I picked Dad up from the hospital after he had a procedure. Hed was sent home though he was looped to the gills. Poor fella couldn't get warm and was shivering so much his teeth chattered like castanets. I called the day surgery to ask if this was normal. Nope. Try to get him warm and if that doesn't work, bring him back. Warmed a quilt in the dryer. That and Dad's fave ratty Turkish terry bathrobe made him feel better. He was running a low grade fever, but I thought that was due to him being over dressed and tucked up with 1,000 quilts. After he was warmed up, I got him to just wear pjs and blanket and sheet. His temp came down. I ended up staying the night because Ma can barely take care of herself let alone trying to cope with Dad. Sat. morning, he was up, about and had cereal for breakfast. He grumped at Ma for hovering so figured he was back to normal, and I went home.
"You look horrible," said Himself as I flopped on my chair in the sunroom.
"Thanks, Kid. Just the kind of fuzzy welcome home feeling I was looking for."
"Rough night with your Dad?"
"No, he did alright. Just that I forgot how hot the upstairs room is. My God, how did we live like that? And my bed had tons of junk piled on it so I slept in the other bed. The other bed had junk too, but not so much that I couldn't pile it on a chair. There were too many peas in the bed and the pillow wasn't soft and comfy."
The Young One had come upstairs while I was whining.
"You sound like the Little Princess from the story," she chuckled.
"She was based on me. What's your point?"
"Guess you won't feel like cooking us supper because you didn't sleep well," Himself said flipping through the channels while the ballgame was in commercial. His comment was a statement and not a question.
"You got that right. Though it just wasn't because of two star accommodations at the hotel. Dad perked up around 10pm and he was looking for a playmate. So I sat up and chatted with him for an hour or so. Ma was busy shuffling papers. Around 11, I decided to go to bed. I'm heading through the livingroom and there's Ma standing in the middle of her papers with a candle and match that had to be yard long. She was burning papers in the fireplace."
"It's not funny."
"Don't you and your brother joke that a Zippo would do wonders to clean that place out?"
"Yeah, but I don't want to be in the middle of the house when it goes up! So I slept with one ear open listening to see if Dad was having any problems. Do they even have a smoke detector in the house?"
"I don't know."
"Well, I stayed awake wondering about that, and then trying to plan my escape route from the second floor. Do I go out my bedroom window, hang from the sill and drop hoping I'd fall into the bushes instead of the concrete where the clothes line is or do I go out the office window and jump to the concrete patio?"
"You wouldn't have to worry about jumping?"
"The fumes from the burning Styrofoam plates would probably kill you first."
"Thank you, Gretchen Sunshine. She's not burning the plates anymore. She's putting them through the dishwasher now."
"Hey! I know what you can get your mother for her birthday?"
"A fire extinguisher."