Friday, July 22, 2011

weather advisory: check on senior citizens (m)

Record heat today.  103 degrees in Boston.  The Mayor comes on the television to ask us to look out for one another.  Check on those who have no air conditioning. Check on seniors.

The aunts.

 I remember Aunt X has no air conditioning in her upstairs apartment.  Aunt Y has air conditioning downstairs but doesn't turn it on.

I call to invite them to stay at my house.  "No dear, we are fine," says Aunt Y.  Aunt X gets on the extension:  " that you?  It's hot as hell here.  Are you coming over?"

I don't know how my coming over would help the situation but I say I will be there.  First, I make 2 lbs of pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans...their favorite) and a dozen large chocolate chip cookies.  They always have visitors and want to have food on hand.  I lose my appetite just looking at this hot food on this ridiculously hot day.

I get to their house and Aunt Y is sitting on the porch, in the sun, wearing a sweater.  She says she's enjoying the breeze.  I'm soaked with sweat just walking from the short driveway to her porch.  Aunt X is in the house sitting in front of a fan.

I take them out for an ice cream.  We stop at the local Dairy Maid and get the usual...vanilla frostie, kiddie size, in a cone, chopped walnuts, and put it in a cup. Extra napkins, please.  The girl at the counter asks how many and I almost say "3" but remember my mother is no longer with us.  I get a lump in my throat and say "2."

They are eating their ice creams like little kids and ask me to take them for our customary ride in the cemetery.  We stop by my mother's grave.  I really feel her loss today, doing this simple thing we used to do together.  All four of us. 

I turn to look at Aunt Y.  She is covered in chopped walnuts and melted ice cream. 

I mop her up and she says to me: "I know you must be sad, but you have to remember your mother absolutely hated the hot weather."

I bring the aunts back to their house.  Convince Aunt Y to turn the air conditioning on and convince Aunt X to stay downstairs.

I leave feeling a little better.

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