Every month, my mom goes to the Tucson Indian Center for an "Elder's Luncheon." She LOVES going to these luncheons. She loves being able to speak O'odham and be with other people her own age. They do some programming, my mom has mentioned that they sometimes have presentations, and they like to throw parties for them during the holidays. The luncheons give the elders an opportunity to share a meal, gossip and laugh and enjoy one another's company. I know that it makes my mom feel special and it gives her something to look forward to. I am so grateful that the Tucson Indian Center holds these luncheons for our elders.
Since my mom lives with my sister, usually, my sister will drop her off at the Tucson Indian Center, then she'll wait around for her downtown to finish up and take her back home.
Normally, the Elder's Luncheons are on the last Wednesday of the month. This month, they changed the date because they knew it was so close to the actual Thanksgiving, and they didn't want it to interfere with anyone's family's plans.
My mom has been staying with us for a week, but she didn't mention the Elder's Luncheon until Saturday. She told me that they moved it to Monday the 17th. I thought that was a little odd, but since it was Saturday, and their office was closed, I didn't feel like there was any way to verify this. My mom is pretty good with dates though, so I figured she knew what she was talking about. I recommended we ask my sister to take her, as usual, but my mom already had a plan in mind which involved the bus.
Although the idea of my mom riding the city bus from my end of town and back made me nervous, I didn't fight it. My mom simply asked that she be dropped off by my husband at a specific bus stop on his way to work. She said, "I'll take the #16 straight there, then it's just a few blocks away." She said she'd hang out at the downtown library, until it was time for the luncheon, since she'd be way early.
Neither my husband nor I liked the idea either, but the alternative was that one of us would have to call into work or something.
We didn't commit to anything. I had planned on talking about it with my sister anyway, but honestly, the weekend got away from me and I just forgot.
I did ask if she wanted to contribute something for the dinner, which the Indian Center always leaves open-ended. My mom said no. Fine. I wasn't going to push it. My mom can go from calm to crazy-pants in about 30 seconds if you bog her down with too many questions.
It wasn't until Sunday, that she started to pester my husband for a confirmation that he would drop her off "at the bank" by our house, on his way to work.
I told him, "Just do it. She'll be fine. She goes to the casino all the time on the bus, if she can make it there, she can make it downtown. It's JUST down the street from there. She's done it before." My husband reluctantly agreed.
Late Sunday afternoon she started poking around in my pantry.
As some of you may or may not know, my mom is a HORRIBLE cook. She's an even worse baker and she is not to be trusted in my kitchen.
As carefully as I could, I asked her what she was doing, "I was thinking about making some biscuits for the luncheon."
I didn't ask her, I just went to the store for stuff for dinner and came back with some frozen-dough, which you let rise and then bake - because I didn't have the energy or time to bake something from scratch.
I baked the rolls, and it wasn't until they came out of the oven, perfectly golden brown that my mom even realized what I had done.
I buttered the tops and when they finally cooled, I packed them in a huge plastic container, then I put that plastic container in a reusable grocery bag so she could easily carry it.
My mom was really excited.
Before an early bedtime, we went over the times that she had to be up to leave with my husband an daughters.
In the morning, before I left for work, I peeked in on her to see if she was awake. She just woke up. It was 6:30. I reminded her that Ryan has to leave the house at 7:30 every morning to make it to work on time. She sleepily nodded at me as I left the house.
I didn't hear anything until around 8:30, when Ryan told me that they left the house on time and everything went smoothly.
He sent me a text that said:
I finally relaxed about the whole situation. I imagined my mom sitting in the library with her bag of dinner rolls, happily reading a magazine and watching the clock until it was closer to the time she should head to the Indian Center.
I knew she'd be excited about showing off her contribution. She'd laugh off any questions about whether or not they were home made or who made them (experience has taught me this).
I was finally feeling really good about the whole thing, when I get a phone call from my sister,
"Hey, just I wanted to give you a heads up that mom has her elder's luncheon on Wednesday."
"Oh. My. God. Are you serious?"
"Oh. My. God.... "
"She thought it was today! She said it was today!"
"No, it's on Wednesday!"
"Craaaaaap! Are you SERIOUS?! We let her go on the bus!"
"It's on the 19th, that's Wednesday!"
"Oh my god. We even sent her with a contribution....I sent her with all these dinner rolls!She SAID it was today! On the 17th!"
"It's usually on the last Wednesday of the month, but this money, that's the day before Thanksgiving, so they moved it up."
"Crap! Uh...I'll call the Indian Center, then I'll call you back."
If it hadn't been for my sister's phone call, my mom would have been wandering around downtown for hours today, holding a bag full of dinner rolls, looking around for the other elders to show up.
Good thing my mom is really predictable and thank god for my sister. My sister went to the downtown library and checked every floor. She went up to the security guard station where an older gentleman asked her if she needed help:
"Do you need something?"
"Is this lost and found?"
"Yes, Ma'am. Have you lost something?"
"Yes. My mom. Have you seen her? She's a little old lady with a leopard print purse. She's also carrying a big bag full of bread."
"No, Ma'am, I can't say that I have."
Rosella was found just outside the bathrooms at the Indian Center.
Rosella realized her mistake early on and was making a pit stop before heading back on the bus to the Northwest side, to my house.
They held on to the bread at the Indian Center.
My sister gave my mom strict instructions to be ready for her when she comes to pick her up on Wednesday at 10am to take her to the luncheon. My mom didn't argue.
When I got home, I walked in the door and my mom bashfully looked at me for a few seconds before saying, "I was a little early."
|A Photo of Rosella, in case she ever gets lost again.|