Here is how my 85-year-old mother-in-law spends a typical day: First, she goes out onto the back porch. Then, for some reason 10 minutes later, she walks through the house and goes onto the front stoop. A few minutes later, she walks through the house and returns to the back porch. After a few more minutes, she again leaves the back porch, walks through the house and makes yet another appearance on the front stoop.

It’s like watching a ping pong match with the oldest ball ever.

Holiday Travel Confidential

Nothing stresses me more than attempting to pack our car for an extended trip anywhere. This week we are going to my sister-in-law’s house in New Jersey. To help organize the chaos, I generally make a written list of what has to be loaded and then I place them in the car with Tetris-like precision. Here is the list for my current trip.

  1. 5 people, including 2 teenagers and one octogenarian. Each has their own seating requirements. Both teenagers (male and female) want to sit in the single 3rd row seat, so a Cage Match typically ensues about 10 minutes prior to the trip. My son has grown a bit since 2012, so I expect this year’s Battle Royale to last a little longer than last year’s 15-second melee (he’ll still lose rather handily, however, so that’s where the smart money goes). My mother-in-law needs to sit anywhere where there is no fresh air filtering in due to the fact that oxygen makes her cough repeatedly and uncontrollably. Usually we place her in an air-tight body bag before positioning her in her seat.
  2. 415 boxes of cookies for my sister-in-law to give to those people she doesn’t care enough about to give real gifts. It is a little-known fact that there are no bakeries in New Jersey. The State Constitution outlaws them, but allows backyard stills. She should give moonshine and leave me out of it.
  3. 6 trays of hot food my wife has made “so my sister doesn’t have to cook”, because the only thing my car lacks is a large cooking-oil stain in the shape of Jesus’ face on the carpeting. Oh, and a DVD player.
  4. 3 large suitcases, each large enough to hold my mother-in-law. Hmmm. I wonder if any oxygen can get in there….
  5. Gifts for the family. Let me introduce everybody to the 21st Century and a little thing called “Overnight Shipping”. Where are the drones when you need them?