Tuesday 24 May 2011

Judy Croome – how much pleasure a parcel can bring ...

I just love Judy's banner - so I've put it here ... 

My mother ... exuberance is ... ebullient - bubbly ... giving my mother an afternoon of lots of smiles, laughter and interaction ... what could be more satisfactory for a daughter.  She was wide awake when I walked in ... so I sat her up ... thank goodness for electric beds! ... and showed her the parcel that had arrived ...

I explained I’d entered a competition and won a prize on a South African blog and that was how the parcel had arrived ... my mother loved to visit me when I lived there and we travelled all around South Africa ... so I was saying ‘lucky me’ – back comes ... “you’re not lucky, you’re fortunate”!

I’d been out to tea with a friend, whose sister had died of Parkinsons up at the home .. so Nancy knew that my mother loved flowers as we always have a few vases, and had picked some brilliant cornflowers and a deep red rose for me to take back with me.

My mother was truly delighted ... and after arranging them ... we got down to the serious business of opening the parcel from South Africa.  Mum loves getting letters and cards – so a parcel was a little special ...

... and I slowly opened it ... were there any stamps? - no!  My mother collected stamps – hence the memory recall.  I explained about Judy’s HRH Theodorable the Cat .. got a big smile and probably a purr to match Theodorable's purr as she padded her way to the post office to post the packet.

Judy's desk and HRH Theodorable!
Out popped a large packed packet, tied up with raffia, which I let Mum feel ... sent with love from typical gardening hands (perfect for us - as Mum was a real hands-on excellent gardener) ...

... the wrapping paper was African showing southern African ecosystems from the range of mountains at the top, the yellow ochre dusty savannah lands, the grey dusty elephant mopane, another layer of acacia burnt ochre, then the dry grasslands for the giraffe to lope across ... very African.

Camel thorn - Giraffe Thorn
Kameeldoring: Afrikaans for Giraffe
What’s in it ... I could see my mother waiting with baited breath .. while I made the most of the interesting wrapping .. like a small child ... there was a pleading in her eyes ....get on with it!  Open up!!

... from the compliment’s slip listing ... a book, an anthology of short stories, some fridge magnets, a shopping bag, and a tea net - Mum immediately says 'like Aunt Dolly (my father's aunt) used to make' - well yes I guess ... as Judy has said she's sending things that the ladies at the side of the road sell ... as she likes to support the street sellers ... 

The prizes, but no tea net
A set of four fridge magnets with views, which are quite difficult for Mum to focus on ... but I describe each one .. and she's happy to look contemplatively ... I open the shopping bag, which she tells me is the shopping bag .. and have a look at the pictures: the flip flops and football etc ...

... barefoot football “Hoza Africa” Come to Africa ... where they’re making barefoot footballs from waste, creating support for the ball makers, while re-using Africa’s waste.  The balls are made from a combination of available materials – paper, vine, banana leaves, string, plastic or cloth ... recycling to the maximum ..  ending up with something for the kids to play with.

Now – the tea net comes to the fore ... slightly (much!) larger than I was expecting and definitely not the sort Aunt Dolly made .. which were muslin circles with beads sewn round the edge to hang over the milk jug (as my mother reminded me) to keep the flies off.  This tea net is magnificent – a huge rectangular net, edged with ribbon and decorated with ribbon bows – in pure white.



c/o Judy Croome

Another friend, Linda, who does teas for Care Homes - Royal Garden Party teas, or tea teas - explaining about the different teas ... and who spent time in Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe .. and whose father was in the Home with us .. so we had Africa connections - lots to chat about .. I thought I'd give the tea net to Linda - as I know she'll make use of it, explain its provenance  ... and I can give her photo copies of both books .. as someone may like to make a purchase.

Then we get to the book .. and I'm thumbing through .. it's quite dark in Mum's room - she likes it cool and dark .. so I couldn't see properly .. but said ... ooooh it's got poems, short stories etc .. I am at this point corrected by my mother – “an anthology is a mix of everything  ... not just short stories” ... Mum says - you must get it right .. an anthology is a hotch potch!!!

Anthology: Notes
from  the Underground
So we're looking at the cover and the thorn tree .. and chatting away .. in comes Jaitema (from Kerala in India), the nurse on her drug round .. oooh what have you got there .. and big smile to Mum .. and discussions all round .. 'Notes from the Underground' ..  

