Thursday, March 17, 2011

In Memory of Marja

Marja passed away last evening, a kind and generous person who had time to visit, to tell a humorous story. She always spoke lovingly of her husband, praised his cooking and kindness. She was loyal, upbeat, and had a good word for everyone. She had a broad range of friends and took care of elderly friends without children to help them. Marja was a collector of tiny irons (and that was just the tip of her collections). She had a booth in Village Antiques Mall, where she was employed for more than 20 years. Marja participated in 21st Century Promotions and often worked there during events. Last week an old friend brought her a great bundle of pussy willows. Last week Marja shared some of her humorous writing with me. She shared with so many of her friends. Marja was an avid collector, and until recent years made a yearly collectibles buying trip across Canada. Three things she wrote in the January letter to her friends (see below) were:

--- joys and sorrows should always be shared
--- a kind word (spoken or received) goes a long way
--- friends are the life-line we treasure

Marja was just getting interested in writing a blog. Last week she sent me two of her letters she had sent to friends. Because she wanted to write a blog I am going to post them here in her memory.
a small iron in Marja showcase

Two Letters to Friends, written by Marja: 

How I spent my two week vacation AND bought a $400. shower curtain!!
     As a lot of you know, I used to take a month off work, scour Western Canada for "stuff'" I thought I had to have, annoy family and friends and kept my ever-loving in suspense (he lived in fear of me coming home with a trailer attached to my truck!)
     Well, the month long holiday is now history and has been replaced by two weeks of concentrated effort at home.
     This year I decided that tackling the house would be in order (much easier than tackling the horrors of the basement.)
     Wow, you would not believe the things I have learned!!
     First and foremost -- if you have three beds in your house and they all have duvets -- you do not take all three duvets to the cleaners at the same time.
     The love of your life may think you are the best thing that ever happened to them but they will snatch your afghan in the middle of the night, wrap it around their chest and make weird noises when you try to rip it out of their clenched fists.
     Trying to get a good nights sleep (sans the afghan) but rolled up in your big fluffy house-coat is no screaming hell either.  The hood will always fall in your face, you will have visions of wearing a burka and if you wake up your ever-loving at 2:00 am they willl actually swear to the fact that they have never met you in their whole life!
     Thankfully the duvets are coming home today.
     Next on my hit list was the "garden window" in the kitchen.
     I'm not certain who invented this ball of wax but it must have been some sadistic trained monkey who could actually clean this modern innovation standing on their head.
     So, I gathered strength, found the ladder, got the vacuum, put the big cutting board over the sink, parked the phone close by in case I have to call some handsome firemen to haul me out of the cavity known as my "garden window"--
     My kitchen faces south-west.  Mistake number one!!
     I start my work just as the sun is coming around to that side of the house but, being the true Pisces/Aries cusp (that would be the one who  never pays any attention to the ice-berg that looms ahead) -- Mother nature won that round and to-morrows contest will start earlier in the day!
     So, then I bought a $400. shower curtain -- takes pure talent to do that when your budget is rather limited!!
I went to Zellers because the ones in their flyer looked great and the price was right and you could buy everything to match (yeah right!)
     Went to the Bay but decided a $50 shower curtain was not for me.  Went to WalMart and things really went down-hill from there so off to HomeSense I go.
     HomeSense and WalMart carry basically the same things but HomeSense is so much smaller, better organized, cleaner and the prices are pretty much the same.
     So, I choose my shower curtain and grab a bath mat I think somewhat matches --
     The following day starts the quest for matching towels and I have the picture in hand that came with the curtain.
     A sane person would have brought the curtain but oh no, not Mrs Iceberg chugging in the Arctic 'cause she took all the bedding to the cleaners!!
     So, Duce comes with me and we ponder towels at more than one store and finally decide on several different colours and bring them home.
     The great unveiling tells me that the bath-mat now has to go and be replaced by a different colour but so far, so good -- the towels are going to work just fine.
     Then I decide that the bathroom now needs to be painted, the cupboards will need a different paint, the towel-racks will have to be replaced as well as the flooring and we'll need some more towels along with new hardware for the cupboards!
     That my friends is how you buy a $400. shower curtain!!
     ...and the holiday is not over for another week so there may be another chapter to this saga --
     Take care -- Marja
and another, a January letter (undated)

Well, another year has begun and life at our house is still the same old comedy show.
As we were reading the papers this morning, Duce looks up and asks me if I would like a "wash your bottom lip"
Honestly, that is what he said, I know because I was reading the paper, drinking coffee, listening to the radio and of course paying rapt attention to his every word.
I CAN multi-task!!!!!
Other things I have learned this year --
--- if your "check engine" light is on, Air Care will not give you a passing grade, they will however laugh and point
--- a tremendous favour brings the old girl up to snuff and then some (truck's running okay too!)
--- it is still not a good idea to take all of the duvets to the cleaners at the same time
--- the self-cleaning oven will not burn down the house
--- wisdom comes to some at a very early age (missed me though!)
--- a basement full of books (to be read upon retirement) may lead to dementia and one big book with pretty pictures may well be sufficient.
--- the most wonderful feeling of joy can come from having 4 empty Rubbermaid bins
--- when DEVIL WOMAN (aka my computer) starts acting up, screaming for Duce will not correct whatever disaster the techno-nerd-idiot at the key board has managed to get herself into (again)
--- making traditional Christmas foods has national barriers
--- one nationality should be in the basement while the other is upstairs making HIS mothers version of herring salad.
--- the one year we had a herring salad marathon it became a battle of wills
--- that herring salad had ingredients never tried before by anyone in Germany, Finland or Cloverdale
--- should have written down the ingredients -- best herring salad we ever had
--- there goes that wisdom thing again
--- the guys at Safeway's meat department will cut a turkey in half for you -- no need for a 6 week turkey eating marathon
--- joys and sorrows should always be shared
--- a kind word (spoken or received) goes a long way
--- friends are the life-line we treasure
--- the "wash your bottom lip" turned out to be "mushroom omelette?"
--- some days I pray for "normal"
     All the best -- Duce and Marja


  1. What a sense of humor! Thank you for sharing your delightful friend with us. She lives on now, in her letters.

  2. Thank you Sue, Marja was a good friend to many. She was still working full time, thinking about retiring.
    - Joy

  3. It's a shame she didn't live to write a blog. I think she could have been a great writer. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Marja will be missed by many, her kind and generous nature forgotten by few. Her sudden passing leaves everyone who knew her to mourn a significant loss.

    - Debbie Vanderwel


Thanks for visiting. I read and appreciate all your comments. Joy

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