19 January 2008

And This Was Only the Beginning!

For the curious, I'll have you know that Wikipedia has REAMS of info on Clementines. The short story is that they are, yes, seedless mandarins. They are absolutely wonderful for a month or two, then the price goes up and they tend to be mealier or more sour. So I buy tons of them while the getting is good! Here in Maine they sell them in adorable little wooden crates. If you want to beef up your Clementine knowledge, you can do so HERE.

EDIT!!!!! You must all see this New Product for Valentine's Day!!!


And now, folks, a drama for your reading pleasure. It stars GrammaJ an anonymous, cute little old lady and it is in no way embellished at all. Seriously. It's not.

Stop laughing. You haven't even read it yet!


They stood outside, huddled in the cold, waiting for the ominous sliding glass doors to part. The Department of Human Services didn't open 'til 8:00am, but GrammaMarie insisted she wanted to be there before they opened so she could be the first one in line. She had had her daughter, Lynn - a vivacious, cheerful and faithful daughter who looked far younger than her 44 years - pick her up quite early. They drove into the nearly empty lot, located the correct entrance and waited. And waited and waited! Finally, cars began to arrive and others in need of assistance joined them in chilly walkway: an elderly man with a walker, a youngish girl with too much make-up, and a fellow of indeterminate age with a red bulbous nose and an ancient, buttonless coat.

At the stroke of eight, the doors magically opened and the shivering visitors tumbled through. GrammaMarie started to shuffle along with the throng - if 5 or 6 people can be called a throng - then suddenly stopped and began rifling through her bag of paperwork. Her daughter had not noticed the stall in progress and had gone on without her. Realizing her mother was missing, she turned back to see GrammaMarie still out in the cold with a panicked look on her face as she dug throught he bag. Lynn retraced her steps.

"Mom, what's the matter?"

"I think I forgot my birth certificate! I can't find it anywhere!!"

"Mom, you asked ME to bring your birth certificate. I have it right here."

It took a few moments for the now relieved gramma to regain her composure. The two walked arm in arm to join the line. The wait was quite short.

Hello!" smiled the desk clerk, "How can we help you today."

"Oh, now aren't you a sweet young lady!" GrammaMarie gushed. "Well you see, I just moved up here from South Carolina some undisclosed southern state. I wanted to be here so I could be near my family. This is my wonderful daughter. She came here with me so I wouldn't be nervous. She helps keep me on track!"

The clerk smiled and nodded graciously to said wonderful daughter.

Wonderful daughter nudged GrammaMarie and whispered, "Mom, you need to tell her what you are here for."

GrammaMarie smiled and giggled, "Oh Of course! I told you, she keeps me on track! Anyway, I was a nurse. In fact I didn't even go to college until I was in my 50's. It was incredibly hard but I DID IT! I don't think it's ever too late for someone to go to college and start over. Although I'm not sure I could do it now. In fact, no, I don't think I'll ever go back to school again."

Here, Lynn gently nudged her verbose mother in the ribs. GrammaMarie didn't seem to notice, "but now it's hard for me to work because of my hands. They give me all sorts of trouble - you wouldn't believe what a nightmare it is! They pop out of joint and I drop things and the pain is terrible! Anyway, that makes it hard for me to get a job I can realistically do."

GrammaMarie paused for a breath and the clerk jumped in, "And what would you like us to do for you?"

"Well," GrammaMarie looked thoughtful, "I was talking to the nice man at the Senior Housing Service and he told me that I'd be able to move in there within the next couple of months. Isn't that wonderful? I only JUST applied in September and I'm already to the front of the list. I'm so excited! You wouldn't believe the place I'm living in now. It must be over 100 years old and the roof leaks and the neighbors are so noisy and oh, I think the stairs there are going to kill me..."

The clerk was still nodding graciously, but her eyes were starting to glaze over. At this point, a heavy set, no-nonsense looking woman in her 50's swung in next to the benumbed clerk. She gave a brief, professional no-nonsense smile to GrammaMarie and then addressed the clerk. "What does she need?"

The clerk shrugged and turned to the wonderful daughter with a questioning look.

"She'd like to apply for medicare and foodstamps, " Lynn managed to say.

"Oh yes," GrammaMarie interjected, "The nice man at the Senior Housing Service said I should come here and apply. Right now I have that AARP supplemental insurance but it's SO EXPENSIVE! I'm on a limited income, you know and I've had the worst time finding a doctor here in Maine this undisclosed northern state that has coooooooold weather and snow and ice..."

Ms. No-nonsense interrupted, "Name?"

"Um, Marie____ _____."

"Social Security number?"

Here, GrammaMarie carefully looked this way and that to see if anyone was listening. She opened her mouth to speak, then thought better of it. Instead she rifled through her bag and pulled out her social security card. She handed it silently across the counter. GrammaMarie doesn't like strangers knowing her personal information!

While Ms. No-Nonsense typed in the numbers, GrammaMarie watched her like a hawk. She wanted to make sure she got that card back! AND while she hovered, she talked, "I did manage to build a little bit extra up on my Social Seciruty this past 10 years or so with my nursing work. I'd love to still be nursing now, but the ole body just can't keep up anymore. But that Social Security stll isn't enough. Sometimes I have to buy groceries on my credit card!"

