Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Favorite Daughter Suffers From Her Popularity

We've been cleaning out Mom's house room by room. Tuesday was the day for my bedroom. It's going to take more than one. Mom put all of her craft supplies in there. Every drawer is full, the dresser tops are full, the bed is covered, along with a quilt rack in the corner, and we don't want to know what makes a clanging sound under the bed behind the ruffle when a toe accidentally intrudes.

Here is the half-brother of The Elf on the Shelf. I call him The Santa on the Bed. Looks like he needs a little fattening up before Christmas rolls around.

My sister the ex-mayor's wife left The Pony and I there, and started working on her own bedroom. Hmpf. Like that's going to take very long. She has an itty-bitty closet, while mine covers one whole wall, with sliding hollow wooden doors that love to jump off the track. The bottom of my closet is filled with more crafts. The clothes rods are full of my old clothes, my dad's suits, assorted coats, and Sis's wedding dress and bridesmaid's dresses from various weddings of her friends. We had been working four hours when Sis said, "Are you about done with your room? All I have to do in here is go through Mom's recent clothes. The ones she wore all the time. They're in my closet."

The Pony and I looked at each other. We had cleaned out FIVE big black trash bags full of clothes to donate, and still had all the suits left, plus all the crafty items that Sis MIGHT let Hick take to the auction as long as he brings her a receipt to show that he's not cheating on her cut.

"No. We're not done. It's going to take a while."

("Mom. Her room is WAY smaller. That's why she's almost done. She didn't have as much.") The Pony is not so much a good whisperer as Sis is kind of hard-of-hearing.

"I can't help it that Mom liked me better, and I got the best room. So sad, you being thought of as older, yet didn't even get the big corner bedroom!"

"WHAT? I'll have to come in there. Huh. Why did you leave all of your clothes here? You should have taken them a long time ago."

"Well. Let's see. I moved to college. Then my first job. Then my second job. Then my third job. Then I went back to college for a year to get my master's degree. Then I moved to my fourth job. Then I got married. So you might say I didn't want to move all those clothes FIVE TIMES. You lived here. Commuted to college. Got your home-town job. Then only moved out of the house when you got married. So I guess that's why you moved out all of your stuff."

"Well. What are you going to do with all those encyclopedias in the top of your closet?"

"I don't know. They're too thick to burn. I don't have room for them at home. Nobody wants a donation of Compton's Encyclopedia from the 1970s. Maybe they'll go with the house."

"You can't do that."

"I know. But you don't seem to have a solution. Since when did they become MY encyclopedias?"

"They're in your room."

That they are. I stopped short of telling Sis her son could take them on his annual fishing trip. She was going through the hall closet and picking over Dad's leisure suits. "He told me to get the blue one. Do you think it's this? Or this?"

"Oh, it's gotta be that first one! It's a classic!"

"Yeah. They have this tournament every year, where they all wear the wildest suit they can find. They have to fish in it all day. Then they have a banquet that night, and give awards for the best suit, and the biggest fish, and all kinds of stuff."

If only they gave an award for the fisherman most well-versed in standard knowledge from the 1970s, we'd be in business.


  1. Too bad it's not a plaid leisure suit. You know, the ones that looked they were patchwork denim but in reality were 100% double knit.

  2. If fish are brain food, maybe I should use an encyclopedia as bait. I couldn't do any worse.

  3. Your picture made me smile. It's...I don't know...such mom-stuff.

  4. Obsolete encyclopedias one day will be collector items. Leisure suit fishing, ha ha ha.Ya'll have so much fun in backwoods.

  5. Sioux,
    No, not patchwork, but still polyester. AND it had the short jacket, not the long one. Kind of like THIS, in baby blue:

    Except it wasn't a costume!

    Heh, heh. Maybe you could...wait for it...CATCH A WHOLE SCHOOL OF FISH!

    From the looks of my old bedroom, Mom was about to start construction on her proposed craft boutique.

    We are not throwing away the Comptons. Hick will keep them in the BARn until he builds a schoohouse down by the creek. Where they will become squirrel food, most likely.

    We are a simple people. Put on your overalls, knock the cobwebs out of you corncob pipe, and come on down! We'll leave the lantern on for you!

  6. Unfortunately, people don't want encyclopedias anymore. The Internet is so much easier and doesn't take up any space.

    1. But the internet doesn't SMELL like KNOWLEDGE! I took a good deep whiff of those kind-of-like-leather-bound tomes. White with blue. Gold-edged pages. It took me right back to my childhood, evenings after supper, whipping up a report for school the next day.

      I can only imagine the sacrifice my parents made to buy those for us the year we moved out of a trailer and into our house.

  7. From my long (well, 7 years) experience as a bookseller I can confirm Stephen's comment. Encyclopedias have absolutely no value any more. I bought our last set . . and Encyclopedia Brittanica from the mid 1980's . . at a thrift store for less than $20, I believe. And I gave them away to another thrift store in the early 2000's that probably dumped them straight into the dumpster.

    1. Can you send a notarized letter to my sister the ex-mayor's wife? One day she's demanding I take those encyclopedias out of the house, the next day she's interrogating me about what I did with the encyclopedias! I think she has a notion that I'm a black-market dealer of 1970s memorabilia, and raking in a fortune with items I pretend are worthless.