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My Mother, as I knew her could be funny and challenging on multiple levels.

She had such a good poker face that there were times I couldn’t tell if she was being funny or serious.

Take the following story for example:

After her husband went into hospice care Mother got an apartment of her own.

It was a nice place and right by to a little shopping mall where she bought her necessities of life: paper towels, printer ink, orange pop, and prescriptions.

When I was visiting her in Vermont, I liked going to this shopping mall because it had all kinds of pretty little things that I couldn’t get back in Canada.

Once, when I told her I was heading out to the store she asked me if I wanted her to drive me.

I could only look at her and stare.

“Mother,” I said to her…

“It’s only a hundred yards from the front door.”

She would just shrug her shoulders and raise her arms at me as if to say:

“Okay… okay!”

Not wanting to let the matter go, I pressed further and asked:

“Don’t tell me that you drive to the store….”

Ever since she moved into the apartment I worried about her being too sedentary and not getting enough exercise.

The drive would have taken less than ten seconds, as you were only driving from one parking lot into another.

Her reply to me was that yes, she did drive her car to the store.

Then it was my turn to shrug my shoulders and throw my hands in the air.

It was about a year after she moved into the apartment building that she got her own underground parking spot.

That’s when I got a phone call from her.

“Guess what?” … she asked me.

“What?” I said, instantly afraid.

“I walked to the store today.”

“You actually walked to the store?”

… I was happily surprised.

“How did that happen?” I asked in return.

“Well, I figured it out,” she began explaining to me…

“Remember my new underground parking spot that I told you about?”

I told her that I did.

She continued…

“Well, believe it or not, when I worked it out, it’s a longer walk to the underground parking lot than it is to the store.”

I wish I could have seen the look on her face as she was telling me this so I could maybe have some indication of whether she was kidding me or not.

Either way, I was very grateful that she couldn’t see my face because I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

She always loved reeling me in like that…

In fact…

It amused her to no end.