This and That Graphic

You’re still here! That’s the greeting I received from a local subscriber I met in the Post Office Saturday morning.

Yes, I’m still in Socorro. And yes… I’m in Albuquerque. I’ve been dividing my work week in half until I move later in the month.

It’s been a busy few weeks, as I find myself dividing my time between two newspapers – the oldest weekly newspaper and the largest daily newspaper in New Mexico.

This past weekend I was busy packing. Of course in the midst of it, my mother called. Mom is an assisted living facility and enjoys the friendship of fellow residents. She’s known in the facility as “Bingo Betty.” Apparently she has a knack for picking winning bingo cards. Not that she’s getting rich off of playing bingo, but she sure loves to win a few nickels to add to her coin purse.

Now mind you … my mother never calls me unless it’s an emergency. So when I heard the ringtone “When the Saints go Marching in” I made a quick beeline to my phone.

Darn near broke a leg jumping over boxes to answer the phone.

“What’s wrong,” I said.

“Nothing,” she replied. “Just wanted to know if you’re packing.”

“Yup,” I replied.

“I’m at bingo and I told my buddies that you’re moving again. They wondered … and so did I, what number move this is for you?”

As I’m mumbling to myself and trying to calculate the move number, I hear mom tell her friends, “We should all pick a number and the person who guess it right, I’ll treat with ice cream from the kitchen.”

Mind you, older adults are not quiet. As I’m counting the moves, I hear mom’s Bingo buddies shouting out numbers to her. Good grief, I’ve become their afternoon entertainment!

When I return to the phone to tell mom what number move this is … she tells me to hang on saying, “I haven’t gotten everyone’s number.”

Leave it to my mother to create some excitement in an otherwise boring place.

“Well do you have a number,” she asked.

“Yup,” I said.

“Well what is it,” she said.

“I’m not going to tell you,” I replied.

“Why not, Wanda Anne,” she said. I knew I was in BIG trouble when she used my middle name.

“Shame on you for betting on me,” I said. “Didn’t you teach us that gambling was wrong?”

I hear the disappointment in telling her Bingo buddies what I said.

Drats! Now I’m the bad person and all her buddies won’t talk to me when I come home to Iowa in July.

“Mom … listen up,” I said. “I’ll tell you the number but don’t call me again unless it truly is an emergency. And by the way, it’s move number … 17, since I left home for college in 1978.”

My mother utters a cuss word. “I thought I was move number 18. Now I’ve got to get the ice cream from the kitchen to treat everyone.”

If guessing wrong means treating everyone to ice cream, I’d say that isn’t a bad deal at all. Ice cream can heal most any wound … even my mom’s disappointment that she guessed the wrong number.

As I getting ready to hang up the phone, I hear my mother say, “I’m kinda glad I guessed wrong. Now we can have the rum raisin ice cream I like.”

Guess, she wasn’t that disappointed.