If I have any gumption or perseverance at all, it comes from my mother, Ruth Seamands. She may be 90, but she's as independent and determined as ever--with a lot of humor thrown in. Here's one of her latest escapades, written last summer. This one occurred right at home in her retirement village...
Tonight I slammed the back door and headed for the hose. I love squirting water and my personally-planted swamp cypress trees were begging for some. Soon long cypress branches and round green tomatoes dripped in appreciation. Two tiny basil plants swayed in glee and swallowed their drink in one gulp.
A pain streaked down my arm so I turned off the hose and sagged into a lawn chair. The soothing splash of my pool’s waterfall lulled me to the edge of La-La Land. Better go inside.
My hand on the door. Oh, no! I’d locked myself out. I knew the front door was locked—hadn’t wanted any boogiemen visitors. Grrrrr—now they could grab me outside. Had to get a master key from the village office.
Running through the front yard in twilight, I nearly fell over a big, black mountain. My startled heart jumped into my throat. What was THAT?
Oh, silly Ruth! It’s only a pile of black garbage bags holding yesterday’s bush clippings. They looked mighty spooky, all humped in silence.
Blundering past my garage door, I saw the answer to my homelessness. The door was up about fourteen inches. How brilliant of me to leave it partly open. Could I slide underneath that door and ignore the key?
Sure. I’m not fourteen inches thick!
I lay flat on the tarmac, pulled in my stomach and stretched my legs as long as possible. Nothing to do about my sticking-up feet except to flip 'em sideways. I edged under the door, an inch at a push, head and shoulders leading. Next--bottom, then heels and toes.
What if suddenly that door rolled down and cut me in two? Longways.
Nah. That little light stops it.
When I was halfway through, a giggle started in my stomach and nearly choked me. Were any neighbors watching? Me. Nearly ninety, dignified, on a Sunday slinking into my garage like a Kentucky polecat. I kept scooting and laughing through the opening, legs and waving feet in last.
Success! I raised my head and bumped it on the tail pipe of my car. Ouch! How stupid to park so close to the door.
Squirming around, trying to stand, I slid my back up the door. As I walked around my car, I had to be careful. If I got too close to a shelf on one side of the garage, bush trimmers would fall on my head. If I got too close on the other side, a huge old cooking pot would jab my let-out stomach. (Precious heirloom pot. My mother used to cook apple butter in it. My brother and I loved to feed the fire, stir the pot and taste.)
Squeezing past the car, I closed the garage door, brushed off my pants, drank some iced tea and sank into a chair inside my locked house. Sinister black bags still in the yard, but no boogiemen.
I’ve just combed a bunch of leaves out of my hair. Tomorrow, I’m hiding a key in an old flower pot.