Monday, June 7, 2010

Packing for the beach

Back to my mother's beach trip, I need to start packing, or at least thinking about what to pack. My brother and I will take all the food - and we'll deal with that later. We assured Mama that was taken care of - we didn't want to deal with weeks of drama over menus when the 2 of us could handle it in a couple of emails, 1 trip to Sam's, and 3 coolers. The main disaster last year dealt with linens - God forbid the home owners up-graded the beds (doubles to queen size) and proudly touted it in the contract (which mother failed to read). So Mama showed up with the wrong size sheets. This was easily remedied since we were coming in shifts and the next group just brought the correct sized sheets. But, it was enough to throw Mama for a loop for several days.

This is her trip but we spend months before and most of the time there trying to keep her settled. If some dilemma like the linens are not enough, then whether we have enough ice will drive her nuts. We decided by Monday the first year we went that we had to use paper plates because having dirty dishes in the dishwasher was enough to set her back. One year she was convinced that the neighbors were going to party all night and keep us up (although it never happened.) My brother and I could not figure out where she got that idea and if they were, how we could get an invitation.

Early on my brother and his wife commandeered an area under the house to escape the madness where I would find them enjoying adult beverages and peace and quiet. After accusing him of going AWOL, I quickly joined them. However, we had to be very cagey so as to avoid suspicion from Mama. The kids became co-conspirators, letting us know when the "coast was clear" or when we needed to "abandon ship" and return to duty. Of course that cost us dearly. But, we were at their mercy. After all, our mental health was at stake.

I can remember as a child the most important things I had to pack were my new flip flops, beach towel, and bathing suit that I got to pick out each year before the annual beach trip. Funny, I don't remember what food we took because the cooler was always full of beer, but we did eat.

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