Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch or hint of drama, until we had to drive back to Llamamama’s house and Llamasister G decided she was going to scream at and aggravate Llamabrother, who was driving, but that’s so minor instead you get a Silly Nana Story.
My grandmother is 81 years old. Until fairly recently, she was lucid. Completely “all there,” mentally, though emphysema ravages her body (don’t smoke, kiddos!). Two years ago, when I was nearly due with Boogermonkey, she wound up in the hospital. A cold had escalated into severe electrolyte imbalance and pneumonia and she fell. From the way she was acting in the hospital and her recovery pattern, we’re all pretty sure she had a mild stroke, but we’ll never know because the incompetent asshats at her small-town hospital didn’t scan her head when she came in, even though they knew she fell. She’s been having more and more bouts of odd behavior ever since. The latest one involves apples and deer.
My mother has two apple trees in her backyard. They are prolific trees, and the apples aren’t the kind that most people would just snack on, though I do. They’re an unknown species, best for baking and cider. Mom doesn’t have the time for that kind of thing, so most of them wind up in the compost. Behind my grandmother’s house is a large patch of forested area, which is in turn backed up by wetlands (remember that part for later. Wetlands). All kinds of wildlife live in there, including deer. Nana insisted that Mom bring up the apples from her tree “so the deer would have something to eat.” So Mom did. And when all the apples were gone, Nana told Mom to go to the grocery store and get the rotten apples from the produce department that they can’t sell. Mom knew that was a silly request, but she asked anyway.
“The produce guy looked at me like I was crazy,” Mom said. “No, we can’t sell you those,” he said. “So I bought her two bags of apples, because they were on sale.” “What did you buy me apples for?” Nana asked (please imagine this in a whiny, nasal, Manhattan accent) “Because you asked me to, Ma,” Mom replied. “I didn’t ask you to get me new apples, I asked you to get the old yucky ones. So Mom explained that they don’t sell those, and if Nana wanted the deer to have apples, these were the ones they’d have to have. “Which do you think they’ll like better, the yellow ones or the red ones?” she asked my mom. “I don’t know, Ma. They’re DEER.” Nana set them out and proceeded to call my mom with deer updates.
“The male deer – you know, the one with the horns – he likes the yellow apples better,” Nana told Mom one day. My mother, who has never been known to be a patient woman, especially where her mother is concerned, took this all in remarkable stride. Until the day she went to Nana’s for one thing or another and saw the water dish at the bottom of the porch stairs.
“Why is there a water dish out here, Ma? Sunny (Nana’s cat who was put down on Sunday due to kidney failure) doesn’t go outside anymore.” “Oh, that’s for the deer. So they have enough water to drink.”
My grandmother, who lives behind a wetland, is concerned the deer won’t have enough water to drink.
And that, folks, is your Silly Nana Story of the day. Hope you all had a great holiday.