Evac Day 27/59: What It Is

Ax and I are heading home from visiting Mike’s mom Grandma Jo, and I could have made time to write this morning but I didn’t. The two of us joined Mike in Colorado for two days and we maxed-out our Grandma Jo time while we could. Ax drew her a picture of our cat Cleo which she loved and we put it up on the refrigerator with some of her many magnets. Then, Ax demonstrated his Karate moves and she admired them a great deal: the high punch, middle punch, low punch; the high block, middle block, low block; the two kinds of kicks, and the complex and impressive “frog kata.” Attention stance, ready stance, horse stance.

Grandma Jo sat for all of it, watching, nibbling a chocolate chip cookie her daughter had baked and sent by mail. Smiling.

We ordered pizza for lunch yesterday, and Chinese for lunch today, but she didn’t eat much of either. We had ice cream for mid-morning snack. Mint chip for Mike, and a bit of mint chip and Jamolca Almond Fudge for Grandma Jo, Ax, and me. We all ate that.

And so that’s what it was. In typically organized fashion, Jo had created a kind of garage sale of her belongings in the basement and urged me to go select stuff.

I picked out a tea kettle, a fancy metal mini dust pan and sweeper with wooden handles she said were for crumbs and had been a wedding gift that was never used, a couple of pictures, and a serving tray. “You are a wonderful host,” she told me, not needing to any actual proof of that. I took the compliment. “Thank you,” I said.

“You are my favorite daughter-in-law,” she said. “I am your only daughter-in-law,” I replied. “Well there you go then!” She said.

Ax liked the mini dust pan and broom, a lot, as I thought he would. When I got back upstairs and presented him with them he plopped down on the kitchen floor at Jo’s feet and marveled at what he was able to sweep up from the seemingly pristine surface.

Grandma Jo praised his diligent sweeping and admired the bits of new carpet, specks of dust, and pen cap he’d rescued from the floor. “Well look at that,” she said, as if he’d mined diamonds. He dumped his little dustpan into the wastebasket beside her. “Aren’t you wonderful!” She exclaimed. And he went for round two of sweeping the small kitchen, and Grandma Jo’s feet, with the mini broom, enjoying his grandma’s doting gaze, feeling loved.

I don’t want to go but we are going. It’s time. Mike is staying. His sisters will join him soon and the three kids and Jo will take it from there. Three kids.

Tomorrow Ax will go to school and I will start my diet. For reals. They told us that now Grandma Jo gets to eat like every day is her birthday, but that isn’t the nutrition plan that’s appropriate for me. When we get back to Cali it’s salad city for this number one daughter-in-law of the all time number one mother-in-law. It’s time. I’m gonna keep going.