JJ says your mother is always so stimulated when you're around .. sitting up and wide awake ..  we show JJ my prizes .. and then the book .. at which JJ .. has a look inside and finds to her total surprise .. some Hindi .. quite a lot of Hindi ... so please let me have a look when you can .. !!

So you have a hit on your hands Judy .. the anthology - hotch potch mix .. is ready to be absorbed by us ... read and devoured ... chatted over and lent out ... Africa and India .. a better prize on a day like today I could not have wanted.

Dancing in the Shadows
of Love
I told Mum about the Smashwords coupon for downloading Judy's book "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" - and she looked at me in blank amazement .. just so impressed that we can do these things and connect across the universe .. 

So you can see excitement for many of us .. the staff love it when Mum is like this .. it's just great .. 

So stars for you Judy .. great success over here ... Judy’s doing a book promotion and blog tour for her book “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” and she’s coming over to the blog to see us sometime soon: I know you’ll love her books, her blog and her pictures ...

Launch Competition - Prizes Galore - courtesy Judy - at her blog ... 

Chapter One - can be read here:  The Curtain Rises ... Lulu (The past) ... it is very evocative, very African, a tale with a story to tell .. a tale of heartache, a story that reaches out .. that teaches us things ... inspires us to think ... 

The book trailer can be seen here ... Dancing in the Shadows of Love 

Hilary, to say thanks, I’d like to ask you to draw the name of a random commentator, who will win an Amazon US$15 gift voucher (or UK Amazon equivalent.) If anyone would like me to do a guest post on their blog, please email me at judy@judycroome.com to discuss a suitable topic and a mutually agreeable date.”

I will ask my mother to draw a number ... she'll love to do that ... so I hope we have many commenters!  Thanks everyone .. so much .. 

Dear Mr Postman – this time I don’t think I need to tell you about my mother!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Hi Hilary, I'm so glad the small parcel brought such pleasure to your Mum! And that others will get to enjoy it too.

Thanks also for the shout-out about my book - I do appreciate it! You've gone to so much trouble! :)

Now I'm off to browse some of your archives; especially the Royal Wedding posts (I LOVE the British Monarchy, after Nkosi s'kilele iAfrika, God Save the Queen is my favourite - I tear up every time I hear it. Still a colonial at heart!) Just want to add the name of your blog is so happy and, well, positive! :)
Judy, South Africa

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. just delighted .. it did give us so much pleasure - and I love days like that with my mother.

And I've got Africa books and stories to bring back some memories ..

Love it .. and am so delighted that you're doing so well with your book - you've worked so hard .. and you've so much to offer on your blog ..

Thanks so much re my blog name .. another post about that coming shortly?! Cheers for now - Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

What a great day you had with your mom and a thoughtful gift.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I think you are a wonderful daughter, Hilary. Your mother certain thinks so. Thank you for this lovely story. I miss my mother terribly and love hearing about yours.

Anonymous said...

Talking of prizes, you won one over at mine! http://scribbleandedit.blogspot.com/2011/05/giveaway-winners.html
I shall need your addy to post it to you :O)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Teresa .. it was a good few hours .. and the prize was very generous from Judy - I hope you can get over and meet her. Learn a little about Africa ..

@ Joylene .. I just try to make my mother as happy as I can in the circumstances .. and she does really appreciate my being there - so I'm really grateful that this post brings back memories for you of your Mama ...

@ Madeleine .. many thanks for another prize - a beautiful silk scarf with butterflies on - my mother will be pleased to see something other than a scrawny neck!

However - I hope YOU FEEL BETTER soon ..

Lovely to hear from you Teresa, Joylene and Madeleine .. all the best for the coming week .. Hilary

Karen Jones Gowen said...

What a wonderful post! I felt like I was right there in the room with you and your dear mother opening the surprises from South Africa. It's great that you won such a nice prize! And even more wonderful that you were able to share it with your mom! *Sending hugs to both of you*

Sara said...


This is one of my favorite posts of yours. I loved how you shared your prize with your mom and her delight in opening it. These glimpses you give of your relationship with your mom are so nice. My favorite lines in this post were:

"What’s in it ... I could see my mother waiting with baited breath .. while I made the most of the interesting wrapping .. like a small child ... there was a pleading in her eyes ....get on with it! Open up!!"

