Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Knowing Where the Bodies Are Buried

Most mother-daughter teams enjoy spending a Saturday afternoon together shopping at the local mall.  They’re completely indoors, as far from the natural world as they can possibly get.  They’re surrounded by marble fountains, cosmetic shops, dress stores, and more shoes than Imelda Marcos could have dreamt of in a lifetime.  Women are in their natural element at the mall.  Something about the nesting instinct.

They’ll stop a center bistro to rest their feet and let their charge cards cool down, while they sip at a latte and nibble at a salad.  Their bags bear only the best names:  Lord and Taylors, Bloomingdales, and whatever stores are in fashion these days.  I haven’t been to a mall in at least ten years.

Mom decided she wanted a mother-daughter day today.  While most mother-daughter teams don’t have to worry about the weather, we did.  Our itinerary included the bargain Entenmann’s shop, Harbour Freight Hardware and Tools, a stop at Boston Market, and our final destination, Laurel Grove.

No nail polish and updated coiffures for this mother and daughter team.  Actually, I just chopped all my hair down into a pixie cut.  Thick head, thick hair.  People probably think I’m a cancer survivor or something.  Fortunately, I just suffer from an excess of excrescence.

Entenmann’s Discount Store is a great place to go to buy all those things you shouldn’t eat, like Vanilla Bean Cake and cinnamon crumb doughnuts.  Cinnamon crumb doughnuts are the best doughnuts ever.  We also picked up various danishes and whole wheat English muffins, to balance out the naughty side of our purchases.

Then it was on to Harbour Freight.  We’ve seen their circulars before, but heretofore their stores were located in Untouchable Cities, where ladies dare not go.  Their newest store is in Clifton, which isn’t too bad of a place.  It’s fairly easy to get to and has enough parking, though not as much as it should.

Harbour Freight is the place to go when you don’t want to pay Home Depot’s prices.  You can get all sorts of tools there, though not hardware (nails, screws, wingnuts and so forth).  This place has all the tools to put something together, but you still have to go to your local hardware store to get the hardware to put it together with.

Mom, ever the daughter of a GM mechanic, was in her ecstasies.  Rotary saws.  Electric drills.  Something called a “rounder.”

“Yeah, but what are you going to do with that thing, Mom?”

“Oh, you don’t understand!   You can cut plastic with it, ground down cement, plane wood!  It’s amazing what you can do with this.  I had one, but one of your brothers stole it.”

Mom was so excited she had to tell all the other customers how wonderful the store was (and what hooligans my brothers are).  I had to explain to them that Mom was just 88 and ranting.  Once they understood that, they laughed and said they felt the same way about their sons.

My mother didn’t raise any hothouse orchids.  I could appreciate some of the finer things at Harbour Freight, like the small dolly for $7.99, or the magnesium fire starter.  I was also in need of a four-outlet power strip, which I bought for the very hand price of $2.99.  Things don’t disappear from my condo, but they do have a tendency to rust, so I bought a new knife sharpener.

Of course, no Geek Girl’s emergency toolbox is complete without a magnesium fire starter.  After the Iraniums blow out all our electrical sources, we’ll need a way to start a fire when the matches run out.  I also finally got a tool I’ve been wanting for the longest time:  a bolt cutter.  They come in very handy when you want to trim artificial flower stems, open locks you’ve lost the keys to, or cut into the barbed wire fence surrounding the bank where the government is keeping your money.

The Progressives have declared a revolution and I’m prepared for it.

Finally, we stopped at the cemetery to tend to the graves of my father and maternal grandparents.  My father actually has two graves:  the place where his marker is and the place where he’s really buried.  They’ve moved his marker so many times that even the V.F.W. couldn’t find him anymore.  Fortunately, I have a friend who volunteers now to place the Memorial Day flags since the vets are too few and too old to do it.  She also put a flag on Grandpa’s grave for us.  Even though he didn’t fight during World War I because he missed the draft by about a day, and he was teaching at the Merchant Marine Academy in World War II, he performed enough of a patriotic duty at the Academy that they agreed to put a flag on his grave.

It’s surprising how few people tend to their relatives graves.  We’ve been tending my father’s for 35 years now.  This year, I’m my mother’s age when he died.  Other graves from that time period are completely grown over now.  So we trimmed the markers and I replaced the little flags I put on my father’s grave with the standard 8 x 12 inch flags (one for him and one for the guy he’s buried with, just in case he’s a vet, too).

Mom didn’t want Big Brother’s gal pal to come.  I thought that was kind of mean of Mom.  She does that some times.  She’s a stickler for protocol.  For GP to be invited by Mom, she’d have to be married, or at least engaged to my brother.  GP is willing, I think; it’s BB who’s gun shy.  Next Saturday is the actual 35th anniversary and I think I’ll suggest to BB brother, as the future matriarch of the clan, that we go with GP and make the observance.  I think the Nephew will be home from his world tour by that time, and my prospective future niece-in-law may come, too, if she wishes.  Without Mom’s knowledge, of course. 

The reason is that Lord knows when He might decide He wants a face-to-face meeting with me, and I have to let these other characters from the future generations know where the bodies are buried now.  Ten years from now, God only knows where they’ll have moved my father’s marker.

What Mom doesn’t know won’t kill her.


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