“Very strange conversation about UFOs and eternity going on in the next room”

My cute li’l timehop app served up the title’s tweet from seven years ago. I don’t remember tweeting this and I don’t remember the conversation but I am pretty sure that it took place between the GG and The Commander and you never really knew what kind of stuff those two would get off on. Make no mistake, I am glad that they had the wonderful relationship that they did.

It reminded me of an earlier visit, waaaaay back in 2003 when The Engineer and both our parents were all still alive and our branch of the family was still totally intact (at least I thought it was). I was not formally employed in 2003 and that allowed us to travel to the Great White North pretty much whenever we wanted to. Mouse was a sophomore in high school and had her learner’s permit for driving and so we headed up north on a junket during her mid-winter break. We spent a weekend at Houghton Lake with some Cfam folks and then on Monday, we drove on up to Sault Ste. Siberia.

We were greeted by a surprise when we got up there. My Old Coot met us at the front door with the unwelcome news that, “Fran is sick!” Sick? Sick? I had just talked to her the day before. She didn’t sound sick then. What did he mean? Yes, she was sick. It was some sort of viral thing (I think) but it was *awful* and, for the first time ever, my mother looked OLD and FRAIL. Apparently, the old coot had said that they should call me at Houghton Lake and tell us not to come up. The Commander told him NO, I think we need them.

She slowly recovered over the week that we were there and I think we were helpful. We cooked and did laundry and other chores and looking back on that time, I know that my dad could not have taken care of all that stuff by himself. Maybe my mother didn’t want to eat much that week but dad certainly needed to, to keep up his own health in order to take care of her. He was healthy at that time but in no way was he able to handle cooking and cleaning chores. Well, most cleaning chores. The old coot was always fantastic at running a vacuum cleaner. I did not inherit that DNA.

We had a really good time up there hanging out and skiing the Algonquin trails and visiting Radical Betty [and making sure my dad had something to eat besides PBJ sandwiches]. Driving down the alley behind my childhood house on Superior is a special memory.

I knew that The Comm was truly on the mend one morning when I was in the Computer/Sewing Room (remember this was 2003 and we weren’t all getting online with our iPhones). I don’t remember what I was doing but I heard the GG and The Comm in the living room having some kind of conversation about nuclear bombs. I don’t remember the details but I knew that she was on an upward trend.

The pic is certainly not from that winter weekend in 2003. It is from Radical Betty’s memorial celebration in 2009, held in the parking lot between the Moomincabin and the Old Cabin. The Engineer and my old coot were both dead by then and I am not sure who The Comm is pointing her face at or what she is saying. I think she was sitting next to Bugs and Horsey but pretty sure they were NOT on the receiving end of that incriminating face. Or maybe it was just a Resting Face. But I don’t think so. But she may have been making a joke. Hmmm… She looks a lot like her *eccentric* older sister Roberta. She would not like that…

3 Responses to ““Very strange conversation about UFOs and eternity going on in the next room””

  1. Margaret Says:

    Love this post and the memories. I too look back at photos and think of all the memories when life seemed to be “intact.” My dad does much of the housework, including vacuuming and mopping at age 88. 🙂

  2. Paulette Zych Attie Says:

    I remember taking many photos during that memorial service. (It was a beautiful memorial.) I also remember the Commander with Bubs and Harry, and with Jean Boult. They were sharing so many memories.

  3. kayak woman Says:

    Paulette, this may well have been a photo that you took! <3

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