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All posts by Dale

A Birthday Memory

A Winter’s Song, from Shakespear’s Love’s Labours Lost was special to Allison and me.  At least the first verse was.  I remembered it from somewhere in my past and we would occupy ourselves during the many drives to Ringette tournaments on cold winter mornings by Allison learning to recite that verse. It was only that verse because it was the only one I remembered. She learned it and we would recite it together on those early morning drives to some little town or city arena. I never did look up the whole poem until recently when friends had a poetry night. It is only two verses. I have no idea why I remembered only the first but I know that it will remain with me for the rest of my life as something we shared.

Here is the entire song.

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-whit! To-who!—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doe blow,
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-whit! To-who!—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

 

A Christmas Gift

My memories of Allison center around a Christmas gift she gave me many years ago. Whenever I hold it or even look at it, memories come flooding back. It is a very special gift that I have never opened. It came with a note which I display here.

I will keep the gift always and look at it and hold it often, but I will never open it, for what is inside is too precious to ever risk dissipating into the air.

I have many other objects that trigger memories, some of them specific, others more general. But there are none that bring Allison’s whole life back to me as does this tiny Christmas gift.