Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Family traditions

Today I hit the big smoke to see an exellent exhibition by the Australian artist, Ron Mueck.  For those of you who aren't familiar with his brilliance, check it out.  Anyway, this isn't a review post.  It's been a while since I've been in the city and it got me thinking about how not so long ago, it was a really big deal to venture into the big smoke.  The city was where you went to see a movie or to buy something special from one of the big department stores.  Now all these things are at your fingertips in the suburbs and a trip to the city is probably more of a hassle than anything else.  Not the adventure it once was.

I remember Dad dropping us off to the cinema in the city to see The Pink Panther and hanging out at the only Hungry Jacks in the Mall with my friends when I was a teen.  It was a big deal.  I also remember, on those rare evenings that my parents would venture into the city for an evening together, we'd each wake up in the morning to find a jar of Bo Peeps from Darrell Lea's sitting on the dining room table.  When my own children were little, I too would surprise them with a jar of Bo Peeps after a trip to the city.  So in honour of my childhood tradition, today I bought a jar for each of my children.  Sure, there's a Darrell Lea's just down the road and yeah, they're 16, 14 and 10 but the kids all had a giggle to themselves when they saw the Darrell Lea bag.

It's so nice to have your own family traditions and thinking about it now, we do have a few that have been passed down over the generations.  The orange in the Christmas stocking, for instance, because my stocking had one in it and my Mum's had one in it, because her Mum's had one in it - because growing up during the depression and  the war, oranges were scarce and considered a treat.  I've actually stopped that one recently because it was like, "Hey Mum, what's with the orange?"

I heard a great story once about a newly wed couple.  The young bride decided to make her new husband a roast chicken for dinner.  When she pulled it out of the oven, her husband was surpirsed to see the roast chook in pieces.  He asked her why she hadn't cooked the chicken whole and she said, "Because that's how Mum does it."  At the next family gathering the husband went to his mother-in-law and asked her why she cooked her roast chicken in pieces and his mother-in-law replied, "Because that's how mum used to do it."  He found his wife's grandmother and asked her why she cooked her roast chicken in pieces and she replied, "Because when I first got married, the oven was so small I couldn't fit a whole chicken in."

Keep up those family traditions and check out Ron Mueck if you get the chance - he will leave you breathless!!!

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