Garbo

Sunday was unfolding like an ordinary day.  Little did I know what the fates had in store.  I was merrily reading away, when the phone rang, and it was Luke.  He started out casually, saying he and his girlfriend had decided to part ways.  He then reminded me that he was waiting to be re-called to his job, and said that he was paying a lot of rent in Calgary while waiting.

This was the lead-up to what we’d feared, but expected.  Yes, Luke is moving back home again!  My adorable baby boy is coming back into his sainted mother’s arms.  However, the baby’s grown large, and the mother less saintly over time.  Fortunately, we’re all quite philosophical about it, and really, Luke is feeling bad to have to do it.

Kids these days seem much younger for their years compared to us.  I got my first apartment when I was 19.  It was at the corner of Hemlock Street and 10th Avenue in Vancouver.  I lived there for five years, and though I’d visit my parents and grandparents a lot, I didn’t return home to live.

The old apartment building’s still there, and I love to see it when I’m visiting Vancouver.  I enjoy thinking back to the days when I learned how to cook.  It started with the ability to bake frozen chicken pies and then progressed slowly from there.  I literally didn’t know how to make a damn thing.

I certainly wouldn’t have been able to learn how to cook from my mom, as she didn’t cook at all while I was growing up.  My dad cooked, but he was a very sensitive person.  Hence, if one asked, “What is it?” of his food, he would reply snarkily, “It’s a what-is-it.”

You can probably guess that my dad was the type of person who enjoyed being alone.  He admired the actress Greta Garbo, who’d expound in her Swedish accent, “I vant to be alone.”  My dad, being of a very succinct nature, would just say, “Garbo” and this would be the signal that he wanted to be by himself.

Around here, with Denis and Nicky, and now Luke added, I can say, “Garbo” all I like.  In response I will hear, “Gumbo?  Sure, I’d like to try that.  When is it ready?”  Meanwhile someone will ask me where the mayonnaise is while looking right at it, while another person will tell me one of the animals has vomited.

However, it’s hard to keep a euphoric person down, and Friday is the first day of spring!  Today I’m off to stock up on groceries in anticipation of Luke’s arrival.  Room will have to be made in the yard for yet another vehicle, and with any luck we’ll soon have one of them back up on blocks.

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