Jul 30, 2008

Ride at your own risk

I am sitting on Mom's patio drinking coffee, breathing the fresh Tennessee air and soaking in the (relative) peace and quiet broken only by the sounds of my brother Bratley mowing his lawn on his X-Mark lawnmower which is roughly the size of a Roadmaster Buick (my brothers have a fondness for big, tricked out lawnmowers--the bigger the better, double triple extra points if you can do wheelies with it).

I got to Mom's house yesterday afternoon and took my first ride on the Alzheimer's roller coaster here at Six Flags Over Mom. At first she wasn't all that surprised to see me since I'd only driven in from Knoxville and all (actually I had just made the three plus hour trek from Atlanta) but then she realized it was me and not my sister, and I had to remind her I don't live in Knoxville anymore. And then I had to apologize for not mentioning my out of state move earlier, even though I was pretty sure it had come up in casual conversation at least once in the last 32 years. And then I strapped into my seat and pulled the safety bar down real tight and the roller coaster took off.

Let me give you an example of how things work in this house. At one point in the evening I was sitting on the patio with my three brothers, my sister and Mom, talking about nothing in particular. As it began to get darker I lit a candle which helped a little but it was still pretty dark, and then my brother Paul remembered he had stashed some solar powered landscape lights in the storage building.

Paul: Mom, I just remembered I have some solar powered landscape lights in the storage building. Would you like me to put them around the patio to give us a little light?

Mom: That's fine. Do whatever you want.

Paul: So that's a yes?

Mom: If you want to. I don't care.

Paul goes to storage building and retrieves the solar powered landscape lights.

Paul: What about me putting them here in the flower bed along the front of the patio, Mom?

Mom: That's fine.

Paul: Two here, and two over there?

Mom: That's fine. Don't put them so close together--put that one more towards the end.

Paul: How about here?

Mom: That's good.

Me: Those are nice looking lights, bro.

Paul: They're really good quality. I used to have them at my house.

Mom: Do they plug in to electricity?

Paul: No, they're solar—they use the sun for power. There, how does that look, Mom?

Mom: I guess they look okay. They're not very bright.

Paul: They'll be brighter tomorrow night after they charge up in the sun all day.

Mom: Oh, okay.

We sit quietly for a couple of minutes admiring the landscape lights in the flower bed.

Mom: Where did those lights come from?

Paul: My house.

Mom: When did somebody put them in my flower bed?

Paul: Just now.

Mom: When?

Paul: Just now.

Mom: Who put them there?

Paul: Me.

Mom: Why didn't you ask me first?



Mom: You kids never ask me before you go changing things. You do whatever you please and never say a word to me. You treat me as if I were an idiot.



Mom: How would you feel if I came to your house and changed everything without asking you? You kids never tell me anything. Lord, please take me out of my misery, please. These kids do things to my house without asking me and treat me like an idiot. What have I ever done to deserve this?





Me: Those are nice looking lights, bro.

Paul: They're really good quality. I used to have them in my house.

Mom: Do they plug into electricity?

No comments:

Post a Comment