Three floors up and too much wind

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My brothers Lamar and Britt and I had a running bet to see just how many miles I could make it driving to the beach before I was ready to put our mother out on the side of the road.

Now, before you stone me for being a cruel daughter, let’s think about this—just how long could you stand being told, “You’re driving too fast,” “Slow down,” “Watch out for that big truck,” “Turn the air conditioner off—I’m cold,” and, of course, my favorite—“Did you even brush your hair this morning?”

My sweet brothers gave me an early birthday present—a three-day trip to the beach, including food and shopping money. What more could a girl ask for?

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It was also an early Mother’s Day gift for our mom.

“Okay—let’s stop and eat at Lambert’s Café, and then we’ll go see about our room,” she told me. “I figure we’ll go shopping in Foley tomorrow.”

So much for my input.

Last Friday, the wind could have picked up a Mack truck and blown it over it was so strong. Because of this, Mama had her head scarf on trying to salvage her weekly beauty shop ‘do.’ But when we came out of the café, she couldn’t find it.

“I think I dropped it,” she said.

Here I go running around Lambert’s parking lot looking under cars and all over trying to find her head scarf, only to return to the car to find her sheepishly holding it in her hand.

“I guess I stuffed it in my pocket when we went inside.”


The hotel was beautiful. Three floors up, we landed with Mama hanging on for dear life in the elevator. She and elevators have never gotten along.

“Mama, do you have to make such a production every time we get on the elevator?”

“Why, yes, I do—I don’t want folks to think I’m crazy.”


We head out to a great seafood restaurant Friday night; Mama is looking for the fried fish on the menu.

“Do you have fried fish? I don’t want a lot, just a small piece. And do you have hot tea? It’s cold in here, but then these girls are half naked anyway—that’s too much salt, Regina, you don’t need all that salt—Honey, can you get me a little box to put this in? I can’t eat all this…”


I decided that a walk on the beach was long overdue for me and my nerves, so I began to head for my destination.

“Did you see those red flags? What do those red flags mean? You don’t need to get out in that wind—you’ll start coughing again—well, hold on, let me get my head rag…”


One thing about the rooms though—we had two queen-sized beds, and each had no less than six of the softest, fluffiest pillows I had ever slept on. Mama dutifully removed at least four of her pillows declaring that no one needed all those, while I happily dove headfirst into all six of mine.

“I want to see the Hallmark channel. Can’t you find the Hallmark channel? I can’t believe we don’t have the Hallmark channel. There isn’t anything fittin’ to watch….”


After shopping for five hours straight in Foley, Mama declared that there was also nothing fittin’ to wear anymore since all the styles either showed too much leg or too much bosom. I had managed to rub a blister on each pinky toe, so I was ready to wave a white flag of surrender.

And to top it all off, I came home to a big mess since Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, decided to throw a little party seeing how his mom was away for a couple of days.

Sam, is that catnip I smell?