08 November 2011

We Didn't Kill Her, So We Get To Keep Her

My mother, known to you all as MomMom, has officially moved in with us. In theory, Pappou has as well, but he's spent most of the past two months traveling for business, or moving small items to the condo in Florida. He'll be back before Thanksgiving, and then they will both retire to warmer climes for the winter.

Since my mother came to stay, we've experienced two devastating weather events. The first, Hurricane Irene, produced massive flooding in our town, and knocked out our power for four days. This time, a freakish pre-Halloween snowstorm dropped a foot of snow, and we were in the dark for a week.

Coincidence? Or is some nefarious outside source suggesting my mother geetttt oouuuttt?

My money's on Pappou.

Oh sure, he says he appreciates our hospitality, but he hasn't stayed here for more than three days in three months. And those days were quite pleasant, weather-wise. He was conveniently absent for both Irene and the Halloween Horror. And he has mentioned how he'd be perfectly happy in Florida all year long...

Well, we're not giving her back! We're having too much fun, except for the times when we've almost killed her. When she's home, Mom's tethered to an oxygen concentrator that we've named Bertha. Bertha is a large filtering system that sucks in air, and produces pure oxygen for Mom's fibrotic lungs. Bertha runs on electricity. You see the problem.

We knew Irene was coming, so we made sure we had plenty of oxygen tanks, which can be used without power. We weren't quite as prepared for the Halloween Horror, so we had to call the oxygen supply company the day after the storm. The boys carted all her empty tanks up our steep driveway, and we laid in the new supplies. We didn't trust how long the oxygen would last through the night, so I got up at 4 a.m., and snuck in to check the meter. It was about 58 degrees in the house at night, so Mom went to bed in the Captain's flannel pants and hoodie. All I could see was her nose. And her breath. Yay for oxygen!

Two days into the outage, the Captain had the brilliant idea to call a friend and borrow his generator. More than anything else, we wanted to plug Mom back into Bertha. When the generator rumbled to life, we found Bertha, a space heater, and a lamp. Everyone flocked to the living room, and we basked in the glow. The little boys fell asleep snuggled under the blankets on the couch, with MomMom in the middle. Right where she belongs.


  1. My best friend's mother was visiting her in New Hampshire when this snowstorm blew in. They, too, have a generator, but it still makes things, um interesting. Yes? :)

  2. My coffee table looked just the same with the vast collection of candles on it! So cute with the two little guys snoozing with their grandmother. Glad things are returning to normal, although I got to say I'm getting tired of the sound of chainsaws.

  3. Ah, so wonderful to have MomMom! (for all of us, yes?)

  4. Aww...cute. I don't know how you did it, but I'm thankful that the oxygen company was able to get through the roads and deliver.

  5. Oh, I doubt Pappou would attempt it since anyone acquainted with your mom's indomitable spirit at all would never expect her to be intimidated by a little thing like weather catastrophes.

  6. Anonymous10.11.11

    I'm catching up with everyone now, and what a great picture you have here for me. Because, ya know, I'm sure that's why you shared it...

  7. @Julie: I did, indeed, post it with you in mind! That's your buddy Five on the right; quiet only because he's sleeping.

    @lora: You are correct! MomMom soldiared on, hooded and gloved. The family checked in from all over the U.S., and her standard text was "I'm fine." She's a tough cookie.

    Pappou is Greek, so I thought he might have some ancient weather gods on call, but you're right--I don't think he was behind it.

    @Delia: I was surprised they could maneuver around the wires, but we're happy they made it! We are still thoroughly stocked for the rest of Mom's time here. (fingers crossed)

    @bobbi: Yes! And now we know we can Skype you!

    @KarenB: My armoire is full of half-burned candles that we keep just for outages! The sawing appears to finally be done here. Wait...okay, I think that's just a leaf blower...

    @Carrie: We have a house that comfortably accomodates nine people on a regular basis, but when there's only light in two rooms, it starts to feel a little bit like "Little House on the Prairie."

  8. @Carrie" I meant "Little House in the Big Woods." Perhaps a review is in order?


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