Sunday, November 16, 2008

Meme and the Opossum

I have told you all about my daddy but I have not told you much about my mother, who was a very unique individual. My mother was raised until she was ten years old by her maternal grandmother who was a Native American medicine woman. My mother learned many home remedies and common sense practices for every day living from her grandmother. When my mother was in her late twenties she went back to college and got her degree in nursing and that was her profession for the next 45 years.

This story is a side of my mother that while we all found it hysterically funny she thought nothing of it. Let me give you a little history so it will make sense to you and you can decide if it’s funny or not.

My mother, Meme, had a beautiful yard and flower garden. She worked long hours at the hospital and her stress relief was to come home and dig in the dirt and pull weeds or those dreaded briars that have roots 10 million miles long. So her garden was her pride and joy. Along with working 80 hours a week at the hospital and gardening like a mad woman she at the age of 58 also had enrolled in college to advance her degree. She and several other women would car pool to the closest college offering the courses needed several evenings a week.

Meme had noticed that something had been eating her plants and digging in her garden big ugly deep holes. She also had noticed some “scat” around the swimming pool. Now being the voodoo woman that my mother was she deduced from just these things that her intruder was an opossum. The only thing I have ever known my mother to be afraid of was scorpions so an opossum wasn’t a big threat to her. She knew she just had to bide her time and she would catch it.

Meme and her car pool buddies went off to school one late summer evening not giving one thought to the intruder. They stopped off at the Sonic on the way home from class for a milkshake and a burger so it was after dark when they pulled into my mother’s driveway. There caught in the gleam of the headlights were a set of red glowing eyes. Meme calmly asked her friend Pam to hold her milkshake and she jumped out of the car ran towards the red glowing eyes and grabbed the opossum by the tail. She then lifted it above her head and started whirling it around like you would a toy until she felt it was good and dizzy. Then as quickly as she had grabbed the poor unsuspecting animal she let him go. The opossum stumbled around in a drunken stupor for a few minutes then regained its ground legs and scrambled away. Meme then calmly ambled over to the water spigot washed her hands and walked towards the car where the other women sat mouths agape in shock and confusion. Meme then took her milkshake away from poor Pam who was frozen pretty much like the opossum before he was snatched up and whirled in the air. Meme looked at the women and said “If you do that they get discombobulated and won’t come back”. She then gathered her things bid the women goodnight and went inside without a second thought. The women in the car sat frozen for several more minutes then laughing hysterically went home.

Several days later Meme’s next door neighbor was on his tractor tugging at his shed trying to move it from where it stood. She went over to lend a hand and see why he was moving his shed. He looked at her and said “It’s the darndest thing. Seems a opossum crawled under my shed the other night and I guess it died.” Meme just looked at Jake and said “Isat so?”

Now you be the judge. I think she is a scream!

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