Warning: non-biking content
We’re right in the middle of my mother’s 87th Birthday Season. “I’ve never had a bad one,” she says.
When we were home last year, we noticed that her washing machine was leaking. The leak had turned into a flood because the drum was rusted out at the top. When it would start to spin, the water level would rise and go out the hole. Fortunately, the washer is in the basement near a floor drain. Still, water and electricity don’t mix.
Bro Mark and Wife Lila and I decided that we’d like to keep her around for a little longer, so we hatched a plan to replace the machine without her knowing it.
Lila found a suitable machine and arranged for it to be swapped out with the old one. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be delivered until shortly after 8 A.M. on Thursday.
Bro Mark was planning to come down from St. Louis so we could ride over to Kentucky Lake to check on mother’s mobile home Hurricane Ike damage. We had him call her Wednesday night to say that he was going to have to drop something off at his office and that was going to make him late.
We told her we’d like to go to breakfast and take a ride to look at the river to kill time until he could get into town. I snuck out to the car to give him a five-minute warning.
We ate breakfast and I called Mark to see how things were coming. He was “stuck in traffic” or something, so we put the “look at the river” plan in operation. Finally, he said that he was just about home.
That darned Murphy
Before we could all get downstairs to call her with some kind of excuse, she headed down to the basement to get some blue thread and stumbled right over it.
She pretended to be cranky, but I think she liked it.
Over to Kentucky Lake
It was a lousy day to ride anyway – cold front moving through with rain and wind – so we weren’t too disappointed to drive over to the Lake. Turns out the damage to the trailer wasn’t that bad, at least to our inexperienced eyes. We didn’t see any water leaks on the inside, so we think that’s a good thing.
While I was taking pictures, a neighbor wandered over and asked if we’d like one taken of the three of us.
My mother is shy and dignified
Mother keeps a fire going in the basement fireplace to heat the basement.
The flue goes up through the center of the house, so it keeps the kitchen and living room toasty.
She had been using a little tippy (and dippy) garden cart to haul the wood in from outside. I was afraid she was going to dump a load on her foot, so we picked up this wagon. Mother is so shy it was difficult to get her to go along with this picture in 2004.
Everybody needs a chicken
Some years there is a single gift and others there are numerous gifts (many of questionable value) stretched over several days.
Bday Season 2007 was of the many gift variety, including a cape, warming gloves, a Topsy Turvy gizmo that lets you plant tomato plants upside down.
Coming across Monteagle Pass in Tennessee, we stumbled across these chickens that appeared to have flown through a tree. One of Lila’s friends has a chicken fetish (and questionable taste sometimes); we had to get for her. They were on closeout (wonder why) and cheap enough that mother got one too.
Hurricane Ike decapitated the poor fowl.
Please tell me no mooning was involved
Then there was the year that we celebrated her 80th Birthday (because we had let the 75th slip by because none of us can do math) by renting two limos, loading up all her friends and hauling them to a local watering hole.
Coincidentally, it was also the evening that the whole town lined up on the main drag for the university’s football homecoming parade. At first, they thought everyone had lined up for them.
There was some discussion about mooning the crowd, but the folks in MY limo were persuaded that might not be a good idea. I try not to think about what might have happened in the other limo.