Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! When do we eat?

We discharged our Sunday obligation at the first opportunity (7:00am Mass), leaving us with time to get our regular Sunday chores started before leaving to pick up Youngest Son.

Younger Daughter went with her mother to the grocery after breakfast; I got the laundry started. The last load was in the dryer before we left for Wisconsin. I admonished Younger Daughter to make certain the dryer was off before she left for a Mother's Day observance at the home of one of Olaf's aunts.

Our dryer is old. Most things in our house, at this point, are old, including its usual occupants. Appliances, like people, often develop little quirky behaviors as they age. My ancient computer (almost seven years old at this point!) starts making noises like a jet landing at O'Hare when it's thinking about crashing. The light in the first floor powder room sometimes refuses to turn off even when the switch is flicked. When the light switch is securely in the off position, the light will sometimes turn on anyway, all by itself. The timer or moisture sensor or whatever it is that makes a dryer go off doesn't always work on our dryer. Like the Engergizer Bunny, it sometimes keeps going... and going.... I want my clothes dry, but I don't need them fried to a crackly crunch.

Younger Daughter knows all about these little enhancements, and she promised faithfully to check the dryer before leaving. But she is getting married in less than a month. She was meeting yet another set of future shirt-tail in-laws, on their turf, and, of course, she is something like four months gone. So I wasn't entirely surprised when she called me as I was driving home from Wisconsin, looking to verify which was the proper exit for her and Olaf to use for their party, and admitted (in response to my question) that she had no idea whether the dryer had turned off before she left.

Long Suffering Spouse had piles of papers to correct -- what else is new? -- but she insisted on coming with me to pick up Youngest Son. She tried to grade some papers in the car -- but she has trouble doing that sort of thing in a moving vehicle.

Still, we picked up the boy without too much trouble. It turns out that South Janesville College was holding its commencement on Mother's Day and many of the streets around campus were closed for the occasion. After a couple of futile laps around the campus, Youngest Son found us a path through an alley and a sorority parking lot, bringing us into the street in front of his fraternity house where all his belongings were piled in a heap at the curb. It looked more like a Sheriff's eviction than organized packing for the summer, but it was easy enough to load the van and head out.

We knew what we were heading into.

Middle Son had already declared his intention to come visit on Sunday and Oldest Son and Abby agreed to come, too. Older Daughter couldn't come. She's missed so much time with her so-far unsuccessful IVF treatments that she'll be working most weekends at her Indianapolis hospital for the foreseeable future. She's managed to get clearance for her sister's wedding shower this weekend and, of course, for the wedding itself, and she'd made it up here for graduation -- there was just no way for her to get here for Mother's Day as well.

Long Suffering Spouse had decided to barbecue. When we got Youngest Son back, and his stuff out of the van (and the living room), she realized that she needed more charcoal and Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Youngest Son and I went and obtained these items. Everyone else arrived in the meantime, even my mother-in-law. My wife thanked me for my efforts: "Why didn't you buy ice?"

I kept Long Suffering Spouse company by the grill while everyone else watched the White Sox bullpen blow up in a game they should have taken from the Royals. I really wanted a nap -- that was the best way to crown our labors of the morning -- but we were obliged instead to entertain. Younger Daughter and Olaf returned from their excursion somewhere along the way and everyone settled in for a long evening. My mother-in-law had gotten a number of old family photographs scanned (badly) and saved to a CD. My ancient computer could not read the disc, but Younger Daughter's computer could. Olaf emailed me the files. Younger Daughter noticed. "Did I say you could use my computer?" she asked, but not harshly.

"In a couple of weeks, it'll be my computer, too," Olaf answered.

"We'll just see about that."

I used my rudimentary photo-editing skills to improve the scans and saved them to my machine. My mother-in-law regaled one and all with descriptions of each picture, most of which were taken in Cuba during the 1950s and before.

After my mother-in-law left, I had the opportunity to sneak into my recliner, but the kids were determined that the party should continue. After awhile, Long Suffering Spouse started grading papers again. The older kids eventually got the hint and left. Youngest Son put on a movie.

I thought I might sneak off into Dreamland, but Olaf decided that now would be a great time to challenge me to a game of Words With Friends.

It was a tough game, especially when Olaf got 93 points in a single turn (X on a triple letter square, used in a word that stretched to the triple word square). Olaf says that Words With Friends should really be named Words-With-Soon-To-Be-Enemies. I think he decided this after I managed, despite my increasing fatigue, to come back and win the game.

The movie was good (Moneyball -- of course we'd watch a baseball movie at our house) but Youngest Son had seen it. He stretched out on the floor and went to sleep. Younger Daughter, the futon now hers alone, soon followed. Olaf was the last man standing, but he took off as soon as the movie concluded. It was after 10:00pm.

"Well, we can start our weekend now," I told Long Suffering Spouse.

"Happy Mother's Day," she said, "When do we eat?"

"You didn't really mind making dinner tonight," I ventured.

"No, not really," she conceded.

We both fell asleep, awaking at 1:00am or so to trudge up the stairs to our room where we could be in position for the 5:30am alarm.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

wow. that was some day there curmy. poor lss too! i would have probably had a hissy fit over the dryer thingy though. but that's just me!

smiles, bee