That's such a wonderful word picture. Thank you for sharing it.

Regarding the books, they look very interesting. I will have to read the chapter. I agree with you about Judy's banner...I love the subtitle "author on the prowl."

So, another thank you for introducing me to Judy and her books.

Happy thoughts to both you and your mom:~)

Southpaw said...

How fun. Sharing the little thing like that together make life wonderful.

Chase March said...

Getting mail is a delightful thing. I almost forgot how much that can be so. Perhaps it is time, I put together a nice package of items for some distant family I haven't seen in a while.

Glad to see that this package brought you two so much joy. Looking forward to the blog tour from this author.


Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your appreciation for Judy's banner. I also really like the name - writer on the prowl.

Congrats on your gift package. Hope it gave your mom the best diversion she's had in ages.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

@Teresa: Hilary's delight in the time she spends with her Mom is an inspiration!

@Joylene: I'm so grateful I still have both my parents, and try to cherish each moment with them. Losing a parent leaves such a huge gap. Last month we lost my husband's father; as he was 10 years younger than my Dad, it makes the time with my parents that much more special.

@Madeleine: Another prize for Hilary! Can't think of anyone else who deserves it more!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

@KARENG: Hilary described her mom’s excitement so well, it was as if we were in the room with them! I was so pleased Hilary won the prize – I don’t think anyone else has enjoyed a prize as much! :)

@SARA: Thanks for your kind words about my banner and blog title! I came to it because my family and friends moan that I’m always “prowling” around, writing down little notes for my writing. They all say I should come with a warning: “Anything you say or do MAY be used in a book!” :)

@HOLLY: Yes, it is the little things in life that are often the most memorable!

@CHASE: I love social media and the internet, but you’re so right – one forgets how much joy there is in getting a letter or a parcel in the post. Hilary’s lovely post reminded us of how important that physical letter (rather than just electronic mail) can be! My blog tour so far includes 13 blogs, so I hope to be popping up all over the blog and am happy to do guest posts on a mutually agreed topic on other’s blogs, if I invited! :)

@AMY: I was so lucky – I won the banner in a blog competition! When the designer asked me for an image, I decided to use this leopard, from an oil painting that I gave my husband for his 35th birthday – the artist Fuz Caforio is a well-known wild life painter in South Africa. He specialises in the big cats and his talent is just awe inspiring!

Judy, South Africa

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen .. thank you! It's so great to read this .. and it is a wonderful set of prizes .. but really made our day - we can dine out together on this for ages! Mum still loves being involved with life .. and the hugs .. she'll be so interested in everyone's comments - and the post!

@ Sara - really kind of you - you're always so rewarding with your comments - thank you!

She does have these huge dark pupilled eyes when she's fully alert .. and is something I'll remember in the future. So delighted you could see my description.

Judy's books look so interesting and I'm looking forward to reading them, having glanced at them so far. Her banner .. I have a jealousy desire for it!

I'm sure you'll see more of her around the blogosphere and I'll be hosting her here sometime ..

Many thanks for the happy thoughts for us ..

@ Holly - this prize and the subsequent opening has made a very memorable day for us - you're so right.

@ Chase - letter writing and a prize package are I still think important - I've particularly learnt this since Mum has been ill - both communicating with friends and relatives - but the pleasure letters back give my mother. So I encourage you to send a surprise packet ..

Thanks Chase - we still have good times .. which is why I'm so grateful she can interact at times.

@ Amy - I know .. that banner is a star turn!! She knows some very good artists .. as long as it's HRH Theodorable who pounces I'll be fine?! but that leopard really has his body finely tuned ... ready for the off ...

Mum loved her time .. and will give her lots of things to think about and that's good ..

@ Judy - well done for coming by - I know you're so busy with your marketing ..

Your father-in-law's loss recently is a huge blow - but it's time like this that we realise the preciousness of time with our parents left & how we need to cherish it ..

Madeleine's scarf is an added treat .. so thank you ..

The prizes you're offering for your book "Dancing in the Shadows of Love" .. are amazing

ENTER EVERYONE - go to Judy's blog .. enjoy her posts and enter the competition - those prizes are just wonderful!!

