G'ma Smoked A Hooka

From our master bedroom is the only indoor access to our deck in the back yard. My 81-year young mother who lives with us loves to spend all her days on the deck. The entire family refers to my mom as G'ma and sometimes Phat G'ma. When the weather is nice you can find G'ma a.k.a., Phat G'ma, on the deck starting at 8:00 in the morning until the mosquitoes chase her in which is usually around 9:00 at night.

When G'ma goes out to the deck it is a production partly because she can't walk very well and partly because she needs a lot of "things" out on the deck with her. G'ma stoops over as she shuffles along looking down at her feet. She walks with a cane in one hand and the bottom of her silky gown in the other. She picks up the bottom of her gown because if she does not her gown gets under her feet and four steps later she is at a halt having used up all the walking space inside her gown! Behind G'ma is good ol' auntie Mona pushing G'ma's wheelchair. Sometimes G'ma has a bad day with her legs and needs to travel via wheelchair so it is always close by. G'ma also likes to sit in the wheelchair while on the deck because the patio chairs are too hard and too narrow. Her wheelchair is wide and roomy and comfortable for her. Along with the wheelchair G'ma has to have her basket of goodies. In the basket you will find puzzle books, erasable pens, scissors, hard candy, a comb, some safety pins, tissues, two cell phones, a pack of cigarettes, a variety of cigarette lighters, her prayer book, several rosaries, two cans of kitty treats and I am sure there are things in that basket that I don't even know about. Her basket is her lifeline. If she does not have her basket life just is not right.

On the deck we put up a canopy to shade G'ma from the hot sun or the pouring rain. Yes, even when it rains she insists on staying outside. The only thing that will chase her in is a deluge with too much thunder and lightening. On the deck is a cast iron patio table with matching chairs. G'ma, being G'ma brings with her two beach towels and a round table cloth that she puts on the cast iron patio table when she arrives on the deck in the morning. Along with the tablecloth and towels for the patio table there is a little towel that is placed on one of our smaller patio tables so she can put her basket on it. G'ma has her morning coffee and breakfast on the deck. She has her lunch on the deck. She receives communion from the local churches home communion services on the deck. G'ma lives on the deck.

When anyone comes over to visit with G'ma, or if we ourselves want to visit with G'ma we have to visit her on the deck. Tonight, our youngest daughter, who recently moved back home decided to take her very tall, very blue, glass water pipe out to the deck and visit with G'ma. I was in my bedroom with the door to the deck open letting in some much needed fresh air. I could hear the ladies conversing about my daughter's water pipe with references about how it worked, different types of tobaccos and such. This particular day my daughter brought out orange flavored tobacco that she described to G'ma. I could hear G'ma laughing and my daughter snickering. I could hear the water bubbling in the pipe, then a pause, then a giggle, then more bubbling, followed by yet another pause, a stifled snork, and then more laughter. Between some coughs and sputters of giggling, I heard my daughter say, "No, what you are tasting is my spit!" G'ma lost it with contagious laughter. Apparently G'ma decided that she wanted to smoke the water pipe and made commentary about the different taste that she was picking up on.  Taste like orange rind, smooth tobacco blends and some peculiar musty flavor! So, out on my deck sits my mom G'ma, who is 81 along with my daughter who is 23. They are sharing the water pipe, laughing, harassing one another and enjoying life. Soon, they will be tromping their way back through my bedroom carrying canes, baskets, blue glass water pipes, tobacco, books, towels, tablecloths, and that special basket. Following up the rear will be auntie Mona pushing the wheelchair and the parade will happen only because the mosquitoes will chase them in.

© October 25, 2009

Maryanne Mesple

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A typical day with G'ma on our deck with the addition of a water pipe.
A Word from the Writer
G'ma is 81, a very real person who keeps everyone on their toes and provides lots entertainment for the family.
Published Date
8/2/2009 12:00:00 AM
Published In
Story posted on Thoughts.com
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