Monday, June 4, 2012

For God's sake, get me to the chuch on time.

A few weeks ago, DB and I headed home to Appalachia for a wedding, which - unless you're a local - is like nothing you've ever seen before in your life. Because, not only are the Blue Ridge mountains home to the world's best Bluegrass music, they're also a Mecca for blue eye shadow consumers and preachers who handle snakes... all of which you're likely to experience if you're there for a special occasion.

Now, don't get me wrong. Where I grew up is honestly one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. So-much-so that the natives say they only inbreed to, "keep outsiders from coming in and ruining it." But, like everything in life, it has its pros and cons. Pro... mountain people definitely know how to party. I've actually attended receptions where the bar served homemade moonshine then handed the empty jugs over to the band so the music could start. Con.. after too much moonshine, I've played the jug... on stage... and there's a fine line between being so drunk that you go blind versus being just drunk enough that you're willing blow "whoo whoo... whoo whoo" into a bottle while a large bearded stranger in overalls sings, "Billie Jean is not my lover." Yes. Really.

That said, the saddest part of this post is that you think I'm joking. Actually, scratch that. The SADDEST part is that it didn't just happen to me in Appalachia. It also once happened to me in Mississippi at a barbeque festival. Though I remember neither incident, I've been told that I'm a natural. But I digress. The point is that two weeks ago my sister and I had to get our seventy-two year old mother ready for the wedding. However, before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first.

My mom is my hero. Several years ago, during open heart surgery, she acquired a Staph infection that landed her in a coma for three months. After "coming to" and spending a year in physical and occupational therapy, she was able to breathe, talk, walk, and live without assistance. Any lesser soul would have given up or died trying. She has done neither. But clearly, she’s not at the top of her game physically.

My sister is a school teacher who is built like a Barbie doll and suffers from Pollyannaism. She is annoyingly positive. Me, not so much. I’m short. I’m chubby, and I’m cynical, but only on the inside where it matters. So there we were - the realist, the optimist, and the pessimist trying to plan the work and work the plan. And that’s when it happened. My sister and I were no longer grown women. We were seven and fourteen again… playing rock-paper-scissors… in front of our mother... figuring out who was doing what.

After best-out-of-three devolved into best-out-of-five, and I STILL lost, my beautiful, perfect sibling got to help our mom into her silk suit while I got to get her into her pantyhose. Ironically, my mom and Aunt had to do the same thing for our grandmother years ago, and that’s when she let us in on a family secret. Booze doesn’t just help you take your nylons off, it also helps you get a pair of nylons on. So, after a bottle of wine and an hour of laughing until we cried, the three of us were ready to go.

The moral? Whether the glass is half full or half empty... there's still room to add alcohol - at least according to my mother. No wonder she's my hero. Talk to you later.