Tag Archives: Mom

The Veterans are Coming….the Veterans are Coming………..

We’re all worried just like that 1966 movie “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming….” but nothing strikes more fear in my loins than when my mother calls and says, “The Veterans are Coming, the Veterans are Coming!!!”

That means Mom has called the Veterans charity organization to come and pick up whatever unusable debris you have laying around. This helps the Veterans make money somehow and helps you the Helper-of-Veterans get rid of junk in your house. What could be a better win-win?

Mom has made this a regular affair. Her commitment to giving the Veterans a worthwhile stop at her house means she must have at least one good bag of stuff filled to the brim, preferably two or more.

The upside is my Mom is cleaning out her stuff at a pretty good clip. This is kind to her heirs. The bad news is she is running out of her committed crap that she’s readily willing to part with, and God forbid, the Veterans come and there are not enough trappings to take to far afield.

That’s when the call goes out to her daughters. “The Veterans are Coming, the Veterans are Coming!”

Sure, we could just say, “Naaa, I don’t have time to go through my possessions to fulfill your charitable needs.” But it’s a double-edged sword. We want to help the Veterans. Who doesn’t want to help the Veterans? That’s a shame we can’t live with. And, my mom knows every one of us has more garbage (pronounced gar-baaashe) than we care to admit.

I pledged my support this week and went through my own closet, my grown daughters’ closets, who don’t even live here anymore, and the laundry room, trying to fill a garbage bag to the brim, so I’d get that gold star from the Veterans, or at least from my mom. Kindergarten never ends.

In my last sweep before going out the door, I found a stack of hangers in the laundry room covered with a very dusty garbage bag. Something under there was ripe for the Veterans and whatever it was, it was going. I had a duty.

Tearing off the old bag, I found some of my mother-in-law’s clothes that we must’ve  moved from her apartment to our house when she passed away almost four years ago. Oh crap……………..not the clothes, the tears. I just wasn’t prepared for that.

As I put them in the bag, I talked to Marie.

“It’s okay, Mom. It doesn’t mean we don’t think about you all the time. You are always a part of everything we do. We miss you and love you. But, Mom, you know my mom. And the Veterans are Coming! So I’m sure you want to do your part, too!”

Thanks, Veterans, and Moms for cleaning out my closets, but filling up my heart.

“You Just have to Laugh……..and sometimes a tear or two!”

©2017 Cathy Sikorski

You’ve Come A Long Way Baby……

My mom has become obsessed with creating photo albums for her six children from the hundreds of photos in her treasure chest.  She must make 6 copies of almost every photo, or at least as the photos progress and a child is added to the history books. I have no idea why this project might be frustrating for her 88-year-old self, do you? Duh, comes to mind.

Every once in awhile, when I’m in the mood for a little frustration myself, I stop over to my mom’s house to call the VA, or fix her iPad, or fight with Verizon.  Invariably, we start to look at the pictures together.

Yesterday, she showed me this photo.

 

My Nana is the one circled in yellow. She is about 35 years old in this picture. Her name wasn’t even Nana yet, as my mom is the cutest little 8-year-old circled in pink. I made my mom go find a photo of herself at around the age of 35.

Adorable me second from left! Even tho that’s not the point.

Then I came home and looked for one of me around the same age.

Please Note: 80’s fashion is not helping me make my point.

I would like to posit the following: Rather than continuing to punish women for adopting a youth culture look, perhaps we are actually just trying to enjoy life, look like we are having fun, and present a ‘picture’ to the world of what we actually look like, at the age we are at. Perhaps over the last 50 years, we started rebelling against being portrayed as “Nana” before we were even done having children. Perhaps, just because we have children doesn’t mean we have to wear orthopedic shoes, bras with no support, dresses made from tablecloths, or a hairstyle that would confuse us with Grandma Moses.

Perhaps my mother’s generation actually clandestinely started a revolution where women got to enjoy their youth, even if they had 6 youths of their own running around. Maybe that’s what began way back in the ’50’s and ‘ 60’s when no one was paying attention to the everyday housewife. And maybe that’s what’s still happening today to women in their ’50’s and ’60’s when no one is still paying attention.

Just sayin………

My Nana apparently didn’t change her look for 60 years. My mom, on the other hand, created generations of hot tomatoes! Yay, Mary Ann!

 

Photo by Dani Almond Photography
Photo by Dani Almond Photography

“You Just have to Laugh…………..”

