Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You Really Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

I exited the the elevator on the tenth floor of my mother's apartment building Monday evening, and instantly my olfactory nerves were met with the fragrant blend of aromas emanating from kitchens where suppers were being prepared. As I walked down the hall to my mother's apartment, I tried to guess which aroma originated from the meal that I would soon be enjoying, but as usual it was impossible to tell. As I passed each door, the aroma would subtly change.

Finally I got to Mom's door. I have my own key, so I let myself in. I noticed a pleasant non-specific aroma of some kind of roasting meat. It could have been chicken, but it wasn't until Mom started putting little cups of applesauce at each place setting, that I correctly guessed roast pork.

Now, as I have blogged before, Mom had been carving meat with an old bread knife, because all of her other knives were too dull, so I bought her a brand new set of razor sharp stainless steel kitchen knives for Christmas. After a while I walked into the kitchen, and she was busy hacking away at a platter of tenderloins, and she seemed to be having a hard time. She has arthritic hands, so I asked her if she need any help. She said, "This knife isn't working!" I said let me see it. She handed the knife to me, and I almost burst out laughing. Although it was one of her new knives, it was the bread knife!

I got the carving knife and finished slicing up the tenderloins for her. Soon we were eating pork, accompanied by a medley of mixed veggies, potatoes au gratin (when we were kids, my sister used to call them, potatoes all rotten), and a tossed salad. My sister had to scold my brother-in-law once again, for taking half of the bowl of veggies, but that has come to be expected. Before supper, he presented me with some horrifying news. He said he was seriously considering buying an apartment in my mother's building when he sells his house. If so, that will certainly rule out me wanting to live in Mom's apartment after she passes, something I have considered, because I really would like to eventually move back to Richmond.

Sadly my niece could not join us, because she had to work late at the big box hardware/home improvement store where she is employed. It's never quite the same without her, because she has such a wonderful sense of humor and she is so uninhibited. I've loved her ever since my sister sent me a picture of her shortly after she was born in 1968, when I was in the Army. I remember shortly after returning from Vietnam, I was babysitting for her one night. She was on my lap, and I was sipping a can of beer, while reading her a story. The can of beer was sitting on a table next to my chair. Eventually she got quite tired, so I put her to bed. I went back to my chair and reached for my can of beer, and it was nearly empty! Unbeknownst to me, she had been purloining sips, all the while I was reading the story to her! Needless to say, she slept very soundly that night!

The weatherman had predicted sleet and freezing rain on Monday night, so I was bit worried about my trip back into the foot hills after dark. The roads of the Piedmont can be quite treacherous when the temperatures fall blow freezing, and any form of precipitation is falling. Fortunately there was enough residual salt on the roads to keep them from getting icy, but by the time I arrived at my exit off the Interstate, I noticed that the hood of my truck was covered with ice. I had stopped at the grocery store next to my mother's before I left Richmond, so I had to unload the truck when I got home. By then, the deck was covered in a layer of gritty sleet, and I was able to bring my groceries in with only a slight worry of slipping. An hour later as the freezing rain began to come down in earnest, the steps and deck became completely glazed over. I made it home just in time!

Melissa XX


Two Auntees said...

Hopefully his arrangements will not work out for buying the apartment. Yea, relatives like can't be too far away for nightly visits.

Too bad you can't fix his plate before you all sit down. Or, at least he is eating his vegetables.

Calie said...

Well, THAT was a surprising bit of news! Melissa in an apartment? Did I read that correctly? I thought you loved that country estate of yours with the beautiful trees and landscape.

I did have to laugh when I read about the knife. At least she was using the new set. I honestly thought those would sit in the drawer forever.

Calie xxx