I love my mom.
She is an endless source of frustration and amusement.
She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.
She is also one of the funniest. And, I don't mean funny as is she should have been onstage cracking jokes like a comedienne. She is funny like; strange/funny things happen to her. Strange/funny things happen when she's around. She does strange things. She does strange funny things.
After my dad died my mom started traveling, a lot. I'm not sure what it was that made her just up an start but she did. It could have been that she didn't want to spend a lot of time in a house where she was alone and that daddy had put so much of himself into. I know that if it had been me I probably would have wanted out of the place that I had just spent almost 40 years in with my husband.
So she starts traveling. 3 months in Africa; 3 weeks in Japan for a wedding; a month or so in South America, another couple of months in Africa, a quick pop over to Europe, and numerous trips around the U.S. For 5 or 6 years she would spend 3 to 5 months of each year traveling. It was getting crazy. People would call me trying to tract her down. I became her answering machine.
Ah, Lois isn't here right now.
Oh hello Peggy. How are you?
Uh huh, you're trying to find mom.
Mr. Smith from church died. I'm sorry to hear that.
Right. You know that mom is traveling, right?
No, she won't be home in time for the funeral. She's out of the country.
No, I can't reach her. She's living in a hut in Africa.
A hut in AFRICA.
No, huts don't normally have phones or internet access.
No no. Don't worry. She calls whenever she gets into Kampala.
THAT'S IN UGANDA.
Peggy? Have you got your hearing aids in?
One year my cousin LeeAnn's husband Bill calls. Seems he's going to visit their daughter Jill in Australia and wants to know if mom and her sister (his mother-in-law) want to go along for the ride. Her immediate answer is yes. Arrangements are made. Flights are booked. Passports are readied. And mom starts walking. Not to Australia. That would be silly. Just around the neighborhood.
It seems that Bill has set up a hiking trip in New Zealand for them all and she needed to get in shape.
So she heads to REI to buy boots, socks, a good hat and a backpack. That's right, a backpack. This trip entailed hiking 30 miles. 10 miles a day for 3 days. From one sleeping hut to another, meals provided. All very civilized. Mom informs me that everyone does this in New Zealand and that it is called "tramping". I promptly inform her that I always knew she was a tramp. She didn't have to hike 30 miles to prove it.
Off she goes tramping.
These two old ladies (my mom was 60 and Aunt Ruth was 70) put 20+ pound packs on their backs and then hiked for 30 miles; scrambling over rocks, fording creeks and sleeping in huts. Again. What is it with my mom and huts.
At one point some nice Brittish men (my mom called them boys so they must have been about 30) came upon these 2 women struggling up the rocks. I'm pretty sure huffing and puffing. The British Boys graciously offered to take the old ladies' (probably not the term that the nice men used) backpacks up to the next campsite for them. How sweet! Mom and Aunt Ruth, the intripid women that they are said, "Oh thank you but we're OK." The nice Brits promised them tea when they got up to the campsite. Several, and I mean really truly several hours later mom and Aunt Ruth made it to the campsite. Low and behold the nice Brits had tea all ready for them. Mom was very impressed.
Mom and Aunt Ruth made it the whole 30 miles and can now officially be called TRAMPS.
I hope this story made you laugh a little. I'm making it my Laughter Spin for the week because my mom makes me laugh. Of course, I don't always get in on the Spin Cycle every week. I like to mix it up. It keeps Jen on her toes. Hi Jen! How's your toes!