Friday, August 1, 2008
The Golden Years
My mother agreed to write something for me, and below is the first of a couple essays she produced.
“I just finished trying to polish the furniture with air freshener. When that didn’t work well, I used furniture polish and was quite pleased with the result. Yesterday, Husband put cat litter in the refrigerator TWICE.* It does kind of look like a milk bottle, but really. I fear we are living in our twilight years, or maybe we were just experiencing the fog of confusion that surrounds sixty-something parents who never know a moment when some one of our children is not: getting married, getting divorced, getting sick and having no health insurance, changing jobs, moving to yet another apartment, etc. I balance the constant out-of-control bad feeling in the pit of my stomach by adopting needy animals.** Somehow that works for me."
CBW must interrupt this lovely essay written by her mother to make the following public service announcement on behalf of herself and her siblings: Pardon me, Mother? You didn't say you were gonna write stuff like this. We now return to my mother's attack, already in progress.
"I have a herd of 19 cats, 2 dogs, 2 ducks and a goose. I know, you’re thinking…and a partridge in a pear tree…very funny. I also police the yard for downed baby birds and stray baby opossums, raccoons and once a fledgling eagle. (That wasn’t my doing; the thing was on my duck trying to kill it and I shooed it away but had to call the game warden to take it to wildlife rehabilitation for help.) Evidently this assignment came from on high because I feel compelled to render aid.
We don’t want to think about the money all this costs us; and so, we don’t.
Aside from being an enabler, my husband does illegal alien jobs – the jobs Americans won’t do – like drive a truck in the middle of the night and weed-whack. As a hobby, he repairs old Volkswagens, including the collection he has sitting around our yard. His other hobby is tractors. He mostly enjoys buying them. Using them is less of a thrill I guess, but we have them if we need them. His third obsession is the spring of holy water on our property, or as I call it, the Lesser River of Jordan. He and his buddy swear it is the purest water going. I don’t know; until I see it cure a leper I’m a skeptic.
People ask me what I do all day and I am embarrassed to tell them; so I lie. Instead of “I rescued a baby raccoon by placing it in a basket and climbing up a ladder to the pump house windmill tower (where his mother was) and securing the basket on the roof—in the middle of a storm—and climbing up in the same storm on the same ladder to see if his mother got him that night,” I say, “Slaving away getting ready for company” or some such untruth.
We are alright and I believe there are good things in store for us. My next project will be to dam up the Lesser River Jordan and construct a cold tub to sit in when we have a smelting-hot day; and then if we don’t break out in lesions, we’ll know the water is safe to drink!”
-Chesapeake Bay Woman’s Mother
*Now do y’all understand why I do the things I do? Can you imagine an entire family that acts like this on a regular, routine, daily basis? Cat litter in the ice box? (By the way, I call a refrigerator an ice box because my grandmother always did and I can't break the habit.)
** Do ya see how she blames us kids for her animal obsession? She is worried about 3 daughters and so that justifies adopting 24 animals? Did you read the part about teetering on a ladder in a storm with a baby raccoon in a bucket so she could hang it from the water tower? What do we have to do with that?
Please, somebody give me a vacation. Oh! That’s right I am getting one next week. With my entire family! Can't wait!