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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aganetha The Horrible

My mama has always been a woman ahead of her time. She made us compost, reduce, reuse, and recycle way before our friends and relatives in Wolesley had ever heard of it, never mind flaunt it as a reputable lifestyle. Back in the day we thought of it all as rather embarrassing that nothing went to waste like stuff did at some of my trendier friend's homes. Well, come to think of it, I think I'd still be embarrassed if my mother gnawed on a chicken foot at the dinner table..... but I digress. Ma has always been an avid gardener, way before terms like "organic" and "homegrown" meant that you were somebody really special and knew complicated formulas about soild ph and nutrient levels. The stinky pig kak seemed to work pretty well for ma as well as her team of slaves that she had pushed into this world for the sole intent of making them hoe row after row of green beans in 35 degrees without cold water or wine or anything.

Mom never figured out that she should grow old, either. When her friends and relatives started dying or moving into little side-by-side places where you hang up a little card on your door knob every morning to show if you're dead or alive, mom was out tilling her garden. She had lost a lot of her slaves due to laws and regulations and child labour advancements, but she still had "Abraham, the father of many" who hadn't either figured out that he was supposed to be old by now and nodding off in a coffee shop or something. So, in the spring when other people their age were checking their pulses, ma and pa were out planting the beans and potatoes and tomatoes so they'd have stuff to compost later on.

Since mom had lost a lot of her unpaid staff, she couldn't send one of us out to the garden to scare away the local scavengers and looters who tended to come around in the early morning to nibble on her greens.

So, she borrowed Brian's pellet gun.


Brian gave her a quick lesson, and loaded her up with ammunition. She had shown no indication of senior dementia (if you ignore the dish cloths in the freezer) and had given up depression for menopause some years back so we figured we may as well give the gal some slack, she'd lived a pretty sensible life up to date. Sure enough, granny raced out in her nightie the very next morning and bagged a thief before most of us had reached for our first coffee of the day. I was sure we'd hear of more strokes and bothersome Dr visits when the phone rang at 7:20 am, but it was just mom sounding younger than a spring chicken (intact with feet) feeling jubilant about dropping that bunny with one, single, well-aimed bullet. (consistent with her whole life view of not wasting).
It was around this time that her honourary membership to the Wolsely guild was revoked.

(and that's not a fern on grandma's nightie. That's dad's fingerprint because he probably quivered a little with the excitement of the whole thing. We're talking polaroid from 1971 or so.)

When mom dropped the second bunny, she was already suspecting that her new fascination with hunting would likely be her claim to fame, so she quickly dashed into the house to slip out of her nightie and into a more respectable outfit. Then she had the foresight to pose in front of her rose bush since the pinkish glow brought out the colour in her cheeks quite nicely. (it also complemented the red in the rabbits eyes, but they were closed at the time.)

I'm hoping that the shovel in pa's hand is reassurance enough that next time we make the trip to the homestead, there won't be a giant pot of succulant stew on the dining room table....

28 comments:

alice said...

I LOVE that story. Don't mess with Momma!!

Tess said...

Oh I want to adopt your mom. Please!

HeatherCE said...

This is OFFICIALLY my favorite post of all time!!!

HeatherCE said...

Also, I need to know where they live so that my children don't scamper across their yard in all their innocence, only to be mistaken for bunnies.

jenn said...

That is so awesome. Love the pictures.

rosa said...

warm glow no cheeks, have always loved how your parents keep living. Absolutely great shots.

Marshkies said...

That is the best, Joyce!

Heather said...

I LOVE IT! There ain't nothin' better than a good sturdy Mennonite woman with a gun!

Me said...

How do spell Woa-Hoa?

Some Mom. :)

Anonymous said...

Nah Nite, du best an achtjah Elmer Fudd!

pluckymama said...

too funny. Sounds like my kinda mama! I hope she used it for stew!!!

pluckymama said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by as well. I don't know if you know this but I'm Roselle's daughter in law...Brent's wife. Roselle reads your blog all the time so i thought I'd start too because she talked about how funny it was.

Bonnie said...

Oh my WORD!!! This is priceless!! I love your mom, even though I've never met her!! Tell her we're proud of her!

Ruth said...

:) time to become a vegetarian. (even if only for family gatherings)

Anonymous said...

Joyce, well done, captured my mama..

please come to Caribou, I NEED to hear you in person...

Love Al

Ellie said...

What a spunky mama you have and great material for your post! So, your mama is Mennonite? Must mean you were Mennonite at one time or still are? That is what I am. We used to be Amish and then in 1995 my husband and I left the Amish and joined the Mennonites. No disrespect to the Mennonites, but sometimes/most times I feel as if I don't fit in and have been ready to move on for a few years now. My husband's family accepts us being Mennonite though and so it is hard for my husband to move away from a place where he knows he is accepted. (We were shunned for 3 years after leaving the Amish and it was a real trial, who would want to live that way again?) I thought all Mennonites were using Xanga for airing out their thoughts and photos... ;)

I am really enjoying your blog, you have a wonderful talent of writing.

Joyce said...

Ellie- I was born and raised in a Mennonite family but think of it more as a heritage or culture than anything religious or spiritual. I don't currently attend a Mennonite church and have not since I left the farm at 18. You have a fascinating story which I'd love to hear more about.

My parents have always been quite mature about the mennonite thing, and they turned out a whole bunch of kids, many of whom do not attend that denomination of faith. We represent Anglican, Mennonite, Charasmatic, Evangelical free, and my brother once went to a church called "United Mennonite". I think that was just code for a bunch of really confused people who still wanted to get together on sundays.
But then again, isn't that why Jesus came? Once has to start somewhere. Well, I'm at post status now... I must shut myself up.

deb said...

Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman, she looks pretty proud too hold up that dead rabbit.

Judy said...

Goodness.

Does Beatrix Potter know about your mama?

ali said...

I've lost count of how many times I've read this post. CRACKS me up every time.

Heather said...

This is so incredibly wonderful and funny all rolled up in one. Best post ever!

Linda said...

Watta mama!

Brenda said...

wonder if your mom would consider coming out to hunt a few or my rabbits as well? she could have a whole new career! Great story, great pictures! thanks. Brenda

Ellie said...

Joyce,

Your family and parents sound grounded and nice! I am so happy that your parents are cool with you and your siblings not being as they are. I will have to share our experience sometime soon.....

Michele said...

if this gets out, she's going to get in trouble just like that saskatchewan bible camp counsellor who killed and ate a squirrel.

you may be rustling up a whole passel o' trouble for that there woman.

homo escapeons said...

Holy Hosenpfeffer Batman!
You need to photoshop that onto a Field&Stream or NRA cover page.

Your Mom should have retired in Australia where they have a plague of 60 Pickle-Dillion Rabbits!

This epic tale betweeen Mankind and Nature is exactly the kind of thing that those bleeding-heart city slickers at PETA need to understand...um.. er.. just don't let them find out. Rabid Coyotes sure, Skunks maybe, but cute wittle Bunny Wabbits with those adorable wittle wiggly noses?!

btw; What is her current stand on Fuller Brush Salesmen?

Anonymous said...

Great post...and am now lonesome for my mama and papa....your parents sooo remeind me of my own....those strong "menno" roots...not a bad thing....Lindalew
p.s Hi to Roselle...we do meet in the strangest places : )

Becca said...

Love this post, Joyce. Glad I clicked over to see the reference. What's up with the 500 dollar guy? Was that something in the comments? I'll have to go search it out!