©2017 Cathy Sikorski

Terrible 92’s………..

I have been steeped in getting out my book…which you will see below! And, okay, I took a vacation. But boy, do we need some laughter now, right? And it’s National Caregiver’s Month…so, you know…….the life of a caregiver never disappoints.

I was thinking about my mother-in-law the other day and how she was seemingly so content, no matter what was happening. She would read any book you gave her and would comment, “oh that was a nice book.” I used to say I think I’ll give her a copy of  “Mein Kampf” and see what she thinks. The point is that she saw the good in everything and was pretty content with her life wherever she was and whatever she was doing.

Except that one time.

She had left her stove on in her apartment one too many times and the fire department started to know her by name like Norm in “CHEERS!”.  This was not a good thing.  We bit the bullet and started to look for assisted living quarters near our home, so we could go see her on a regular basis. She lived almost an hour away, so living within 10 or 15 minutes of us seemed like a dream come true for everyone.

We found a lovely place, which she approved, sold her condo, packed up all her things, and moved all her own furniture into her new assisted living apartment.  I really hoped it felt like home. Plus, now it was so convenient I could visit her every day, my mom could visit, and my mom could bring some of her friends to visit. Plus, my mother-in-law would now be around lots of people on a daily basis and not feel so isolated.

The day came to move her in, and for the first time in the 25 years I’d been her daughter-in-law, she threw a tantrum.

“I’m not going!” she said.

“Mom,” I reasoned, “you like it there. We went lots of times and you liked your apartment, the food, the people….remember?”

“Why can’t I stay here with you?” she countered.

Indeed, why can’t she?  I don’t have any bedrooms or shower facilities on the first floor and steps were becoming impossible for this 92-year-old.

“Mom, you can see, I don’t have a bedroom or bathroom down here on the first floor.”

“Well, I could go live with your mother. She has lots of room and she could use the help.”

Use the help? Not use the ‘company.’ Use the help. What’s she going to do, be my 80-year-old Mom’s washer woman and cleaning lady?  This was not going well. Next, she may tell me she is going to get a job and her own apartment.

“Mom…..” I was stuck, I didn’t know what to say.

“I’m not going. I’m just not going, ” she pouted, and….not kidding….she stomped her foot like a toddler who doesn’t want to take a nap.

I took my only recourse.

“Get your coat. We’re leaving now. And no more shenanigans.”

Sometimes everyone responds to MOM.

The next day I went to visit. She told me I had to leave because it was lunch time and there was no room for me at her table.

“You Just Have to Laugh…..”

Cover by Dwayne Booth!!
Cover by Dwayne Booth!!

©2016 Cathy Sikorski

 

Prequel, Shmequel…just stick to the publication date……..

Sometimes I think we forget how the generation above us made a sensible life for themselves.  We fail to give our moms and dads credit for having figured out how to well…figure it out. Life has always been complicated, the addition of technology as not only a tool, but our new best friend is  making it worse. And yes, this flummoxes people like my 88-year-old Mom. But let’s not pretend it doesn’t do the same to us too.

I was trying to explain the concept of a pre-quel to my mom the other day.  My mom and sister and I have become rabid fans of the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child. There are like 20 of them and I’m happy to read them in whatever order the books come into my life. Some I get from the library, some I get from my friends, and I read whichever ones I haven’t read yet. And then I pass them on to my mom and my sister.

The one thing that was bugging all of us is that all of a sudden (Spoiler Alert, but probably not really if you’re a fan) is that everyone was talking to Jack about how sorry they were because his brother died. What? When did that happen? He was just alive two books ago. And how did he die? Nobody (at least not the characters) is talking.

So my mom and sister decided  to put an end to this. They are both Virgos. They cannot abide this frivolous lack of organization. My sister finally put her foot down.  We are going to look in the newest book we have, get a list of all the titles and start from the beginning.

Okay, fine.

Turns out not one of us ever read the very first book by Lee Child with Jack Reacher as his main character, the Killing Floor.  That’s where his brother, Joe Reacher dies.

Now my mom is confused, outraged and refuses to accept this.

“I ‘ve read dozens of these books, so far,” she said, “and the brother is alive in some of them. This doesn’t make any sense.”

“Well,” I told her, “perhaps the author wanted to go back in time with Jack’s life and talk about  where he came from, his mom and his brother and their life together. So he had to create a pre-quel.”

That seemed to be the end of the conversation, until a few days later when we were going shopping.

