One thing I forgot to mention in all this rampant absenteeism was a wee little round trip to New Orleans by car. Went there in February for a week to do a spring cleaning of my mother’s apartment. Why on earth would I want to do this? Good question. Mother’s house has gotten a little out of hand over the years because she can’t say no to anyone who needs shelter from the storm. Some of the shelterees left belongings behind. Mom won’t throw anything away. So there you go.
Spring cleaning has a fine tradition dating back to before dinosaurs roamed the earth. I assume there was a temporary break during the Ice Age due to no spring occurring. OK I made that up, but it’s going strong again. Seriously, and according to Wikipedia it dates back to the Persian New Year. It’s called “khooneh tekouni” and means “shaking the house.”
Sister, Mother and I shook her house for almost a week. Started with the ceiling and worked our way down the walls to the floor. Nothing was sacred. We threw so much stuff out that some of we had to sneak stuff out on different trash days so the neighbors didn’t freak out thinking some one died. I’d estimate that we spent 2/3rds of our time cleaning and the remaining waking hours consuming beer. It’s necessary to keep the momentum going.
Mother was a good sport about the whole thing. I forget to tell her that was why I was coming New Orleans. “Hi, I’m here to tear your house apart” isn’t the best opening line for a houseguest. But, with 2 daughters who know enough to not throw away her most treasured possessions we managed to get the job done.
During this trip I purchased and assembled a pub set for Momazelle’s kitchen. It took 2 days and a lot of beer and swearing, but the final result looks great in her kitchen. Thinking back on the whole adventure I now know why I took a break when I got home.
PS: We also consumed massive amounts of fresh roasted coffee. My sister’s husband owns a coffee brewery in New Orleans. He does good coffee. Yum Yum. She sent me a link to a recent article post about his coffee over on NOLA.COM