My Sainted Mother: The Vacation Chronicles

Mad scientist caricature 2

Image via Wikipedia

My mother controls the weather.  Not in a mad-scientist-underground-laboratory-with-hunchbacked-assistant kind of way, and not even in a Gaia-Demeter-Mother-Earth kind of way.  No, my Sainted Mother is simply a magnet for natural disasters.  If she boards a flight, a thunderstorm will form unexpectedly around the plane.  If she visits a foreign country, a tsunami will overwhelm the hotel she was staying at about a week after she leaves.  After she retired and started spending more time at home, she caused an earthquake, a tornado, and a hurricane all within a one week period.  I’m not kidding or exaggerating about any of this.

She’s currently in Hawaii.  The last time she went there, she caused torrential rain and mudslides, and I think that was the time that the plane behind hers got struck by lightning and had to make an emergency landing.  So it was no surprise to me to get a call from her informing me that she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to make the next leg of her journey because weather conditions had gotten so bad out there that the governor had declared her island a disaster area!  Her power is only getting more potent with time.

Monster cyclone 2A with large eye making landf...

Image via Wikipedia

My Sainted Mother likes to send her daughters the itinerary of her trips before she goes so that we’ll be able to get in touch with her at every stage of the journey.  I’ve explained the concept of cell phones to her, but what can you do.  I’ve come to value these itineraries, though, as a sort of warning for what places to avoid and when.  I’m thinking of posting them on this blog as a public service, so that the areas she’s traveling to can take proper precautions and lay in supplies.  Sainted Mother, I beg of you, use your powers for good!  Until then, if you see black helicopters circling overhead as you take your next cruise, you have only yourself to blame.  Also, for anyone traveling with my mother, remember to pack your umbrella.  And your first aid kit.  And an inflatable life vest.  Just in case.

Little blind icicle

No Kidding

Image by kuyman via Flickr

My heat went out.  In retrospect, I should have seen this coming.  Four day weekend with a cold snap coming, I should have put the work order in a week in advance.  I timidly suggested to my landlord that, what with the cold weather and all, perhaps a repair guy could come look at my heater that, while never spectacular, seemed to have died completely; she agreed, but warned me that she didn’t think anyone could get to me that day.  I said, oh, that’s OK, it’s not like I’m going to freeze to death.

I’ve lived to regret those words, but barely.

On the upside, I’m now the proud owner of two space heaters, a radiator, and an electric blanket.  Even so (and I can only use the blanket and one of the others at the same time, or I blow a fuse), I was so cold over the course of the weekend that my body actually shut down.  All I could do was sleep.  As long as I was in bed, with the blanket and the space heater, I was more or less all right, but as soon as I stepped foot onto my icy floor, my entire body went “AAAAHHHH!!!  Systems failing, systems failing, initiate emergency shut down procedures.”  I’m now very well rested, but I think my joints need to be oiled.

The heating guy, when he came earlier today, was the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my life.  He didn’t say much, just “Thermostat?” and “Breaker box?”, but he said it well.  My brain interpreted his questions as angelic pronouncements, complete with cherubic choir and divine golden shaft of light, which I now realize was probably just his flashlight.  When he had to leave for a bit to do something with the innards of my heating system, he actually asked me if I had some electric heaters to get me through until he got back.  That’s how cold it was.  He was only gone for an hour, but he was afraid I was going to turn into an icicle before he made it back.

But make it back he did.  He was my salvation and has brought warmth and joy into my life.  My home was not a home until he came and showed me the way.  I will be erecting a shrine in my utility closet to him, and it will consist of a baseball cap, a spare filter, an assortment of Phillips head screws, and a great huge thing of keys that go jingle every time I open the door.  I will light an electric candle in front of a picture of the heating repairman and think warm thoughts every day before I walk out the door, and again when I come home.  Without him, I was lost in the cold.

These moments come to all of us sometime in our lives; mine was today.  Thank you, heating repairman.  May your keys always open the door.