“I need you to give that book, “The Killing Floor” back to me, ” she said.

“Okay, but I’m reading it. Can it wait?”

“Well, okay, but I wrote down the publication date as 1997, and I just want to see if that’s right because I’ve gone through all the Jack Reacher books I have at home and none of them are before 1997. I just don’t understand it. I must’ve written it down incorrectly.”

“What are you talking about, Mom?”

“It just can’t be right that that book was written in 1997 because his mother and brother are dead and they are alive in other books.”

Now, here’s the thing. Do not try and use Star Wars as an example of a pre-quel to your 88-year-old mother. I tried. She’s never seen any Star-Wars-anything.  Princess Leia sounds naughty, Yoda sounds like exercise and Obewon Kenobe sounds like sushi, all of which she detests.

Since pre-quels didn’t seem to exist before  Star Wars, well, you’re just going to have to figure it out.

I’m not finished The Killing Floor yet, but I’m thinking about ripping out the copyright page and dummying up one that says 2016. For my mom, for my sanity, for senior citizens book clubs everywhere, and for all readers born before 1983.

“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©Cathy Sikorski 2016

Hello…it’s me….

I just returned from three weeks away to get a good head start on my next book.

I have been running from one person to another who just needs to see me. I don’t care how far technology has come, people want to actually see you. My mom, my friends, my book club, my uncle, my sisters, even my cleaning lady. And I want to see them.  It has made an impact on me. I realize that human contact, not just phones, or email or even Skype take the place of eye to eye, hand on the arm, hugs and kisses. Actually talking in person to someone can make your life better.

Never more so was this clear,  yesterday when I sat with my Mom as we made yet another phone call to the Veterans Administration. It was not frustrating or anger-inducing as I have recounted in the past, but it was a hoot.

It was reminiscent of a phone call I had made just days earlier to Medicare.

This was the Medicare call with a robot voice who was trying to get me to the right place:

Robovoice: Please state the purpose of your call.

Me: “Claims”

Robovoice: I heard ‘disability’ . Is that correct?

Me: “No, Claims.”

Robovoice: I heard ‘enrollment’ . Is that correct?

Me: “No, Ugh. I just want to talk to someone!”

Robovoice: I heard eligibility. Is that correct?

Lest you think I’m making this up, my friend was in the room listening, so she can confirm that this was a real conversation. I hung up and started all over again. My friend said, ” well there’s a blog.”

With my Mom and the VA however, we used this great service where they called us back rather than keep us on hold. In 10 minutes, a real person was on the phone answering our questions. She was kind, courteous and extremely helpful in leading us to the correct information.

The only problem was the phone connection was so terrible that she and I had to repeat every single sentence. I don’t know why, but neither of us got crazy over this. We just kept repeating. Finally, she said she could send me an email to make sure we had what we needed. Of course, do I have an easy email address? No, why would I?

This is how that conversation went:

Me: My email address is my name. I’ll spell it c-a-t-h-y

VA  lady: Is that J-R-P-P-I?

Me: No, it’s C, my  name is Cathy.

VA lady: Okay, Jathy

Me: No, it’s C, like in chocolate. (Now I know ‘military C’ is Charlie. I have no idea why I said chocolate)

VA lady: OH “C”! Okay you’re name is Cathy!

Me: Yes, My last name is Sikorski.

Hello? Hello?
Hello? Hello?

My mother sitting next to me says: “Oh God, this will never work!”

I just jump in and spell my last name : S as in Sam, I as in Ink, K as in Kitchen, O as in Olive, R as in Radish, S as in Sam, K as in Kitchen, I as in Ink. I don’t know the rest of the military alphabet. This is my  version.

VA Lady: Okay, I’ll send you the email.

Me: You will send it by mail?

VA Lady; No, the email, I’ll send the email.

I had no hope of this ever happening.

And five minutes later, there it was in my inbox.

If only we could have seen each other, it would have been so much better. But my Mom and I had a great laugh as we sat together at her kitchen table.

“You Just have to Laugh….”

© Cathy Sikorski 2016

The Eyes Have It……………….

I thought I would return for a moment to my caregiver roots and relay a story told to me by my Mom, yesterday.

My beautiful mother has been having some vision issues lately. She had cataract surgery a few years ago and has been seeing quite nicely, even without her glasses, since then. Recently, she noticed that her eyes were watering more than usual, and since she was happy about everything in her life (and why wouldn’t she be with a daughter like me), she was pretty sure she wasn’t crying for no good reason.

