Monday, May 29, 2006

Home Sweet Home: The Good

My lawnmower ceased to function 3 weeks ago. I made the mistake of mentioning this to my father who then insisted that I bring it home to get it fixed. I'd been putting it off for weeks but knew I had to go before my lawn got outta control. I'd been trying for weeks to pry Ms. Fossil's yardman's contact info from her and just as I was about to throw in the towel, she cracked; my lawn, front and back, got mowed. I knew I could wear her down. Thirty-five dollars well spent.

But I still had to go home. I'd promised, but I didn't wanna. I strapped the lawnmower down and headed out.

An hour and a half later, I pull into the driveway of Podunkville. My mom was at the door before I could get the gate open "Who goes there?!" As much as I bitch, it's still nice to know someone out there is looking forward to seeing you. I say "It's me. I'll be there in a minute, I need to unload the lawnmower." My father looks at it, takes out the spark plug, sprays something into the socket and 6 minutes later, the fuckin' lawnmower is purring like a kitten. Of course. As it turns out, I'd just 'flooded' it. Three guesses who didn't take shop in high school. Thanks to my incompetence, I now have 8 more hours to kill. Good going, Kirk.

Since this is the positive portion of my trilogy, let me cut to the chase and just list the things that made me smile and/or chuckle while I was home:

• Rubberbands around a bottle of rubbing alcohol sitting next to my mom's chair in the den. Presumably from the cigar they call the local paper.
• Kitties! My parents' cat just had a litter of 5. The runt was the sweetest. We hung out a lot.
• Prologue: Our house has a lonnnnnng hallway down the center. My parents' bedroom at one end of the house, the den at the other. I go to the bathroom and head back to the den when my mom starts talking to me from her bedroom while she's 'fixing' her face. I acknowledge her from the hall and continue on to the den...she's still talking. I get something out of the den, come back and she's still talking. Never loud enough for anyone without sonar to hear. FLASHBACK! I'm in high school all over again, getting ready to leave for school and she's doing the exact same thing. Ah, memories. Sweet, sweet, dysfunctional memories.
The best enchiladas at the locally-owned drive-in. Wow. And excellent homemade salsa. None of that shit out of a jar.
FLASHBACK! Mother and Daddy joking with each other like they used to. Still cracks all three of us up. Wow. Haven't seen that in a long time. I guess their personalities are still intact somewhere beneath all the endless conversations about prescription drugs, assorted ailments, funerals, etc. It's nice to know.
• Meeting the people where my dad works. They all seem to love/appreciate him so much. He's still a people person.
• My mom cut the crusts off my egg sandwich. She never did that when I was growing up. Strange, yet somehow comforting.
• Drinking ice cold water from the underground spring-to-faucet water system they had installed in the backyard. Heavenly.
• Prologue: My dad ended up finding something wrong with my car while driving it, so it's in the shop at some guy's place...until tomorrow. I'm stranded spending the night apparently. Yeesh. My mom not only washes the clothes I'm wearing, apparently she ironed them too. Sigh. She must really love me. Even I don't iron my own clothes.
• Laughing with my parents over lunch at his workplace. Their sense of humor is also still intact. Nice.
• Talking to my Dad about politics, immigration and the judicial system. Surprisingly, we're on the same page with most of it.
• Seeing my mom's "housecoat" hanging on a hook behind the bathroom door, blue with an embroidered birdcage with a flowing ribbon wrapped around it, flowers and birds.
• The boxes of crap my mom has collected for me since my last visit. More shit I don't have room for, but can't resist taking home anyway: Photos, books, assorted memorabilia, memories. I'll be sifting through it for weeks. And I thought I was a packrat!

Part 1 of 4


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