On Sunday (Mom’s only day off), I tried to cajole Mom into organizing the guest bedroom closet, which houses half of her collection of cheap clothes. You can’t walk into it without getting irritated by the plastic bags housing giant, billowy comforters that take up most of the floor and tangle with your feet like leeches.
Mom grumbled about not wanting to clean, but followed me into the guest room anyway.
In addition to the usual crap, there were several other bags crowding the floor. Mom brings five or so bags to and from work, and tosses them in random spots when she gets home.
I watched as she rummaged through everything, unearthing Tupperware, smashed newspaper clippings, various-SPF tinted moisturizer tubes, crumb-filled magazines, piles of scratch paper cut into random sizes, bobby pins, medical billing papers, crunchy Japanese broad beans, hairbrushes and library books featuring knitting tutorials, British writers and Taiwanese schoolteachers.
She paused when she reached a mysterious plastic bag.
“What’s this? Oh!”
A tube of salami and three packages of cheese.
“How long has this been here?” I asked.
She couldn’t remember. “Four days?” she guessed. She opened the pack of salami and began eating.
“Is that safe to eat?”
“Sure. It’s cured.” She was into a cheese packet now. “Want some?”
“If you die, I get your Vitamix,” Piper said.
“I get your All-Clad skillets,” Akela replied.
“Doesn’t anyone want any of my stuff?” I asked.
“I’ll take your trash cans,” Piper said after a while.
I own a bunch of attractive Japanese trash cans made from ayous wood. One of them cost me $70.
“What about my laptop?”
“I’d prefer your trash cans.”
“Uh . . . I’ll . . . " She couldn’t think of anything.
For Christmas, I gave Mom several presents, including a set of artisan felted wool coasters. The set consisted of two mustard yellow coasters and two royal blue coasters, with an artsy silkscreened design on the top of each coaster.
After a few months, I noticed that Mom consistently used the blue coasters on the correct side and the yellow coasters turned over to wrong side.
"You don’t like the yellow coasters?" I asked her one day.
[click image for more]