My mother was born in 1914 and grew up on a farm in rural Québec.

She is a wonderful "raconteuse" and tells me tales about about hating to bring the cow back from pasture at the end of the day, having to go into the dark, scary crawlspace / basement under the house to find winter eggs buried in sawdust that her mom needed to bake a cake, eating "galettes de sarrasin" with molasses every morning for breakfast, praying a lot, especially after supper when the entire family had to recite the rosary, heating water on the wood stove in order to fill the tub with hot water so that all the kids could bathe in serial fashion. I hear all kinds of stories, but this one is a story of frustration.

As a little girl, mom couldn't stop drawing. She liked to sketch on the empty spaces she could find on her father's newspaper.  She longed to draw in colour and repeatedly asked her mother for a box of colour pencils. They were affordable, but she never got them. Who knows why?  

My mother is the artist that never was. 

I asked her if she ever thought of buying a box of colour pencils after she was married. She answered no, it was too late by then.  After taking on the role of wife and mother, she expressed her creativity in other ways such as making clothes for my sister and me or embroidering tablecloths and other items in living colour from designs that she drew herself.  

Prior to my exciting stint in kindergarten, I repeatedly asked her to draw for me. She was an amazing talent that I never tired of watching.

I was lucky because she bought me colour pencils. Sometimes I even use them.  After hearing her story, I have a new found appreciation for the tool.  I will never look at colour pencils in quite the same way again.


  1. Ah Diane, Thank you. Evoked such memories of my mother who was a wonderfully creative woman, full of life. Like your mother her creativity went into her children and home.

    Lovely drawing of Claudine!



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