Seven hundred one miles driven in one day. Salt Lake City, Utah to Phoenix, Arizona. That’s the U.S. west. If you want to get anywhere, be ready. Stay with mother while checking property. Warm welcome, comfy
bed, what else is there to ask for? Wine or beer or tea? All available. Vittles? Mother of a thousand wonderful meals with china, silver, crystal is now more practical. She’s eighty-six and ready to give but less willing to serve. It’s hard work. We’re happy to have made it in one day and in good enough shape to be ready for the “Inspection.”
Next morning warrior Arizona realtor Brad is there pointing out things we need to consider. How to check for properly closed cupboard doors. What side of garage to put storage cabinets to avoid trouble with car door openings. All goes very well when “Project Manager” appears. One problem: unexpected outey-
looking belly button thing called sensor for heating and air conditioning. No real problem in theory and need, great disagreement in aesthetics in the middle of a wall making use of whole wall. At best, ungainly. Small thing in life. Large thing in only wall in room that can harbor a china cabinet. So spoiled American, so stupid of whoever decided to put sensor there. Discussion (low-moderately heated). Can be moved to above light switch according to expert called on phone. All is well.
Sunday. Mother not up to accompanying. Anywhere. Because she wants to be well enough to go to birthday party for friend next day who is turning ninety. She initiated party in her yoga class, but was accused by teacher when she asked invitation be extended to all other women in yoga class, “You know, he is a married man.” My mother the vamp. I have a lot to live up to. I know I do. I want to be an eighty-six year old vamp. Someday. Perhaps.
So Sam and I went to art show at golf community. Oh my, we decided. We don’t fit there though we’ve been there. In and out of fishes in the sea. That has been us. More to tell another date. Titans of industry, barons of banking, lords of underworld, angels of grace, they all live among us and it’s fun (entertaining and instructive) to travel between the lines. Back to today. (Which will be yesterday because there is not internet in Mother’s casa and I will need to find a Starbucks.)
Because she was feeling “under” and wanted to be ready for the birthday party tomorrow, I offered to make dinner. Entirely. It sounds so simple, I know. But it’s not. It’s not. It is her kitchen. She is well, a person who goes over her food, rates it, considers it, and her kitchen foibles of dishes, stovetop idiosyncrasies, were not familiar to me. Though her rating and critical eye were. I offered one of three choices: 1. Grilled salmon with sides. 2. Sweet potato fries with veggie burgers. 3. Shrimp and artichoke pasta. Please understand she is a veggie, fish excepted, as am I, but not dear Sam. Which would you choose? Her choice was the pasta. Oh, what can I say, dear gods of cuisine? The gin and tonic before dinner, the sip of wine with dinner (she didn’t like it so I had it) and the beer that helped her meal. She liked it! I’m in! I’m in!
Next morning: meeting with required-by-homeowner’s-association-
landscaper. Everyone must plant front yard within sixty days of moving in or face unspecified, but dire, consequences. A single suguaro cactus is not enough. The meeting went well and long at ninety minutes since we also discussed possibilities for back yard. I am not a world class shopper for appliances (dresses and books different story) so when we stopped on the way back to consider refrigerators the day felt long.