Good Morning Ted and Jody
I got an email from Ann Marie in Iceland this morning. It has been a couple of weeks. But she is my one contact with my family whom I can rely upon to write now and then. Here is her letter and my reply.
Warmest regards, Ed
Good morning, Dad!
Yowzers!! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!! My mind is a maelstrom right now with the pick up of school for me and Alexander. It’s been way too long since I wrote you. How are things? How are you feeling?
Aunt Carol is doing ok. She still has a gaping wound because they want her to heal from the inside out and is waiting to get the second surgery in about 3 weeks or so. Still, her insurance is trying to push her out of rehab early, but feisty Uncle Rick is flexing his guns. Poor them: the farming and horse business really fucked them over for their lifetime of work. Aunt Betty is doing ok. She is waiting on more tests to get permission to drive again. I’m not sure if the underlying problem is blood pressure for her. Aunt Judy ended up in the hospital about the same time because she was coughing up and throwing up blood. Turns out she has pneumonia – which is pretty terrible at her age but better than the cancer they thought it might be. I guess she already had part of one lung removed a while ago. But now she hasn’t been eating due to nausea and weighs less than 100 pounds. They are all just falling apart. Damn!
As you say: getting old is not for sissies. Thankfully mother is doing good. Just regularly lamenting the need to fill the bird feeders. And she quoted Lorraine (sp.) the other day when I was lamenting the impossibility of keeping a clean house with two children in it (one 18 months old and the other 33 years old,) “Cleanliness with children in the house is a matter of sanitation.”
Alexander likes his tomatoes plain, mostly. He is doing very well at playschool. The caretakers say he is independent, eating and sleeping well, and is now really starting to enjoy himself. It’s still so hard to leave him in the morning since he cries a little as I leave. Walking away I feel every cell in my body fighting to go back and grab him and run back home. And I’ve only been a creeper mom once, going in sunglasses and walking around the perimeter of the playground when they are outside to see if he is being attended to. (OK, three times, but I’ll only admit to anyone else the one time I was seen by the employees!!) So I’m just trying to stay busy in my head, which is easy enough to do with school homework that I can never spend enough time on and the guy I’m training at the gym changes his mind about what he wants every week, so I’m constantly doing research to try to please him. Good news: today I’m getting my first massage in over a year!!
Ok, I gotta go do homework and shave my legs for the massage. Be thankful society says you don’t have to worry about that as a guy.
Good Morning Ann Marie:
Your letters bring a smile to my face. I am told that is a rare phenomenon-the smile that is. Actually, I smile on the inside a lot. Most of the time it is a wary smile about the goings-on around me both in my immediate space and then the whole world (I watch the speculation [most people call it The News] regularly). However, the smile your letters bring is a warm, happy smile. Don’t admonish yourself, you do better than anyone else I know.
I am doing fine. Unlike your aunts, I seem to miss most of the big stuff or skirt it like I did the cancer on my forehead; consequently, I stay out of the hospital save for visits to various doctors who seem to take office space in the local hospital. Speaking of which, I have a visit to my primary care physician tomorrow morning so I may find out I am not fine. Never-the-less, until then I am surviving on IBupropion, Prevegan, baby aspirin and a dozen or so prescription meds to keep me fine (I know two of them work, so trust the others are doing their jobs too. I only rattle for an hour after taking them all, so it is not big deal. I take them early and then sit still so the rattle noise doesn’t awaken Nancy). But, I do hope your aunts get through these “temporary” inconviences.
I can envision a scenario in which a mother is seen surveilling a child care center by a policeman/woman on her third trip to check out that the center is properly taking care of her son. The cop does not know she is a mother of a 3-year-old in the school and arrests her on suspicion of planning to kidnap a child from the center. The mother, who speaks with an accent, tells the policeman that she is the mother of a child, and she points. “In there;” and, she is just “checking-up.” But the accent leads the policeman/woman to do a search of the woman’s bag. In the bag are several bottles of massage oil. This alone is suspicious as the massage oil was bought at Bed Bath and Beyond in the States and are marked in ounces rather than liters. Obviously, dangerous, the woman is held incognito until the police lab and run an analysis on the bottles. The Head of the Local Police, is a very cautious person and insists that the bottles be handled by the bomb squad as they are obviously dangerous. The bomb squad detonates the suspicious bottles. The oil was coconut oil. Coconut oil is flammable is pushed with high explosives. The severity of the blast, convinces the bomb squad they did the right thing. The woman is convicted of terrorisms and attempted mayhem and will get out when her son is 23. This is why most mothers don’t check-up once they have left their child at day care (the other reason is the child might see the mother and try to escape to be with his mother, but that is another story called “baby’s day out”).
Getting back to smiles, my dad, had an infectious simile. He claimed it was so infectious it ate itself right off his face. Therefore, people called him “Old Stone Face” even when he was a teen. I watched him for years, and kept a tally in a spiral bound, college ruled, three subject notebook from the time I was 8 until I left home to go to Indiana University. I saw him smile three times. However, I had to revise that estimate later when I realized that the expression of his face reflected the passage of gasses from the other end. I kept that notebook and used it for German class as it still had a lot of blank pages when I got to Indiana.
Your mother got the quote right from Lorraine. However, she truncated it. The entire quote is “Cleanliness with children in the house is a matter of sanitation. You keep the toys and throw-out anything for which you can’t determine the origin. Besides you won’t want someone to come in, find a fossilized baby turd under the settee, pick it up and ask ‘What is this?’ now would you?” Lorraine was the most practical mother I ever had.
Now you tell me. I wish to hell someone had told me men do not have to shave their legs before a massage, years ago.