You know, I've learned a lesson this past week, folks, while I've been home with my mum. If you want great service everywhere you go, and for everyone you meet to smile at you and try to be helpful. If you want traffic to stop in all four directions when you attempt to cross a parking lot. If you want people to listen attentively, and laugh at your jokes, and give you a big hug when you leave. Then always, always travel with a ninety year old. Preferably one with a walker, who chats with all and sundry, and doesn't mind using the odd profanity. A smattering of profanity seems to go over really well.
|The old farmhouse looks a bit lonely against that grey sky.|
As you may have guessed, I'm home in New Brunswick this week. And Mum and I have been busy, out and about a lot, which is why I haven't posted for a while. We've had appointments. Been to the bank, and shopping for glasses, and for books, and for a new chair for mum. One of those electric powered recliners which will also help her to get to her feet. We've had people at the house to help us arrange some home help. She's had her hair done, and a massage, and the neighbours have stopped by, and family has come for tea. I've been busy on the phone as well, calling agencies, and waiting for call backs, and generally trying to nail down some arrangements for Mum before I fly back to Ottawa in a day or two.
And I will say that, when we've been out and about, everyone everywhere we've been has been wonderful. At Mum's bank, the manager came out of her office to greet us, and shepherd us into our appointment. The young man who has handled her financial affairs for a few years now is always lovely to her. He smiles and chuckles a lot when we're there. Last summer when we were in his office on Mum's ninetieth birthday, he surreptitiously texted his manager, and she arrived at his door a few minutes later with a birthday card and a huge cupcake.
The new young eye doctor Mum saw this week was patient, and thorough, and jovial. The girls who helped her pick out her new glasses were equally kind. Even the ones who were helping other customers joined in our laughter as we left. And book shopping at Gus's store was lovely, as it always is. With Gus helping us choose books, he and mum insulting each other, lovingly of course, then his escorting us to the car carrying Mum's book bag. Mum's not getting around as good this year as she was last, and maneuvering her and her walker down the step from Gus's door to the parking lot is a feat of engineering, and good humour. Me on the front, Gus on the back, suggesting that it might be easier if he just pushed Mum into the open car door, and all of us laughing.
Mum and I have marvelled this week at how kind and patient and cheerful everyone has been. It's as if the whole world is ready to chat, and share a smile, or a laugh. Why is that, do you think? Is it her age? Or is it because Mum talks to everyone, and I do mean everyone? Or is it that she doesn't mind using the odd expletive in the face of minor adversity, like not being able to maneuver her walker around something? I'm not talking about angry invective here. More a rueful muttering, a verbal rolling of the eyes, laughing at herself, "what the heck am I doing that for?" kind of expostulation. Yep. It seems to me that everyone, but everyone, loves to hear a ninety year old woman say "shit" when she bangs her walker into a door frame.
|My snowy friend|
We haven't been running the roads the entire week. That's my attempt at building a mini-snowman, above. I was supposed to be shovelling the deck. We had quite a bit of snow one day, which was good because on that day we just stayed at home. Read our books. Made a big pot of chili, and a pan of homemade biscuits. And watched Death Comes to Pemberly for maybe the fifth time.
But when we've been out and about, whether in stores, or banks, or doctor's offices, or just walking across the parking lot, we've been treated royally. In fact when cars stopped in all four directions as we left the mall and headed to the car one day, I suggested Mum might want to attempt the royal wave. But instead we just smiled and nodded. And kept moving.
I will say that all this royal treatment has restored my faith in people ... at least a little.
And made me a bit regretful that I don't get to travel with a ninety year old all the time.
How about you folks? What have you been up to in your travels lately? I know that some of you will have been bracing yourselves for major weather events. So, do tell.