She went to the eye doctor. After a  thorough examination, the doctor declared my mother to have “dry eye” syndrome and also interference with her vision from droopy eye lids.

Now some people would be kind of excited about the prospect of a doctor declaring you a victim of droopy eye lids.  No one wants to look like a basset hound, not even a basset hound, I’m pretty sure.

See, if a doctor will state that it is medically necessary for you to have eyelid surgery for better vision or to correct the flow of your tears, you can have plastic surgery on your eyes and your medical insurance will pay for it! My friend, Lisa, who actually noticed her drooping eye problem affecting her vision has been fighting with physicians for months now to get it fixed.

My mother was then referred to an eye surgeon to look into correcting the cataract surgery as well as the droopy eye lids.

This is how the conversation went down:

Doctor: What seems to be the problem?

Mom: My vision has begun to get cloudy on the edges and I really can’t see well.

Doctor: Well, you know, with aging we just have to accept that things aren’t perfect.

See how pretty she is!
See how pretty she is!

Mom (a bright woman who is indeed aware that she is 87 years old): I certainly know that by now. But I was told that sometimes with cataract surgery fluid can get behind the lens and it needs to be repaired with a laser.

Doctor: Well I don’t see that with you.  I think you just need to wash your eyes real well with soap and water.

Mom looks at him like he’s a lunatic.

Doctor: Warm water, just use warm water.

Mom: I was sent to you by my eye doctor, and she saw that the cataract might have fluid behind it, so I wonder why there’s a difference?

Doctor: Well, I suppose I could do another test just to make sure.

Mom: Yes, let’s do that.

Cue Jeopardy theme song as Mom has test and waits to be called back into the doctor’s office

Doctor (with a chuckle): Well, well, well, I was certainly wrong about that!

Mom: What does that mean?

Doctor: You definitely are a candidate for the laser surgery, in fact in both eyes. But I would have to do one eye first, let it heal and then do the other eye. It’s kind of a pain to have to come back.

Mom: I’ll let you know.

Mom to me after relaying this conversation:

“First of all, (here she bursts into laughter), I don’t think I’m going to wash my eyes out with soap and water. And he didn’t even correct himself or say, “Oh I didn’t mean that!”. Second, so what if I have to come back two or three times? What else am I doing? I’m 87 years old. I would like to see!

Yesterday, my sister took her back to her eye doctor to get a new referral.

I wonder why people think age equals stupidity? I also wonder where that doctor got his medical degree and if he was last in his class. Nobody ever puts that on their wall, do they?

“You Just have to Laugh…………”

©2016 Cathy Sikorski

Want a Laugh? Call the VA……

Although my caregiving duties have changed some, I still, like many a dutiful daughter have to deal with issues of the elderly.

As I warned you a few weeks ago, my Mom is steeped in a battle with the Veterans Administration.  They reneged on her insurance about a month ago. This insurance is for widows of Veterans. My mother was placed on this policy 15  years ago. She’s used it for all her health needs since then, until that  fateful day when they discovered their error. For points of clarity, my Mom was put on Insurance Plan A and should have been placed on Insurance Plan B.

As you can imagine, in the world of government bureaucracy, this is no easy fix. Nobody knows what to do or how to repair this problem.

What they do know how to do is create all kinds of havoc that sends little old 87 year-old ladies into shock and apoplexy.

They have begun to  take back all their insurance payments over the last year or so, thereby causing my mother to receive bills from all her medical providers day after day after day.  You may not know this about the elder generation, but if they get a bill, they pay it. Case closed. Even though these bills will eventually be paid by Insurance B, this generation can not abide being beholden to anyone, especially their doctor.

After yet another three and a half hours on the phone with fwo divisions of the Veterans Administration…Insurance A and Insurance B customer service, and  DEERS   (Defense Enrollment Eligibility System) a department from the Department of Defense, I had my Mom actually hear a customer service rep tell her not to pay any bills until this is resolved.

The first guy was named Kirk. He asked me if I had spoken to him three days ago. I assured him I had not since I was out of the country.

“Hmm” he said, because I ‘m sure I had a call from some lady about this same problem, which I never heard of until this week.I guess Insurance A is running a review of all their insureds to see who is on the wrong program…hahahha..”

Yeah. Hilarious.Oh, and by the way, I think my mother may have inadvertently started this shake down of widows from the VA about a month ago.

