Friday, October 24, 2008

Goin' To The Craft Store For Mom



Mother, God bless her soul, would often call me at work at about 4:55 with a list of supplies that she needed for a multitude of crafts that she was working on. Conversations with mother necessitated screaming replies and questions because, among the many, many problems she had, she was - at times- very hard of hearing. So there I am, in the middle of the Corporate Law Department, screaming things like DID YOU WANT THE 1/4 INCH GOOGLY EYES OR THE 1/2 INCH? HOW MANY 9 INCH FASHION DOLLS? WHAT COLOR HAIR? DID YOU SAY 2 BLONDES AND A BRUNETTE. OH , SO 1 BLONDE AND TWO BRUNETTES. AND A BLACK DOLL? DO YOU MEAN A DOLL WITH BLACK HAIR OR A BLACK DOLL. OK, GOT IT - ONE BLACK DOLL WITH BLACK HAIR.
At quitting time, I drive 19 miles to the nearest Michael's Craft store and comb the aisles, making 19 complete circuits of the store as I collected two 8 inch squares yellow felt, 1 pkg. 1/4 inch googly eyes, 3 five inch Kewpie dolls, 1/2 inch multi colored and multi sized pom-pons, 1/16th inch aqua bugle beads, 1000 ft. ecru crochet cotton, 1 straw hat for a 4 inch doll, 6 inches of blue satin ribbon with yellow roses on it, one sheet of orange poster paper and a tube of indigo stencil paint.
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I never seemed to wear comfortable shoes on the days she called. I could never find a parking space withing 1/4 mile of the door, it always rained, and when I finally made it to the one check out that was ever open, there were 6 people in front of me with their little hand baskets filled to the brim with plastic flowers and other sundry. It took for ever to get through the check out.
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At some point I was so fogged out from the sales clerk ringing up blue roses, one at a time, I would kind of lean back and using the hand basket of the person behind me as a buffer, lower myself to the floor and lay there staring at the ceiling with my basket on my chest waiting and waiting and waiting. I'd ask the person behind me to just kind of push me forward when the line moved.
Finally, I'm on my way, but first, a stop at the Winn Dixie for a 16 oz cup of cream of broccoli soup from the deli, and a stop at the 7-11 for a french vanilla latte and then to the nursing home to visit Mom. I'd walk into her room with my Michael's bags, a blister on my left heel and a small burn on my right thumb from the soup, set everything down and start to lower myself into the visitors chair - which was actually mom's wheel chair.
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About the time my hinnie is hitting deck mom says "I dropped my crochet hook under the bed and I think there is a tea bag and a hot dog bun under there too. Could you get it? Have you ever crawled under a bed in a hospital or a nursing home?????? There is not enough Lysol in the world to bathe in afterwards. Straight lye is the only other option. Or a car wash - with the hot wax
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So I'm down there on the sticky floor with the dust bunnies groping about for her things and as long as I'm there, I also pick up a quarter, a blue button, 2 used Kleenex and a small damp spongy thing that turns out to be a meatball from dinner. I am just positive that seconds before my arrival Mom takes a handful of whatever off her nightstand and tosses it under the bed so I can amuse myself picking around between the Ebola and typhoid germs that grow like grass on the linoleum.
Meanwhile I hear a combination of sighs and crinkly noises as Mom is pulling sundry craft items out of the 14 Michael's bags. I whack my head on the bed rail, get my foot jammed under the wheel chair and end up having to roll on my side to gain enough leverage to pull myself up without dropping the assorted goodies from under the bed.
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Turns out I got the 7 9/10" doll instead of the 8". She needed more of a lemon yellow than a sunny yellow felt, and she meant to say 2 blonde dolls and one brunette rather than the other way around. I wonder for a minute if my medicinal peroxide will resolve that hair issue, but decide the glue that holds the thatch of doll hair on might dissolve and there's no craft in the world that calls for a bald doll.
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After my visit with mom, and a very hot shower I call my free psychologist - my sister Mary -and proceed to unload about my adventure with extra drama and adjectives. Rather than a soothing discussion we are sitting on the floor in our respective homes laughing and snorting until one or the other yells uncle. I feel better and hang up so I can get to bed early, get up and go back to Michael's tomorrow.

25 comments:

Queenie said...

Thats no hump on your back, its your wings darling. Isn't it great to have sisters to off-load. With the problems we are having with our mum it seems to be our total conversation,my husband just takes in a deep breath and goes into the garden. I think your wonderful, and enjoy my visits here so much. Thanks for sharing, isn't it a shame there is no cyber tea & cakes (I'm off to invent some for next time)....

Poetikat said...

I am so relieved the way this post turned out because (okay, this is just MY twisted mind, I know this), but all I could visualize was a serial killer collecting what do you call it when they keep something from their victims? Apologies to anyone not on this wavelength (and I know there are many of you).

Anyway. Like I said, I'm SO relieved and man you are one brave lady to crawl under a bed in any care facility. Did you use the hand sanitizer they provide (or maybe they didn't do that then).

Kat

Shellmo said...

I want to go get you a cushion to put under your feet and i will make you a hot cup of tea right now!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

You are such an angel to care for your mother the way you do or did! I did a little volunteer work in an 'elderly facility' for awhile and couldn't believe how neglected many folks are. I try to always spend more time with the ones with no or infrequent vistors. May God bless you richly for your kindness (and keep you from harmful germs). Now go rest. You deserve it dear. ♥ ∞

willow said...

And all this time I didn't realize I was blogging with a googly eye expert! You will be blessed for your kindness, if not in this life, in the next.

MuseSwings said...

