Today is done. I have no idea if anything was accomplished but the wind wasn't as strong and I still found trash in the yard. Sitting in my mother's house this afternoon with her seven good friends, sharing food and laughter made me feel guilty. Guilty that I'm the only daughter who has managed a monthly invitation, guilty that my youngest was home alone, taking a day break from college and guilty that phone calls weren't returned. I am drawn to these women who have worked years side by side with each other in the school kitchens. Drawn to their complaints about the price of oil and wheat and who has the best coupons in town. They speak of recipes like you would describe an ancient artifact. Garage sales keep them together like glue and they aren't interested in New Age anything. Set in their inherited religions makes them appealing to me. From a distance, if you didn't love them, they'd be old, but these gatherings have brought out their pretty shaped lips, their bright eyes and colorful smiles. We tell many jokes and I notice all of the laugh lines we share.
The drive home was busy with Friday rush hour, but Manheim Steamroller is playing on the radio and my spirit is satisfied. Our conversation replays in my head. Agnes used to collect those awful looking plastic trolls when she was alive. They were everywhere, on shelves, in the kitchen and in her bedroom. Poor Orville, he hated them! Threatened to get rid of them. How they fought every day of their lives, but when Agnes died, the kids wanted to help their dad and get rid of the trolls. NO! He wouldn't have it. Suddenly, Orville is the "gatekeeper" of the trolls. I am laughing and almost missed my turn. Ruthie had mentioned during chocolate cake, "when you die, you suddenly get sainted! Yes you do! Death will make us holier, you wait!"
I pull into the drive way to be greeted with a "what took you so long, I need to get back to campus!" My company is a different generation now. The conversation has changed to boys. With kisses and hugs, I remind my daughter of the dangers of parties and an empty stomach. Her Chihuahua bark doesn't bother me in the least, because someday, I know she'll "saint me". I just hope they don't call me, "my mother the Troll"!