The gracious clerk smiled and handed her a clipboard. "Here you go. This is a dual application for food stamps and Medicare. You can sit over there to fill it out and a social worker will be with you shortly."

Lynn took the clipboard for her mother. She mouthed Thank You! to the clerk and headed to a seat, only to discover that GrammaMarie was still at the counter. "Oh I hope my social worker will be Chad. He and I chatted for almost half an hour earlier this week. He's so sweet!"

Lynn sighed, "Mom..."

"And you ladies have been simply lovely. Thank you for all your help."

"Mom! Let's get this paperwork filled out or we won't have time for shopping later!"

"She's such a wonderful daughter! She's taking me shopping later! It's our belated Christmas outing!"


GrammaMarie shuffled over and sat down with Lynn. Together, they filled out the forms on the clipboard. They HAD to do this together because GrammaMarie kept getting confused about which information they wanted and where did she put this document and oh-my-goodness what will happen if I report this extra $25 in my bank account and...

After a few moments a pleasant looking, middle-aged lady in stretch pants and a teal sweater came up to them. "Marie _____?" she querried. Lynn and GrammaMarie arose and the three of them went into a small office down the hall. GrammaMarie nudged her wonderful daughter excitedly and whispered, "She's wearing my color? Did you see that? She's wearing teal! That just confirms to me that God is the one who set up this appointment!" Lynn was left to mull over this interesting tidbit of theolgy as they all settled into their respective chairs.

The lady smiled and asked, "And just what can we do for you today, Marie?"

I'll leave the rest to your imagination!


Judy said...

ROFL... I LOVE your mother!! In fact, I think I KNOW your mother!!!!

anno said...

Echoing Judy... me, too!

Angry said...

You know Groovy, you really had me going for a while there because you made it all sound quite real... then I read the decription of Lynn and realised it was fiction.


Love your Mum, she sounds like how I imagine you will be by her age... that's a good thing right?

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

LOL! Funny and oh so cute!

Anonymous said...

It's so nice that they took the time to help her. I hope GrammaMarie gets everything she needs. What a lovely lady!

seejenngo said...

BAHhahahaha!!!! "Lynn was left to mull over this interesting tidbit of theolgy" - or as MY mom would say, "Well now, THAT's an interesting false doctrine"...

I miss you. Come see me! I will feed you clementines from my darling little wooden box.

groovyoldlady said...


Jenn actually visited me. I am moved. I am touched. And I am laughing profusely over her Momism.

My husband says I NEED to get out and socialize more, so I'll DEFINITELY be over soon!

Woo-Hoo! JENN!!!!

notcon4med said...

Maaaaaaaaan! How do you rate? Jenn doesn't visit me! I wanna go to her house too! Sigh...she's so cool.

Dawn said...

Priceless. Absolutely priceless! Thanks for the forewarning!

Damselfly said...

What a grand way to turn an impersonal errand into a life-filled story!

Cathie said...

Hi Groovy. I'm sorry but I lost your e-mail and wanted to check in to see if you received the PIF gift I sent you...

Let me know, ok?

Ms. Kathleen said...

That is so cute! Your poor mother is just so sweet.

And Kraft Doubles for couples... Be still my ♥

Still laughing....

Anonymous said...

If your mother had stayed in that undisclosed Southern state, both sides of all of her conversations would have been as long as her side was.

Best to be first in line.

Hope she finds a great place to live.

funsocksgirl said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! oooh my gosh, aren't you having sooo much fun having gramma live so near to you?

haha i'm still laughing...oh it's all too real, i can see the whole thing unfolding, ESPECIALLY the God-confirmation embodied by the lady wearing teal. every so often i joke to j ("j! getting this parking spot so close to the building is a confirmation from God that we should be shopping here at this exact moment!") - it's great to watch his face as he remembers similar instances with gramma in the past :-D

love you and hey...i miss you. you're my mom, you know.

groovyoldlady said...

Aaaaw. I Got Bek AND Cindy AND Jenn all to comment on one post. I'm all teary now! I think this wll just have be recorded as my favorite post comments section EVER!

Tammy said...

Oh this was wonderful...ROFL

Yep, I do oddly feel as if I know your mother. And I could so identify with this story. But I would instead be the wonderful 44 yr old daughter who looked much younger than her years...;)
Actually, I can only say that age through tomorrow!
Come over and enter my little giveaway, Groovy. If you don't want my prize, you can maybe give it to that sweet GrammaMarie up there who is now close by in your undisclosed northern state with cold and ice. :)

Wholly Burble said...

Hello! I got a kick out of seeing your site is Groovy's Ruminations, and mine Rocking Chair Ruminations--I know that word is more often associated with cows ruminating their cud LOL--but I can see we're writers of the same ilk.

This sounds like an outing I could have had with my mom--except I'd be the one saying "and this confirms God wants us here" LOL. My mom is 98, and I have the joy of assisting her in all her life adventures now. Amazingly, my mom was a nurse for fifty years, and at the age of 72 decided to go to college--and graduated with a counseling degree, working then until she was 82.

And your profile said you freelance--tell me more! I'm much older than you, but I feel we're taking similar life journeys--how nifty.

Sammie-J said...

Hi, I Just came across your blog and I just wanted to let you know you are a riot. Thanks for some great reads and laughs.

Anonymous said...

What a great story! Thanks for the laughs this morning!