09 November 2007

Lost and found

Did you know Pandora had a basement? True. It's here in my house. And you thought her box was exciting. Whooee.

But we've managed to keep Hope from escaping out the door with all the junk. As we go through this monumental task of sifting through stuff by the years' worth, one of us will occasionally come across a treasure, something really gladdening. Rob located an old box of love letters . . . from him to me. You can be sure I'm dangling that box like so many sweet carrots in front of my face with the promise, Just keep working and once the basement's cleared out you can sit down with your letters and devour them. Then there are my formerly misplaced Honduran clay piggy banks, pure rustic comedy. This morning I found my missing Nick Drake cd. And just a little while ago, when I had about reached my wit's end with this dust-choking, seemingly never-ending cleanup task, I turned up a Top Ten list written on the back of a bank envelope that helped my humor revive.

Should I share it?

I don't know.

You might think it means something it doesn't. Like, that I'm an ogre.

But some of you will get it, because maybe you've had a taste of what long-term caretaking can be like, or you have a good imagination, or maybe you're just a little twisted like I am in your love abilities.

Okay, I'll share it with you, but first this disclaimer: I loved and I love The Ancestor and I did everything in my power to keep her happy, alive, and as healthy and comforted as possible. I did this up close and personal for just shy of ten years and I wouldn't trade the experience, or what we all gained from it. Things grew progressively rough for her in body and mind, and sometimes I really did wonder what kept her hanging on. And just—oh just!—eeeevery weeee now and again I found myself worn to a FRIZZY. FRIED. FRAZZLE.

So, are you convinced yet that I am non-malicious?

Oh, brother. What's the matter with me? David Letterman never feels the need for disclaimers. Here goes, and I believe Gram was listening when Rob and I chuckled at this over lunch. I would even venture a guess that she could also appreciate the humor in it, now that she's in a better state, her very self again, and able to spy on us. (I talk to her sometimes when I sense she may be close by, like last week when I got a new vacuum. Right up her alley, and I knew she wouldn't miss that moment for the world.)


10. She's got to tell the "I wanna pizzit!" story from my childhood at least 267 more times.

9. She wants to continue developing her theory that guilt is the best motivator.

8. She is trying to prove to medical science that the human body really can survive on less than 8 ounces of water a day.

7. She is tirelessly conducting important research and gathering critical data on the dark chocolate/migraine connection, and using herself as the subject, conducting daily experiments to uncover which candy pathologically causes diarrhea.

6. Somebody's got to keep telling Georgia that she has lost her figure.

5. The Bloodless Chicken Growers Society has asked her to be the keynote speaker at their next conference. Her remarks are entitled "It's What They Feed 'Em!"

4. Freddy Fender's gotta get to heaven first so he can be there to greet her with her favorite song: "Before the Last Teardrop Falls."

3. There are still a few things left to complain about.

2. God is concerned about his job security.

1. No grits in the after-life.

P.S. Freddy was waiting when she got there. I hope he sang perty.


AzĂșcar said...

I completely understand this :)

I just know that she'll be laughing right along.

Kalli Ko said...

As do I my friend. In fact I got to re-live it yesterday when I spent 4 hours with my great aunt in her tiny 2 bedroom apartment sorting through her treasures.

Good times... good times

b. said...

Yup, she's laughing.
And singing.
Did she sing it in Spanish or English?

J'oga said...

I can totally picture gram dancing with her sweetheart to this tune. and the top ten list was perfect :)

Jamie said...

LOVE it! Your Gram, my great gram...I still catch myself apologizing to her when I don't do things the way she taught me (you knw, my own LAZY, not-great-depression way). I love you adn that's HILARIOUS!

Am'n2deep said...

Scary stuff--messing with Pandora. It's good to know that hope can still be found where she's been.

Ten years of Sainthood surely earns you a little Top Ten venting, and very well could have kept you from becoming an ogre. That's what I think.

wendy said...

The top ten list was fantastic.

Ten years is a long time.

Freddy Fender... wow!

Oh, and I love the love letter lure.

Amy said...

