot.com/2009/05/sunday-reflections-three-siblings.html

ivan said...

Not only tradition, but something called E.Q., or Ethnic Quotient.

My father used to say, "Man with cobassa in bag not yet dead."

Deb said...

isn't it amazing the habits and manorisms that get passed down from generation to generation

jozeygirl said...

i have resently come to the realization that i sometimes walk in the same way as momzy. hands folded behind the back. another thing i got from her is our undressing routine after work. all constrictions coming off. and bout the weather. here its just the other way around, sunny, sunny, sunny. but this past week the weather's got all haywire, it started raining... very uncommon for may.

Madame Ladybug (Ady) said...

I LOVED this post. We have "The Moose" in my family. It is a beanpot that my grandma made. My mom cooked with it on her wedding night. I cooked with it the first night in my own home. One day my daughter will use it...

Leslie: said...

Well, let's see...turkey for Christmas but ham for Easter, birthday cards and cakes, strawberry shortcake in July, corn roast in August. Jeez...did our lives revolve around food??? LOL

Deb said...

I very much enjoyed your post today. It brought me back to a time when I was a little girl, sitting on my Dad's lap and playing with his watch. Soon after that memory, my dad left and my parents divorced. He was not in my life much, but I was there when he died. On his arm, the smae watch I admired as a child. My sister thought the watch had to me mine as a memory of him. To this day, I put the watch on from time and just stroke it. I feel comforted, in some strange way.

Maggie May said...

We also have a barometer in the porch that comes from my parents. But its not the type that has to be tapped, it moves freely & there is a hand that you can move over it to see how far the pressure has risen/fallen.

I see little things in my granddchildren that are passed down and I really didn't think that we said the word *actually* so often because all my 4 granddchildren use the word frequently!

Just telling it like it is said...

Stumbled on your blog...
What a wonderful tradition..
Simple yet eloquent.
A tradition from my Ma...
Best thing she ever gave me was to hon in on my instincts...
They never fail me...
and I got a warm feeling from this post;)
Darn girl

Rose said...

I LOVED your post! I'm a sucker for memories myself. Every Friday morning (our weekend) we'd wake up and have a lovely breakfast, do the household chores and then laze the day away together. Recently married, I find myslef taking the utmost pleasure in doing exactly the same thing! Thank you for bringing a lovely memory back.

jackc50 said...

well i do find myself cursing when i drive but i expect it runs in most families. reading the newspaper with my glasses on i think i resemble my dad, may he rest in peace. good post, makes you think....take care. jack c

Jo said...

Tinkerbell, yes, I often see my mother in me, too -- and my father. :-)

Owen, I read your barometer poem, and I can only say, it is absolutely wonderful...!

Hilary, what a nice story! I can see my father in Phinnaeus too -- both in looks and personality.

The Sagittarian, I'm glad I was able to help you relive a fond memory like that. It makes me feel good. :-) And three times? It's funny, hey? I don't know!

Lovelyprism, and I have a feeling your daughter will inherit that habit as well. :-)

KathyB, I was often told that I looked just like one of my father's aunt. I saw a picture of her recently, and I was shocked at the resemblance. Isn't that strange?

Mo'ikeha, I think one of the best habits we can foster in children is reading. He is picking up your habit, and that is wonderful!

Rajlakshmi, I know! I find myself saying things that my mother used to say as well. It's a hoot, isn't it?

Judi, I have a feeling there is a story behind your comment, and I am going to go over to your blog and read it. Thank you!

Ivan, oh, yes, there is a huge ethnic quotient to what we inherit. Definitely!

Deb, sometimes I find myself standing with my hand on one thigh, just as my grandmother used to do when she was young, and I saw pictures of her.

Jozeygirl, LOL. I am the same way. There is a trail of clothing when I come home... *heh*

Madame Ladybug, that's wonderful! I would love to see a picture of it sometime. :-)

Leslie, LOL. Food is very much a part of all our traditions, isn't it?

Deb, oh, goodness, that almost made me cry. I feel so bad for you, but how bittersweet that you were there for him when he died, and you have his spirit in his watch.

Maggie May, it's funny you should say that, because my mother, my daughter and I all used the word "actually" quite a lot. Isn't that funny?

Just Telling it Like it is, welcome! I'm always glad to meet new people. My mother used to say that too -- listen to your "gut instincts" -- always. Good advice.

Rose, oh yes, lazy weekend mornings, with a big breakfast and chores. I do that too!

Jackc50, yes, eventually we turn into our parents, don't we? *heh*

Mean Mama said...

Have not visited your blog in a while Jo. Loved this entry and reminds me of my grandfather who has always lived on the water. He had a barometer too, and I remember looking at it with him at night. Good memories.

Paula Slade said...

Sometimes, in the morning, when I'm putting on lipstick, I will see my mother's face staring back at me,and I remember how many times I watched her as a child, make the same expressions.It's always a touching reminder.

disa said...

成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,視訊美女,視訊做愛,正妹牆,美女交友,玩美女人,美女,美女寫真,美女遊戲,hi5,hilive,hi5 tv,a383,微風論壇,微風,伊莉,伊莉討論區,伊莉論壇,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,plus,痴漢論壇,維克斯論壇,情色論壇,性愛,性感影片,校園正妹牆,正妹,AV,AV女優,SEX,走光,a片,a片免費看,A漫,h漫,成人漫畫,免費A片,色情網站,色情遊戲,情色文學,麗的色遊戲,色情,色情影片,同志色教館,色色網,色遊戲,自拍,本土自拍,kk俱樂部,後宮電影院,後宮電影,85cc免費影城,85cc免費影片,免費影片,免費小遊戲,免費遊戲,小遊戲,遊戲,好玩遊戲,好玩遊戲區,A片,情趣用品,遊戲區,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆,遊戲基地,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,遊戲口袋,我的遊戲口袋,小遊戲區,手機遊戲,貼圖,我的遊戲口袋,小遊戲區,手機遊戲,貼圖