As I back out of my parents’ driveway, my mother appears at the front door and waves frantically for me to stop. She disappears inside for a minute, then pops out again with something in her arms. She runs across the yard and tosses it into the back seat of the car.
“Here,” she says. “Eat these.”
I look in the rear view mirror and see at least six spotty bananas.
“Thanks, mom–but we’re good,” I say. “We packed lunch.”
She blinks at me. “Take them. What if the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and it’s dark and it takes a tow truck hours to get there?”
I roll my eyes because her hypotheticals are always like this. Someone’s always getting stranded somewhere dangerous, without food or water, in the dark.
“Okay,” I nod, “okay.”
I wave goodbye and start backing the car toward the street but then she’s walking with us, talking to us through the window about something she just remembered. “I almost forgot!” she cries. “Wait one more second!”
Five minutes later she comes out of the house dragging something in a large trash bag. “‘Pop the trunk!” she yells cheerfully.
I look at Scott. “What in the hell?” I whisper.
He squints out the window. “It could be a comforter,” he says. “Or a collection of bathmats.”
It is, in fact, a bunch of old rugs. “I thought your dogs might want to lie on them,” she says, out of breath.
She’s probably right, so I pop the trunk.
I immediately realize that popping the trunk is a mistake. There is a lot of room in there that can be filled with random supplies. Within 15 minutes we accumulate a pan of brownies, 4 bottles of water, 2 pounds of button mushrooms, a container of hand sanitizer, a glass vase, a set of Tupperware, several items of clothing, and a rice cooker.
“I’m done,” she announces, as Scott half hugs her, half forcibly removes her to the grass.
“We’ll see you in August!” I shout, and we inch out the driveway and accelerate up the street. Scott punches the radio buttons and rolls down the windows, and I check the bananas out in the rear view mirror.
“Hand me a good one,” I tell him, as we merge onto the highway and head back to Alabama.
I don’t have a recipe for you today because we’ve been on the road, but I have something else. You see, we went back to Virginia (and stayed with my parents) because Scott’s a capella group from college had a reunion performance on Saturday. A lot of alums like Scott came back and sang. So instead of a recipe, here’s a piece of music by The Academical Village People. This is the version of Angel, by Aerosmith, that they sang that night.
Isn’t it awesome?