by Norah Wilson
I just spent the last week with my elderly mother, who still lives in the old two story farmhouse where we grew up. She’s a fairly delicate 82. Although the total hip replacement she had in February has improved her mobility, she really can’t live alone any longer. Four of my sisters—all retired, semi-retired or otherwise non-working—take turns spending a week at a time with her. Since I’m still employed full time, I’m not part of the regular rotation, although I do provide bridge coverage sometimes from one sister to another. But each summer, I do take a week of my vacation, say goodbye to my own family, and go spend a week with my mother. It’s wonderful. Not just the one-on-one time with my mother, but the total change of pace. Weeding the garden, watering the tomato plants from the rain barrel, deadheading flowers, making meals with produce directly from the garden. These things are good for the soul. As is unplugging from cyberspace. (Okay, I logged on a few times, but with country dial-up, that hardly counts.)
And get this -- while I was gone, my wonderful 18-year-old daughter cleaned my house. I mean, seriously cleaned it, purging our crowded little bungalow of years worth of accumulated junk. She rearranged my writing office (with my blessing) by reducing my U-shaped desk to two pieces and opening up the room. She organized my books (Noodlers on the Noodler shelves, natch). She nagged my DH to install the window air-conditioner, as the current heat wave had turned my west-facing office into an unlivable oven. She cleaned both bathrooms, my kitchen, my living room, my bedroom.
And why did she do this? Because she knows I rely heavily on my summer vacation to make big time progress on my writing projects. I just came home tonight to a clean house. No piles of dirty dishes. No mountains of unwashed laundry. And tomorrow, I’m going to get up, walk the dog, then dive into my WIP in my clean, organized, cool office. Thanks to my daughter, who used a week of her summer break to help her old mother.
Labels: mothers and daughters