Saturday, May 09, 2009

Home Is Where the Mother Is

I went to see my little mom last week. She’s 81 years old, about five feet tall, and pretty spunky, just the same. I love her stories. I love it how she can remember what Jeffrey used to do when he was five and I can’t (life was such a fog when the kids were small and our goal was simply to get them all in bed at night.) I love it that she still keeps up with our next door neighbor in Shreveport, Louisiana even though we moved away 38 years ago. I love that she cherishes certain day lilies growing in her garden because someone special gave them to her. I love that every now and then she gives me a call and says, “I just had a yen to talk to you!” I love that when she saw her first great grandchild and was asked how it felt, she simply summed it up in one word – continuance. I love that when we moved her out of her house a few years back, she could tell a story about every quilt she had and every knick knack on her shelf, and basically knew who had given her what and why and when. I love it that she can remember things like that, because I can’t remember anything. But more than that, it professes to me the value she places in relationships. She paid attention along the way, and remembered the things that were important. The relationships.

My parents moved around some after Duane and I married, so when someone asked me where “home” was, I always just said wherever they were living at the time – Dallas, Memphis, Paris. Because really, home wasn’t a certain city, home was simply where they were.

And still today, I believe with all my heart that “home is where the mother is.”
Mom’s were a great idea. Thanks, God!

And I love you, Mom!

caption: mom and sweet peas
a sweet pea of a mom

Monday, May 04, 2009

In Lieu of the Flu

With everyone around Houston so preoccupied with the Swine Flu, and waiting for the next shoe to fall or school to close, I thought I would post something to help take our minds off of things.

The Doneraki man.

The Doneraki man is a north Houston icon. Everyone in the Champions area of Houston knows him. He stands on a busy street corner (FM1960 @ Champion Forest Drive) in a sandwich sign everyday (for at least the last ten years,) waving his arms at the traffic and promoting Doneraki’s Mexican food restaurant a half block away. The Doneraki man, we have decided, is the younger brother who can’t cook.

The Doneraki man started out with his sandwich sign and a sombereo. Rain or Shine, Hot or Cold (in Houston, Hot or less hot) there he stands. He is so famous, we sometimes talk about him at lunch.

One day I drove by and heard a sound like a loud fart and discovered he had added a bugle to his advertising mania. Remember how 6th grade trumpet lessons sounded? Like that.

Recently I noticed he was getting even more creative. He has left the bugle and replaced it with toilet paper rolls, one in each hand, stuffed with long, white cloth napkins that stick out of each end, which he waves at people as they pass by.

Why does he wave? Why does he stand there in the sweltering heat? How much does he get paid? Why did he leave his post one day while I was watching and go bum a cigarette from a lady across the street waiting at a bus stop? These are all questions I would respectfully like to ask him someday.