I was off my regular schedule this morning. By the time I had showered and made a shopping list, I remembered that I had not called my mother as usual to check in. That was a problem. She hesitates to call during the summer months, lest she wake the sleepyhead Genius. Then she worries that something is wrong if she doesn't hear from me. Yet I was on the way to Walmart for the weekly supplies. To call would delay my trip by perhaps thirty minutes. On a good day.
The Pony and I left as planned. When we got to a manageable section of road, I handed him my phone. "Call Grandma for me." I figured I could check in quickly so she wouldn't worry.
"Hey, we're on our way to town. Just checking in to tell you we're all fine. I only have a minute. Do you need anything from Walmart?"
"I'm planning to go to Walmart later this afternoon. I need to get...what was it...my list is downstairs..." Of course I didn't want her to get her list. But that sounded like the plan. She's very thorough, my mom. I knew I had to nip that list trip in the bud, but without hurting her feelings. Especially when she said, "I'm upstairs now." That meant TWO flights of steps to fetch her shopping list.
"Hey! Did you finish those barbecued sausages Genius brought you yesterday?"
"Oh, no! I ate one last night. But I'm saving the other one for tonight."
"Do you know what goes good on them? Slaw."
"What? What goes with them?"
"I can't hear you. You're breaking up."
"Still didn't get it. Say it again."
"I have some slaw. I've been putting horseradish sauce on them. But I might get some more slaw when I go to town. I think it's on my list..."
"I really have to go now. I'm driving. I'm coming into town with the lights. I need both hands to go through those crooked lanes under the overpass."
"Oh. Okay. I'll let you go."
"All right. Bye."
"Is everyone okay? How about The Pony? How's he doing?"
"He's fine. Right behind me. I've really gotta go."
"Okay. Well...I'll get off of here now. You have a really good day."
"I will. Bye."
"Oh...well, I'll let you go. Bye."
That was close. I was already through the first stoplight, jostling for position with a panel truck for Hardee's. I handed the phone back to The Pony. "Make sure that goes off."
I'll call Mom again tonight. To hear what she got at the store. I'm her eight-dollar daughter, you know.