Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mom's Old Dresses

Bill and I took off early this morning for Pennsylvania to visit my brother Isaac. My Mom was staying with him up until October 17th, 2009. At that time my other brother John and his wife came up from their home in a rented van and took our Mom back to live with them in Greenville, South Carolina.

My brother John is the care pastor in his church. Now that Mom is living with him she’s going to church. She needed a dress. She didn’t take any dresses with her. My sister-in-law Barbara took her out shopping for a dress. My Mother was in sticker shock at the prices of dresses, even at a discount store like Marshall’s. She swallowed hard and bought one but she clearly needed more. 

I called my brother Isaac to send some of Mom’s dresses down to her in South Carolina. Isaac didn’t know where to begin. I think Mom has every dress she has ever owned, in all the sizes. For many years she wore a size 16. We couldn’t send those dresses down to her; she would be swimming in them.

Thus, it was time for an emergency intervention by Number 1 Son (that would be me.) Bill asked to go along for the ride to PA. He wanted to see the old property were we used to live. That property is now in default (the owner has fallen behind in payments.) Unfortunately, our formerly beautiful wooded paradise now looks like Grey Gardens.

Even though we left early this morning we ran into a number of delays on the way to Pennsylvania. Traffic was stalled to a crawl over the C & O Canal Bridge on the southern side of Newark, Delaware. Then once we would our way through the center of Newark, we got stuck behind a car averaging 25 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. This is the downside of avoiding traveling I-95 and traveling Route 896 instead. Route 896 is only has two lane driving, north south. So my choice is traveling on an 6 to 8 lane highway (I-95) at 75 MPH or more, with vehicle passing me on both sides or the back country, scenic drive up Rt. 896, and take a chance I get caught behind a tractor or an Old Man Taking a County Drive like I did today. I choose the country, scenic route and take my changes.

We arrive at the Old Props (our former home) about three hours later. After walking around the leaf and branch strewn grounds and taking many pictures, we leave dejected wondering why we put ourselves through this torture. I would buy this property back tomorrow if I had the money. Tonight is another Powerball drawing. One can always hope.

After leaving the Old Props, Bill and I drove over to Mom’s home, where my brother Isaac lives. I told Ike I was there to look for some dresses to send to Mom. Thus we began to sort through all her accumulation of clothes over the years. Ike was right when he said he hadn’t even gotten through the “first layer.” What a task. All I could find at first were her “tops” and many, many pants. No dresses.

Then I checked the spare bedroom which she was using to store her excess canned goods (she gets them on sale and stocks them in the spare bedroom on shelves.) There, in the cedar lined armoire were her dresses! I sort through them, discarding most of them because they are too big (size 16.)

Then I found them! There were three two and three piece outfits which appear to be a smaller size, which will fit her now. I handed them to Ike to box and send them to her. Then I checked her jewelry box. Viola! I found her crystal necklace! It’s her favorite. Sure, it’s an inexpensive necklace but it is her favorite. I think it is so because it reminds her of Reverend Pennlington’s wife, who always wore a crystal necklace. I remembered how much my Mother admired that necklace so I bought her one many years ago. I handed it to Ike to put in with her dresses to be mailed to her. I also gave Ike two sparkly pins that I bought at Strawbridge’s one Christmas. They will be the perfect accessory for her new gray suit. I also gave Ike a Christmas pin to put in the Dress Care Package.

I asked Bill to take a couple of pictures of me with Ike and then we were off, back to Delaware. But not before stopping at Wegmans for a quick lunch. Oh how I miss having a Wegmans in Delaware. I don’t miss the screaming kids in the store but I miss the choice, variety, and vitality of a supermarket like Wegmans. My choices in Delaware are Food Lion, Giant, or Safeway. There is no comparison.

Bill and I had an easy trip back to Delaware. Without delays, the trip is 2 ½ hours. Even so, we’re both very stiff when we get out of my red Subaru Forester in our driveway. This trip takes a lot out of us but it is well worth it.

We had a good visit with my brother. We found Mom’s dresses plus some of her jewelry to make her feel good when she goes out. And, as sad as it makes us feel, we had a good nostalgic trip back to our former home. Bill misses it so. I miss it also but I am very happy with where I live now. All is not lost with our old property though. As we got out of my car after we drove up the leaf covered lane, a small herd of deer rustled the leaves as they rose to their feet to see who was invading their sanctuary. Well, at least some good has come of the sad overgrown state of our former property

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