When I first took this picture, the silo was in the center of the frame. That’s what I wanted. But when I uploaded to the computer and took a look at it, the picture was unbalanced. There was the silo in the center with the barn on the right. To the left was an empty yard with a couple of young trees. So I cropped the picture, and I like this much more than the original.
The first call came on Wednesday, or perhaps it was Tuesday. Mom was calling me to tell me that they (she, my sister who shall not be named, and my sister’s husband and daughter) would be leaving their home in southern Indiana, and driving back to their home in northern Indiana. She also wanted to give me an update on the number of fish that had been caught. Finally she got to the main reason for the call; did we want some ferns? I will admit that at some point I tuned out of the monologue and tried to lip read what the anchor was saying, so I missed the part about who was offering the ferns. I assumed that it was my sister. She grows lots of stuff.
I told my mom that I would ask Cindy, and would get back to her. I forgot to do that. When Cindy came home from work, more important things seem to fill our conversation. I forgot to ask.
Thursday rolled around and I assumed that I would get a call from Mom announcing their return to northern Indiana, and ohmygod! I had forgotten to ask Cindy! So I quickly sent her an email asking if she wanted some of my sister’s ferns. Amazingly, she quickly responded that she did. I had an answer for Mom, so I patiently waited for her call.
The second call came around 4:30 that afternoon. They were back in northern Indiana and did we want some of Maxine’s ferns? Oh yeah. Now I remembered that mom had said the ferns were from a friend of ours, a former neighbor, back in Rolling Prairie, not from my sister. That made more sense. I didn’t really picture my sister as a fern kind of person. I told Mom that Cindy did want some of the ferns. Mom was pleased and asked what kind of ferns Cindy wanted. I said that I didn’t know. I didn’t say it, but I wondered how many kinds there were to choose from. I told Mom that I would ask Cindy when she got home, and would get back to her. Mom said she needed to know so they could get the right ferns when they went to pick them up.
The third call came Friday morning. “What kind of ferns does Cindy want? Some of them are very tall.” I said that we would leave the decision up to her and my sister. That was fine, oh, and Maxine was so glad that we wanted some of her ferns. She had asked a lot of people to take some off of her hands, but they had all said no.
The fourth call came on Friday afternoon. My sister wouldn’t drive Mom to Rolling Prairie to get the ferns, so I would have to drive there and get them. Mom was upset and called to tell me after my sister had gone shopping. She does that when she wants to talk about my sister. That was when I realized that Mom had wanted to go to Rolling Prairie to see Maxine, and then had wanted my sister to bring her to Lafayette to see us. She didn’t really care about the ferns.
Anyway, Mom then tried to give me driving directions to Maxine’s house. I told her that I just needed the address and would get the directions (Map Quest or GPS), but she insisted on telling me, “You remember that little road beside the nursery?”
I asked for Maxine’s telephone number so that I could set up a time to go to her home (and to get the address so I could get directions). Mom said, “It’s area code XXX and then XXXX.” I said that couldn’t be right because there were three numbers missing. She said, “Oh, right. It’s area code XXX and then XXXX. I think that’s all.” I asked her to have my sister call me when she got home.
The fifth call came around 5 p.m. It was my sister. I told her that I wanted Maxine’s telephone number because Mom didn’t remember all of the number. She gave it to me and said that all Mom had talked about for the past few days were those ferns. I commiserated, and I told her that I would call Maxine on Saturday to set up a time to drive up.
The sixth call came around 10:30 Saturday morning. I saw that it was from Mom, and I didn’t answer. I hadn’t called Maxine yet and I didn’t want Mom to try putting me on a guilt trip. Mom left a voice mail. “I hope you called Maxine. She was so happy that you wanted some of her ferns. I hope you don’t let her down. Etc., etc.”
I called Maxine to set a day to drive up. When I asked for her address she said, “You remember that little road beside the nursery?” Am I the only person over fifty years old who knows about using a GPS? But, she eventually gave me the address after giving me detailed verbal directions. I’ll be driving up next week.
I called Mom to tell her that I had talked to Maxine. I got her voicemail. My message said that I had called Maxine and that she would not be driven into the depths of despair. I can be sarcastic. I’m also pretty sure that Mom never listens to her voicemail.
The seventh call came Saturday afternoon. Mom started with, “I called you earlier, but you didn’t answer. Maybe you were asleep.”
My riposte was, “I called you earlier, but you didn’t answer. Maybe you were asleep.” She said then that she did know that I had called, but then she asked if I had called Maxine. I told her that I had, and that I would be going to Rolling Prairie after we had the car serviced. Mom ended our conversation with, “Well call me when you get back.” That means I’ll have to remember everything Maxine says while I’m there.
I’m not even fond of ferns.