The one day half of America is on the move--going to visit the other half--wouldn’t you know we’d have our first accumulation of snow here in Iowa. And I was on the move--going to pick up Mom in a town some fifty miles away, to bring her back up home.
Of course, that would have been too easy, it was the other “errands” I’d lined up because I was going in to the “big city” of Waterloo. That’s the part that always gets me in trouble. I feel that after spending the time on the road, the gas, etc., I should kill as many birds with my one stone as possible. So I’d left a number of time-sensitive (bill paying to be blunt) errands to be done today (such as they were DUE today, so I had to get there).
And then there were those “sales”. I had lined up items I had not purchased up home, waiting for the trip to the larger metropolitan area where sales abound on holidays. Normally you can only save so much IF you have to add in the cost of the gas. However, when you’re already making the trip for other reasons, then you don’t have to “count” the cost of the gas out of the sale price. Trust me, I use this rationale and have staunchly stood by it for years.
OK, so now, I have my “list”, my bills are made out and in the purse, a return item is in the purse with sales receipt, suitcase in the car to carry Mom’s clothes back here, empty water bottle to be refilled at the Wal-Mart conveniently along my route to the big city, check book WITH checks in it, and both rain gear and snow gear, extra jacket, gloves, scraper, well, let’s face it, I’m prepared.
I pulled out of the garage, and in the time I had walked out, packed the car, and backed out of the stall, the skies had opened up and what had been a few flakes, now looked like I was inside one of the snow globes. I stopped at the end of the drive-way and began reassessing my LIST!
The first thing to go was taking my son and daughter-in-law’s rings in to the jeweler for their six month check up and cleaning. I pulled out of the drive, turned to the right instead of the left--not out of town, but toward my son’s home. No one was home. Argh! Headed on out of town and used the cell to locate daughter-in-law. She was along my route, and in about ten minutes I handed off the rings and continued on toward Waterloo.
As I drove south and west, the storm intensified. The wind was whipping it up, making some spots almost white-outs. By the time I was about twenty minutes out of Waterloo, I spotted my first police car with flashing lights, and both lanes on my side slowed to a “roll” as we made our way past the cars pulled off to the side. Visibility, even that slow, was so bad I really couldn’t tell if it was an accident--but I saw no twisted metal, so hopefully it was a rear-end “fender-bender”, at least no sirens or ambulances were making their way through to the scene that I could tell.
My LIST was beginning to look pretty much a washout.
And by the time I got to the place to pay my DUE bills, I was realizing how “mushy” the street was under my wheels, and how with any effort to change lanes the car was ready to slide on past a corner, or into the other lane. I parked carefully, walked carefully on the snow and ice packed walkway, paid the bills, minced on out to the car, and called Mom on my cell. The errand running was officially over--I was on my way and told her to be ready.
Now let me tell you if you’ve never done it yourself, collecting a senior citizen from a nursing home is NOT a few minute “in and out” procedure. First you stop at the nurses’ station and sign for her--they don’t let just anybody walk off with your relative. Next the nurse begins loading you up with the medications and giving any directions in administering said meds. Then there’s the packing of the suitcase. And finally there are the hugs and kisses goodbye and wishes for a happy holiday to roommate, hall mates, the woman in the beauty salon, the people in the dining hall, any staff we might meet between Mom’s room and the door out to the car. And the snow just kept falling.
With the motto slow and steady wins the race, we drove safely, albeit slowly, home.
Mom has been just like a kid at camp. She really loves getting to be in a REAL house. Her piano is here--that is such a joy for her to run her hands over her own keys. We ate REAL food, not institution food--and she had all the butter and salt and time to eat food as she wanted. We sat and visited while I made a fresh batch of brownies, and then the family sat together for ice cream and warm brownies for dessert. We did the celebrity cipher from the evening paper and while I was working on clean up, Mom did her crossword puzzle from the evening paper.
I just came upstairs after tucking her in and getting some hugs and kisses goodnight. She was smiling and looking up into my face with such a happy countenance. She is so excited about what the next few days will bring. All four dogs have arranged themselves around her bed, and we have the night light on. I can hear Mom snoring, my hubby and son snoring, and our golden retriever, Daisy snoring--if the beagle, English setter or terrier are snoring, they aren’t loud enough to be heard over everyone else LOL.
I feel pretty good. My loved ones are safe and sound, well fed, and snug in their beds.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow . . .