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Donna Flood
Laughably Foolish Feeling

     When cold weather adds its charisma to the scene we are both thankful and peeved at the same time. The thanks is for the break from yard work and outdoor projects. If we are peeved,  it is because it's the season for colds, toothaches, earaches, automobile malfunctions, depression, and not to mention the discomfort from shivering in the frigid temperatures.

      “I've been reminding Mother about being careful with going out into the cold,” Verna's sister was, as usual, letting her older sister know about the care she gave their mother.

      “Is she listening to you,” Verna chuckled.  The sisters and brothers all did a balancing act with their 92-year-old mother. Native American women don't age, they sage. The old adage, “Old Indians never die, they just fade away,” was stated to be a joke but there was truth in the observation.  They had to remember that when they were dealing with their mother. She was like the grandmother on the Beverly Hillbillies, “little and wiry.”

       “I get a little beside myself,” at this point in time Verna's sister was not amused. “The office where I work is colder than a walk-in 'fridge. My employer is that old Native American culture whose whole body is  face.   I suppose it is my white blood telling me I'm freezing. And then, I worry about mother falling or something at home. I would appreciate your calling her in the morning. I think her blood pressure is up.”

       “Sure. I can do that. I'll go in to check on her.”  Verna wanted to try to help in some way.

       The next morning before Verna could get out of the house the telephone rang. It was her brother.

      “Do you know where Mother is?”

      “She doesn't answer the phone?”  Verna asked.

      “Well, no.  Matter of fact, she doesn't. Do you think she is okay?” Her brother asked.

      “I'm supposed to be checking on her but I wanted to let her get her shower. I'm always afraid she will try to answer the phone and then slip and fall.

      “Okay, well, I'll see what I can do.” Verna's brother reassured her.

      Verna waited but there was no return call, so she picked up the phone to call her other sister.

      “Do you know where Mother is?”  Verna asked.

       “Well, no I don't, matter of fact.  I'm sick and can't get out.”

      “No! no, don't, I'll drive in town and check.”  But, still waiting for a call, she didn't know whether to leave the phone, call the fire department for them to check or just hope someone would call.

      In just a little while the phone rang. “Hi! Are you lost?”  Her mother's voice sounded like someone who was 30 not 92. “What do you want?”

      “Listen, Little Lady!  Don't you think it would be a good idea to call in every once in a while”  Verna was smiling as she felt she had become the disciplining mother and her mother the wayward teen.

       “Oh, I was busy.”  Her mother was off hand in her answer. “I had to go pick up my friend from the hospital. She had out-patient surgery on her eyes and couldn't drive. Of course, I couldn't just leave immediately. I had to get her settled in her house.”

      “How did you know I was looking for you.” Verna was curious.

       “Your sister called.”  Verna's mother was obliging in her answer. “Listen Honey! Lighten up! You worry too much, first thing you know you'll be getting old.  Get around now, we don't want to miss Wilma Mankiller's book signing this afternoon.”

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