Mom said she was so bored she felt like screaming to get some attention, when I talked to her last Wednesday. It was cloudy, sweater weather. Mom had to ask whether we were going into spring or fall. Bit of wishful thinking, she groaned when I said fall was around the corner. She pines to head south for the winter, but has no place to go.
Her friend is dating an old neighbor of ours. She talks about it every time I call her. Used to be mom and her friend would go out every Friday night for fish fry. Now the Friday night get-togethers are less frequent and the boyfriend joins them. Mom can't stand to watch him eat. He leans over his plates and pulls his food into his mouth with his tongue. Or something like that. She says she has to fight the urge to push his head in to the plate of food. Of course, she would never do that -- as long as she can resist doing anything like that.
We talked about some of our neighbors when I was growing up. On the corner, where Morey, her friend's boyfriend now lives, was Eugenia Sloan. She was a nice woman. Her son and his family traveled all over the world, though I don't know why or what he did. I couldn't remember her name, but mom did -- scratch one up for mom! Eugenia died a long time ago. Then Morey bought the house and spent years erecting signs, calling out the local government for not fixing the adjacent swamp.
On the other corner was Carl and Marie Miller. I remembered the last name and mom told had their first names. They were nice, too. But, they always went to their favorite bar on Halloween night. We would try to hit their house as soon as the sun went down, but they were never home. Their house would have been a perfect haunted house. I was friends with their daughter, Jeanette. She was four years older than me. Took off with some guy she met somewhere and I never saw her again. The Millers never painted or did anything to the exterior of their Gothic looking house because they thought the town would raise their taxes. Mom said whoever owns it now really let is fall apart. Hard to believe it could fall apart more than it had 30 years ago.
Marley is mom's best friend. According to mom. She's had other dogs, but this one is the perfect dog. As we talked, Marley was curled up in mom's lap, sleeping sort of soundly. Mom was sitting in her swivel rocker, gently moving from side to side, the way Marley likes to be rocked.
We did some more reminiscing. Mom misses when she made her own cottage cheese. I remember all of the cheesecloth, but I can't recall eating the homemade stuff. The cottage cheese you get at the store nowadays is sloppy, according to mom. She must be referring to the texture.
I brought up the time the corner store raised her favorite brand of bread from 16 to 19-cents a loaf. She was furious. How could they raise the price by three whole cents? Why not just 1 cent? She laughed and agreed with herself. That was a lot, then, she added.
She loves her mum plant, but can't remember who brought it to her. Possibly Liz. She put it in the middle of her table. But, she is already worried about where to plant it.
She talked again about her parents' home, where she grew up. It was a comfortable house, with a crick (creek) that ran along one side and my grandpa's extensive garden on the other.
We talked about some things that I won't write about for now. Nothing bad about anyone else. Just stuff I think she is finding hard to discuss with others.
So, now I am off to talk to her again today. Of course, I will be lucky to catch her, but that makes me happy because it means she isn't sitting in her apartment by herself.
"Love you mom."
"Love you too, sweetheart."