When cold weather adds
its charisma to the scene we are both thankful and peeved at the same
time. The thanks is for the break from yard work and outdoor projects. If
we are peeved, it is because it's the season for colds, toothaches,
earaches, automobile malfunctions, depression, and not to mention the
discomfort from shivering in the frigid temperatures.
“I've been reminding
Mother about being careful with going out into the cold,” Verna's sister
was, as usual, letting her older sister know about the care she gave their
“Is she listening to
you,” Verna chuckled. The sisters and brothers all did a balancing act
with their 92-year-old mother. Native American women don't age, they sage.
The old adage, “Old Indians never die, they just fade away,” was stated to
be a joke but there was truth in the observation. They had to remember
that when they were dealing with their mother. She was like the
grandmother on the Beverly Hillbillies, “little and wiry.”
“I get a little
beside myself,” at this point in time Verna's sister was not amused. “The
office where I work is colder than a walk-in 'fridge. My employer is that
old Native American culture whose whole body is face. I suppose it is
my white blood telling me I'm freezing. And then, I worry about mother
falling or something at home. I would appreciate your calling her in the
morning. I think her blood pressure is up.”
“Sure. I can do
that. I'll go in to check on her.” Verna wanted to try to help in some
The next morning
before Verna could get out of the house the telephone rang. It was her
“Do you know where
“She doesn't answer
the phone?” Verna asked.
“Well, no. Matter of
fact, she doesn't. Do you think she is okay?” Her brother asked.
“I'm supposed to be
checking on her but I wanted to let her get her shower. I'm always afraid
she will try to answer the phone and then slip and fall.
“Okay, well, I'll see
what I can do.” Verna's brother reassured her.
Verna waited but
there was no return call, so she picked up the phone to call her other
“Do you know where
Mother is?” Verna asked.
“Well, no I don't,
matter of fact. I'm sick and can't get out.”
“No! no, don't, I'll
drive in town and check.” But, still waiting for a call, she didn't know
whether to leave the phone, call the fire department for them to check or
just hope someone would call.
In just a little
while the phone rang. “Hi! Are you lost?” Her mother's voice sounded like
someone who was 30 not 92. “What do you want?”
Lady! Don't you think it would be a good idea to call in every once in a
while” Verna was smiling as she felt she had become the disciplining
mother and her mother the wayward teen.
“Oh, I was busy.”
Her mother was off hand in her answer. “I had to go pick up my friend from
the hospital. She had out-patient surgery on her eyes and couldn't drive.
Of course, I couldn't just leave immediately. I had to get her settled in
“How did you know I
was looking for you.” Verna was curious.
called.” Verna's mother was obliging in her answer. “Listen Honey!
Lighten up! You worry too much, first thing you know you'll be getting
old. Get around now, we don't want to miss Wilma Mankiller's book signing