Sunday, August 26, 2012

Location of my Head: Above Water

Here at the end of week one, where the citi-states of Margaritaville and Martiniville have merged, I am happy to report that my mother and I seem to be compatible housemates.
I'm doing okay with remembering to turn to face her when we speak--but sometimes there are still misunderstandings. Rhyming is charming if one is reading "Cat in the Hat;" it's less charming when words sound alike, and you are struggling to decipher them because your expensive hearing aids are not living up to expectations. Tomorrow we are going to Miracle Ear. Allow me to channel my mother's demeanor here: there'd damn well better be a miracle.

Cooking for my mother every evening is making me eat better. We've consumed a boat-load of veggies this week and enough fish to oil our brains. So far this week we've eaten two boxes of greens, carrots, red and green peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peas, tomatoes, avocados, sweet potatoes, and two containers of hummus. Now if I can just get some  extra calories in her. She says she'd like to gain 20 pounds. I'd be happy with any progress at all. I've set out cookies and encouraged a middle of the night bowl of ice cream if she wakes. Butter seems to be the key, though. She eats it like cheese, sliced thick, as she says her grandfather did. She detests margarine and the memory of squeezing the orange packet of dye into the lard during the depression as a butter substitute. She's not ever going to eat that shit again, she says.

My mother is great at helping out with household chores. She folds laundry and empties the dishwasher. She's already figured out where things go. She feeds the cat in the morning. She makes her bed every day.

There's still (involuntary?) moaning, groaning, and growling, but it doesn't bother me the way it did immediately following her surgery three years ago. It does rule our certain activities though--like going to the theatre which she enjoyed immensely when we'd go to New York several years back. I'm hoping she'll growl ferociously when the boys on the noisy motorized scooter speed by on the walking path.

It seems that there's been a scaling back of the martinis. One instead of two. This began on night #3 when I encouraged her to have a glass of wine for dinner instead of a second martini. This slightly more temperate atmosphere makes for better story telling. Tonight I learned that her final job at John Deere was fork-lift driver. So easy compared to working on the assembly line that it was like sleeping, she said.

M has been with us this week. Always a beam of sunshine and ready laugher. Hoping my head remains above water when I am on my own with my mom in the coming week.


Elizabeth said...

I so look forward to hearing continued stories about your new life with your mom there. I thought, immediately of the incredible writing that Andrea does on the blog Go Ask Alice -- the link is on my sidebar. Also, have you considered bringing her in to the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles? A good friend of mine from northern CA brought her own mom all the way from NYC to attend, and I think it was very helpful.

Ms. Moon said...

I just love the vegetable thing! I'll bet that's a benefit of having your mother there you didn't think about. I wouldn't have.
The Dorothy Parker quote is delicious. MFK Fisher said about martinis that one isn't enough and three is too many.
I am SO glad this is working out well.

Anonymous said...

Tell Ethel I have twenty pounds she can have any time she likes! Blessings on your Martini-drinking, margarine-eschewing, forklift- operating, one-of-a-kind mother! And blessings on her swell daughter, too. It was great seeing you in Saint Paul; I enjoyed meeting M.