Cheers to you all .. Happy Wednesday .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

My parents were amazed at Smashwords too. Its a great tool to reach out across the world in a matter of moments and connect with people we would otherwise never know.

I've never seen a corn flower before. Blue is my favorite color. They're beautiful. You're such a great daughter. Bless both of you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. I obviously need to soon load up my voucher and see how Smashwords works ..

Cornflowers were our school flower and colour - June - so I've always loved them .. the colour, sunshine and long holidays ahead!

Thanks so much .. my mother means a lot to me .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hilary, I enjoy hearing about your visits with your mother. What fun you had sharing your parcel with her. Thanks for sharing the picture of your goodies.

Talli Roland said...

How fantastic that you could open the package with your mother, Hilary, and relive so memories of your time in South Africa together! Wonderful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susanne - thanks .. it's lovely when I've got something special to share with her .. and fortunately Judy had posted the pics on her blog - so I just copied across .. made life easier! It was such a fun afternoon ..

@ Talli .. yes - we did have lots of smiles and laughs .. and remembering the African days .. are like you and home .. just gorgeous memories ..

Thanks Susanne and Talli - good to see you .. cheers Hilary

TALON said...

Oh, there is nothing sweeter than a package in the mail. How fun, Hilary! And Judy's book sounds fabulous!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

HILARY: Yes, my father-in-law’s recent passing is still raw. With my own Dad so frail as well, it’s a poignant time for us all. I’m making the most of the time I have with my lovely parents!

STEPHEN: I agree Hilary is a great daughter! Also just want to say you “Breakthrough Blog” is so interesting; I don’t comment but I do read with interest. I’ve particularly been enjoying your informative astronomy posts (I use NASA’s eclipse data for my astrology)

SUSANNE: Hilary has a gift of sharing joy, and her visits with her Mum always sound so warm and inviting. And she still finds time to write such a lovely blog about a small parcel!

TALLI: South Africa is a country that once you’ve experienced it, you always hear its call (I’m biased, I know!)

TALON: At the thought of mailing 12 (!) parcels, I was regretting the prizes I’ve got up on my blog at the moment…but Hilary and her Mum’s delight have made me excited again. I can’t wait to see who wins them so I know to which corner of the world they will go…

Judy, South Africa

Michelle D. Argyle said...

So great to see you loving Notes from Underground! Judy's gifts are the best. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Judy .. your comments to everyone are great and I'm so pleased I've enthused you re your prizes .. they are wonderful .. but I thought HRH Theodorable did all your wrapping and trips to the post office?! Love the thought though ...

@ Michelle .. many thanks for following and yes I'm sure we'll enjoy the stories in it .. the Literary Lab is a great name for a publishing house .. and I'm looking forward to having a good look around your blog ..

You're right - Judy's gifts are so interesting ..

Thanks Judy and Michelle - see you both tomorrow .. cheers for now ... Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

MICHELLE: Notes was such a wonderful prize to give away - a collection of great stories, something for everyone's reading taste.

HILARY: You forget...HRH Theodorable is a CAT! She has a SLAVE! And the slave's name is Judy (who does all the work at the wave of a regal paw!!) :)

Empty Nest Insider said...

You are an amazing daughter! No wonder you're not getting enough sleep! It's so nice how you take such great care of your mom, and how you include so many others at the healthcare facility. Enjoy your shared gift and I look forward to hearing more about this generous author! Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Judy .. the Notes from Underground is just wonderful .. so good to meet Michelle from 'the Lab'

Ah! I forgot the slave - sorreeee!! Regal paws are a bit of pain sometimes waving you to off to work - but my golly gosh were the prizes so lovely ..

@ Julie - thank you so much. The interaction with the staff is so important .. they can share with Mum and vice versa .. brings us all together with one goal - to make her life the best we can.

Julie .. Judy is a great person .. and I too am so looking forward to reading her book and getting to know her better ..

PLEASE ENTER HER COMPETITION SHE'D LOVE TO GET TO THE POST OFFICE with all her packets and send them around the planet!!

Cheers everyone - thank you so much - Hilary

MunirGhiasuddin said...

