“If it starts to rain wait at the end of the gravel cycle track. I will pick you up.” said Dad. The weather in summer was such that it often rained between 1pm and 4pm and after a very hot morning the clouds would gather and there would be forks of lightning and claps of thunder. It was one of those lunch times when it was hard to tell whether we could cycle the four miles or wait for Dad. Well, he waited at the end of the cycle track and my sister and I made it home before the rain came down in torrents.
Mom always had a meal prepared by 1pm which Dad came home for. Dad loved his cooked vegetables at least three, one of each colour; carrots/pumpkin/squash, peas/beans/cabbage and of course potatoes: mashed/roasted/boiled in their skins. Always a protein: patties with: lentils/oats/mushroom or nut roast usually with a gravy. Plus a salad, finely chopped spinach (we couldn’t grow lettuce) with tomatoes and finely sliced onion. Mum was ever so faithful with these meals. She also had flowers on the table with two small salt and pepper pots in the shape of tomatoes.
Anyway, when Dad got home his frustration had reached fever pitch.
He was angry.
Why hadn’t we waited? How was he to know with all those girls cycling past where his girls were. It all got too much and as it sometimes happens a topic from an unresolved argument came up between the two of them. That is between Mum and Dad. Mum got so angry she took the salt pot, the little red one, and threw it at the wall. Well, that was the first and last time I saw such a thing but they had many other arguments.
I must remember that Mum was the third girl in a family who were wishing for a boy, and that boy was born eighteen months after Mum. Dad was the first boy after two girls followed by another boy. These parents had plenty of opportunity to learn how to get their way and fight in different ways and this was unpleasant for us.
Mum ever the sensitive, passionate and probably cleverer one and Dad the routine driven, everything must have its time and place type of person managed to keep their marriage on track. However, it was not easy.
There was one uniting factor, they both loved God. Dad in his rotine , everything in its place way and Mum in her passionate, emotional singing, praying, caring for others way.
They were Dad and Mum. Chalk and cheese.