This is the first time I’ve ever been kicked out of a place that I’ve rented. The reservationist where we are staying (a place I booked online) is worried that the condo’s generator will not be able to keep up due to an overbooking. If the air-conditioning goes out, customers will be upset. Since I was the last to book a room, I am the first to be canceled. So far the air works fine, but she’s certain this good omen won’t last. Nothing like solving a problem before it occurs!
Finding a new place to rent without telephone access or transportation other than our own two feet defines this challenge to the full extent of the word—challenging!
As I write this post, because writing is how I handle most of my life’s dilemmas great and small, my mom is walking three miles into town to ask the bakery lady if we can rent the apartment above her store. This is a pinnacle description of my mom and how she gets through life, calm and determined. You may know her as easy going, gentle. Soft and kind are perfect words to add. But, put her on a mission and she is relentless. She wants to make sure she not only has a place to sleep tonight, but also has some food to go with it. A bakery is a divine solution.
Traveling takes adjusting. My mom was not thrilled to buy warm eggs off the shelf at the corner store and whole milk instead of her desirable skim. Never mind that she grew up on a farm and that’s exactly how she ate eggs as a child or milk from the cows she milked with her own hands. Grudgingly she has conceded and we had a delicious egg salad sandwich for lunch today.
I will admit I’m not in Minnesota anymore. My grocery spree resulted in stale animal crackers that tasted like soap, which my kids scarfed up without notice. Happy not to have wasted travel money, I wonder what kind of mother I am that I wasn’t worried my children could get sick from eating four-year-old shelved crackers.
Before I could answer my rhetorical question about my qualifications to be a mother, my own mom came back with her house hunt findings. The first thing she said to me was “here’s the deal.” Now any time a conversation begins with here’s the deal, whatever proceeds is probably not going to be much of a deal. In fact, whatever is the deal will most likely be a deal-breaker.
“The bakery is ni-ce….,” my mom said, pronouncing nice with two syllables, emphasizing both.
“What’s wrong with it?” I asked.
“Well, there’s a double bed. I think you would call it a double-bed. I told the lady, Janis, the owner–we’re on first name basis now–I told her that was fine because your kids always sleep with you anyway.”
“We don’t usually all three sleep in a double bed at the same time in 99 degree heat, Mom!”
“No…no…there’s a chair, too. I think it could be a bed. Maybe Maddi would be able to sleep on that.”
My mom conveniently forgot to mention that the chair-that-could-be-a-bed was located in the kitchen, a detail I didn’t find out about until the next morning when I told my mom I was blogging about her.
“Okay, and where will you sleep?” I asked.
“Well, that’s the other thing…there’s something that’s not really a couch—sort of a…”
“A futon?” I interrupted.
“Well, not really a futon or a bed—it’s more like a table with a mattress on it,” she said. “It should work.”
“Does it have a kitchen?”
“Yes, it does,” she said. “But, no swimming pool. And I had to ask about the geckos. Janis said that they eat the mosquitoes and that we wouldn’t want mosquitoes.”
“So, geckos are an amenity?” I couldn’t believe we were leaving a two bedroom condo with a pool and actual beds due to a power outage that had not yet outed for a one-room space decorated by pieces of furniture that could be considered beds if one used their imagination.
The double fudge brownie maker also agreed to throw in a chocolate chip cookie if we rented from her.
To be continued…