Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Birthday

Today is my Middle Sister's birthday. She turns 59 today. Oh, all right, she's younger than that. I guess it doesn't do me any good to say she's older than her true age because that would only make me that much older. Or something like that.

Last year at this time was my Middle Sister's 40th birthday. To make it a special occasion for her, my entire family flew to Georgia to help her celebrate.

Do any of you know what it is like to travel with parents who never go anywhere? How about a mother who has a mortal fear of flying, an absolute inability to leave home for extended periods of time, and an overall distrust of modern technology (including cell phones, answering machines and clothes dryers)? When I told her that we all should visit Middle Sister for her 40th birthday and that I would pay for their airfare, you've never heard more excuses fly from her mouth about why that would never do.

See if you can select which statements below were offered as legitimate reasons why she could not fly to her daughter's 40th birthday party:

1. I can't go because my goose needs me and will die if I'm not here to take care of it. *

2. Nobody knows how to water my flowers except me. There's no possible way I can go and leave those plants to die.

3. Cat food is on sale this week, and if I go to Georgia I will miss the sale.

4. Your father has plucked my last nerve. Why don't y'all take him to Georgia and let me stay here to take care of the animals and plants?

5. I just drove to see your Middle Sister ten years ago. Do I have to go all the way back there again so soon?

6. The ducks will never make it if I am not here.**

7. Nobody except me knows how to feed these cats. Simba gets the special urinary tract health formula and cannot eat the cheap stuff that Pumpkin eats. The Barn Cat needs a special plate brought to him and placed on the second to the last step of the staircase leading to the top floor of the barn - if you put it anywhere else he'll never find it. Cheetah needs an antibiotic pill every day at exactly 9:02 a.m. and Leo gets lobster served on a silver platter every night at not one second later than 6:00 p.m. Danger the Dog gets a nightly turn down service with a mint and a rose left on his satin sheets and pillow. Joleen the Dog is bathed by hand every night and then gets a manicure. If none of these things happen as described, life will cease to exist as we know it. Why don't y'all understand I can't go to Georgia??

* Did you know it's far better to stuff a goose into a dog house and block it in each and every night than it is to simply let the goose roam free inside its pen? Yep, it's true. Predators like raccoons and foxes will get the goose if you don't take these drastic measures. And only my mother knows the routine.

** Did you know it's better to zip ducks up in a tent at night (inside their pen, and with an air vent) rather than allow them to roam free because of predators? Did you know that a predator capable of devouring a live duck more than likely can make its way through a nylon tent? Can anyone explain this fact to my mother? I'll pay you good money. Thank you.

In spite of ALL of the above excuses, my parents did fly to Georgia. Xanax was involved. And a whole lot of eating at Red Lobster. And much, much stress. And confusion. And many trips by them to the free popcorn in the hotel lobby every afternoon. And an absolute obsession with the fact that the hotel gave away free breakfast every day. And them getting lost in the Mall of the Americas. And more stress. Then more Xanax (to clarify it was for my mother, although others among us surely could have used some). Then a bumpy plane ride home.

And a firm conviction never to travel with my parents via airplane again.

Happy Birthday, Middle Sis, and thank you so much for not having another birthday party that would require your parents' attendance.

Please tell me your wedding will be in Mathews.



bobbie said...

Hi. Bear Naked sent me.

Another fantastic photograph! and this post really cracked me up. Unfortunately, I remember similar trips with my mom. Thanks for brightening my day.

Mental P Mama said...

Well from what I now know of your mother, I would guess that all of those excuses were tossed about...You are a very brave woman, CBW. Happy Birthday Middle Sis! Hope you get lots of nice lipstick...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, mental p! I bought myself two gift sets of lip gloss and a special, high-gloss Lancome formula, just in case anyone else forgets! I'm going to see CBW next week and need to be prepared for the wine glasses. -Middle Sis

Anonymous said...

LOL, well traveling with parents can be quite the experience. Trust me, I know this. Getting through security with them? THAT'S when you need to borrow your mom's xanax! Glad your sister didn't decide to make her birthday party an annual affair! *g

Grandma J said...

