March 31st, 2003


Weekend at Mom's

I spent the weekend in North Carolina helping my brother and his wife move the stuff that they have been storing at their respective parents' houses up to DC. It was mostly a business weekend, but like all weekends in North Carolina, it had its share of weird.

Friday we left DC around 8pm in an effort to avoid the traffic caused by an accident on 95 South. We got to the Sniper Ponderosa by about 9 and were back on the road a bit heavier by 10:30, and were in bed by 2. Woke up Saturday morning to a pouring rainstorm. Mom had made me an appointment to get a massage on Saturday at noon as a little "I Love You" present--my first massage ever. I had been hearing horror stories from friends all week about masseurs rubbing them in the wrong places and turning the soothing massage into something less so, but I was thankfully misinformed. It was actually a very emotional experience for me: when I walked into the little room, they were playing Watermark, by Enya, an album that we used to listen to over and over again when I worked in this awesome little local art/aromatherapy boutique in High School. This has always been my happy place album; it brings me right back to that time, one of the happiest times of my life. The massage begins, the album plays, and I find myself crying. I told the masseuse that it was such a coincidence that she play that album, that I was struck with such a happy sentimentality that I just lost it. she said it was actually a very common reaction to massage, that people often find it bringing up emotions they had forgotten about. She had had me fill out a form telling her where I carry my stress (shoulder blades) and she worked them over good. I had to pass on the facial massage for obvious reasons, but all in all it was a wonderful experience and I will probably do it again.

I left the parlor to find my mom waiting for me in the car wearing shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt. The weather had miraculously switched from chilly downpour to a breezy summery day. The rest of Saturday was spent shopping, driving around Raleigh, mom showing off her new office, and by dusk, she, my brother, and I were back at her place, huddled around the little hibachi on her deck, grilling, drinking Arbor Mist, and talking about how many strange things there were in the little town where we grew up.

My brother and I left shortly after dinner to meet up with his wife, her brother and her cousin at a bar in Raleigh where we spent the rest of the night making rather merry. My mom called us at the bar telling us that the power was going to be off in her little suburb town from midnight-4am for repairs, and warned that we might have trouble navigating the house in the dark. Everything was normal until we got off the highway onto her exit where the only things giving off light were the reflectors on the parked cars. It felt like the end of the world. Bizarre. And who the hell turns off the power for the WHOLE TOWN?

Sunday I woke up at 11 because my headache was preventing me from sleeping any longer. The rest of the day was a dismal blur. The beautiful summery weather had reverted to 40 degree temperatures with icy rain falling. We loaded the truck at my mom's house, went to Home Depot to load their new grill, went to my sister-in-law's dad's house to load up there, hit the Arby's and were on our way for a long hung-over drive. Somewhere around Fredericksburg, we were shocked to see snow on the ground and on some rooftops, and the next thing we know we are in a freak snowstorm, and of course, the post-Fredericksburg no-good-reason traffic.

So it was both a long and exhausting and a short and relaxing weekend away at mom's. I got home in time to get my stuff ready for the week, but still have a weekend's worth of laundry and cleaning ahead of me. It's going to be a long week.
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