Comforting thoughts

As I lay in bed wide awake last night, tossing and turning and wishing for sleep, I tried to reign in my busy mind by thinking comforting thoughts. As I took deep breaths, inhaling deeply and then exhaling to release pent up stress, my mind naturally wandered to images from my youth, and memories of things that offered peace when I still lived at home.

  • Sunday dinners with family, when the dark of night had descended and encircled us in a cocoon of our happy home. Even better, Sunday dinners eaten in comfortable flannel pyjamas, an indulgence I enjoy to this day.
  • The sound of the television, buzzing quietly in the background as my parents watched, and I settled snugly into my bed for the night.
  • Sharing a room with my sister, knowing she was in the bed right next to mine on those nights when the darkness was more than I could bear.
  • A roaring fire, spreading warmth throughout the house, inviting us to relax and laze together as a family.
  • My father’s homemade tourtière coupled with the fluffy bounty of creamy mashed potatoes.
  • Afternoon’s lounging on my bed, headphones in, the full length version of the Phantom of the Opera playing loudly, lifting me me from my worries, indulging my senses.
  • My dad perched on a stool at the breakfast counter, with notepad and coffee next to him, greeting me every morning as I came down to start my day.
  • The camaraderie of cleaning up after a family meal, chatting and lauging in the kitchen as we washed and dried the dishes.

What comforting thoughts come to mind when you think of your youth? Do you try to replicate them for your own family?

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12 thoughts on “Comforting thoughts

  1. Help me, Christine. What is tourtiere? And how do you get that French accent thingy to appear? I am dying to know both.

    • ShannonL says:

      Hi Kitch,
      Tourtière is a meat pie, usually made from ground pork and/or ground beef. That E with the accent thingy is made by pressing ALT + 138. The other common accent (é) is made using ALT + 130. 🙂

    • Christine says:

      Thanks Shannon for the reply! Dana tourtière is a French Canadian dish. Since you don’t like meatloaf, you likely won’t like it: pastry, ground beef, ground pork (and some also use ground lamb). Lots of garlic and green pepper! Not exactly good for the hips, but the ultimate comfort food and I was raised on it. Mmmm, mmmm.

  2. ShannonL says:

    I hope my kids will think back to their childhood with such happy memories of the simple things we did together. I know I do. I liked going to the Public Gardens in Halifax with my mom – just the two of us while my father worked overtime and my brother wasn’t born yet – to look at all of the pretty flowers and feed the ducks. I loved to sit in my room and listen music. I would stop-rewind-play certain lines a thousand times so I could learn every lyric to my favourite songs. I loved to sit down by the ocean (which was in our backyard!) and just watch the waves and smell the salty air. And of course the lazy days together watching movies – so much fun! 🙂

  3. You guys are making me hungry. For frites in mayonnaise. For poutine. For warm French bread on cold mornings in Paris.

    Why is it that so much comfort is derived from food?

  4. Amber says:

    We would have taco night every Sunday when I was a girl. I do love it, but it didn’t do too well in my home. Instead, we prefer hot dog spaghetti. An easy spaghetti made by sauteing (could not get those nifty shortcuts to work) hot dogs–whatever kind you want–with celery and onions until the hot dogs are browned, the celery is soft, and the onions are transparent. Add 2-3 cans of tomato soup (the small cans), a dash of worcestershire sauce, some garlic salt, and a 1/2 a can of water. Simmer for 15 minutes (or until the spaghetti noodles are done) and pour over spaghetti. Sounds nasty but is actually delicious!

    Thank you for bringing comfort to my Monday morning.

  5. Kelly says:

    Your family and childhood sound like such a safe haven. I love that image of your dad greeting you every morning.

    I think I’m going to take this post as a challenge. I shall come up with my own list of childhood comforts. It’s so hard for me to think of any, but I know I had them. Unfortunately, the fuzzy/warm memories get pushed back behind the not-so-nice ones.

  6. harrietglynn says:

    Oh what a lovely post and great idea. I have so many amazing memories. I’m frequently awash in nostalgia for the neighbourhood I grew up in (Pointe Claire, on Montreal’s West Island). Corn roasts at the pool; kick the can in my best pal’s back yard; Tea on the porch with my Gran, mini car races on Lac St Louis, camping trips, summer nights running around the neighbourhood; weekend ski trips; holidays on Lake Mephramagog, the list goes on. I had an oddly idyllic childhood considering how I feel these days.

  7. denise says:

    Oh gosh. What a great question. Yes, childhood memories definitely have the power to soothe me, but I don’t think I take time to reflect on them. More often, they filter up in a scent (chlorine, sauteed garlic and butter, pipe smoke, line-dried sheets), in a song (from the Boston Pops to Duran Duran), in a facial expression.

    xoxo

  8. I love this little peek into your childhood, Christine — so much comfort here!

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