Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene and My Mom Jeanne

When my mom moved back East 10 years ago, I never thought I would be worrying about her in a hurricane. After all, she moved to Connecticut, not Florida. The weather they get typically involves blizzards and Northeasters - hurricanes aren't a regular occurrence. With Irene, they experienced loads of rain, lots of trees fell in their town and friends' basements flooded. They are fine, but haven't had electricity for two days and don't know when they will get it back on.

Leave it to my mom to be so positive without electricity. She is sure the power guys are doing their best, as she put it. They also can't use their water because the well is on a pump. She actually laughed about the possibility of having to shower at her physical therapy gym or the library (did I hear right on that one?) which are opening up for people to take showers. They can only flush the toilet for serious business, from the water they have stored in the bathtub. According to my brother, our sister had to walk to the creek to fetch a pail of water. If you have to go to the creek to fetch water to flush your toilet, I guess it is then pronounced "crick." Again, no complaining from my mama, she is just her regular positive self.

It was the same growing up. While I heard about my friends' moms throwing plates and screaming, ours was just sweet and calm. She did throw something once, but it was sort of warranted. When I was six weeks old, the doctor had discovered a problem with my kidney that they thought could be cancer. I had surgery with a huge incision, to find that the ureter from my kidney to my bladder had a "kink" in it from birth. (These days it would be fixed with a simple laproscopic procedure.) But my mom was terribly stressed from the whole thing, and from what I have heard, I was not the best little patient. In front of some neighbors, my dad teased her about being so worried. Later, she threw the sugar bowl across the room, not at him, but that had to be something to witness. For my mom, that was huge! I got the "no throwing" habit from her, I once threw a pen in anger as a teen, and then realized how stupid it looked. That cured me. The only things that break in my house break on accident.

Another thing my mom never did was swear. The worst thing I ever heard her say: she called a guy who cut her off in traffic a "dumb-shoot." Strong words from her. The not swearing rubbed off too, I have only officially swore aloud once, when I was about fifteen, probably the same year I threw the pen. Some habits of my mom's that didn't wear off on me that I wish had: eating slowly and savoring her food, consistently neat handwriting and not being loud.

It was good to hear my mom's sweet voice this morning, being her typical good-natured self. Whenever someone mentions my mom, they always say how sweet she is. She is the epitome of the word. While growing up, we ate the same five casserole recipes over and over, never could find a matching sock and always had to run to the neighbors to borrow recipe ingredients and school supplies, But, I wouldn't trade her for anyone else's mom. I wish I was there to fetch the creek water, and help cook up the defrosting food. If they were smart, they would name the next one Hurricane Jeanne. It would most likely just turn into a calm and gentle breeze that would not hurt a soul.

With my Mom and my sister, the water fetcher

With two of her loud kids