After a recent visit to the doctor's office, Ma wanted to go to the Big Orange Box Store. She needed new windows. The "men" have been slashing the windows. No amount of arguing or eye rolling would dissuade her.
"I need windows for the porch."
The porch was a structure Dad built some 50 odd years ago. When I was a kid, it was a place to play on a rainy day. In later years, it became a place to store the trash barrel, odds and ends, and the patio chair cushions.
With Popeye in the back seat mumbling "he wasn't going to pay", we went to the home improvement store.
We found a scooter for Ma to ride in. Last time we were here, Ma pushed her walker all the way to the back of the store where washers were located. I was glad we didn't have to listen to Screeee! Screeee! echoing through the store.
Ma hit the accelerator and roared down the main drag. So different from her careening down the aisles of the Mahket where pedestrians have to weave and dodge out of her way.
I found a window sales associate who kept directing his inquiries to me.
"Talk to her because she's interested in getting windows."
I stood next to Popeye while the salesman asked Ma questions.
"How wide are you windows."
Ma blinked like an owl. After 20 minutes of shrugging and blinking, the sales associate made an appointment to send a salesman to the house to measure the windows and to show some window samples.
Errand done or so I thought.
"I need a door for the kitchen."
"How wide is your door?"
The sales associate told Ma the salesman could measure the door when he came to measure the windows.
Good. Errand done.
"I need a fence."
Popeye and I both mumbled. Popeye still on the I'm not paying hobby horse and me I was tired of the home improvement goose chase.
We found a sales associate in the fencing aisle.
"I need a fence to keep them from parking their cars on my lawn," began Ma.
"How big is your yard?"
"I need the fence. It's terrible with the men in the yard."
The sales associate blinked at me over Ma's head.
I smiled politely. Yup, ragtime.
"It's terrible. They put beds in the yard and do things you can't really talk about."
"Oh. Well, you really need to talk to your building department because they regulate what kind of a fence you can put up."
He offered Ma some other helpful advice about building codes.
"Well, we seem to be done here," I announced.
As the sales associate moved by us, I thanked him for his time and his patience.
"I know what you're going through."