We went to Florida to tell Lynn’s mother Mabel about our upcoming tour to Germany. She went to Florida every winter with her cousin. Cathy had moved to Florida also, following a job offer. We had put it off. We were almost ready to leave. We told them both. Cathy took it in stride; Mabel did also, too well, we thought.
That night we went out to eat with a large family group, then headed to the dog races. I tried to bet based on what the dogs had previously done. It didn’t work well with dogs, only horses which have jockeys. Cathy and her grandmother won quite a few races, based on the dogs’ names. We won none.
That night as we said goodnight, Mabel teared up suddenly. “I’ll never see you again,” she announced.
We had been in Germany six months when Mabel called to say she was coming to see us. She had never flown so far. We warned her to be a little old lady and let the stewardesses take command. We told her by no means to mention we’d be doing a Volksmarch (a little over three mile hike) after she got off the plane.
We had a problem. We had tickets to go see Huey Lewis and the News, our landlady’s favorite group. “Let’s just get your mother a ticket,” I said. And that’s what we did.
We picked her up at the Frankfurt Airport and took her on her first Volksmarch. She was surprisingly friendly, chatting with German people, not her usual style. I figured she didn’t think they counted.
The night we went to Huey Lewis, we stopped at a T-Shirt booth right outside the main entrance. “Brigitte, would you like a t-shirt?” Lynn asked. When Brigitte said no, he turned to me, “Cheryl, would you like a t-shirt?” I also said no.
We started to move on—except Mabel. “You didn’t ask me if I want a t-shirt?”
“Mom, would you like a t-shirt?”
“Yes, I would.” So we bought one for her; I never saw her wear it. This is the reason I loved my mother-in-law. And incidentally, we definitely raised the age of the attendees at the rock concert.