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Monday, June 21, 2004

Tammi = Trouble 

Part of the reason I came home was for my Mother's retirement. I hated the thought that, after all these years, we weren't doing something to celebrate the next leg in life.

So I do what I do best. Cause trouble. I talk with my sister, we decide when the best day would be, I make a few phone calls and voila! Instant Surprise Party. Except.....Mama Vi HATES surprise parties. I know from a long history of pulling them off and getting in trouble afterwards.

Let's see - the first one was just after my Dad died. It was October, and Mom's birthday. 10/16 is my Dad's birthday and Mom's is shortly after that. She was so sad. I just wanted to cheer her up. I KNOW. A Party. So, at 10 years of age and flashes of creative genius showing through I pull off the Party of the Decade. Invite all the family (24 Aunts & Uncles with at least 30 cousins), the entire Church (close to 80 people showed up) and her friends from work (she managed 100 woman). Ask the Aunts to help cook - ham, roast beef, potatoes, pies, pies, pies oh and some vegetables. And did I mention Pie? Pastor agreed to keep her busy in the afternoon so we could pull things together. As we are setting up the food tables someone asks about the plates and such. Well, it's a party, damn-it. We use the good china. (that may have been what pushed Mom over the edge.) Even then no one really argued with me so China it was. Let's cut to the chase. Mama was not amused. Not one bit. That party, and my grounding afterwards, is still a bit of a legend in this town.

Same thing when she got her GED (minus the china and par down the number of people). When she turned 70 - we surprised her with a party in South Carolina. Just family but still - gotcha!! So, this is really the last big milestone. I had to do it. Really, I did.

Anyway, Mama decided she wanted to make a pot roast for family on Sunday. My sister and I let her make her plans. Dawn took care of the food, I arranged and shopped. Mama and I get up early Sunday and head off to church. We stopped at the cemetery and then head to the house. Dawn is due at 4:00 for pot roast, people are due at 2:00 for Mama. I know she'll want to get dinner started pretty soon, but I got to stop her. If she cooked a big dinner and it went to waste I can't begin to think of the trouble I'd be in.

We get home and I ask Mom what she's gonna wear for the afternoon. She tells me and I just smile. Perfect. She steps into the bathroom and I realize it's time. Time to confess. I open the door and shock her. Then I tell her Dawn and I decided to do Pot Roast on Monday since we invited a few people over for a retirement thing. She sat there with that "I'm gonna kick your ass" look I know so well. I back up, shutting the door while mumbling something about letting her have a moment to digest it all. 20 minutes later she came out to the kitchen. I think saying she wasn't real happy about all this is putting it mildly.

Dawn did an outstanding job with the food! Oh My Goodness. She arrives after I call to let her know it's clear. Mom still isn't talking. We get everything set up, do the decorations outside and it's about time for people to arrive. Standing in the kitchen, staring at all that food I put my arm around my sainted Mother's shoulders and say "Happy Retirement Mama". She turns and looks at me, and flips me off with her pinky.

"Mom, you do realize that it's not the action, it's the intent behind the action that matters".

With a rebellious look on her face she slowly raises her hand, and flips me off again!

Yeah, that's My Mom!!


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