COLUMN: Reflections on family and generation gap

This week’s column looks at families and generations

Another late August day had burned itself out, and the night air, soft like summer, had tossed a comforting grey blanket of darkness around us.

I was serving cake and ice cream to the little crowd gathered around my kitchen. I marveled briefly at my own humble attempt at Black Forest Cake, as I carefully placed the generous slabs on plates.

I like my kitchen.

That being said I must admit I like being out of it as well. There are, however, those rare occasions when I plan, chop, peel and slice, finally serving the hungry people at my table and creativity and perfection gel like they are supposed to. At times like that I feel like the planets and the stars are aligned and all is right with the world.

My black forest cake was not a perfect example of creativity and perfection, but close. Really close.

The cake was made in the honour of the soon-to-be 15-year-old in the crowd and the batter was stirred with lots of love and a hand-made wooden spoon.

When I got over thinking about my black forest cake and how the cherry filling could be a little thicker, I started thinking about us, the people in this room.

At almost 15 my granddaughter was the youngest family member present. The next in line was her 16-year-old cousin.

And then there were her parents. The next generation. And finally us.

The old people.

Three generations of family brought together by one single birthday.

Three generations separated not only by age, but by life styles.

My sister, long since retired, is a gold medal winner in the 55+ games. She is also a writer and her last story about the Edmonton Grads is being published.

She is no stranger to winning. As far back as I can remember, she has won medals and awards. It seems to come naturally to her, kind of like breathing.

My sister is used to being recognized for her achievements in the traditional way. She, herself, is traditional; carefully cutting out newspaper articles and pasting them into photograph albums and books.

So when people tell her the story of her winnings is posted all over Facebook, she is completely confused. And when I tell her the post got tons of ‘likes’ she looks at me like I am some kind of alien.

“Trust me, it’s a good thing,” I reassure her.

The teenagers love their aunt. They especially love her handwriting, which they say is exquisitely beautiful and quite unlike anything they have ever seen.

“She doesn’t even know how to text,” I mutter under my breath, and they look at me, totally amazed.

The teens themselves are as diverse and unique as snowflakes.

One is a farm girl, who knows everything there is to know about cows.

She loves kittens and cows, mostly cows.

The other is a city girl, who also loves soft and furry things like kittens and puppies. I’m not so sure how she feels about cows, though!

The teens both wear the optimism of youth with casual confidence, like a pair of faded blue jeans.

And then there are the parents.

They are the sandwich generation, wearing the responsibility of careers, children and aging parents with much of the optimism of their teenage counterparts, tempered only slightly with some weariness.

I smile at them all and serve more cake and think about life’s little blessings and the quiet happiness a simple birthday celebration can bring.

Just Posted

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

Bashaw School places big importance on remembering

Service demonstrates how students feel about Remembrance Day

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Bashaw Rebels host first volleyball tournament in new gym

Five teams converge on Bashaw for the tournament

Bashaw RCMP assist in search of wanted man

RCMP charge Michael Richter with six criminal code offenses

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Apology to Canadians persecuted for being gay coming Nov. 28: Trudeau

Thousands were fired from the military, RCMP and public service because of their sexual orientation

Bank of Canada cautious of future rate hikes

The Bank of Canada remains cautious on future rate hikes due to low- inflation risk

London theatre received allegations against Kevin Spacey

The theatre said Thursday the 20 allegations deal with incidents between 1995 and 2013.

Da Vinci’s Christ painting sells for record $450M

The painting, “Salvator Mundi,” Latin for “Savior of the World,” is one a few paintings by Leonardo known to exist

Loblaws closing 22 stores, launching home delivery ahead of ‘difficult year’

“We are excited about our future. But…we expect 2018 will be a difficult year,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw CEO.

Walk of Fame bash celebrates David Suzuki, Donovan Bailey, Anna Paquin

Suzuki says he’ll be thinking of his late parents as he accepts the honour

Trudeau to personally unveil Liberals’ peacekeeping plan

This marks Canada’s first tangible step back into peacekeeping

Most Read