Person number 2 , after our second 20 minutes on hold, was David. He, too, was flummoxed by this account of our woes and told us that he could only suggest we call DEERS, because It looks like DEERS needs to confirm that my father died on October 10, 1961.

Person number 3. after a very brief 10 minute hold was Bill. Bill was ever so kind. He could see that this was a grand problem. He couldn’t understand why the two insurance companies,under the VA would not accept a death certificate (yes, my amazing, organized- with-every-shred-of-paper-ever-touching-her-fingers-Mom has  a death certificate from 1961). Then Bill searched the records and said because the ‘incident’ (meaning my father’s death on active duty) was so long ago they would have to put in  a request to …you guessed it….the Veterans Administration, to confirm my Dad’s death.

One more transfer to another department of the VA, with a lovely 20 minute wait to Stuart.  It was almost taking as long to explain this journey as it was to be on hold, but explain it I did. And, this is a true story, mind you, while searching the data base of all the information under my Mom’s name and my Dad’s name, I think Stuart thought he put me on hold. Alas, this is what I heard in his exasperated voice:

Only I KNOW the ANSWER...she said.
How do you spell “Cluster$#!!

“What a cluster fuck!”

Yep, I burst out laughing, ’cause well, yeah…indeed.

The journey continues with me filing some documents they’ve asked for, waiting for a confirmation that my Dad has been dead for 55 years to come from the Veteran’s Administration to my Mom, so that we can then send it to the VA insurance.

That’s how it has to be done they tell me. The VA can’t send it the the VA, the widow has to do it. And at least a few more weeks of comedic material for a blog called..

“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©Cathy Sikorski 2016

Don’t Worry…..We Will Take Care of You……

Last Friday my Mom called me, practically in tears.

“Roberta was so mean to me,” she said.

I’m thinking, “who the hell is Roberta?”.

“She’s from my medical insurance carrier. I called to ask her why a bill wasn’t paid and she said I should never have been given this insurance and I’m going to have to pay back every penny from the last 15 years.”

“And,” she went on with a worried tone, “you told me to NEVER pay a medical bill. So I don’t know what to do.”

“Calm down, Mom. We will get this worked out. It will be okay.”

My first reaction was this:

I did tell my Mom never t pay a medical bill because her insurance covers everything.

My mom has Tricare For Life Medical Insurance. This insurance is for Veterans and their families, spouses, widows, children. My Dad died in a helicopter crash as an Army pilot on October 10, 1961. My mother had five children all under the age of 10 and was pregnant with her sixth child. So I kind of think my Mom is entitled to this insurance.

The thing is, Mom never claimed this insurance until my step-father passed away in 1998. She didn’t even ask for it. She already had Medicare and AARP. But when she applied for her widows benefits after my step-father passed away, the Veteran’s Administration made her jump through all kinds of hoops with documentation and then gave her this insurance.

My mom is a Virgo.

Why does that matter? She has kept every single piece of paper that has ever come into her life. So she has every piece of documentation that transpired fifteen years ago with the Veteran’s Administration. She sent them her marriage certificate to my step-father and his death certificate.

Then, they put her on the wrong insurance.

And now they are threatening an 87 year-old widow, who raised her family of six children without a father, who never even made it to 30 years old.

After talking to seven different people at seven different government administrative places which most people never even heard of, we refiled all the documentation from 15 years ago.

Now we wait.

I know from the last 25 years of caregiving and jumping through administrative hoops that this story will not have an easy ending. There’s going to be reams of paperwork. There will likely be boatloads of nastiness. There may be a lawsuit. But in my best, Scarlett O’Hara voice: “As God is my witness….my mother will never pay one dime to fix this problem.”

It helps that I’m a lawyer.

I know you don’t think there could possibly be a laugh in here in any way. But as I was looking at some of the documents from her insurance company, I saw this:

Fun things to do while fighting with Insurance
Fun things to do while fighting with Insurance

Really?

Hmmmm…..

“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©2016 Cathy Sikorski

Meeeooowwww…………!!!!

Don’t ever think you have your elders figured out……..they will surprise you, I promise.

Sometimes my Mom comes up with things that I cannot comprehend where she learned it. She’s not on Facebook or Instagram or god-forbid, Snapchat. She has a cell phone that we lovingly refer to as an Amish phone.  It’s an old flip phone. Lately she has discovered texting but she often texts back a cat for some reason and often words that no one can translate.

