Sunday, December 18, 2005

One Thing After Another

I'm sharing the first fifth of the email my poor mother sent to my sister and I today because it's so typical of her entire life (and because she's so funny). Few people could display more grace and humor after coping with almost 60 years' worth of this kind of day. Few people make better use of exclamation points, either. I've added clarifications in [ ].

Hi Girls,

What a week!!! Started out great, was getting all kinds of things done and then ZOWIE!, the Christmas devil hit. Aside from running out of time (who shortened the month?), the unexpected keeps getting in the way (and if this stupid keyboard sticks today, it goes out the back door and you won't get this email). I got allll the stuff ready for the Pinedale trip, called Rose and went out to start the car. Nothing. Borrowed Donna's truck for a jump and still nothing. Decided it was the starter, called Rose - cancelled the trip, called Eric for advice - take a hammer to the starter. What? Sometimes when it is this cold [ten to twenty below zero on average overnight in LaBarge] and they are getting weak [like the Buick's], they'll freeze up and a good whack with a hammer will loosen things, he said. Okay?? I don't even know where the starter is!!! (nor did the girls). Called Guy [Dad's best friend and Mom's employer, you might say] (who has been swamped since Brent is off to SLC with Suzie's dad in the hospital and Mike is off having his truck fixed) - when you go for coffee, come show me where the starter is. We have two pickups gathering dust - you can take one of them. I'll bring it down. An hour later Sharon [Guy's wife] arrives with the pickup toasty warm, so it had been running awhile - Guy had to dash to Evanston. Call Rose - I'm on my way - do you have jelly jars I can borrow? For a cranberry relish and cran - jalapeno chutney - actually yummy. Finally off to Pinedale, lunch at the house. Bo [Rose's ailing, elderly Manx cat, who sometimes boards with Mom, who feeds him the cantaloupe and green beans he loves and just plain spoils him rotten] is good, check out the new dollar store (typical) [BIG thing in Pinedale, a town of 1,200- a new 99ยข store] and get ready to head home. I'm at the door when the most eerie sound comes from under the window. Thought a little kid was hurt. Seconds pass - she yells Bo! as she dashes behind the coffee table under the [Christmas] tree and grabs him by the scruff. He threw up under the coffee table and there were pine needles in it! Dumb cat. Called when I got home and she said she didn't know if he'd make it through the night (doomsday speak) - but he was fine as we talked [Bo is almost always fine, and Rose is something of a pessimist- I often think she's just afraid to expect too much. My cats have ingested and passed pine needles, sewing needles, rubber bands and yards of synthetic raffia without so much as a twitch]. So I'm late home so Deena is late for Xmas program in BP. Forgot the jelly jars at her house and all the stuff for the Kids Shoppe [Pinedale's Christmas charity, of sorts: people donate tasteful items in good shape for small kids to "buy" for family members, teaching them the joy of giving at Christmas and not just the joy of a mountain of toys] is still in my bedroom - went off without it. Brain cramp.

There's more- much more, but you get the idea. Mom is the kind of person everything little thing happens to, but she never, ever complains, except to make light of it to her girls, which seems to make it all better. Her emails make me laugh so hard sometimes that I have to forward them to people who have no idea what she's talking about, just because she's so... Mom. There's no one quite like her. I've toyed with the idea of developing a comic strip based on her for years, but I think it's already been done- see Lynn Johnston's For Better or For Worse. I thought you might get a kick out of her. I sure do.


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