Wednesday, 1 April 2015

April Fools

The first of April. A day evoking fond memories for me this year, as it does every year. From when I was a small child, I had a tradition with my grandmother on this day. We would call each other to see who could "out prank" the other first. I have no idea how old I was, but the one that I remember vividly had to do with her calling me at  7:30 am. I think it was so early that I didn't realize what day it was. I ran to pick up the phone and all I heard was a radio. She had put the phone receiver next to the radio the minute she heard my voice. Before technology, call display and computers, the simplest jokes evoked fits of laughter on both ends of the line. Our annual antics continued well into my teens until her dementia robbed us of our ability to play.

It's funny how our memories evoke emotions and take us right back to a time so long ago as if no time has passed. I still love watching The Wizard of Oz, her favourite movie and one we watched whenever it was on TV -  before VCRs, DVDs and PVRs. It was a treat when it was on and we would make a date to watch it together though the flying monkeys terrified me. She was an avid cook and took great pleasure in feeding her family. Sometimes a simple smell or taste will remind me of something she cooked. And sometimes something happens and I think of how she would have reacted, enjoyed it, laughed or responded. When I close my eyes I can still see her laughing though it is well over 25 years since I actually heard her laugh. And on April 1 every year, I wake thinking of her.

I am fascinated watching my kids and my father create their own traditions on this day. The kids spend hours the night before trying to come up with some elaborate story they can weave. He anticipates their calls and plans his own 'low tech' prank. As I listen to them try and out do each other, I can't help but smile. The tradition continues for yet another  generation. How very special for all of them.

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