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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.”

She smiles.

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?


And finally:

t and s by the woodpileThunder and Seymour take my advice and sharpen their teeth on some logs.  That way they’ll be prepared if they ever, you know. . . get stranded somewhere dangerous with no food or water.  In the dark.

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love the college a capella groups! So much fun. They are a big deal at UVa.

    April 9, 2013
  2. WHOA, LORD do i love good acapella singing. And “Angel?” That’s my second favorite Aerosmith song of all time.
    “Dream On” is my favorite, so if you could let Scott know to start working on that one for, say, October? It’s my birthday then.

    April 9, 2013
  3. Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh HOW did this not come up in conversation?! I have a ridiculous penchant for a capella groups.

    Also, I have had similar trips to my mum’s. I once turned up at a girls’ night in with a melon. My mum said, ‘Do the girls like melon?’ as she handed me a melon, in a bag. So, that was that.

    April 9, 2013
  4. Kate #

    Having seen you perform this very song in a classy karaoke establishment on the Upper East Side, I’m just going to say I think you perform this song the best!! (Don’t tell Scott).

    April 9, 2013
  5. Cindy Rogers #

    BUT…were you wearing CLEAN UNDERWEAR when you ventured into the wilderness with only a couple bananas and some old rugs???

    April 9, 2013
  6. Cindy Rogers #

    In case the unmentionable happened and you had to be airlifted to the emergency room, where the nurses would see that you were wearing that holey underwear that your mother TOLD you to throw away?

    April 9, 2013
    • That *would* be an embarrassment, Cindy–and it TOTALLY sounds like something that would happen to me! Just like how I used to always get assigned the really cute dermatology resident when I went to the dermatologist as an adolescent. I was always mortified–I’d so much rather have asked him to tape a broken ankle instead of stare at my pimples close up!

      April 10, 2013
  7. I thought you had 2 dogs not 2 beavers – ha – just kidding! Beautiful Music – amazed by individuals who have those natural gifts:) Loving your story – never open truck – even in an emergency when it comes to family donations. Have a Great One

    April 9, 2013
    • I’ve always been amazed by musicians, too, and super jealous of singers. I think if I could pick any talent to have, it would be to be an amazing singing voice.

      Yeah, about those 2 beavers in my back yard. . . I was going to call someone to take the logs away, but the dogs seem to enjoy the pile so much that I guess I’ll just leave it there for a while. (That said,I probably should not be making landscaping decisions based on the dogs’ favorite spots to chew, right?!)

      April 10, 2013
  8. This just made my day!!! Love it! 🙂

    April 9, 2013
    • Thank you, Lynn! And thank you so much for sharing it.

      April 10, 2013
  9. Not fair to be that smart AND that talented! What a great performance! And fun story about your visit home. Moms are the best.

    April 9, 2013
    • Moms *are* the best. I can’t imagine having a different one!

      April 10, 2013
  10. Kristi #

    Awesome!!!!! Not saying that your recpies aren’t! And the visual of you pulling out of your mom’s driveway is a great memory most of us have had at some point!

    April 9, 2013
  11. I’m glad I am not the only one with a mom who gives her adult children half rotten produce

    April 9, 2013
    • That’s right, Anne. You are not alone. For better or for worse, I’ve got a whole lot of stinky bananas up in here.

      April 10, 2013
  12. jenny_o #

    Enjoyed 🙂 That is the largest a capella group I’ve ever seen (but I’m from a small town).

    April 9, 2013
    • Well, Jenny–I think there are actually only about 15 guys in the group at a given time. There are just so many here because it was a reunion concert (the 20th reunion of the founding of the group), and a lot of the former members came back to join in. They hadn’t sung together in ages, but it still sounded good!

      April 10, 2013
  13. your mother and my mother should be best friends.

    April 9, 2013
    • As long as we (you and I) never hang out with them (our moms) together at the same time. Can you IMAGINE how they’d encourage each other? It’d be like a “mom-off” competition for how much crap they could stick in our cars. 🙂

      April 10, 2013
  14. Omg, this made me laugh – and remember my mom. Love the music, love your dogs. 🙂

    April 9, 2013
    • I’m so glad on all counts, my friend.

      April 10, 2013
  15. Emilie #

    Thanks for sharing this…now I am SUPER excited that Sing-Off is coming back…the AVP should enter!

    April 10, 2013
    • They SHOULD, Emilie. Will discuss with Scott. 🙂

      April 10, 2013
  16. My mother doesn’t do that to me, it’s my grandmother. I swear when we start packing the car, she starts to clean her cupboards and refrigerator! She seems to think we are all still poor college students who can’t afford to buy food or other supplies. Bless her! We just don’t have the heart to tell her no.

    What a beautiful performance! The joy is palpable. Thank you so much for sharing!

    April 10, 2013
  17. rhema3one7 #

    Reminds me of my mom and some of her prank lunches in my school days… entertaining singing..

    April 16, 2013

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