Happy birthday and get well soon all rolled into one

Since Mother will be the big “nine O” on November 12, I guess this is the paper in which I should throw her some kind of salute. I fear it might be my last column because she won't take kindly to my telling western Crawford County that she is indeed ancient.

I think most of my regulars are familiar with the woman who adores a clean baseboard, alphabetizes various food items and whose glasses can generally pick up signals from the South Pacific. Therefore, I don't think I need some kind of huge intro or background info pertaining to that wonderful gal.

For those who are clueless, I believe a column still exists online at communitynewslinesville.com called “Baseboards Matter.” That will give you all of the pertinent information needed.

Jackie Houserman, known to many as “Mother,” was born IN Conneaut Lake Park in the year 1926 and her life has been a merry-go-round ride ever since.

The woman is super active as she golfs, gardens, hoes out garages, installs brick walks, is gainfully employed and carries out activities that would lead others to keel over from sheer exhaustion. In fact, I'm in the aerobic state just typing about it.

Recently things took a rather shocking turn because Mother pushed herself too much, how unusual, thereby leading to a hideous bout of sciatica. The Child (my son who is now her housemate) and I had to rescue her from work the other week due to this terribly painful condition.

She went from vibrant geriatric gal to little old lady in days, which was very upsetting to all involved, of course. See, we adore that woman even though she is the subject of many a joke in this column space and in everyday life. I thought I should make that abundantly clear to her and others.

I think you realize the truth of the matter but some people do not comprehend humor, sarcasm, self deprecation, poking fun at family members and all other lighthearted aspects of humanity.

(Aunt Ann, who was Mother's aunt and my great aunt, was that kind of human. You know how I call my sister “Pumpkin” because she is the little pumpkin of the family and is clearly the favorite? I oft' abbreviate that to “Punk.”

I did so when I was a teen in front of Aunt Ann and regretted it directly afterwards. She told my sister something like: “I don't like your sister because she called you a punk!” Pumpkin had to explain to her that it was a nickname, blah, blah, etc.

You must picture that statement from Aunt Ann to Punk ending with the sound of massive denture slamming or slipping. Wow, I just performed parenthetical digression for your reading pleasure.)

Getting back to the pain with which Mother has been living for several weeks, it was getting a bit better and then she took a fall. That resulted in a bruise on her back betwixt her shoulder blades to which she refers as her “wings.” We have no clue but we play along.

Her doc said she would be down and out for about a month but knowing Mother, she will not tolerate such shenanigans. She is actually improving at this time and is much better than earlier projections indicated.

When my darling mother refuses to eat, we know there is a problem. I felt as though I was attempting to feed a toddler but those days have already changed and she inhaled some solid food last night and enjoyed it.

Even when she is very ill and in pain she still can take a moment to laugh at herself over it all. I shall illustrate this, as is my nature. Do you remember the Carol Burnett Show? One of the regulars used to do a little old man impersonation. I always forget if it was Harvey Korman or Tim Conway but one of them would imitate an older gent. This was carried out by the actor shuffling so slowly that the viewers at home would want to reach into the telly and cattle prod him along. It was done purposefully, of course, to cause such a reaction.

Well, that was how my mother was moving through the home and when I made a joke about it and compared it to the above, she managed to laugh and agree. For the Houserman clan, sometimes humor carries us through otherwise hideous events of the day.

My boss, known as “Chief,” has become a hero in her home because he loaned her a walker that his dear, sweet and much missed mother utilized at one time. I could tell Mother was feeling better one morning (I stayed over since The Child had to work) when I heard the click clack of said apparatus maneuvering down the hallway.

Now that she is on the mend we will fear for our lives each time we hear the above-mentioned sound because it means she's on the go and ready to lecture all in her path about various sins. “Spencer, did you see that cobweb when you were dusting?” “Lisa! We must get that table set and ready for Christmas dinner and pronto!” Charming little “hints” that flow from her mouth will fill the air once again. In other words when she's mobile, we are all in trouble as we can't get away with anything unsavory or savory, for that matter.

I am going to have to cut this get well and happy birthday jazz short because I must run next door and check on that tender gal.

Mother, since I forced you to read this at “cane point” I just want to say that I hope you have a terrific birthday. If we have to we will make arrangements for an ambulance to transport you to the now famous Greenville for your dining pleasure.

You are loved by many and especially by your favorite daughter—NO, not Pumpkin but the other one. Have a wonderful birthday and get well soon.


P.S. I have an update on the eyeglasses situation. They are now fixed and ready for action. I literally borrowed a pair of Mother's for a day and although I enjoyed Radio Thailand, I'm glad to have mine back.