Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggetty-Jig

Well, we got home late last night from Atlanta market and after a 10 1/2 hour good night's sleep, I feel like a new woman today.  Market is one of those things you just have to experience for yourself in order to fully grasp the weariness that it inflicts.  You walk and walk and walk and walk until you start to contemplate if gnawing off your feet would be the less painful alternative.

Blair and I charged in to tackle the monumental task of deciding what the trends were and which ones would be good sellers for the upcoming fall and Christmas seasons at the gift shop.  I won't use any names, but one of us wore basic, black sandals with a low Vibram wedge that cushioned her feet with each step.  The other one wore a high heel sandal encrusted with rhinestones as they looked so cute with her outfit.  The shoes were very sparkly and attention grabbing.  One of us received lots of compliments on her sparkly shoes, colorful dresses, and matching hats, but at the end of the day, one of us wished we were dead and the "oohs" and "aahhs" offered little, if any, comfort to her throbbing toes.  On the other hand, not one, single person noticed the other one's basic, black wedges with the Vibram sole or complimented her loose linen pants, for that matter, but her feet experienced only slight discomfort.  I suppose you just have to go with what's important to you and live with the consequences of your choices. 

We were leaving a showroom one morning and while I was looking down and busy stuffing an invoice into my bag, I ran slam into the glass storefront thinking it was the open door.  There's nothing like carrying children in your womb, irreversibly stretching your abdomen out three times its normal size, and then painfully expelling their large head ever so slowly through your narrow hips, only so that 19 years later, they can laugh at you and loudly announce, "Oh my word, Mom, that was so embarrassing!"  Thank you, Blair....I was unaware that it was embarrassing, so I appreciate you keeping me and those who might have missed it, abreast of the situation.

And again, not to name names here, but every night, one of us would crash onto the bed to rest up an aging back, arthritic neck, and throbbing calves for the next day's shopping, while one of us changed into exercise clothes and running shoes for her daily workout even though we'd already walked enough to have one of those 26.2 stickers on the back of our car.  Here again, we must live with the consequences of our buying elastic whenever we can. 

We shopped hard and we crashed hard, too.  Some of us sparkle even in our sleep. 
The boys went along on our little trip, too.  They usually watch some Braves baseball while we shop, but they were playing in Chicago while we were there.  They did watch the World Cup final in Centennial Olympic Park just outside our hotel, went to Six Flags, enjoyed the rooftop hotel pool, and the made to order omelets and pancakes each morning...."Just like at home", I'm sure they thought.
My dear, sweet mother was our house/dog sitter for us while we were gone.  There are a couple of things you need to know about her, not the least of which is the fact that she doesn't like dogs....or cats......or anything else covered with fur....or scales....or feathers.  Let's just suffice it to say that she is not an animal person.  She doesn't wish them harm....she just doesn't connect with them......or want to touch them.  Well, she was, of course, the obvious choice when it came time to choose a sitter for our Sugar, the grumpy dog who only likes the four people who live in her house and even shows her teeth to them when they walk too close to her food bowl.  It would be a match made in heaven.  "How could this not work?", I thought.

Well, Sugar is terribly afraid of thunderstorms and lo and behold, a thunderstorm blew up in the middle of the night while we were gone.  Sugar's options were bleak as she sought comfort.  My sweet mother got up and sat up with her, turning the tv on to help distract her from the storm noises.  Throwing a blanket on top of her from above was all of the comfort she could offer the creature whom she was attempting to comfort without actually touching it......but, at least, she tried.  I'm sure Sugar took note of her effort.

Another couple of things you need to know about my mother is her devotion to cleanliness (which is most likely the root of her animal detachment) and also her love of helping others.  Combine the two and you have yourself a humdinger of a house sitter.  When we got home and flung the door open last night, the house was spotless and everything was in the Southern Living crew had just pulled their van out of our driveway from doing a shoot here. 

The rugs bore lines from the vacuum.  The throw pillows were perfectly arranged as if with a measuring tape and level.  The furniture was shiny and freshly polished.  The glass tabletop was glistening.  The clothes were washed and put away.  The refrigerator was organized and the clear shelving was clear again.....just like the week we moved in 9 years ago.  Oh, and even my drawers were my plastic wrap, aluminum foil, wax paper drawer.....all lined up like soldiers.  The toilets sparkled.  Fresh towels hung on the towel bars.  The smell of Pine-Sol hung in the air.  Even the food we'd left for her to eat was frozen into individual servings in the freezer.

The family stood behind me waiting to get in with their bags of dirty clothes and blankets and pillows and shoes and all manner of trash from the car.  I wanted to run them all out!  Go sleep in the car, you filthy people!  I wanted to enjoy the moment.....the splendor....the beauty.....the sterile, operating room environment.  "Hurry, Mom....move!" they whined as they pushed their way in behind me, dropping their bags onto my beautiful vacuum cleaner lines.

It was nice while it lasted.

My mother is a saint.  A saint, I tell you.  Not Saint Francis, but a saint, nonetheless.   

That was our trip in an ever so scant nutshell. 

It's nice to go and do, but there's nothing like laying your head on your own freshly changed pillowcase at the end of the day. 

Good to be back with y'all!                  


  1. lordy joni....can you send your saint of a mama to my house?! you'd think since i was "retired" i'd have a spotless house but noooooo, every night i go to bed with the intention of working like a dog the next day to clean but then i think....what the hay, i'll just do it tomorrow! this has so inspired me maybe i'll clean a toilet today! (LOL)

    1. Well, Judy, I don't think I'll want to spend my retirement cleaning either! Keep it just clean enough to avoid disease and I think you're good. ;) My mother would definitely be the one to call, though, if you ever have the Pope or the Queen over for dinner. She'd get you white glove clean. Hope your Mom is doing ok.

  2. I missed your posts while you were gone but loved the recap. I especially loved the whole paragraph about the choice of shoes. LOL I am in the same camp as your mother when it comes to pets in the house or pets in general. I don't wish animals harm but I have no desire to have one myself. I bet it was awesome coming home to such a clean house!

    1. Awww, thanks for missing me, April :) You're always so sweet!

  3. What a treat to come home to a spotless house! Sounds like your sweet mother could start a business of housesitting/housecleaning!

    1. Oh, she definitely could, Kristen! She kept our house spotless when we were growing up and now, whenever she comes over for a visit, she can't just sit around......she's gotta clean.......and I surely wouldn't want to steal her joy. :)

  4. I smiled when I read the title because I always say that!! : )
    Sounds like a fun but exhausting trip.
    How nice to come home to a clean house!!

    1. Oh, you just don't know how nice it was to come home to that, Happyone!