Note: This is a journal entry — it was written on paper or on my computer, then transferred to my website, maybe years later.
Well I’m at my mom’s house smoking in bed and really paranoid about it — Mama would throttle me. Wait a minute — maybe I should lock the door!
Okay, but I have to remember to unlock it before I go to sleep or she’ll probably put two and two together.
I had an action-packed day today. I’m going to try to summarize it because I’m really tired even though it’s only eleven.
After we all woke up (Lucie, Mark & I) I called Aunt Pat & left a message asking to see her for five minutes. She called back and it was totally weird. First she wanted me to come see her AFTER the family thing at Ita’s, but I couldn’t do that because we were going to Mimo’s. So I asked if I could just pop by Ita’s for two minutes. She said, well, it’s going to be a sit-down thing, so if you don’t want to be an INTERRUPTION, then call at 2:00 to be sure dinner’s over. Like, I love being an interruption to the family. So — meanwhile — Daddy dropped by to leave the barbecue pit that was Lucie’s Xmas present and the CDs from Hogwild which I had forgotten at Daddy’s. We both told Daddy how much we really like Joy — she’s so good for Daddy. And they’re totally sweet and affectionate with each other which I have never even SEEN before with Daddy.
After he left, we called Aunt Mary — another side of the family, the Keator side — and unlike Pat Frost, she was totally like "WHEN are you coming over? I hope there’s food left, hurry on by!" So we did, and Betsy and Lisa and Patrick and Sally and her husband Jimmy and young Kathleen (Lisa & Patrick’s sister I think) and a few other people I didn’t know. They were all so nice and welcoming. Sally and her husband struck me as being particularly nice. Aunt Mary was as sharp and sweet as ever. We used to write letters to each other — she’s a writer like me, not a caller.
When we left there, Lucie was having an asthma attack so we went back home to get her medicine. She was coughing so bad she started hurling so we had the funny conversation again about how her & me are the two hurlin’est girls we know. And we explained to Mark how you start coughing with asthma, you over-cough and it makes you start throwing up. Mark thought it was the other way around — you’re coughing because you want to throw up — but actually it’s the cough’s fault.
I think I have the timing screwed up already (the hurling part was after this next part) but at some point we went to Lucie’s friend Jenny’s house to drop off a key or something, and I was going to take Mark’s car over to Ita’s while they waited at Jenny’s. So Mark comes out with me to teach me the operation of his stick shift vehicle, except I absolutely could NOT do it right, so he had to drive me himself, laughing hysterically at my failure. It was pretty funny actually — put the clutch in, shift gears, ease up the clutch & forget to give it gas so it goes JERK! JERK! JERK! and dies. We couldn’t stop laughing. So now I’m REALLY GLAD that I did not drive that Chinook to San Antonio! I’m so paranoid now! I guess tomorrow I’ll have to break down and learn how.
So, Ita’s was not weird once I actually got there. Actually, Ita was the calmest and happiest-looking one. Aunt Pat was so pleased to see my hair brown instead of blue, and long instead of shaved on the sides & spiky on top. (My high-school thru college-years ‘do.) Ita fixed me a huge plate of food and when I couldn’t eat it all she pointed to the kitchen and said throw it out, throw it out! So I felt really weird dumping a heaping pile of yummy Christmas and handing the plate to the maid who was washing dishes the whole time! I forgot about the maids scurrying around at all the Frost functions, at least the Aunt Pat ones. Seems weird to make your maid work on Christmas! Well, whatever.
Tommy Frost was there with his new wife, and his ex-wife was there also — DRAMA! Tommy is the only other Frost that I know of that’s a musician. He does pretty commercial-sounding, albeit original, country singer-songwriter-ey stuff.
Uncle Tom Frost was there but I hardly got to say hi to him. Lucie & Mark came back to pick me up, and Uncle Tom made a funny — we’re coming over to hug him goodbye and he says "You haven’t even sat down yet, you can’t leave! Sit down a second!" So we all sat down for two beats, holding that chillout pose, and hopped up again saying Okay! We can leave now!
SO! After we went back to Lucie’s for the hurlfest, we finally went to Mimo & Lindy’s for the rest of the evening. Mimo hadn’t cooked but Lindy fixed some tamales. It seems that Mimo has become a total hermit in the past five years — apparently, she hasn’t left the house at all except to see the doctor once every six months. Lindy does absolutely everything, the shopping and all. It’s sad, really. She was talking the entire time as Mimo is wont to do — she can’t stand silence and is compelled to fill the void with talking. Mama says she does that also to avoid anyone asking a personal question or saying anything that might disturb her. Lindy got Blas, Mimo’s guitar, out of one of the 11 storage sheds out back and I proceeded to unstring him and glue the bridge back in place, WD-40 the tuning pegs etc. and re-strung him. But I had gotten the wrong gauge strings so even when you got the string in tune, it would be way too loose so you couldn’t strum it. Maybe it needs steel strings or something, I don’t know. But anyway, I played her some Lydia Mendoza and gave her the cassette to keep. And I played some of my music and everybody seemed to enjoy hearing it. Turns out Bill (Mama’s husband) knew & loved the song "Always Late With Your Kisses" so when he heard that he was tapping his foot and singing along. We took a lot of Polaroids together and when we had to leave I was crying and Mimo was crying and I’m crying right now just thinking about it. Because they looked so old this time, and I worry about them — what would Mimo do if something happened to Lindy? He does everything for her and they’re in their seventies now. He had prostate surgery last year and Mimo did go see him in the hospital, and he’s okay now, but really — if I could pray for one of them to go first, it would be Mimo because I really don’t think she could make it on her own. But then again, Lindy lives for her, so what would HE do? God, all this family exposure has pulled up so many emotions in me. So much love and so much pain. Like, I wish I could turn back time and make them young again and bring Bessie back, and Grandmother Frost, but if I did that then I couldn’t have John and Lilly and I love them so much! So in the end it’s just joy and pain all over again. I need to write a song about this whole paragraph.
I got a ride back to Austin with Mama and Bill and Mama showed me the Earl Thomas Conley video that was shot in her house ("Shadow of a Doubt" or something) and we watched the Cindy Crawford video, oohing and aah-ing over her long legs and body of our dreams.
Now, in my room, I tried to open a window to smoke but discovered all windows locked with no key in sight! Talk about a fire trap! I’ve gotta say something to her while avoiding suspicion smokewise.
Mama gave me some more paper cowgirl stuff — she found some Bonnie Guitar SHEET MUSIC! I’m thrilled! Photos of Roy & Dale, etc.