Times spent with Mums are great. I like the way you spell Mum. We spell Mummy the same way. My kids are used to American Spelling ie Mommy.
The corn flower is so pretty. I did not realize that it is so Blue.
Judy Chrome sounds like a good writer. I may just have to ask my local liberarian to see if we can get her work in their collection.
As always your blog is enriching. I hope that my coment comes across to you as some of us are having trouble posting our comments.
Take Care.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Munir .. we used to say Mummy too and certainly a great many British kids still use that .. it's just when you're writing in a blog .. what do you use!

This picture is fantastic .. I'm sure it's new on Wikipedia .. it wasn't there before when I posted about cornflowers ..

The start of her book is enticing and I love all things Africa .. it's only just come out - but that would be wonderful -

I hope you can get over and say 'hi' to her ..

Yes - blogger comments are at it again and some I cannot comment on - so frustrating .. but mostly I can wangle my way round it ..

You too - have a good end of the week .. cheers Hilary

Unknown said...

What a wonderful collection of posts and I really enjoyed getting to know your mother. Judy's cover is fantastic.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Clarissa - good to see you and hope your move is going ok! Thanks delighted to hear that you liked the posts and hearing a little more about my Mama.

Isn't Judy's cover fantastic .. she's worked so hard at the trailer, well writing the book too etc etc ..

Thanks for coming by - Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

JULIE(Empty Nester): Hilary is amazing! She’s always so cheerful; an inspiration to all who read her posts!

MUNIR: Despite my British Colonial roots I also use “Mom” rather than Mum or Mummy. My book is only out in eBook at the moment – but I know libraries are moving in that direction too, so hopefully you’ll be able to read the book one day!

CLARISSA: Thanks for the kind words about my cover – the artist who did the original painting is such a fascinating man. If you ever have a spare moment, I’ve put up an interview with Martin Wenkidu
on my blog – it’s well worth a read as he’s a fascinating person!

Judy, South Africa

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. thanks for being such good commenter and joining in the mix ..

I hadn't taken on board your book is only out in ebook format .. I just love the cover so much .. I feel like I'd love to have the book itself here ..

Now you've answered one of my interview questions! That's great that the post about Martin Wenkidu is up .. and I'll definitely be over to read it .. his art work is gorgeous ..

Cheers & so good to see you .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful time you spent with your mum. Being with her as much as you can is really what life is about--visiting those who love us, helping those we love.

What beautiful prizes. The way you describe them in your perfect way I can see them and almost feel them.

I have Notes from Underground too, on my stack of TBRs. So many good books to read! I am now printing that first chapter of Judy's book to read also. I love the title Dancing in the Shadows of Love. And the cover is stunning. Congratulations to Judy! And I wish her the very best with her book!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. thank you so much .. your comments are always special.

I love anthologies .. short and enthralling stories, or telling tales - I can really immerse myself in them - so I'm looking forward to having some time out to read the book through.

You're so right about the title and the cover, and having read the first chapter and seen the trailer I need to download my coupon and get reading the rest of the book .. a first read on the screen!

Cheers hope you and Jen have a lovely weekend and you're still floating on getting so far with your Memoirs being published. .. Happy Days - Hilary

Sue said...

Hilary this is a beautiful post so full of love, caring and sharing. It brought back many wistful memories - I used to take photo albums in to show mum along with flowers of course! I love the deep blue of the cornflower. YOur description of unwrapping the parcel is delightful. I'll be away for a while and won't be around to post or comment much. Hope you get some rain soon.Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. thanks so much - yes I did too, along with the iphone, but focusing on small screens is challenging now - so I do show her pictures sometimes .. but not as much as I used to.

Her walls and ceiling were covered in cards, pictures, photos etc .. but I think it was too much to take in - so when we had to move rooms, she wanted the clear space again.

We had a splattering - but they had some heavy showers away from the coast.

Hope you have a good break/trip - Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

Your Mom is blessed to have such a loving daughter. :)

Adore the cat's name although I'm sure they must shorten it when they call her.

I've seen how important simple pleasures become as people as people age. It recaptures a bit of the past.

Susan :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. many thanks!

The parcel was signed "with purrs from H.R.H. Theodorable the Cat!" .. I'm sure she's known as HRH.

