Our road trip was par for the course, covering about seven hundred miles round trip. There were no incidents or flat tires or unhappy travelers, but one stop still sticks in my mind. Our final destination was my husband's hometown with its one stop light and the Dairy Queen and
Raspa stands serving as the land markers for the highway.
All was well in small town, and several relatives called and said hi during our stay. Husband made no effort to go see them; reminding me that we had a full three days of them just a year ago. I never protest as they are his relatives, and I don't put these demands on him with my family or any of its extensions. Our weekend was full just hanging out and going to dinner one evening. Our fare was one of true south Texas greasy Mexican food which is only available in small towns close to the border. Hub and I always eat the local food in places like these because it reminds us of when we were young and people weren't quite sure what cholesterol was or wasn't. Nothing healthy about this kind of eating.
My mother-in-law and I got along this weekend for two whole days, and I am still wondering if she might be on her last leg. Not one unkind or rude word came out of her mouth. She criticized nothing. No major gossip about people I don't know and don't care about, no griping about her loneliness during our visit and making us feel invisible. Comments about the water bill going up, but a resignation that it was inevitable was as close to negative as it got. Yes, we caught up on the kids and their lives and the grands. I got her back on Facebook, and wrote down the steps so she could do it by herself. She's eighty five this year, so her efforts to stay in this century are worthy of applause. Hub worked to help her maintain her way too big yard, and her questions to me centered on if I really liked my tiny patio yard.
I explained that both of us loved the total freedom this little area offers. Every Thursday or Friday if it rains, a company comes by and our little neighborhood is manicured to perfection. We were fortunate enough to find an area that includes this service for less than the cost of yard maintenance in the old neighborhood. There is never this need to stay home and tend to the maintenance of life, and that suits us just fine. Hub and I are true road warriors, and trips are always on the horizon.
It was nice to just enjoy the backyard with the mother-in-law. The time was probably longer for the husband as he was closer to his dad, and many past trips were made for father son time. Up at the crack of dawn on departure day is usually the clue that he doesn't want to waste morning time with leisurely coffee. I know the drill, and am ready in exactly 45 minutes.
As we traveled through my hometown, I realized that I wasn't snipping at the hub about stupid stuff, and my chest didn't feel tight from a weekend in south, south Tejas. I thought about it, and realized that I'd spent more than 48 hours with the most negative person I know, and she was positive the whole weekend. I had carefully warned her that I was no longer going to spend time with anyone who just dragged me down with sad commentary about life. I told her how I had explained that new me to my own mother, and warned that I would just stay away if that is what it took to escape the challenges of life that seem to get worse instead of better. I also recommended that mom see a psychologist to find ways to deal with her anxiety issues. Mother-in-law took the hint and as I think back about her behavior, I realize that it must have taken some serious will power on her part to stay positive. She was even nice to her middle son, and that was a much needed blessing.
Life is just too short to dwell on things that can't be changed. Life is just long enough to change one's self to relish the good and blessed moments we get right now. A mother-in-law who was actually kind hearted for a whole weekend was a time to be remembered. Maybe she's decided to mend a few fences in the last decade of her life. Not a bad idea.