Today was Mother’s Day, and so my sister Lisa set up a Zoom meeting and all my brothers and sisters joined in. Nancy was there for part of the time, and my cat Samantha, Kevin’s wife Ann, Tim’s daughter Eliza, Don’s daughter Erica America, Nancy’s daughter Kelsey, Nancy’s grandson Trevor, and Lisa’s son, Steve, also dropped in. We met for about an hour and a half. Highlights were when Mom told the story about how she totaled an Oldsmobile she was buying from our Uncle Ed on her first driver’s license exam, Don’s baking of sourdough bread, and Erica’s purchase of a vintage Rolling Stones t-shirt like the one her mother Donna wore in an old photograph, and Tim gave a tour of his yard and garden. He had the tour as a video on his phone, and we could actually see it pretty well when he held his phone up to the computer. We could see it better than some of the still photographs that were displayed in a similar fashion.
I called into the meeting on my phone for the audio, and had my Chromebook laptop with the sound muted for the video. It worked pretty well that way, as my Internet signal is kind of weak and unstable, and the audio gets garbled, and the picture freezes and has to buffer, when I tried to do it all on the laptop. I also found that you could hide non-video participants, and either go with Speaker Mode, where the picture of the person who is speaking is displayed, or Gallery Mode, where you see little pictures of everyone. There was a pin you could click on if you wanted to see one of the people who weren’t talking in full screen. This was useful when they were showing photos and other people were commenting on them.
Getting back to Mom’s story about her driving test, she said that she had to pay to have the car fixed, and it cost $800. She paid $15 per month. The car, an Oldsmobile with automatic transmission, cost about $1,000. The other driver was at fault, but my Mom was at a stop and she hesitated, as she had the right-of-way, but was nervous about taking the driving test, so the other driver took off. He was uninsured it turned out, and he took off running to avoid getting in trouble. The question remains: did she pass the test or did she have to take it again?
Another question for my Mom was which child was the hardest delivery? She said that Christopher was difficult because the doctor wasn’t there and the nurses made her hold me in until he got there. But then, when my brother Kevin was born, she was at Kaiser and they had an Intern do it, and he had to pull Kevin out with forceps. The rookie doctor broke her tailbone, which then caused her a lot of pain for about three weeks after whenever she moved between prone position and standing. It was okay once she got there, but hell going from one position to the other.
Kevin is learning Spanish from an online program that our sister Joanie set up for him. His wife, Ann, is a native speaker and is fluent. Kevin was supposed to learn but until this lockdown he never had time. Tim gave an update on his dogs. The oldest is Gus, who has cancer but he is pretty old anyway, so they will just let it run its course. Gus is doing pretty good and was almost able to snag a s’more off the picnic table. He can still walk and eat, his favorite things, so he is happy. It was below 40 degrees back in Maryland, which is weird because May in Bakersfield is already heating up. It was also much later back there, as they had a fire in the backyard and it was night time, while in California it was still light, and it is even earlier in Maui.
Zoom meetings are pretty good, allowing us to all visit, though after an hour and a half it grows tiresome. So, that is our limit. Lisa uses it as a sales manager meeting with people on Zoom all over the US, so she has unlimited usage. But there is such a thing as too much, so at 7:30 PM, Pacific Time we said Adios.
I love my Mom and my family. They are all wonderful. Really glad we all got to be together for Mother’s Day, even if it was just on Zoom.