Queenie - your comments are as nice a tea and cakes! Cyber t&c sounds like fun - get on that!

Whoa! Poeticat! Sounds like a good spooky begining of a scary story!

Thank you Shelly, Sparky and Willow - I was actually just being a daughter - but thank you for the tea and the cushions and the blessings!

Willow - any time I send a card with a face(s) on it to a family member - except for a religious card (imagine if you will!) I glue googly eyes on the face. Mary gave me a huge supply. My brother Bill decorated a bird house for me with pom pons and googly eyes.

Poetikat said...

Googly eyes would completely change the character of a religious picture, that's for sure.

But you've just given me a great idea for Christmas cards for my secular friends (not my religious ones).

Kat

MuseSwings said...

Cool - but yes - just the secular. Leave those Nativity Scenes alone...

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Laughter is the only way to deal with one's parents. A well used sense of humour is required to get through unscathed!!

Happy weekend!

Betsy said...

I loved this! Isn't it great you had a sister to tell the stories to and laugh until you couldn't breathe! :)

MuseSwings said...

Pamela and Betsy - Mary called me right after she read this and we had another good laugh. Laughter is the best way to deal with anything!

soulbrush said...

i have great admiration for all of you looking after aged parents, mine died at 57 and 59, so have no idea what it must be like...you're a star!!!
frivolous note.....
dedicated my saturday giggle to you! hugs

Bibi said...

Gosh, Soulbrush, this was such a moving post. I read all the comments and now see your parents died very young. You were indeed an angel to be of such support and help.

Mim said...

Well,between you and Soulbrush, I've started my saturday with a good couple of laughs! My mom isn't in a nursing home but is deaf on the phone and yes...I also end up yelling alot at work "no mom, the I am on the way HOME, not getting LOAM" and all that stuff. PLUS I have worked in a nursing home and I also know what is under those beds...I know it all too well!
Thanks and have a good weekend.

steviewren said...

Can I call you next time my mother reduces me to a blathering idiot? It would take a few dozen belly laughs for me to recover and my dear you could supply them. Love this post!

MuseSwings said...

Soulbrush - I did get a good giggle out of your post! It is just a hoot! Hugs to you.

Mim - if I wasn't under her bed I was under a table in the community room picking up Scrabble tiles. That was really sweet of Soulbrush to dedicate her hugely funny Saturday giggle to you and me.

Stevie - please do call anytime! I was reduced to a blathering idiot on a refular basis so if you call we can just blather on the phone - and laugh at least until your eyeballs stop rolling aroung in oposite directions.

Debby said...

Yes, hurray for sisters and for friends who can make you howl with laughter! There is nothing finer than a good belly laugh after a bad day. And even if I don't know you, still, you and the blogs of nutcases everywhere provide me with lots of joy and laughter. Thanks for that!

Janeen said...

That was funny! I know my day will come and my sister and I will be taking turns calling each other!

In my job, I work with adult children who are placing their parents in long term care facilities and I can tell you if they can learn to see the humor in things, the transition goes much smoother.

By the way, have you and your hubby talked to your daughters about your health care needs should LTC ever be in the future? Better to not avoid the talk. They will feel so much better knowing what you wanted and how they can achieve that financially when things happens. So much less stress and guilt!

And I'll never go to Michael's again without thinking of you in the check out line! ha ha

MuseSwings said...

Debby - I love that word, nutcase. I haven't used it in a while. I will add it back into my vocabulary.
Janeen - good point about planning ahead. The only thing I've mentioned to my daughter lately and that me and the Mister are just going to show up on her doorstep one of these days when we feel old. She'll probably change to a PO box address before the "big" day.
I never go to Michaels without thinking of my Mom adventures in there.

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

Great post! It always helps to see the humor in situations like that!

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Lavinia said...

Where to begin with my comments on this post!

First laugh: you working in a law office. ha! Aside from the 'working' part, I thought you spent half your time *running* from the law, not employed by it!

Second laugh: "WHAT COLOR HAIR? DID YOU SAY 2 BLONDES AND A BRUNETTE. OH , SO 1 BLONDE AND TWO BRUNETTES. AND A BLACK DOLL? DO YOU MEAN A DOLL WITH BLACK HAIR OR A BLACK DOLL. OK, GOT IT - ONE BLACK DOLL WITH BLACK HAIR."

Cynthia, I am betting that your co-workers thought you were running an escort agency on company time!

Then, the whole 'mom' bit. Oh my sister and I could relate to this. Our mom is in a nursing home and by gum it sounds like the same one your mom was in! Actually my mom's is pretty clean but she does her best 'cluttering' act to combat the tidiness in her room.

Last laugh: Try living with a nearly stone-deaf, grumpy elderly dad---now there's a barrel of laughs (not~!)

Great post, your humour is in high form here....

MuseSwings said...

Your comments are a hoot, Lavinia I hadn't thought about the call girl angle before - probably stirred things up a bit at the office. And yes, yes, yes it is good to be on the right side of the law again - especially after that little foray at the casino in Ibiza with Prince you know who. Had you not been traveling with the entourage of Supreme Court judges I'd still be in the hoose gow. I owe you one, girl!

Lavinia said...

You owe me 'one'? TRY SEVERAL DOZEN~! That supreme court judge entourage saved your bacon on more than one occasion as you *well* know.

MuseSwings said...

It's always a pleasure when you have them along for one of our adventures! They're such fun, dashing about in their robes, doing all those fun judgy things they do. They're a little judgemental at times...like the time when I....well you know. Lavinia, I thought we were even though, after that "thing" in Monaco! But, for the sake of delicate ears about I shall not say another word....