Saturday Morning Chores- Living Trini

Friday, November 16, 2007 Clivia R 2 Comments

Ok for those of us that grew up in Trinidad/Tobago..Saturday morning was always chores morning..
and for some blinking reason...your parents always had TONS of mahogany furniture that needed to be rubbed down with a soft cloth and Pledge oil..eventually the spray replaced it...thank god..

Intricate Lace Doilies, starched and sprayed into spectacular designs, had to be lifted and shaken , tables dusted and polished and then replaced. Crystal vases to spray and wash down with Windex, and Terazzo floors made broom clean.

In our house we had 2 cherry wood rocking chairs, a dining room table with six chairs, a drinks cart, a piano..YES I SAID A PIANO...sigh... a glass top breakfast table with stainless steel chairs with a wicker seat and a sleeper lounge to dust plus a whole living room to vacuum.

It never dawned on me that we had so much wood in our house till Saturday morning bright and early VAL - [the mommy only I CAN SAY THAT OKAY????] wake us up to do chores before we had to head to ballet class or tennis and pan and whatever else for the rest of the day.

Most times I would wake up early on my own so i could eat cereal and milk and watch Batman and Animaniacs [what happened to that show?? it was the BOMB] on the black and white tv in the kitchen...[that was daddy cricket tv- the screen was so small that if you exhaled your cheeks could block out the screen...but don't let cricket season be going on and that man couldn't watch his tv....haha..]


The point of all of this is that at times you were just sooo upset that you had to allll of this stuff on saturday morning when cartoons was running and in reality it was the weekend...

But what happened instead...was..


its still one of my favourite memories of childhood ever...

Mommy would put on the radio.

I cant remember the exact stations now ...and the hosts over time changed..

But what started as a chore turned into a


you would be polishing away at the table ...and don't even realize ..that you were singing along to whatever new or old song was playing on the Radio. And this was before the time of the Radio MAFIA we heard everything...oldies, chutney, pan...YES PAN!! on the radio.

Mommy and Renee and I would be doing a miscellaneous chores...and then Mommy would breakaway into the Pembroke dance..for the uninitiated..this is a low low wine down with your rear end cocked high in the air..and the arms moving in what could only be called a flailing of sorts..My Auntie Mau is also a pro at this one. we have all since learned this to a tee..especially since Mommy has been known to break into this THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET on time on a shopping session in Trinidad for curtain fabric for mom is the best!!

It was a bonding experience...sometimes we would just follow her around doing whatever she did..
or we would critique the new songs coming...out..
and looooooord
what would happen if they play a vintage song like Merchant PROGRESS..or Caribbean connection
it was the bonding of one generation and another..
and to the tunes of DavidRudder High Mass
and Ras Shorty I and
Umbayaya Oh...oh oh oh oh...
and Andre Tanker..
and Sparrow ..
and Shadow Bassman..
and Lord Nelson, and Cro Cro..and Explainer...
and the Amazing DeFosfo himself...
and Tigress..and Singing Sandra...
and Black Stalin...
and Signal Hill Alumni Choir...

and explaining to mommy the themes of the new soca..

and then arguing about Machel mixing old school with new school..
you forgot about your chores...this was a bonding moment..

Chores forgotten
we danced together..
we re-discovered the old and accepted the new...
making up our own words when we didn't know them..[Mommy still doing this..I try and sing Fireball - What I want- and all i hear is go down co low-ka low-ka low-ka come up per high chi high chi...]

Saturday morning chores forgotten..
a tradition reinstated..
energy renewed
a memory reinforced..

living trini...forever


Anonymous said..., while I am not from Trinidad/Tobago I can appreciate growing up with Saturday chores. I can still remember the ever-present smell of Pledge on coffee table on Saturday or the roaring of our loud Kirby-brand vacuum cleaner. And I always made sure that my mom got the Lysol scrubbing bubble tub and sink cleaner so that my bathroom cleaning duties would be easier. LOL. Growing up in Central, Virginia, this time of meant plenty of back-breakin' sessions of raking leaves out of the front and back yard. Geez I really hated doing that! But I will admit, the yard looked so much better after the leaves were all raked up and the lawn had been mowed over.

You really took me back with this one. Those were the days though. Spending a couple of hours Saturday morning spiffying up the home as a family. Thank you for taking me back down memory lane sis.
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Word Marcus - Not from the Islands but can whole hartedly relate to the early morning saturday wake up call to get the house in order. But can you imagine how wrecked your house would look now if Ma-dukes wasnt such a taskmaster.