As I've mentioned to you before, my mother is going to move in with one of my sisters, and she has begun the process. Atlanta (and a good bit of the South) was frozen over in a storm recently, and she moved in the day the snow began falling. Now it's time to go get the stuff she didn't pack that day, to pack up some things for storage and to throw out things that can be pitched. We're going to start doing that this weekend, so I'm going to fly to Atlanta to help out.
Everyone involved has a busy schedule—except for me, obviously—so we'll make Saturday the main work day, and I'm hoping I can do some preliminary packing beforehand. On Friday, though, my mother will be going to a ladies' luncheon (and no, you cannot translate that as a women's lunch in this case), and she would like me to go with her. It will be hosted by her friend, Marge, who she introduced me to when I was visiting there in November. Marge is a wonderful woman, a widow like most of the other ladies in this gang, and she moved to Georgia from Long Island where she has lived all of her life. She has a daughter near Atlanta, or possibly a son, and she thought she should be near family. Wise move, I say.
There is a stereotype of a true Southern lady. Think of one of the calmer characters in Steel Magnolias—a woman with strong opinions but soft spoken, a woman who can wield an ax if she has to but manages a cup and saucer with delicate grace, a woman who isn't afraid to get dirty in the garden but gussies up nicely for special occasions. Marge is none of those things. She is loud and talks endlessly, she drinks her coffee from a mug because she's sure she'll shatter the good china, and she wears sweats to almost every occasion. We first met at my mother's 85th birthday party, and I loved her immediately. We were standing in the kitchen during the open house, and after awhile, she looked around and said she thinks she tends to clear the room because she talks too much. I so wanted to laugh out loud because my mother has declared that Marge does just that, but I really enjoyed talking to her.
She and my mother met at their church, and they have formed a little trio with another widow, a sweetheart of a woman named Roby, and this trio has kicked up a fuss. My mother started it. She had complained that the hard metal chairs the church uses in their makeshift sanctuary are too uncomfortable for her elderly frame, so someone brought in a padded office chair with armrests for her to use. She can't hear the sermon when she sits in the back, so they placed the chair up front in the second row, and my mother calls it her throne. Marge was so impressed that she wanted her own thrown, so someone brought in a chair for her and sat it next to my mother's. Then Roby suggested she might appreciate a more comfortable chair as well, but there were none left. Then one day Roby was driving down the road, and she spotted an old office chair overturned in the ditch. It must have fallen off the back of somebody's truck. So, Roby pulled over, shoved the thing into the back of her car and sped away. Now she has her own throne, and the three hold court in the second row every Sunday. I went to church with them once in November and had to sit in a folding chair like the surfs, resting slightly lower in my seat and uncomfortable as all get out.
I'm eager to do my part in helping organize my mother's house and her belongings, but I'm really looking forward to this luncheon. My new friend Marge is quite the cook, I've heard.