This post has been the source of some amusement at our house this morning. I started playing the song and Clara came over to listen, then covered up ol' Freddy's face and said in a somewhat concerned voice, "I don't want to look at that guy's face." Then Tim came out of the bedroom and said excitedly, "You're listening to Freddy Fender?!" What can I say, he's a Texan. Thanks for the chuckles. :)

Mirjam said...

lovely post like always. we are big fans of top ten lists at this house. they make up most of our road trip fun.
when we cleaned out the garage in october we found just under 100 dollars worth of ikea stuff to return. talk about cleaning up being worth it...

Lapa said...

Hi. Nice blog and interesting. Cool layout w/ all the extra widgets :) Great job!!

compulsive writer said...

Oh I get it.

You are fabulous and how nice of her to wait for Freddy.

Chemical Billy said...

This qualified for reading aloud to Mr. Billy. And you make a mighty unconvincing ogre.

But when I played Freddy Fender, the cat got upset. I had to stop so she'd cuddle up to me again...

Geo said...

AZUCAR. I hope so, or I'll be in big trouble the day I finally meet Freddy, because she's got a great memory.

KALLI. That sounds like a nice afternoon.

B. She sang the English parts and trilled through the Spanish. I have a recording that I made when I was eight of her singing this song. I will find it and figure out how to post it here.

J'OGA. Me too, but the question is, with which husband?

JAMIE. You and I are hard-wired. It's awful and wonderful at the same time. And one day somebody(ies) will be writing Top Ten lists about us.

AM'N. Ah, you are sweet and wise. But don't be fooled—I may not be an ogre, but—a saint? Hardly. Only in the LDS sense.

WENDY. Hey, I'm all about introducing you to exciting new music.

AMY. I'm impressed Tim knows Freddy! Sorry for scaring your girlie.

MIRJAM. Do your kidlets help you with the lists? What fun!

We found several books in our stacks that are valuable enough to sell on eBay and turn a small profit, so we're happy. Hurray for cashing in old treasures.

LAPA. Welcome! Thank you for the lovely encouragements. But I owe it all to the designers at Blogger.

C-DUB. Actually, I think it was really Freddy who hustled on outta here in deference to The Ancestor. I am sure she was his biggest lifer fan and he probably knew he owed her a wailing party on the other side.

BILLIES. Oh, I do pretty well when I put my heart into it.

Sorry to your kitty. I think Freddy is really uno perro sort of guy anyway.

liz said...

you're funny, understandable list. we should all find a humorous outlet for the frazzles.

I like that idea a lot. I could have used it on my hard Friday, it would have been a long list.

Nigel said...

No grits or collard greens...

Rynell said...

I enjoyed your list and I think it's good to see humor in such things.

ee cummings said somthing like "A wasted day is a day without laughter." I like that.

Olivia said...

HI-stinking-larious top ten list! And what better motivators than Nick Drake and love letters.... And every time I hear a reference to Pandora's box, I think of Hugh Grant's wonderful/terrible roommate in Knotting Hill: "I knew a girl named Pandora once...." You write such lovely, funny things!

Geo said...

LIZ. Yeah, I'm thinking I've got a few hundred more Top Tens in me. Coping can be fun!

NIGEL. I bet she's trying to change that.

I found a book of collard poems in the basement this week. I'll have to post a few for the enjoyment of all those who've been initiated.

RYNELL. I hereby resolve to waste nary another day by living it laughlessly. (I've always liked ol' e.e.)

OLIVIA. What? You don't find Freddy motivating?

(P.S. Thanks.)

Lois, Our Lady of Blogs said...

Oh, Nigel and I were dying reading this. We had to read it out loud to Frances. Too funny!!! We miss old Gram. Thanks for the great laugh and for giving us a moment to remember her.

SusieQ said...

I love your top ten list! I think I may write one for my 92 year old grandma (who lives alone and still insists on driving herself everywhere, even though she gets lost almost every time) Love her so much, though, and I know I'll miss her horribly when she's gone. A top ten list is a great way to preserve in memory some of those "quirky" personality traits

Geo said...

LOIS. You're one of the few, the proud in the bloggerhood who actually knew The Ancestor. I'm glad y'all are enjoying this reminsicence with me.

SUSIEQ. If you're like me, you'll come up with a few alternates, because it's really hard to stop at ten. Your granny sounds like a character—hope you'll post whatever you come up with!