You're so right those simple pleasures .. expressed and shared .. because there's no point in rushing them - make the most of the time, while the going is so good. Good eye contact and lots of smiles and laughs ..

So good to see you .. cheers for now - Hilary

Linda said...

Hilary- What a wonderful visit with your mother. So much to look at and talk about. I know you gave her a very special day.

nutschell said...

That's so great that you make it a point to spend some quality time with your Mum. Family is always important and seeing your Mum smile is always a memory to treasure.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Linda .. it was a great day - had had one the week before, and had another today .. so the few hours we have together laughing and talking are wonderful.

@ Nutschell .. thank you .. when the opportunity arises I always make the time - exactly as you say so important .. and knowing that I've been able to give her happiness at this stage in her life is of great comfort - life is so precious.

Lovely seeing you both .. have good weekends .. Hilary

Karen Lange said...

What a lovely adventure, all from a package! So glad your Mum was having a good day and enjoyed the "festivities". :) Have a wonderful weekend!

Karen Lange said...

P.S. And the drawing sounds delightful! Thanks to Judy! Off to check out her site. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. it was a wonderful afternoon and she did enjoy the 'outing' ..

Judy talks to Martin about his painting here ..


It's really interesting about the Bushmen, African culture .. my mother said she'd like me to read it to her ..

Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting ..Hilary

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on winning your prize. It sounds like Christmas came early for you and your mum :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ron .. many thanks - just savouring each and every moment now - it actually does - because since then I've won two more prizes .. not used to this blogging largesse ..

I'll get used to it if I'm not careful!

Have a lovely Memorial weekend .. cheers Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

What a sweet story. How nice the gifts jogged so many of your mother's memories.

And congratulations on winning prizes!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. thanks for coming by once you sorted your blogger challenges out ..

It was a lovely afternoon - so I'm delighted the parcel arrived when my mother was happy to see what was going on.

It's been a wonderful ten days .. prizes and prezzies dropping through the door - fun for us ..

See you soon - Hilary

Julie Musil said...

Oh, this is great! And yes, it's amazing what we're able to accomplish these days. So many opportunities!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie .. it's been such fun having the prize and opening the wonderful gift from Judy. Yes opportunities do abound with every little beautiful thing in life. Lovely seeing you ..enjoy the rest of the Memorial weekend .. Hilary

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I was in the bedroom with you and your mother courtesy of your great writing skills and the obvious love between the two of you.

Judy Croome is a champion for mailing you such a great package for your win. I have such a package for T. D. McFrost in Trinidad, but the mails to that faraway place must be harassed by pirates, for it still has not reached him!

May your Sunday and new week be blessed and happy, Roland

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Roland .. still up?! Really appreciate your comment - yes, my mother is special .. as all mothers are.

Judy is great isn't she .. it's been an amazing present providing much fun for many .. our post took about 10 days I think .. wasn't too bad.

I'm sure TD in Trinidad will be delighted once his package arrives - maybe it went by sugar steamer?! Pirates down there too - I thought they were only in the north-western Indian Ocean off Somalia.

Thanks Roland - you too have a good Memorial weekend .. Hilary

Marinela said...

What a lovely day you had with your mom and a beautiful gift! Really very nice story. And congratulations on winning prizes :) :)
Take care

Bullying Poems

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marinela .. we did have a lovely day and had the pleasure of looking at all the gifts .. yes I am very lucky with prizes at the moment!

Always a pleasure to see you here .. you too take care - Hilary

Inger said...

What a sweet story. How wonderful it is when someone does something that makes another person so happy. This made me miss my mother so much.--Inger

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

What a lovely blog post with so much wonderful description! I felt like I was right there with you opening your package and enjoying your mother's responses.

Thank you for sharing. Also, thank you for commenting on my blog.

Enjoy a wonderful positive week!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger .. many thanks .. haunting that this brought back memories of your own mother .. I'm sure I'll experience the same re-reading the blog post once Mum has gone ..

That day - opening everything up and embracing all the contents .. made it special for my Mama ...

@ Monti - so happy to hear you could envisage our time with the various wonderful prezzies.

My mother can sure add to the experience with her comments - it always takes me by surprise, but gives me so much pleasure. I burst out laughing so often.

It's a pleasure coming over to your blog .. and I love commenting on all the blogs as I can ..

