Friday, April 3, 2009

Chaos, That Place I Call Home

Imagine this. The contractor arrives tomorrow at 7am. I've washed my last load of clothes for a while. I've run the dishwasher for the last time. I reached for a glass last night but the cabinet was empty. The middle guest room is now filled with box after box of fabulous hardwood flooring. All the furniture from that room is jumbled into the front guest room, along with boxes of dishes, glasses, Tupperware & utensils, ...I even spotted the slow cooker and toaster in there last night.
My mother & step-father came up last weekend to spend the night and play a few rounds of dominoes. They left the next day looking for the world like a pack of gypsies. In the back of their truck was a dishwasher, a push mower, a trailer that attaches to a riding mower, coolers, and then hooked to their trailer hitch was a trailer (ours; no, now it's theirs) loaded with our riding lawnmower. All those things found a new home. Can't say I was sad to see any of it go. Cleared out more space in the basement, which is always a good thing.

Today they're coming back for the washer & dryer, my kitchen table & chairs, and the matching baker's rack which has been in the basement since we moved into this house 7 years ago. We agreed at that time we wanted a bar-height table and chairs/stools, but we didn't buy them. Still haven't bought them. Don't even know if we can find them again. But be that as it may, our current set is outta here. I guess if you have no dishes you hardly need a table and chairs, right?
I'm betting big bucks they'll be back tomorrow for my stove & built-in microwave, along with some of my cabinets. Mind you they've got LOTS of cabinets to take and can't possibly get them all in 2 or 3 loads. But I'm standing firm: the side by side refrigerator/freezer cannot go until my new one is delivered in a couple of weeks! Where am I gonna keep my grape juice & orange juice, my ketchup and dill pickles, have mercy, my Mountain Dew!!!???

I'm feeling a little displaced in my own home these days. Last night I emptied 3 tall drawer-unit cabinets in the studio because tomorrow they also go to a new home...that of a friend and student. And that meant unloading 21 drawers and trying to fit everything coming out of those into my new IKEA cabinets. Didn't work. I've got about 100 bottles of paint that are too tall for the new drawers.
What do to...what to do.
I feel like I've dropped a ball of string (or yarn or ribbon) and it's rolling down the stairs, out the door...
Add to this my preparations for tomorrow's class. Give me strength. The farm tables are now covered with stuff from all those drawers. I know my biggest rotary paper cutter is under there somewhere. Not sure what else I'll find tonight as I scramble to tidy up, rerrange tables & chairs, and set out kits at each place setting. But if I can lose something that measures 15x24, you know that's a big pile!!!
I'm the little engine that could. I can do it, I can do think?

I'm suddenly feeling an attachment to my kitchen table and chairs. I love that iron scrollwork with grape clusters and leaves, the wicker weave on the back of the chairs, that glass top I've cursed a zillion times for showing every fingerprint and smudge. And wouldn't you just know, we bought the light fixtures in the same bronze finish as my table & chairs. Now with those gone and new stainless steel appliances coming in, dare I suggest new lighting fixtures to match? Lightening will strike me. I dare not say it. Shouldn't even think it. Certainly shouldn't have typed it here!

Okay people, laugh with me. Mother just called and she's lost. As we live and breathe... You can count on one hand how many times she's been to my house in 7 years. (You could actually count it on 3 fingers). My mother lives off of Hwy 64 East; I live off Hwy 64 West. Now it seems to me (all I'm saying) she oughta be able to drive from point A to point B. This is a woman who can drive 5 hours to Cherokee and find a casino in darkness, rain, fog so thick you can't see 3 feet in front of the car. But no, she can't find me. In her frantic voice, one I'm ever so familiar with (yes, it sounds very much like my own), she tells me she's in front of a big school with a green roof. What's the name of the school Mother? I don't know. She drives further and tells me it's Adams Elementary. Laugh again, because as soon as I asked the question I realized I still wouldn't know where it is. My son is 33 years old and went to schools in Garner. What do I know about schools in Cary?
So I asked if she was on a 4-lane road when she turned into the school parking lot. (Oh, there's that nasty, sarcastic tone I recognize, telling me she doesn't know.) How can you not know? You were on a road; you turned into a school parking lot. Was it a 2-lane city street or a 4-lane road like Cary Towne Center Blvd? I hear a bell dinging in the background. She's either opened her door to run or she's unhooked her seatbelt, also to run. She does not handle stress well.
I'm smiling as I type that. I tell you now, I'm exactly like my mother. I can see where this is going. If I think I've dropped a ball of string that's racing away, you can't imagine what this is like.
When I say she's been to my home 3 times in 7 years, that doesn't mean she hasn't set out for my house more times than that. Oh heavens, she's gotten with 6 miles of my house, sorted herself out, found the way back home, and put foot to pedal and done exactly that...driven right back home. And the best part: she doesn't call to tell me where she is. Nope. She goes back home and calls to tell me what's happened. The trauma. The stress.
So today, I'm trying to keep her on the phone. I feel like I'm working one of those suicide hotlines. Keep her calm. Keep her on the line. Keep her talking...distracted...til we can reach her.
She circles and heads back down the driveway, and sure enough, it's Cary Towne Center Blvd. She spots the mall across the street and asks if she should drive over there. She's just toying with me now, right? Like we can find her in that vast sea of cars at a shopping center! I tell her to turn right and she'll spot a McDonald's directly in front of her at the next light/intersection. Pull into that parking lot and don't move. Well, she could go in a for a kid's happy meal if I thought it would make her happy. But I am my mother's daughter, and trust me, it will not alter her mood in any way.
Clearly I'm needed elsewhere so I've got to go now. The sun is shining. It's supposed to be in the mid 70's today. No rain. Only blue skies, birds chirping, flowers blooming, swaying softly in the breeze.
Through clenched teeth I tell you to keep smiling. Everything's gonna be fine. Maybe during all this packing, cleaning, clearing of clutter I'll find my old bite guard. Teeth gnashing is not a good thing. A necessary thing, yes. Just not good.
Stay tuned. You know you're gonna hear more about this!


  1. That's too funny about your Mom... Maybe she needs one of those GPS navigators to get her from Point A to B.

  2. I surely hope you write a book some day my dear friend, LL.. You surely do make for interesting content... I'm still laughing from reading this!


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