Last week we had my 93 year old grandmother come to stay with us. While this was exciting in the "investigate your family roots" kinda way--it also was rather....involved. It began with moving our first floor office which resembled d-day in Hiroshima into my second floor studio. This would be the studio that has paint--everywhere. As I'm shoving book cases and filing cabinets into corners I'm wondering exactly how pissed my husband will get if he discovers yellow ochre on his computer screen one afternoon...I mean there are levels of pissed-offedness, right? From mildly irritated to the afore mentioned Hiroshima. We usually avoid atomic moments--however, we've never messed with his on-line poker nights before....
But to return to grandma. So I paint the room. It's pressed tin--walls and ceiling, which means that it took about 4 extra gallons of paint and tested my supremely lacking patience. Then there was the Shopping. (sigh) I despise shopping. You can always tell a hostile anti-shopper by the dreaded occurrence of...PURSE SHOULDER. You can spot us three stores away in the mall as we shift our purses from the elbow crook to the left shoulder and then the right...and we begin to sigh. And then whine...and then need to sit down; helplessly massaging our aching bodies, we beg total strangers for coffee (or liquor) while making moaning whimpering noises. I cannot take it. My spirit lags....it nearly always results in a mad dash for a large bottle of merlot on the way home.
But oh, there was shopping! Shopping for rugs, bed frame, mattresses and dresser. Towels, sheets, pillows...even the doily on the night stand. (gotta have a doily for a grandma, right?) And finally--(after the removal of suspicious lightsabers under the bed....poor grandma has no idea what she's in for)--voila!
And the day we've been waiting for....she arrives!
The first day.
The house smells of roasted chicken and rosemary. I have fresh bread rising in the kitchen. Nina Simone sings so sultry....its lovely, warm, welcome little grandma! (she's 4'8"....I am actually 6 feet tall--genetic mutations run in our family) She laughs, she's happy, dinner is delicious....she breaks her teeth in the sink.
Days 2 through 6 pass in a whirlwind of ham, grits, black-eyed peas and cornbread. (did I mention she's southern?) I shop again; sweaters this time--she's cold. We laugh, we talk....we rip three tiles off the shower wall attempting to install the "mighty suction cup handle" that would help her in and out of the bath. I underestimated it's tenacious hold. Note to self: pick up some liquid nails before husband uses the downstairs bathroom.
She left yesterday. The boys were a little sad--my youngest even offered to let her borrow his lightsaber until next time. (she was very confused) However, she did seem to enjoy herself. We reminisced over the summer my sisters and I spent with her and grandpa in Arizona. (grandpa told me I could catch a rabbit if I put salt on it's tail....and grandma spent hours removing cactus prickles from my bum with tweezers as a result) There was a spanking with a fly swatter that summer too...and I learned to play poker.
Grandma returns in two weeks. My mother needs knee surgery and I've volunteered to keep little grandma while she recovers. Sawyer asked me last night, "will we have to eat cornbread again?" Brennan wants to know where his lightsaber is. Noah said we can put his pumpkin in her room.
I told him that might frighten her. He agreed.
At least the shopping is done.
3 days ago