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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Visit Mom....
 


A Visit With Mom


Mom’s house is a cluttered arrangement of mementos. Every gift that everyone ever gave her is appropriately displayed, along with pictures of the children, grandchildren, and every high school graduation or wedding that has ever taken place in the family. One look around the room and your entire life flashes before your eyes.

Mom is always cold so the house is always hot. As beads of sweat pop out, you dare not inquire as to what the temperature might be. “It seems a bit drafty in here,” mom says, “Maybe I better turn up the thermostat - it’s only 78 degrees.” Even the houseplants have wilted.

Meals at mom’s house are always a smorgasbord. Mom has been cooking for at least a week prior to your visit in spite of the fact that you are overweight and trying to diet. Of course, you have to eat so her work doesn’t go to waste. And when you feel as if another bite will make you explode, she says, “I made your favorite dessert, coconut cream pie.”

Sleeping at mom’s house is a real challenge. Mom still has the same mattress on the extra bed in the spare room that has always been there. It must be at least 50 years old by now. Even the lumps have mellowed. When you lay down, you sink about 8 inches into the mattress, like a waterbed without water.

Of course, just finding the bed is a formidable task. First you must dig through layers of cushions and ruffled bedspreads without tripping over a footstool or knocking over an antique lamp. Chances are that mom has already turned the bed back for you, though.

Mom is very neat. In the morning she makes up the bed while you are in the shower. When you leave a room, she turns out the light. She puts anything you left out of place beside your suitcase, “So you will be sure not to forget it.” She pours your coffee and puts a coaster under your cup. You are not allowed to help with dishes as she can do it faster herself, without a dishwasher.

The principle item in mom’s living room is the television set, and everything focuses on the tube, like leaves turning toward the sun. There are only four channels as cable costs extra. Dad holds the remote control. Just as you begin to get interested in a program, he changes the channel. If there is nothing he wants to watch, he turns it off.

Mom is happier when the TV is turned off because it makes too much noise anyhow and she cannot talk. Mom tells the same stories over and over. Sometimes they vary a bit from telling to telling, but mostly they are always the same. She talks from the moment you walk in the door until you leave. You know every doctor she has, every pill she takes, every operation and illness, and every friend that has died and who came to the funeral.

If you go somewhere, mom points out all the interesting sites along the way: the local nursing home, her lawyer’s office, the school where your sister used to teach, the church that her brother helped to build, the street where houses used to be before the mill tore them down, and other local sites of  interest.

So, you eat till you ache, you listen till your ears hurt, and you are glad that mom is still able to tell her stories. You love her in spite of it all, and you secretly wonder if you will ever become just like her?

You are already beginning to tell stories.


Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss
 
 



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