Monday, August 5, 2013

Mom does Dallas!

The whole fam damily!  Hilton Head, SC 2006  Fiftieth anniversary trip.

 Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

My clock radio went off at five a.m. today, screeching some unidentifiable song as always since we are not able to get it to lock on a station no matter where we put it in our bedroom.

If choosing to see the positive side first thing in the morning I can take comfort in the shrill static and tell myself "good, the worst of the day is already over!"  On the flip side, I can view it as a sign of things to come, which is what this morning turned out to be.

The early rise today was due to me volunteering to take my mom to the airport this morning to catch her eight a.m. flight to Dallas, Texas.  Of course I really didn't mind at all as I certainly didn't want her driving herself there in the dark, and accumulating a hefty parking fee after eight days.  And I didn't want Steve to take her and then have to pay up with sexual favors later.  With odds like those it was easy for me to make the decision I did.

A quick shower and a cup of coffee and I was ready to leave to go pick her up.  After putting the garage door up I walked briefly out onto the driveway to smell the humid, tropical air of this predawn late July morning.  The sky was still black, a few stars remained, and the full moon had almost completed its descent, low on the western horizon.  Our black and white feral cat, Crooked Head (due to a neurological disorder and aptly named) sat on the sidewalk and stared me down, ever hopeful for another delicious dish of dry Friskies
This would not be his morning, however, as I had an agenda and wanted to be at my mom's house by six a.m.  So far I was on time
The first two minutes to be sacrificed from the ETA were spent on a quick pitch, toss and reorganization of the car prior to departing.  At the risk of hearing comments from my mom with a slight innuendo regarding the state of my car interior I thought this was best.  Pat on the back, however, as I had proactively gotten gas the night before.

Ten minutes later I arrived at my mom's house and parked in the middle of her driveway.  Walking through the courtyard I let myself in through the sliding doors and was greeted first by Lily, the shih tzu, who is considered to be the fourth child in our family and has far more toys than us three kids ever did, cumulatively!   I had to step over three stuffed hedge hogs and a yellow monkey, a loon, and several tennis balls in order to give my mom a hug.

She looked so cute in her matching lime green Capri slacks, short sleeved sweater and fun accessories.  Still trim, beautiful and well-put together at almost seventy-nine I am hopeful that I will hold up that well as I age.  I know I inherited her experimental cooking gene, but the fashion gene was apparently on hiatus during conception and I have struggled to put outfits together ever since day one.

1957.  My mom pinning on my dad's Navy wings of gold!

My mom was leaving on her first big trip since my dad passed away one and a half years ago, to spend time with her sister and mutually discuss what had gone wrong with all of their kids.  It was going to be a grand reunion no doubt, after getting all of the tears out of the way first that had been held back during these difficult eighteen months.  That, and lots of chardonnay.  I was very happy for her! A quick run-down of what she had packed, what was in her carry-on that wouldn't be confiscated, a review of Lily's daily schedule, and then several unexpected minutes of discussing the upcoming fall adult continuing ed classes, none of which she has ever taken, and we were off!

Well, not really, as she decided we would be taking her car, so now I had to shift a few things from my car to hers, then back out of the driveway so she could back out of the garage and into the street, and then I had to pull back into the driveway.  Which now meant that I was going to have to come back to her house after the airport to get my car so I could go get Steve so we could go to the gym and then come back to her house to get her car again and the dog.  Oh, never mind!  I'm going to keep that next thought to myself.

So now we're off, again!  But slowly, really slowly, as the warm humid air collided with the cooler temperature of her car windows and fogged them to the point I couldn't see a thing!  Fortunately we were not even a block away so I was optimistic that this would clear up shortly.  I put the wipers on which made a difference, but it only lasted for a second after passing over the glass.  I hunched down a little where the window seemed a bit clearer thinking this would at least be an okay position until it cleared up, probably by the time we got out of the subdivision.

Turns out I stayed in this position the entire way to the airport.  Seems like we would have stopped along the way to clear this up, but early on in the drive I looked at the clock in her car and in horror realized we were now twenty minutes behind schedule and I was going to have to do what it took now to get her to the airport on time.

We flew like the wind up the interstate!  Well, not really, as there was lots of traffic and the glare from the headlights made the fogged windows look like ice crystals and prisms.  I raced along at about sixty-three miles per hour with the wipers on full blast, hunched over like a blue hair, looking out of my one square foot of true visibility.  No matter what we did, air-conditioning, no air-conditioning, defrosters, wipers, no wipers, windows open, windows closed, it made no difference.  I was a little annoyed to say the least, but who knows what I would have written about for this blog had it not been for this!

Finally we arrived at the airport just in the nick of time.  Well, not really, as it was at this point that I learned that the clock in her car was about fifteen minutes fast!  Yay!  One accomplishment so far -- we were in fact early!

We pulled up in front of the American Airlines curbside check-in and I helped my mom get her bright cobalt blue bag to the attendant and made sure everything was in order for her to head on into the airport.  I left the car running hoping that those few extra minutes might make some sort of difference with the fogged windows.  I hugged my mom good-bye and watched her walk with a little pep in her step into the airport.
Turning to walk back to the car I saw no improvement whatsoever.  Now I really had to address this situation.  Deciding I had better start by at least wiping the windows as dry as I could I looked throughout her car for maybe some napkins or tissues, a rag, maybe an item of clothing.  Nothing.  In my car of course all of those things would have been readily available and visible to boot!

Alas, I rummaged through one of Lily's toy bags in the backseat and found a furry, rather grotty, chewed up, saliva covered, stuffed hedgehog that I was banking on being absorbent.  I grabbed that hedgehog and started cleaning the windows as best I could.  I know I looked silly wiping them down with a rodent, but most likely it would have gone unnoticed by everyone around me if it weren't for the fact that this hedgehog had a squeaker in it.  Of course.  I wiped and squeaked, squeaked and wiped, sadly with no positive results to share.  Just embarrassment.

So there I was, finding myself on a Tuesday morning in late July, wiping the windows of a car down with a squeaky, non-absorbent hedgehog in a busy, public setting and wondering, just for a moment, what the hell had happened to that life I had planned?

And then I asked myself, is there anything I would change?  Well, not really….

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