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The cause

The cause

Just let me check back to Ferns to make sure of the numbering…got it.

The eighth call came on Monday. It was Mom. She asked me if I felt obligated to go and get the ferns from Maxine. I said, “Yes.”

She said, “What? I can’t hear you.”

I said, “YES.”

She said, “What? I still can’t hear you.”

I said, “YES. I FEEL OBLIGATED.” I’m pretty sure that the neighbors, on both ends of the conversation, heard that, but Mom didn’t.

“Hold on, I’ll get your sister to talk to you.” In the background I could hear Mom say something to my sister about “Tell him…call Maxine…ferns.” My sister said, “Did you hear that?” I said that I did. “Mom wants me to tell you to take a shovel and pots for the ferns. But I told her that Maxine probably has a shovel.” I agreed. (Mental note: Take a shovel, pots/boxes, and plastic to cover the auto’s carpeting in case there are spills or tip-overs.)

An aside: I find it remarkable that Mom seems to have no trouble hearing me when she is alone when she calls, but can’t hear a word I say if my sister is in the room. Also, she has trouble hearing me if I say something that she doesn’t want to hear.

The ninth call came on Wednesday afternoon.  Mom wanted to know when I was going to Rolling Prairie to get the ferns. I told her I was going on Thursday (which I thought I had already told either her or my sister). Perhaps Mom asked just to double-check the arrangements, or to determine if my sister was feeding her false information for some nefarious reason. Knowing Mom, either could be her reason. She told me again how much Maxine was depending on me. Right.

So, I made the trip to Rolling Prairie, dug some ferns, and drove home. I plan on posting about the actual trip in the future, not today. So in your mind, skip ahead seven hours and imagine me back home recuperating from driving two hundred miles, sitting in an easy chair, eyes closed, and listening to some West Coast Jazz from the sixties. Got it?

The tenth call came about half an hour after I got home. It was Mom, of course, asking if I had gone to Rolling Prairie to get the ferns, because Maxine was depending on me to do that. I told her that I had, and that I had taken a picture of Maxine and her dog with my cell phone and had sent it my brother-in-law to show her. I should have had Maxine holding up the front page of the local newspaper to prove that I had been there, but little details get forgotten. She asked if Cindy had seen the ferns yet. Well, no, Cindy was at work. I assured Mom that I would be planting the ferns.

The eleventh call came while Cindy and I were out having dinner. It was my sister, and I assumed it could wait until we were at home, so I didn’t answer the call. I was right, it could wait.

My sister was sarcastically anticipating my mother’s next call. “How many did you get? Did you dig them up or did Maxine? What color were they? Where are you planting them? Did Cindy like them?” And she is right, Mom will call with some of those questions. I just need to decide if I’ll answer the phone when the twelfth call comes in around 4:30 this afternoon. They are driving back to their home in southern Indiana, and that’s when they usually arrive. Creatures of habit much?

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