Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)
TITLE: Come Again?
By Darlene Casino
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“But mom, it’s only the first of September and we have to wait until they stock those winterizing kits.” I whimpered into the phone. “We’ll be up to take care of it the end of the month.”
Here I was, sitting on the deck enjoying the summer sun and mom was already cold. Every fall it was the same thing, but after all, my mom is well into her senior years. Surely it wasn’t too much to expect that one should
be warm at her age!
As promised, a matter of weeks later we gathered up our supplies including the plastic sheets and our trusty hair dryer. We were off on our 3 hour trek to the north country and to mom’s 2 room apartment in an elderly high rise
“That’s so much better, can’t you feel the difference already?” she asked
when the job was completed.
“Not really, mom,” we panted as we wiped the perspiration from our foreheads. “ We were noticing how cozy and warm the room is with your oven on.”
Several weeks later we learned that the adhesive tape had come loose in spots and the drafts were back. Another trip was made. By this time, she was using her Eden-Pure heater to supplement the building’s radiant heat. The television advertisement for the unit gave assurance that it could heat hundreds of square feet by itself; certainly more that this little space.
Checking her apartment more closely we noted each chair in the sitting area had a lap blanket, which she used. Stored in her closet were 2 electric
laprobes. On her bed were 3 blankets and a spread. And there she sat wearing a short sleeved jersey, lightweight slacks and a short sleeved cotton
“Mom, don’t you think you’d be warmer in your sweats?” I inquired. “Not
really…besides the sweatshirts choke me.” she responded. “Did you know that heater goes of and on?”
“Yes mom. It’s a thermostat and when the room reaches the right temperature it shuts off. It’s also a safety feature if the unit overheats.”
Leaving her this time I resolved to find a way to warm her up. After all, Christmas was just around the corner.
Christmas came and went with regular comments over the phone of her ongoing discomfort. Her granddaughter gave her a fleece blanket for her bed.
“Does that help, mom?” I lovingly asked. “Oh yes, it’s wonderful while I’m in bed.”
“What do you think of your fleece pajamas?”
“Oh, they were pretty…I’ll save them for good.
Not ready to give up I inquired about the insulated under ware. “They’re pretty,” I noted, “not at all like the old fashion kind. If they help, I’ll get you a couple more sets.”
“I haven’t tried them yet.” She said in a tone that indicated that she was through with this line of conversation. Finally, she decided to make her view clear. “Look daughter- (ouch, I recognized that tone,) insulated underwear is for outdoors and I don’t intend to wear those things indoors and roast alive.”
Have I told you that my mom is a fiercely independent woman that is somewhat set in her ways?
While my mind scrambled to catch up with her reasoning, she went on:
“Next year I’m going to get me one of those fireplaces my sister has.”
“But mom, that’s only a fancier model of the one you have.” I tried to reason with her. She paused for a moment and answered, “Oh no, she doesn’t have to put water in hers.”
In my head I felt my brain flip one-way and then another as if competing in some gymnastic event. Little electrical charges seemed to pulsate throughout my body, biting here and there. Finally I was able to utter the words in shear amazement.
“Mom, you also have an electric unit. Where could you put any water?”
A long silence followed…
It’s almost time to make the trip again: time to check on her and her surroundings, to give the hugs and to take her to lunch at her favorite restaurant—Denny’s. I have one thing more to try. We’ll exchange units since mine is a bit more powerful.
How long is it till Spring?
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