Well, almost half-way through January, and the rest of the month seems to be moving like a freight train through a small town.
I have set a date, or at the very least, had it set for me, to go see my mother next week. I was kind of hoping to put it off another week, but it's not happening that way. And that's OK. The big plan of the weekend is to get her attic cleared out. They're going to come seal it up really well, and deal with some critters that are getting in.
Thankfully, there isn't a lot up there. Some boxes, a few old kiddie sized rocking chairs, a large basket, and my baby bassinette. That's the one that I think my mother might find tough to part with - but realistically, nobody wants a 50 year old murder crib. I mean, even charities won't take bassinettes, even if they were brought over from France by your late grandmother. Au revoir, les enfants. The other thing that may be a challenge is her cape that she received upon graduating from nursing school. It has apparently been chewed and befouled - I will try and remove it without her seeing it. My feeling is, were it that important, you would have not thrown it in the attic. Oh well.
That said, it'll be at least 1 truckload, and gross work, but I will handle it. And then, we'll go do something fun. Whatever that looks like.
Here's the challenge. My mother's memory is getting worse. She knows who we are. She knows where she is. But she cannot retain anything you tell her, really. I spoke with her yesterday, and told her I was coming to see her, and when. And then a minute later, she asked if I was planning to come to see her any time soon. Apparently, after we left from our Christmas visit, she asked my sister if "that couple" was still there. That's one of her coping techniques if she forgets a name. Matt is often "your husband". The bigger issue is that she calls several times a day, having seen her recent call log and mistakenly thinking we have called her, and she is returning that call. Bless her heart, as we say.
And bless ours, while you're at it.
Meanwhile, it's winter in Nashville, which mostly means dark, but could also mean warm, or cold. Sun? Sure. Or blizzard, tornado, frogs falling from the sky. Winter in the south is just weird, y'all.
Onto another topic. Dream interpretation. Who decides what things mean in dreams?
The other night, I dreamed I was in my childhood bedroom, and there was a massive praying mantis on the lampshade. Turns out, that symbolizes a need for peace and calm in a turbulent time. Or, it might mean that I am dealing with someone who is unsupportive. Or being faced with an unbearable dilemma or inevitability. Well, there's that.
The night before last, I dreamt that my mother had an orange cat that was quite the hunter, and I watched it eviscerate a mouse. Apparently, that might mean I have the illusion that things are safer and more under control than they are.
I don't know how much stock I put into either of those interpretations. I know that I was watching a video about a pair of orange kittens just before I went to bed. I know that we're dealing with my mother's critter issue. I think that sometimes dreams are just your brain defragging after a day full of input.
I have no idea about the mantis, but that's as good a guess as any.
So, Tom Smothers died right after Christmas, which, any good PR person knows is that the worst time to die, because it's too late to get into the "In Memoriam" pieces that litter the airwaves and websites. And then, there's the whole New Year thing and Bowl Games. It's a terrible time if you want to be recognized.
But I loved Tom Smothers. Obviously, I enjoyed The Smothers Brothers TV show- both the old one that I watched, on, I guess, Nick at Night, but then again when they revived it for a year in the late 80s.
But my favorite Tom Smothers performance was easily a solo he played on one of my favorite albums:
It's one of the shorter songs on the album, called The Helping Song. The last line of this little ditty:
"Some kinds of help are the kinds of help that helping's all about. And some kinds of help are the kind of help we all can do without."
Well, anyway - one of the local radio stations was playing some Smothers material last week on my way into work. I heard a song I'd only read about - Waist Deep In The Big Muddy. It's an anti-war song, but it's really about using common sense and not following authority blindly.
What can I say - I do love a good folk song.
There's more in this world to enjoy than not. I guess that's kind of my whole point of this post - even if it started out kind of cranky.