Winter has arrived and it reminds me of the long lazy days spent reading, chit-chatting or just enjoying the sun drenched front veranda at home long ago.My father had marked a sundial on the wall for my Mom so that she knew the approximate time while relaxing from her household chores.
The spacious veranda was the hub of all humdrum activities and often visitors commented that it could be converted to a room ,it was done years later after my Mom passed away putting an end to the veranda activities and an entire era.Our veranda had a set of comfortable cane chairs and a divan , knitting reading , studying ,eating peanuts , listening to cricket commentary on the transistor and keeping a watch on the gate were some of the activities indulged in by various members of the family as per their interest.
My Mom was a great letter writer and maintained cordial relations with all relatives with letters full of family news.The important letters were read and reread and kept aside carefully for future reference. We kept an eagle eye for the friendly postman to do his morning and afternoon rounds and drop much awaited letters in the postbox installed at the gate. It also meant frequent trips to the post office to buy stamps and other varieties of postal paraphernalia.And yes, who can forget the cards -Birthday, Diwali, New Year, all selected with care and handwritten with love instead of wishes being posted on FB ! Dozens of cards were purchased well in advance , wishes handwritten and envelopes addressed , stamps stuck by kids as being the least important jobs.
Now of course people hardly ever know the address of any relative as all invitations are given verbally on mobile phones and info exchanged thru emails and FB :) , house address is not required anyway as engagements, marriages , functions are held in hotels and other venues with the home kept out of all celebrations.No chance of any relative dropping in later unannounced !!!!!
Winter flowers and veggies were lovingly tended during the day and most visitors happily went home with cauliflowers, cabbages, radishes etc freshly picked from the back garden. The front garden had a lawn, perennial roses and seasonal flowers , a guava tree which gave awesome guavas during winters !