Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mama Iva Visits

At nearby Sloan's Lake.
Though we are required to love our mothers, I am fortunate in that I also like my mother as a true friend. She is sweet, generous, laughs easily and is generally low maintenance. She does not hold expectations of me nor does she try to tell me what to do. Even though we are very different people, we instead celebrate our commonalities. Best of all? She is smart enough to never turn down offer of a cocktail.

In our living room.
Mama Iva, however, is no passive granny figure. Though she is 78-going-on-60, she chooses to work 40 hours a week as a secretary for an industrial tire company. There, she is universally loved and she returns that love by providing a bevvy of snacks to an all-male sales team every week. I was actually present the day her boss told her, "No matter how old you are, you have a job here. I mean, we'll just build you a ramp if we have to." Having a place to go M-F, 8-5, and be appreciated - it means the world to her.

Mama Iva's decision to remain in the workforce was prescient, as the economy tanked and Medicare and Medicaid have come under the knife, she remains solidly self-sufficient with regards to income and healthcare. Plus, my mother is someone with an active brain. She knows what is going on in the world and does not like to be left out; she was taking computer classes in the 80s.

In fact, a few months back we were sitting in her living room when she leaned over and said to me sweetly: "Will you teach me how to text?" Oh, the joy! She's got an older phone so it's not as handy as my iPhone but she gets it done and fully grasps the medium. She's even texting me photos now.

Mama Iva and Kirk at Red Rocks.
Recently, I convinced her to spare 48 hrs. for a quick visit to Denver. She had not seen my new place ("The Commune" as the family refers to it) so it was fun to show her my life, such as it is. We fed her from our garden, drove her up through the mountains and generally made her comfortable. I even got to send her home with food - I love a good table turn!

At one point during her stay, she asked me: "Will you give me a tutorial on Facebook?" WOULD I?!?! It was during this I gave her some sage advice: "Don't bother with all the privacy settings. The only filter you need to be concerned about is the one at the very beginning when people try to friend you. If the name doesn't conjure a familiar face, a shared memory or a warm fuzzy, just ignore it. Period." I hope she takes this to heart instead of worrying about hurting people's feelings. (This is how we are different.)

He's molting so cut him some fashion slack, okay?

As an animal lover, I was so pleased that Mama Iva got to see some wildlife while here in Colorado. Coming down from the Guanella Pass into Georgetown, we turned a corner and voila! An entire herd of mountain goats. She loved that and the adorable town of Georgetown too. 

I hated to see her go but she's got a full life to get back to - a full-time job, a social life (she's membership chairman of Young At Heart Singles), a big house and several pieces of property to maintain. Still, I miss her and wish one of us lived closer. I'd sure love the chance to feed her more often.