Herald and Journal Herald & Journal, Oct. 11, 1999

She loves me like a rock, or lump of clay

By ANDREA VARGO

My mother loves me. She says she does, anyway.

For instance, she has been driving the 18 miles from her home on Maple Lake to my home (horse barn) for over a month to take my laundry and do it for me.

If you recall, I am recuperating from a broken leg, my house was sold, and I moved to the lounge in my horse barn until my new house is habitable.

Two weeks ago, she stopped on Sunday afternoon to pick up the clothes.

Rain Saturday night left the ground around the barn soft, except for a gravel strip we use as a driveway.

"Back up the way you came in," I said, as she was about to leave.

"Oh, I can't see well enough to back up," she said.

She is 76, and she can't see well enough to back up? What about seeing well enough to drive ahead?

I offered to do it for her, but she said she could just drive up on a grassy strip behind another barn, turn around, and drive out the way she came in (forwards).

Fine! I hobbled back a few steps on my crutches. My 7-year old granddaughter, Megan, was off to one side.

Mother started the car, and through her open window I could hear, "Oh, heck! I can make it!"

She floored it.

As the car slightly fish-tailed through the first mud puddle, wheels spinning like crazy, a high, arching spray of mud and water came directly for me.

I couldn't move (crutches), and only had time to turn my head.

Direct hit!

Megan's eyes were huge, and all she said was, "Oh, Grandma!"

Dripping and covered with lumps of clay from top to bottom, I replied, "Just get a stick and start scraping it off, Megan."

Lumps of clay were lodged in my hair and decorated my nose, chin, and the rest of my clothing.

Sympathy? Nope!

Ron, my husband, and Marty, my son, almost killed themselves laughing.

There might even have been a suggestion about a car wash and not clogging up the drain in the wash stall, where I normally shower.

It was a little hard to hear with all the cackling going on.

Mother didn't even know what she had done. She was so proud of herself for making it through the mud.

I did give her a hard time about it.

You know, this seems a bit familiar. This is the same mother who sat me down on the kitchen floor as a teenager and poured a puddle of water between my knees.

She gave me two forks and told me to stab them up and down in the puddle.

Mother bet me she could wipe the puddle up without getting her hands hurt.

She had a rag in her hand. What did I know. I trusted her.

She grabbed my ankles and pulled me through the water. The puddle was gone, alright.

My mother loves me. I'm sure she does.

New house update

People have told me a variety of construction nightmares that happened when they built houses.

It hasn't happened, yet.

I can't say enough good about the contractors that have worked on our house, so far.

Richi Hasti of Proline Construction in Cokato was helpful, prompt, and professional when he poured the basement walls. He will be back for the basement and garage floors.

Rory and Shawn Norgren of Norgren Builders came in a day early to frame the house.

It was fascinating to watch order come out of what appeared to be chaos on that first day.

Eight men were running around with tape measures, and all of a sudden, there were stud walls going up in the walkout basement.

If they had any questions, they asked and usually gave us options, knowing we were doing the general contracting.

The roofer, Darren Koelln of Dassel, was there the day after the roof was finished, as promised.

Two days was all it took, and we have shingles to keep out the weather.

We have been a long-time customer of Maple Lake Lumber, and as we expected, they were right on top of everything.

Littfin in Howard Lake supplied the trusses, and they must have had quite an interesting time, figuring out all the angles and ceiling configurations. They were all accurate.

The windows and the rest of the cement are slated for sometime this week, depending on how soon Ron gets the sewer pipes and drains in the basement floor.

Wright Hennepin Electric has been a wealth of information, help, and advice. The representatives answer their calls every time.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things continue this way.

Hope we get into the house before the first big snow storm, although, I'm getting rather used to my little area in the horse barn. Won't miss the Mini-Biff when it gets colder, though.

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