“And I thought you’d be in college,” I spat back, belatedly realizing that comment would nullify my winning Mother-of-the-Year. It’s Day Three of The Great Ice Storm of 2015. We are all a little edgy. I’m just thankful that we are still alive and nobody’s threatened to eat the dog. We ran out of bread and milk. We still have toilet paper though. Single ply.
What Boy Child doesn’t know is that many of his Nashville classmates are the result of the Great Ice Storm of ’94. He never questioned all of those November birthday parties as he was growing up. Back in 1994, the ice storm was bigger. More trees fell down. More newscasters freaked out. We didn’t have heat. We made our own. And we LIKED it. We walked naked in the ice to Sportsman’s Grille and it was uphill both ways.
Boy Child and I stared out the window. The ice turned our yard into a fairy tale. A Disney movie. Diamond-like crystals twinkled from the trees, danced in the sunlight. A slick coating of glass entombed the sleeping Adirondack rockers as they waited for a prince’s magic kiss to awaken them. The baby magnolias we just planted bent like obsequious waiters. I could order bread from them. And maybe some milk.
Girl Child muttered under her breath in the next room. We think she made a deal with an entity for these days off of school. The term paper was due. The term paper was not completed. Each day school was closed was a day she had reprieve. That must have been one heckuva – dare I say helluva – deal she made. If I hear Charlie Daniels playing fiddle in the background, I’ll know.
My attention focused again toward Daisy. Poor thing. Ice doesn’t become her. It’s as if the weight of the ice makes her sag even more. Boy Child wants to go ahead and paint Daisy’s outside. I understand. I would like to have a tummy tuck. My Dunlop has reached epic proportions. (For the southern-uninitiated: My gut done lopped over my belt.) However, tucking this tummy before it loses some girth would make no more sense than painting Daisy before she is waterproof.
I honestly don’t know what the next step for Daisy should be. Continue with demolition? Fix what has already been revealed? Park her in the front yard and call her an art installation? “Trailer Trash: A Study of Metal in Cold Weather.” Girl Child’s term paper is on Dadaism and the movement of art and anti-art during the first World War. I could weld a couple of porcelain water fountains onto Daisy’s side. Girl Child could use me as a primary resource. I am nothing, if not helpful.
The truth is that we can’t do anything with Daisy in this weather. After all, we are in survival mode. There are four of us and only three televisions hooked up to cable. I can imagine the stories my grandchildren will hear. “Back in aught fifteen, we had an ice storm, followed by an inch – mind you an INCH – of snow. Your aunt made a deal with the DEVIL to have extra time for a term paper. We ran out of bread. And milk. My mama, she was a tough one she was and the only toilet paper we had was SINGLE PLY.”
My grandchildren will gasp. They had no idea their grandma was such a tyrant. They will look out at the shining, colorful 1959 camper in their back yard and sigh. They wish they could have known Grandma Tina. Too bad she died on the table during a tummy tuck.