Tuesday, July 17 - Lago di Carlo, Day Last

1) Up at 5:01 AM after a night in the guest room, where the bed is wider and flatter so that I don't feel ike I'm going to roll off in my sleep. Coffee and devotional with Herbs and the Earth and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

2) The big adventure for the morning was bringing two boxes to the Mail Center near the mall to be mailed. For all intents and purposes it's a temporary building, substantially air-conditioned, with a long counter, some mailing paraphernalia, and a microscopic Myry Kyy Cosmetics concession. Mother said "Get there before 10 when the rush starts!" and I did . . . but my order involved some research, and with unusual patience I waited and observed all the goings-on.

2a) One woman had come in and needed to order a shipping box for a bathing suit and other items that were at some resort and needed to be shipped to another person. When asked about the weight, she told the girl at the counter "They said you would know." #iaskyou

2b) Another woman, walking with difficulty, supported by a younger relative and a four-footed cane, and apparently traveling by Lago di Carlo's version of The Ride, was trying to conduct some sort of financial transaction, having been sent there by the supermarket. "Ma'am, we're a small business, we don't have that much cash here," I heard the woman behind the counter say. I felt sorry for her, 'cause it was clear that getting around town was near insurmountable in the first place, aside from whatever her transaction was.

2c) My boxes got shipped successfully - now just hoping that nothing breaks en route.

3) Back home to finish packing - yes, I did get that candelabra into my suitcase! - and then Mother and I headed off to the cemetery office to work out final arrangements with them. We were there about an hour and 15 minutes, half of it waiting around while they dealt with computer issues. But they were wonderful to deal with, and now we have a final resting place for Uncle Bill, who has been waiting patiently in a corner of the dining room lo these many years.

4) When the cemetery lady gave Mother directions to their office she said it was "past Walkons restaurant," which neither of us had ever heard of. So we ended up having lunch there; it's proper name is Walk-on's Bistreaux and Bar, an upscale sports bar with waitresses whose beauty is only surpassed by those of Hooters and who were all dressed as cheerleaders. I'd describe this as a theme sports bar rather than an actual sports bar, but my double bacon cheeseburger was greeeeezy good.

4a) Come to think of it, Mother mentioned during this visit that she had her near heart attack when she was 59, and her father died of his heart attack at age 57. #55thisyear

5) In the debate over what to do next, Bed Bath and Beyoncé lost out in favor of going over the Dreaded Charities List. I reviewed all the nonprofits I'd sent "Please remove from mailing list" letters to during this visit (almost 70, not including duplicates) and Mother checked them off her list. A surprising number were NOT on her list. But we did get held up on subtle differences in names. So glad that's over!

5a) Another 11 (!) "Please remove from mailing list" letters went out today. I was vengefully pleased that another padded "postage paid by addressee" envelope came, and ran to get another heavy book of conservative politics to put in it. Almost too late I realized that the one I'd grabbed was written by one of Daddy's fraternity brothers - oops! So instead they got a copy of The Aquarian Conspiracy, whatever that is.

5b) In light of the news of yesterday and today about the President, some of these letters about ending the witch hunt and impeachment attempts just make my blood boil. I wrote on one or two of them "Please remove from all mailing lists. Praying for your repentance as President Trump betrays the American intelligence community to Vladimir Putin." Let's hope it gets Mother off their lists for good!

6) The next task, after falling like a stone into bed for an hour, was to drop off donation stuff at a local charity that takes donations. It turns out to be in a shopping center where the familiar supermarket has been closed! Surprising to see it not just boarded up, but with a couple homeless drunks sprawled in front. We drove around to the back and left our donations where indicated in a shed with a doorway hung with heavy plastic strips that smelled like stale cola. I was very glad to get out of there.

7) Back at home, I went online to check my flights for tomorrow - and found out I was really supposed to leave today! I'd missed my departure by a mere four hours. Decidedly the worst thing I did today. Eventually a superstar customer service rep at the airline got me on the identical flights Wednesday - hurrah!

8) While waiting for all this to happen, Younger Nephew Who Must Not Be Tagged and His Lovely Wife appeared; we were all going to dinner tonight at my beloved Syfyyd Palace. Over the week I've been here Mother and I found a few things they could use at the house, and His Lovely Wife was more than happy to take home Gramma's two hats that we found in the mouldy Maison Blanche box in the attic. #style

9) I do love me some Syfyyd Palace! Boudin balls, chicken and sausage gumbo, gin and tonic, and random chat about local community theatre (in which His Lovely Wife is very much involved).

10) One constant thought throughout the day: that air-conditioning this far south is truly a life support system.

11) And now it's my last night at home before returning home. It looks like Laura, Mother, and I got VERY far in our efforts this week for Mother to live a happier life in her own home.