Thursday is R's day for taking Mother out. If it is my day off from work, he generously suggests I need the time on my own and don't have to accompany him.
But when I am on holidays, it is a fair call that I go too. R has his visit down pat, depart home at 10am, fill the car with petrol on the way and arrive at Mother's at 11. By 11.30 they have an early lunch, then it is Mother shopping where R firmly calls an end to shopping at 3.00 and usually gets home at 4.00 or shortly after.
This Thursday there was no getting out of for me. I had to go and after lunch R drove me back to Mother's to attend to her list of jobs. I cleaned her air con filters, which badly needed doing. I cleaned her exhaust fan covers, which badly needed doing. I cleaned the kitchen and dining room windows, which weren't so dirty. The house is falling apart but I was careful when cleaning the windows that have barely any putty left to hold them in. I emptied the vacuum cleaner, which did not need doing. I put the bins out. I cleaned the glass in her wall pictures.
Then I noticed a cob web on the ceiling so I found a broom to clean it away. One cob web was connected to others and whole sheets of cobwebs started falling from the ceilings of ever room I entered. It was like winding fairy floss around a stick as I removed all the webs.
When I was knee deep up to my arms in greasy exhaust fan cleaning, R rang. I can't find your mother, he said, after he returned from dropping me off. Look in the newsagent, I said. She will be buying a 70th birthday card. I later learnt I was right, but she was supposed to be at the bank when R returned.
R returned with Mother from shopping by 2.30. I was amazed that they returned so early. R told me in car on the way home that Mother was really spritely today.
I showed Mother the broom choked with cobwebs and she laughed and said, I am like my mother in my old age. I don't see the dirt. (note to blogmates, if I ever get like that, please shoot me).
After a lunch sandwich at the cafe I was still a little peckish and chose a hummingbird cake. It was just ok, in spite of me not really knowing what it is. R and Mother had scones, jam and cream. Mother asked if there was sugar in the scones. R replied no, you don't put sugar in scones. I replied, typical of you Mother, you never made us scones and so you don't know. Not true she said. I used to make them every Sunday afternoon but you had moved on by then. Probably quite true.
Then I went into reminiscing mode. Remember when Grandma made scones? She would have flour from one end of the kitchen to the other. Father when he built his mother in law's house he included a slide out pastry board but Grandmother never used it. It was a bloke type invention who had no idea of flour falling off a drawer sized board and onto the floor. Grandma was a good cook but oh, the mess in the kitchen she made. If we were lucky she would make a pie in a dish with a china steam vent planted in the middle.
I loved my grandma. I don't miss her now, but I remember her as been the kindest person ever in my life.