Monti and Inger - you both have wonderful positive weeks too ..

thanks - lovely seeing you - Hilary

Patricia said...

Oh how fun to receive a package in the mail and how wonderful of you to share the delight on your post - Hilary including all of your mum's comments and connections.

My mum had several beautiful tea covers and cozies for her pots...she loved her afternoon tea and biscuits (not cookies, but biscuits like warm bread)

Thank you for sharing this delight
and introducing Judy and her blog

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. thanks so much .. it was a wonderful afternoon .. one my mother enjoyed a great deal.

Tea and pretty china became the order of the day when families had time to sit down - Victorian times - in the afternoon ... biscuits like warm bread = an interesting description, not sure I've heard of that before.

I hope you enjoy visiting Judy .. and glad you enjoyed this story .. cheers and good to see you - Hilary

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Lovely post, Hilary! It was really sweet the way you told how your Mum enjoyed the package. I hadn't heard of a tea net before. The one Judy sent you sounds very pretty.

South Africa is one of my Grandparents favorite places. They had some amazing adventures there in the 60's and 70's.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. many thanks - it seems to have gone down well all round .. the tea net for all the flies are great ideas .. this was a lovely large piece of net to cover the whole table, rather than individual jugs, or plates.

Then we have more in common .. my mother's brother farmed in Bulawayo .. sadly shot by terrorists in the 70s - wrong place at the wrong time .. he never normally went out then.

I only went out in the late 70s - but I can certainly appreciate your grandparents would have loved their times there ..

Hope you can sort your blog out a little more .. see you soon - cheers Hilary

Keith Davis said...

Hi Hilary
What a storyteller you are... you kept my attention from start to finish.
I couldn't wait to find out what was in the parcel - a bit like Christmas.

As you say, a parcel can bring such happiness.
Glad it did.

Cheers H

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Keith - good to see you .. wonderful that you appreciated the post so much ... mighty grateful am I! It was like Christmas .. and it's the way I love to open parcels .. savour each moment .. and it did bring such happiness to my Mama - memories are made of this.

Lovely seeing you here - cheers - Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

What a lovely, uplifting post. I got a great image of your mother surrounded by goodies, with a big smile on her face.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. many thanks .. it was a brilliant day and Mum's smile is wonderful and really lights her eyes up with pleasure .. so glad you can 'see' what I wrote about ..

Lovely to see you .. cheers Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe how alive and vibrant Hilary’s blog is so long after she put the post up! I never dreamed the visiting would still be going on, and I’ve missed all these exciting comments! Let me try and catch-up!

ANN: I’m so glad you have Notes as well; it’s a great book and you have a treat read in store. Hope you enjoyed Chapt 1 and so glad you like the cover!

SUE: The most remarkable thing about Hilary’s posts are her deep love for her Mum and the wonderful relationship they have. Always makes me smile and value my Mom that little bit more!

SUSAN: You’ve brought an important point to mind; something I must remember for my Dad who, after his last stroke, is so lost to us in so many ways: he does still enjoy the simple things, it’s as if that’s all he can cope with. As to The Cat, Hilary is correct, we call her HRH. Her real name is Theodora but the vet took one look at her as a kitten and called her Theodorable because she is such a beautiful cat. She comes from a long line of grand grand champions and the breeder gave us the opportunity to name her. I wanted to call her Hildegard von Binchen the Second, but Husband hated it – so I challenged him to name her. He said Theodora, I loved it, then asked where he got from…he was reading the Sunday comics at that moment and Prince Valiant had just rescued Empress Theodora. So, that confirmed HRH’s regal status!! :)

LINDA: It *did* sound like a very special day between Hilary and her Mom , didn’t it?

NUTSCHELL: I agree! Family outweighs everything else, and we have to treasure those special moments.

KAREN: A festive adventure is an excellent way to describe the opening of a small, non-descript parcel. Hope you enjoyed your visit to my site and you’re most welcome to visit anytime!

RONJOE: Hah…talking of Christmas, HRH is going to withhold my Xmas bonus because it took me so long to realise that Hilary’s blog is a hive of continuing activity & it feels like I left the party too early!

THERESA: Hilary’s on a prize winning role – all her good energy coming back to her!

