Things have been so crazy here lately, I feel I have whiplash– or I’m caught in a bad replay of that old Abbott and Costello bit about ‘Who’s On First?’
It was bad enough when Gill was flitting around Europe — from Bristol to Scotland to London to France and then every weekend for a month to London.
Then Crazy D took off for a week of camping, biking and general merriment in nature with his girlfriend. Judging by the amount of equipment they took, I assumed they were re-enacting the Donner expedition through the California mountains. Just to have a rough idea of where they’d be (to send the air ambulance in case of an emergency…and that’s just a Tuesday for Crazy D) I posed the question: “Where are you going? Will you be staying pretty much in one area? When do you plan to be back?”
“We’re taking the ferry to Manitoulin and biking and canoeing around there…we’ll be back on Sunday, a week from now.”
Fine…that meant, in Crazy D’s world, that he’d be IN province and would show up home in under three weeks.(And I checked to see that he hadn’t taken his passport.) I could work with that.
Then L’il Sis had booked her friends to bring a truck and do the heavy lifting for her move into her new apartment on the Wednesday. She began moving small stuff with her car, The Pig riding shotgun and being thoroughly confused by the upheaval in her world. Back and forth they went. I took one load of things with The Pig again riding shotgun in the afternoon. The truck arrived. All of a sudden, her stuff looked LARGE, unlike the truck. Her very heavy industrial sewing machine made the first trip, with various chairs, cupboards and other bulky objects. The bed went in round two. The Pig watched, her head tilted to one side, her ears perked up, trying to figure out whether she was coming or going. I felt her pain and disorientation. All I could give her by way of reassurance was a shrug.
When the friends were done for the day, they had pizza, The Pig walked on my kitchen table (in an ill-conceived plan to pounce on the pizza) and they left. L’il Sis went to spend the first night in her new place. The Pig went too. After their departure, I looked around the house. Besides the fact that one bed was missing, it didn’t look that different. The huge, heavy metal stand that was her ironing board, remained in place. As did , it seemed to me, most of her stuff.
I called her on the phone. “When will you be back for the rest of it?” I asked in such a tone as to elicit a cheery response of ‘right now’.
“Oh, I’ll be back first thing tomorrow morning…for the small stuff,” she said, obviously thinking that would soothe my nerves. But she continued, “But the heavy ironing stand and the bolts of fabric and the other stuff will have to be done over time…”
“How much time?” I grilled her. At this point, I was annoyed — if she was taking The Pig, the least she could do is take the stuff I DON’T want!
“Oh, and I’m going to have to bring the kitchen table back,” she confessed. “It’s too big for my kitchen.” Of course it is. It’s also too big for my basement…and garage. She apparently thought I was kidding when I announced ‘once it goes, it stays gone’.
L’il Sis spent the next day in and out, up and down. Sometimes The Pig stayed with me, sometimes she didn’t.
On one of her trips, I told her, “I got an email from Crazy D. He said he’ll definitely be back on Sunday.”
But hold on! Another email told a different story. “We ‘re at my girlfriend’s place. We came home a day early…we lost our tent poles a couple of days ago.”
How can you lose your tent poles, I wondered? And more to the point, how do you sleep without tent poles? Knowing Crazy D’s hatred of mosquitoes, I’m guessing he wouldn’t be sleeping outdoors with no covering. At least they were home with no ambulance being summoned.
“I’m staying here tonight but have to work in Toronto tomorrow so I’ll come stay here after that and come back to your place the next day.”
That would be today. Assuming he’d do his usual thing and arrive around noon in time for a ‘quick’ three-hour bike ride or two-hour stint at the gym, I prepared for his arrival. Then came the phone call. “Hi, Mom. I’m going to make a Costco run on the way home. Do we need anything?”
“Not that I can think of…when are you going to be home?”
“Oh, well, I have a couple of things to do…and then I may stop to get a few things I need…by mid-afternoon, at the latest. Dinnertime definitely. Well, maybe you shouldn’t plan on dinner for me…”
“Whoa,” I said. “I’ll just do the usual — pretend you’ll be home today, plan for tomorrow and start to worry if you aren’t here by the end of the week. Does that work for you?”
“Perfect, Mom! You understand…”
“Just as long as you’re here before I leave for B.C., Gill arrives and L’il Sis moves back to look after the pet birds…”
They come; they go. I haven’t a clue who’s on first, if there even IS a first; or who’s swinging the bat.