To most folks, July 4, is a day for cookouts and fireworks. For my family, The Fourth is another holy day of obligation, the Weebles' wedding anniversary. This year, their 64th.
The Eldest had to work the holiday, and Himself stayed home in case she called saying the boss let them out early. He also had to go in search of a large pot to cook the prize she won in a raffle. (If you have nothing better to do, you can read all about her prize at The Compost Heap) That left the Youngest and I to head to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Perpetually Clueless for the afternoon service. As planned, we stopped at the nice, clean, modern supermarket, Stop and Shop, two miles from the Weebles'. There was a special on roses so we picked a dark coral bouquet. I asked the florist clerk if she could wrap the flowers while we finished the rest of the shopping. We picked up strawberries, angel food cake and fat free Redi-whip, two cards, and some other items I needed. The clerk surprised us by adding babies' breath and leather leaf fern to the roses making a really pretty bouquet.
There were a lot of people in the store. Most of them were picking up hotdog and hamburger buns, and the checkout lines were moving quickly. We had made good time down the Pike so I told the Young One we would visit one of the other stores to kill some time. We had 10 items in the cart. I debated whether or not to use the self-check out, but decided to use the 12 item express lane. I placed our items on the conveyor belt and waited, and waited and waited. The young woman ahead of me was having a debate with the check-out clerk over the price of a bag of chips. The clerk called a runner to go check the price. We waited some more. The Young One observed so much for an express lane, though it was helping us to kill time. Finally the chip dilemna was resolved, and our order was rung up.
Out in the car, I tucked a bit of cash into each card. The cash was really more for Dad than Ma. She controls the purse strings. She's so tight when it comes to an allowance for him. So tight, she squeaks when she walks. He doesn't always have ready cash to get a hair cut or buy himself a cup of coffee. So I slipped some cash into his card. Slipped an equal amount into hers. The Young One asked why I didn't just get them one anniversary card. Explained that if I put all the cash in the card, Grandma would take it all and Grandpa would get bupkis. With the nitty gritty taken care of, we went over the highway and by the woods to Grandma's house.
I rang the bell and then opened the door and annouced "It's me!" so I wouldn't scare the out of them. The Young One gave Grandma the flowers. Grandma was thrilled. She had been feeling down figuring we had forgotten all about them. She made much over the flowers. They were the same shade as her wedding colors.
I began getting things ready in the kitchen waiting for the arrival of the other pilgrims. When they arrived, Ma beamed. Almost all her chicks singing Aves to her. She was well pleased.
Ma has a small table in the livingroom that opens out to a dining table. The table is littered with Ma's business, all the you-have-won junk. She began issuing orders to clean the table off, but I quickly squelched that. It would have taken us days to relocate the items on her flat file.
She sat in her chair, arms folded across her chest. "Hmmm. In my own home I can't give orders."
I considered it tit for tat. I sent the Young One and The Boy downstairs with Grandpa for three extra chairs. We cozily sat around the kitchen table to have coffee and cake.
For the most part the Weebles were on their best behavior. Ma tried a few snipes. How her son in law does everything for her. She tried the chorus of The He's Stupid song. She hounded the Boy for the price of the cars at the dealership where he works. She wanted to know if he could get her a car.
"Got $40,000?" he asked.
"I will next week. I got a big check coming in. I was notified."
Ma then asked where she could find a typewriter. The general consensus was at an antique store, but we weren't sure where one would find useable ribbons. Ma wants to type her checks because her handwriting is deteriorating. The scammers must be calling complaining they can't read her checks.
"What was that thing you used to play with?" she asked the Brother.
He looked at her blankly.
"The thing in your lap that you used to play with."
I tried not to lose composure, but I couldn't help it. I began to giggle and caught the Brother's attention with a hand signal which reduced us to gales of laughter.
All in all we had a fun time. After all, it was only a couple of hours out of our day to make an old lady very happy.