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L. E. Hughes

Away With Words: When Mama Works
By L. E. Hughes
Sep 29, 2005 - 3:40:00 PM

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I have just finished two and one half weeks of working as a nurse - ten hours days - two hours travel time. My schedule: get up, go to work, come home, go to bed. The family was pretty much left to their own devices while I was gone, poor things. This morning, having a respite from the nursing home, I find things at my home in an appalling state: while the refrigerator has plenty of items: orange juice containers, milk jugs, jelly jars, and hot dog Styrofoam, they are all empty. The only food in the house is a smearing of tomato sauce on the bottom of an aluminum pan. I think they ate the Samís Club lasagna I was saving for Christmas dinner. Even the butter dish has been licked clean. I bet that frozen butter shaves easily, but itís sure to cool down those English Muffins in a hurry. That doesnít really matter because the toaster is in the garbage with a strange blue colored substance melted all over it.

The dish washer is loaded, bless their hearts, but Iím not sure if the dishes are dirty or clean- they seem to be both.

I canít locate the dog. She appears to have been replaced with new pets: fruit flies.

The oven is cold; the TV and lounge chair are warm.

The microwave has locked itself shut. I think itís in a state of exhausted rebellion. On second thought, that could be where the dog is hidingÖ

There is a lone sock, a Bobbie pin and a computer power cord on the sideboard beside a note that reads: ďMom, I owe the school four-thousand dollarsÖĒ

The bath towels are piled clothes washer high in a corner of the bathroom and the shampoo bottles are lying on the shower floor where they apparently died of shock, having lost all their insides.

When did we decide to turn the backyard into a hay field?

There is a suspiciously sticky substance on the kitchen floor and a gummy trail leading to my office. My elbow stuck to the arm of my desk chair and I had to rub the spot vigorously to get it unstuck.

The answering machine is blinking wildly, repeating over and over in a mechanically desperate voice, ďYou have one-hundred-seventy-two messages.Ē It sounds a bit like Nanny use to when she needed a ladies room ASAP.

Not to worry, Iíll take care of everything; after all, I donít have to go back to work until tonight.

L. E. Hughes is a columnist, writer and owner of Diamond Corner B&B in Stratton, Maine. She welcomes your thoughts and comments:

© September 2005 Lew-Ellyn Hughes. All Rights Reserved and Retained by the Author.

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