But all that being said, she does use a computer and and iPad and tries valiantly to stay in the 21st century.

So we were out for lunch today and she told me this story:

“So your sister called me for her weekly check-in,” she said nonchalantly

“Oh that’s nice.” I mumbled through my vegetarian chili. “What’s new with her?”

“Nothing much,” my mom said as she stabbed her salad with enthusiasm. “But when she called, my tenant, Mark was just coming in the door to help me move a table.”

My Mom has a small apartment in the back of her house. Right now she has a lovely couple, Mark and Cindy who have adopted her as their Mom.  They do things like sweep up the pine cones off her driveway, watch out for her when she comes home late at night and exchange treats. Mark is probably around 40-something. Mark and Cindy are moving soon and my Mom is going to miss them.

So when Mark walked in to my Mom’s kitchen and she was on the phone with my sister this is what transpired:

“Oh, Caren  (that’s my sister), my sweetheart just walked in!”,my Mom said in her most girlish voice.

“Really?” replied the surprised Caren, as my 87 year-old Mom has made it very clear she likes living the Carmelite existence. “who’s your sweethearr?”

Another unsuspecting prey!
Another unsuspecting prey!

Caren, I’m sure, was thinking it was one of the grandchildren or even a son-in-law coming to do some chore or other that couldn’t wait…like bringing up the Christmas tree on October 29th.

“It’s my tenant, Mark!” my mom replied.

Then….with Mark right there in her kitchen and Caren listening intently on the phone, my Mom said, with a twinkle in her eye (I know this because she related the story with just that verve);

“I’m a cougar!”

“You Just have to Laugh…………..”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski

 

Throw Momma from the Train???

I don’t know why..wait..oh yes, I do….I decided to take my 86 year-old mother on a whirlwind European vacation with us because she said she wanted to go when my sister went last year.

Our thirtieth wedding anniversary was approaching, so of course, why wouldn’t we take my Mom and our adult daughter with us on a 2 week trip to Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Dublin and a few other small towns thrown in? So romantic.

We nixed the river boat tour as too little time in each city and too much  time on a boat, especially since my daughter and I can be prone to sea sickness. What we didn’t realize was that a bus tour meant loads and loads of walking.

I almost killed my mother.

it would have been okay, except every day at least one of this intrepid group of four from age 23 to 86 decided that we should all do the extra tour of the day. And the remaining three did not wish to be unsociable or, God forbid, miss any one little highlight of the tour. Every one of us was pooped every single day. Up at 6 AM or earlier and very late to bed. We were going to have fun, damnit.

We even met up with our older daughter and her fiance in Budapest to add to the romance of 30 years of marriage. I will admit that Nanny passed on the pinball museum that day, which actually may have been one of my favorite pastimes. After walking a billion blocks to the museum in some heavily UNpopulated area, we played pinball for over 2 hours on all kinds of machines from the past eight or nine decades!

And then we got lost in Vienna.

pastryNow, normally i would embrace that. It’s fun to be lost in a foreign city. As long as you feel safe, it’s intriguing to find yourself in areas of the city that aren’t on the tourist map. But it’s downright cruel to keep your 86 year-old mom hiking through the streets of Vienna without a map, a plan, a coffee,a sausage or even a Viennese pastry.

We couldn’t find a taxi, a cafe, or any reasonable place to stop. And we couldn’t abandon her in a park and say we would come back for her because we had no idea where we were leaving her.

As she got redder in the face and was puffing along, I began to get worried. I think I actually broke into a furniture store that was closed when a gentleman came out…I just grabbed the open door and went in to an apparent board meeting. The look of panic on their faces was alarming, to them…not me… I was worried about my Mom.

Kindly, in perfect English, the nice man gave us directions:

“Go up this street until you can’t go anymore, then turn left and you will be at your destination.”

We almost turned left before we couldn’t go anymore….which actually meant running into a stone wall……..and there we were.

We’ve been home a month. We discuss the concerts, the architecture, the tour guide who told us all about living under Communist rule, and how exhausting but amazing the whole vacation turned out to be. But we never once have discussed getting lost in Vienna. I was pretty sure my Mom wasn’t impressed with our trekking across Eastern Europe.

Grand CentralUntil yesterday when she said, “I still want to take a train trip across the entire continental United States.” Cause that wouldn’t be tiring in any way.

“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©2015 Cathy Sikorski