JULIE: Yup! Social media has brought so many opportunities I’m like a kid in a candy store…sometimes I don’t know which direction I must run to savour all the lovely goodies on display. And sometimes I even miss some really good stuff!

ROLAND: Hope your parcel to Trinidad has arrived by now. If not, send Master Hibbs after those pirates!

MARINELA: I’m so glad Hilary shared her lovely day with her Mum! So many people are enjoying the prize opening story with her – me most of all!

CANYON GIRL: I can’t even bear to think of the day my Mom is no longer with us. I’m trying to spend a lot of quality time with her too.

MONTI: Hilary has a talent for taking us right into her moments of joy with her Mum. I always finish reading with a smile on my face!

PATRICIA: Oh I love tea pots with real proper tea cozies on them – I have several my Mom knitted me. They just look so warm and homely. And the biscuits sound yum!

SHARON: That’s right. I remember you’ve mentioned before that your Grandparents had fond memories of South Africa. Now you’ll have to continue the tradition and visit us here too.

KEITH: You’ve put your finger on it! Hilary is a marvellous story teller. Keeps us very much in the moment of excitement and tension.

GLYNIS: Yes, Hilary’s gift is being so positive! No wonder her blog has such energy and so many visitors!

And, if I'm ever invited back to party at Hilary's lovely blog, I'll remember to keep on visiting for days after the post is up so I don't miss a single word of the conversation!

Judy, South Africa

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. I think you've sent all your sunshine over here - this is an amazing comment .. and I'm basking in its delight.

You are absolutely invited back - we have an interview to do .. and then perhaps we can do some African/ English posts for each others' blogs sometime later on (NB the sometime!) ...

So do come back .. isn't the camaraderie lovely .. I'm so lucky - but your parcel arrived the right day and just gave Mum and I so much joy. THANK YOU SO MUCH ... Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Always a joy to hear about other writers sharing their inspirations. You do such a fabulous job of getting the word out. Something about the exotic animals of Afica and the wild landscapes appeals to many people. You may be a person to reminisce about Isak Dinesen's timeless story, "Out of Africa." We are reminded here and in Judy's book that Love is found wherever we choose to look. It is within us and beckoning us to notice.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. it was just such a lovely time with my Mama - it was such a pleasure to write it down and I just loved the way Judy was bringing Africa to us .. so I wanted to share.

I listen to the soundtrack of Out of Africa .. and my uncle, when he was alive, lived (with my aunt) in Kenya in that part of the world ... so he had tales to tell ... and always reminded me that "Love is all" .. and as you remind us - love is where we care to look and notice.

Judy's book is definitely worth a read ... as is her blog - with the soul connection.

Lovely to see you here .. enjoy the week ahead .. Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

LIARA: You're so right...love is within us, if only (as Enoch says in "Dancing in the Shadows of Love") we would all listen to our heart's voice.

Judy, South Africa

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. such a wonderful thoughtful comment on Liara's words .. if only we could all realise that love is within us ... which we should treasure and let ripple out to the world all the time. Great thoughts .. cheers Hilary

Chatty Crone said...

I am a couple years late - but here now the less.

Your mother sounded so sweet. Makes me miss my mother.

You were a great daughter too - and now a great friend.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sandie - no worries .. it's always lovely to have a comment especially when it concerns our mothers.

We were lucky and we made a happy time in an unfortunate situation .. but I was lucky it gave me time with my Mama ..

Thanks so much - I appreciate you leaving your comment .. with thoughts Hilary

Susan Scott said...

Well, only about 3 years on but a delight to read and the comments too ... and that Cornflower and Theodore the Cat, and the wrapping and the tea cosy and and - such attention to detail with such love and fun and sharing ..
Thank you Hilary! And Judy!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - your comment went into moderation for some reason ... but I now have happily published it ... who worries about the time frame.

I had fun writing the post and it brings back memories of that day with my mother ... and Africa, and JJ, the nurse - who's still there and I see quite often ... we did have fun and certainly my mother appreciated all the special days we had, even though I visited pretty much every day.

Judy's present for my win was so thoughtful ... and much appreciated by one and all ... and thank you everyone for the amazing comments I've been re-reading ...

Thanks for coming by - and am so pleased you took time out to come over and comment ... cheers Hilary