Five. I say it's number five. I personally know what it's like to have someone get on my one last raw nerve.
Your mom is a hoot, and I'm pretty sure each and every one of those excuses applies, so I don't win do I?
Middle Sis, you should really live on the edge. Insist on a Vegas wedding. BONKERS!

OH, and CBW, Rita is a church mouse in comparison...sort of.

Grandma J said...

Almost forgot!

noble pig said...

Ha! This is hilarious! Sounds like my mother but not as bad. Oh geez I love stories like these!

Nice blog too!

Big Hair Envy said...

Hahahaha! My middle sis turns 40 in October. Fortunately, I won't have to travel far for the party. AND, I won't have to travel with the parents!!!

Country girls are really creative with their excuses. I believe that's because most people are not familiar with the country lifestyle. Your mother is the master :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, the things we do for family eh? Happy B'day Middle Sis and be nice to your family, elope, live in sin, or send a bucket of Xanex with each wedding invite....

Love the blog and especially the magic pics of your world. ;)

Keeper Of All Things said...

I can't tell you how many times I went on vacation and came back to brown plants, dead fowl , sick cats and underfed dogs!!!

Keeper Of All Things said...

Oh and Happy Birthday Middle Sis!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, middle sis and I are the same age! I guess that proves we aren't exactly separated at birth...

Oh my, the stories I could share about travelling with my mom, and my in-laws. After we all went to the Bahamas last year with my husband's family, I can affirm that it would take a pretty special occasion for us to all ever do that again. It may have been better if all of us had had some Xanax.

You know that scene in Meet the Fokkers where they call and get Greg's parents' answering machine and they start babbling about the CHIMICHANGA!? Well that's our code word for when the parents start acting like, well parents.


Another breathtaking photo, btw.

foolery said...

So now we all know how to take care of her goose, her ducks, her cats and dogs, and someone will pick up an extra pallet of cat food for her, I'm sure. Her excuses are gone. I'll be there Thursday with a tent, which I'll put right next to the duck tent. Those nasty wolverines will have to go through ME to get to the ducks.

Happy birthday Middle Sis! Happy Xanax, CBW!

-- Laurie @ Foolery

Bear Naked said...


I think you should go with grandma j's suggestion and have that wedding in Vegas.
I would love to see photos of CBW with an Elvis impersonator as the best man and CBW as the maid of honour.

Bear((( )))

TSannie said...

Your mom sounds like a very funny (whether on purpose or not) person -

Well, at least it's a trip you'll never forget! And happy birthday, middle sis - many returns of the day!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Joline the rescued dog from the pound gets a manicure while the rest of us walk across the wooden floors making clip clop noises because we don't get manicures often enough. Or ever. Happy Birthday middle big sis!!! I'm giving you a new STAY ON WINE GLASSES FOREVER formula of lipstick ( 12 hour wear ) and special sealing gloss. This should come in handy while we're at the beach, although Dino will probably be doing the dishes and he's used to the stains. He'll be scrubbing and shaking his head and saying " womans. can't live with them, can't live without them " underneath his breath.

Love, little sis

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Holy mackerel!

I go away to the paying job without internet and come home to what I thought was gonna be 3 comments...but I have bear naked to thank for that. ( - don't put the dot after the www).

THANK YOU BN. You're the greatest.

And so are the rest of y'all.

I am so worn out right now I can't see straight. I will have more time tomorrow to sift through things and respond accordingly.

Oh, btw - on the one night I can barely see straight because I'm so tired from such a long day at the paying job, my very own blog is requiring me to input letters that appear to be Egyptian hieroglyphics in order to respond to my own post.

As if it isn't bad enough my eyes are failing me, and that I had Typical CBW Luck on the commute home tonight, this last indignity is all she wrote.

But now all is well with the world because I'm home in Mathews.

Happy Monday and Happy Birthday Middle Sis.

Golden To Silver Val said...

Hi, I have arrived via Bear's blog. Oh I'm so glad she sent me! I love it here and I'll be back. Come see me sometime. Sit a spell and have some coffee with me. (just ignore the dust). LOL

Karen Deborah said...

I bet she used em all. I think I might have rescheduled the party in Mathews. The third cat did me in. I would have caved.