If Mama Was Married

On Saturday I saw Mom for a pre-Mother’s Day visit. I brought her cookies, her favorite Yardley English Lavender soap, a card and a bouquet of peach-yellow roses.

She had some very exciting news to impart.

“I had a proposal of marriage,” she said.

“Wow. Really? From whom?”

“A younger man,” she said, flushing with excitement.

“Oh boy. Does he live here?”

“I don’t think so. Anyway, it’s all over now.”

“So you said ‘no’?”

“Yes, it was silly,” she said, still blushing.

“That’s very exciting, Mom. What does he look like?”

“Much younger, and very handsome. Bald.”

“Oh, my.”

We took a spin up and down the halls and into the day room.

“Make sure to point him out to me if you see him,” I said.

“Okay, but I don’t think he’s here anymore.”

I spotted some new male residents in her unit–one was bald and smiling, strapped into his wheelchair. I wondered if that was her new beau.

One of the aides said, “Hi, Katherine. So I heard you’re getting married.”

Mom smiled. “Isn’t it exciting?” I said to the aide.

We returned to her room and watched part of The Hustler on Turner Classic Movies and had coffee and cookies.

“You know what else?” she said, giddily. “He washed my face.”

“Isn’t that nice.”

“He said, ‘I wanted to see if you were wearing any makeup because you look so
young.’ ” She was giggling as she said this.

“And you weren’t wearing makeup.”

“No. I still can’t believe it,” she said.

I started to think she might be talking about her boyfriend from back in Milwaukee, the blond German one that she was so crazy about. I wasn’t sure, though.

It doesn’t matter. She was happy, ebullient, feeling cherished and attractive again. What could be wrong with that? And wouldn’t it be swell if Mama got married?

Bernie Might Love Karl

Bernie Might Love Karl

Karl (left) & Bernie (right)

Good news! Karl and Bernie are .  . .  playing together. Last night I heard scampering upstairs and thought it might be Karl playing with the new ultra-furry gray mouse toy I gave him. This afternoon I caught Bernie chasing Karl, and not hissing or growling. And a few minutes ago, Karl situated himself on the guest room bed with Bernie. Karl was playing with Bernie’s fish toy, and Bernie didn’t seem to mind it. They seem to be quite relaxed with each other as you can gather from the photograph above.

I will keep you posted on their unfolding friendship.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, including women who mother and care for others but may not have children of their own.


The Attack of the Wood Chipper

wood chipper with tree

wood chipper with man

photos by L.E. Swenson

9:45 a.m. Saturday. Morning broke to the sound of a chainsaw, a wood chipper and multiple leaf blowers. Welcome to Suburbia. I was hoping to sleep in today and recover from my cold. No such luck.

The cats are simultaneously fascinated and terrified by the sounds.

Quincy in window

Quincy supervises (photo by E. Herd)

The overpowering surround-sound makes me officially involved. I am on a mission to discover what is going on. Lorin tells me it’s a wood chipper two houses down. I peek out different windows in the house and go into the back and front yard to observe.

A man wearing ear mufflers is rappelling down the side of a decapitated tree. Ten to twenty minutes later: the rappelling man and another guy wearing ear mufflers are sawing the trunk off, then sawing the trunk into smaller chunks for the chipper.

It is now 11:56 and the noise continues. The smell of freshly mown grass. One cannot escape THE NOISE. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, so I suppose everyone’s lawns must be pristine, and dead trees must be felled.

In circumstances like these, I do have options. I can: (a) rebel, by running through the streets yelling, “Shut up, you machine-obsessed suburbanites!” and throw rocks at the machines, which would make me appear mentally ill and/or un-American. This would result in my being carted off in an ambulance or police car; (b) leave the premises; (c) join in; or (d) wear ear plugs. Dishes and laundry must be washed, so it’s option (c). The dishwasher is from another era and is rather loud so it drowns out some of the wood chipper and leaf blower sounds.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

It is 12:27 p.m. The sound of men yelling at each other over the machines adds to the atmosphere of weekend harmony.

Happy Mother’s Day, all!