Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cold Call



“Every man's memory is his private literature.”
-Aldous Huxley

I passed through the kitchen one storm-wracked night years ago when Mater was just answering the telephone. It was not an evening to go visiting in but the Aunt, it transpired, wished for Mater to pay a call.
No helpless little old lady's request was this: the Aunt had not fallen on the floor; neither had she run out of food or water. She, I seem to recollect, was urging Mater to drive through the puddles to the Aunt's home in order to examine something or other related to clothing, and offer a supposedly expert opinion.
I could not believe my eyes or my ears as I observed my honest mother pinching her nostrils closed with two fingers, and squeaking:
"I'd love to, but I have a terrible cold!"
It was the most dreadful impersonation of somebody consumed with a cold- had I been asked, I would have put forth the covert suggestion that Mater lower her voice a notch instead of raising the pitch- but it worked. It really worked. The Aunt backed away- recoiled, I suspect- and hastily agreed that the appointment should be on another, less germ-ridden day.
Mater attended the Aunt's funeral this evening in Ireland. A legion of stories were brought to light- broken fragments of memory about the formidable lady none of us will forget.

5 comments:

The Texican said...

Very well done. We all have experienced folks in our families with similar traits. They are hard not to like because the things they attempt to do are well meaning even though rarely successful. I'm sure we have all made up little stories just as Mater did to avoid making a face to face appointment. Pappy

Jaime said...

Mater is such a character! Made me laugh picturing her there, pretending to have a plugged up nose.

You have so many wonderful stories up your sleeve...how do you keep them flowing so consistently?

Nice to be back here..nice to see you.
:)

TheElementary said...

Texican, I think so too- we all have done that. Sometimes there's no choice! And it's true she meant well, but just never took into account what anyone else thought :)

Jaime, she is a character ;) and the source for many of my tales.
You said some very kind things! They flow only because I take many, many notes. Sometimes a story- one line, just to remind myself it happened- will sit in my work folder for months before it becomes a blog post. Others, I write them as soon as they happen.
Some flow easier than others!

And it's very, very nice to have you back :)

polona said...

i'm sorry about your aunt's passing. but you have told some lovely stories and i'm sure there's more to come.

TheElementary said...

Polona, thank you.
There are indeed lots of stories to tell about her, and people usually start recalling them about this time when they talk most about the person who has gone.

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