Leave it to my mom, Dorothy. There are so many places on Earth that can use her help right now. When disaster hits, she immediately takes charge. Dorothy considers a situation, makes appropriate plans, and leads the way to victory for everyone.
Refusing to evacuate her Ft. Myers, Florida home during Hurricane Irma, my mom instead chose to hunker down during the eye of the storm. A week earlier, she was preparing for immediate recovery from any aftermath: she cooked all the food in her freezer, prepared her own jugs of water from milk containers, and filled her bathtub with water. She shut herself in a linen closet in her master bathroom – the most interior room of the house. She was set.
My mom and her neighbors were some of the fortunate ones. There was very little property damage in her neighborhood, and the power was down for only about five hours – versus several days in nearby areas. Dorothy immediately set out the day after the storm and collected 10 bags of fallen leaves and debris scattered across the front lawns, before the city crews arrived and asked her to simply pile the fragments at the side of the road and refrain from using lawn bags.
We lovingly tease Mom in her “intervention” efforts and warn her that some may call her a busybody. But that seems too harsh a word.
Some alternate terms come to mind when describing my mother, who takes it upon herself to become the unofficial person-in-charge:
• detail oriented
• generous with her time
• trusted overseer
• constructive advisor
Following Hurricane Irma, Mom continued her duties around the neighborhood, asking a neighbor to cease using a watering hose to clean his driveway. “No need for that; we need to conserve our water,” she remarked.
She reminded a fellow Floridian to wear long pants when cleaning, in order to protect from scratches or (*gasp*) infection. The gentleman replied, “Ma’am, I haven’t worn long pants since I moved to Florida.”
“Harumph,” my mom later said to us. “I hear that all the time. Well, I certainly don’t appreciate seeing his veiny legs.”
And She Continues Working
During a visit to our Illinois home this past spring, she spent two days pushing a wheelbarrow, unloading rocks from our garden. After her muscles got sore from the lifting, she resorted to organizing our entire garage, which hadn’t been done yet since moving into the home 1.5 years earlier.
The neighbors insisted I wasn’t being a good daughter, letting her do all that labor. But I told them my mom has her own agenda. I call it a win-win.
Next stop, she’s heading over to lead clean-up efforts in the church yard. God bless her fellow churchgoers. They’d better be ready to work.
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