Zesty Italian hot dogs

First of all, Mouse took this frooog pic, along with a bunch of others.

So tonight talking to the GG on the phone was almost like talking to The Commander on the phone the last couple years of her life. As Uber Kayak Woman once said about phone convos with HER mother at the end of her life, “it’s kind of like being in a Fellini film.”

I would be trying to ask a very specific question about something and The Comm would be rambling along on her own tangent. At one point, she had received a couple units of blood during a bout in the hoosegow. She was on the mend and we returned home and I was on the phone with her at Cubelandia. I asked her if she was feeling better after getting the blood. She could not process the word blood, at least not coming at her through our iPhones. I was practically YELLING “blood, blood, blood” over and over walking around Cubelandia’s lunchroom. And people at Cubelandia think I am mild-mannered and quiet… FINALLY I said something like, “You know, that red stuff that runs through your veins.” Oh. Yeah. Blood. Was her reply.

The Comm was not always like that. When the beach urchins were young, I called her because it was *fun* to talk to her. She was sharp as a whip and would dish up all kinds of stuff. My brother used to refer to her as something like “The Birch Point Beach Telegraph”. We would gossip forever and I am NOT a telephone talker so that says something.

Mom never lost her marbles so to speak but she did have trouble processing language at the end of her life. A speech therapist friend of Liz’s once put a name to this for me but I can’t remember it. Oddly, I could *usually* understand her. Like one time she landed in the hoosegow and we made an emergency trip up to the yooperland. We expected her to be gravely ill but when we got there she was talking a blue streak and at one point sung the praises of the local university. “It has a wonderful bicycle program.” I think I was the only person in the room who knew that she was talking about the “nursing” program. And then there was “the woman with the two boys.” I eventually figured out “the woman with the two boys” was Mrs. Wilcox and her two boys had taken classes with my mom when they were in high school. Mrs. Wilcox also has two daughters.

I am not writing this stuff to disrespect my mom. This was hard to deal with for both of us and I was her only living child although I had wonderful hands-on help from the GG and some of my cousins along the way. What got us through it was that we were able to maintain a sense of humor. Mostly anyway, there were some fugly moments but that is life.

The GG is not anywhere near in the same shape as The Commander was. He is up at the moomincabin to open it and will be doing North Country Trail maintenance tomorrow. With luck he will not be there when I arrive so that I can orient myself a bit. Our phone/text miscommunications are more related to typical male/female stuff or engineer/designer stuff, if you will.

Oh man, this was certainly not what I planned to write about tonight but then I had a phone convo with the GG in which he said he had bought Zesty Italian Hotdogs and my brain went from there.

2 Responses to “Zesty Italian hot dogs”

  1. Isa Says:


  2. Margaret Says:

    I’m sure that Patt wouldn’t want to be remembered the way he was in the last 6 months of his life. So, I’m glad that your stories of your mom are balanced with how she REALLY was. I worry about how off the wall I’ll be when I get old(er), especially if I’m sick. I’m already off the wall!