Monday, August 31, 2009

A Day of Follies

The elevator on our floor wasn't working last night. That meant Grandma had to hoof it down the stairs from another elevator on this split-floor building. It's still not working this morning. That means another trip for her UP the stairs, as well as Mom and I with all the luggage. Have I mentioned how much luggage we have? What's really irritating is that I specifically requested an accessible room. Thankfully, we're only an hour late shipping out.

As we're getting on the road, the GPS tells us to go right when the sign for 10 West toward Baton Rouge is on the left. Never trust a GPS. I had to beat this particular system into submission on Day One, and I can tell you -- it wasn't pretty. Eventually, I made her my bitch. But I've not had the opportunity to straightened her out yet this morning.

So Grandma tells me, "She's your bitch, you slap her!"

My sweet little white-haired ever-shrinking angelic grandmother just said the word "bitch". I am dumbfounded. She just looks so ... innocent. Then Mom points out that she's also encouraging violence. It's all so out of character. The old lady is laughing maniacally at herself.

Five minutes later we're passing a big cemetery on the right and both the girls marvel at how big it is. I say it's just because it's above ground, but then see and point out another cemetery to our left. Mom looks ... with the car. We narrowly escape death, and I find it ironic that Grandma is now saying a quick prayer of thanks with the same mouth she swore out of minutes ago.

It's 8:00 am. Too early for a bloody mary?

We get into a political discussion. This is the arena in which our viewpoints literally duel to the death. They have very strong opinions about President Obama, health care, and the topic of discussion now -- immigration. I'll spare you the details, but leave you with the spin off of this conversation. Grandma says she has no desire to leave the USA because she lives in a great country. I love this country, too, though believe people who travel are more in tune with reality. They see the world through a different lens. Mom travels, too, but has no desire to see the colorful and culturally rich places I want to go, like Morocco and Thailand.

Still, we do both like travel -- and it's a good thing to share in common. Mom says we're like George. I say, Costanza? Frankly not seeing the correlation. She means George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life". She says he wanted to see the world. Ok ...I'll buy that. I want stamps in my passport like he wanted stickers on his luggage from around the world. I love that movie. I watched it on my first dtae with my boyfriend, Eric. He's trying to lasso the moon for me in the form of building the website. It's great, isn't it?

After a quick potty break, I get back in the car and Grandma says she needs to register a complaint. Mom flipped her off. She said she was only helping her by pointing out every little speck of bug guts she was missing as she cleaned the window. We pull back onto the road and Mom is yelling at other drivers in minutes. I think we all need a nap.

We drive about two hours out of our way to see the town of New Iberia so my Mom can see where the books she adores by author James Lee Burke are set. It's total back country Louisiana. Small towns ... farmers plowing fields ... cows dotting the roadside. I imagine it's what travel was like fifty years ago before highways made scenic drives a thing of the past. We pass a few donkeys laying down in a field. My Mom wonders if it means it will rain. Grandmas says it means they're just tired.

At 12:52, we hit out first 1,00 miles. A few hundred later, we roll into Round Rock where my Mom's friend Bunny lives. We're crashing at her place tonight. She's darling and has the cutests coon dogs you ever did see. And three cats.

Did I mention how allergic I am to cats?

We're grateful for the place to stay, so I load up on allergy meds and we head into Austin for dinner at Stubb's. Fried okra, braised beef, ribs and mac'n'cheese. This place is famous for being a hang out for rising stars like Joe Ely, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Muddy Waters and Johnny Cash. Click here to check out the story on NPR that inspired this waypoint.

We're too tired to actually go out, and I'm unsure that much is going on Monday night. There's also no cupcake places open (they are a staple here), so we head back to the ranch. So it sounds hokey -- but it IS a ranch-style house.

Before dinner, Mom realizes she has a credit card missing. She cancels it. She finds it.

As I get undressed, I realize I've lost an earring. I cancel caring and go to sleep.


  1. Why are you so surprised at your grandmother? She is the one who is sending me off to a hotel with a man I scarcely know !!!! I wouldn't go except that it is a really nice Hotel !!!

    Amy, I am sure you will be a great writer. I laughed out loud at today's episodes.

  2. Now it may sound strange, even upsetting to flip off an 86 year old, but Mom and I have a wonderful relationship and she took it in the frivilous manner in which it was intended. It might be important to note that I also made the "straight to the moon Alice gesture as well..Do you know what its like to be almost 60 and still having your MOM point out things that you missed??? We laughed thru the windshiled so hard that I almost couldnt finish scrapping the bugs off. Why is it that when bugs it your windshield their remnants appear to be stuck on with a substance 10x the strength of super glue?? I am thankful that it isnt LOVE BUG season.

  3. oh boy, all you ladies are cracking me up over here in the green mountains! funny, funny stuff. i hope i'm a lot like grandma when i'm her age. i'd rather laugh with the sinners then die with the saints. not that any of you are sinners...

  4. PLEASE ... we're sinners all right. Do you know how many cupcakes we ate in Austin today?

  5. If eating cupcakes is wrong, I don't wanna be right!
    dreaming of carrot cake cuppies from Hey Cupcake!

  6. Hi Karen your trip looks so great Bunny looks good how long were you with her?
    Every one here says hi can't wiat to see the pictures we will keep following your progress

  7. Funny Blog. We are enjoying this from the healthpark as we live vicariously through your blog. P.S. remember the GPS will get you to the right church, but not in the right pew, always check the map and get you mom the fisher-price steering wheel. Call HP from the road when you get a chance, they would love it.

    Lou Selva

  8. By the way you, on your Thelma and Louise's trip, your going to skip the part where you drive of the cliff? You need to focus on picking up Brad Pitt.

    Lou Selva