Tuesday, September 17, 2002


That would be me and my mom, Martha Jr. and Martha Sr. Being at liberty as I am, I volunteered to close up our little cottage with her this past weekend. It was a lot of fun, though a smidge distressing to understand just how much the mice and the chipmunks actually own our place, and let us know it.

We folded folding chairs. We stripped beds. We encased mattresses in plastic. We tipped over drawers, put them back in dressers, and decorated the edges with mouse-hostile mothballs. We took one last pontoon boat ride, and I drove a good bit of the way around the lake. Cousins dropped in, with tomatoes, gossip, and invitations to dinner. We ate lunch at the local snack bar shack, which, beyond burgers and footlongs, boasted pulled pork and clam bellies. All the service guys seem to know my Mom, from the guy who clips our lakefront hedge to the local hardware guy. Mom revels in it. When my father was alive, he used to refer to Mom's desk as "the battle station," and it is true. Mom's deeply, passionately organized, and it used to drive me crazy, and now it just comforts me: to know that things will be in their place, that things will be returned to their place.

Plus, she turned me on to honey nut shredded wheat.


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