Monday, September 28, 2009

Honey, I don't think you should do that..........

Many times during my mother's lifetime, laughter played a large role. Not just small tee-hees, but rather big, old belly laughs. I will share with you one of those times below, and I am doing this with Henry's approval, since I would not do anything to cause him embarrassment.

If you are over the age of forty, you will remember a fashion trend known as " shag carpet". Now I ask of you, who would ever be attracted to carpet that came with a rake. But back in the early Seventies, it was a hot item to have in your home, and it matched the "rain lamps" very well. The problem with this style of carpet was that it picked up and held almost anything dropped in it. We would vaccum and rake, and vaccum again, and it looked nice, so we believed. Well, due the popularity of shag carpet, someone was genius enough to invent a machine that would " steam clean" your rugs, and the best part was that you could rent these at the supermarket and do it yourself!

Henry was not afraid of work and actually enjoyed taking on projects, so home he came with this new, wonderful machine. It had a dome on top that held all of the dirty water and grime that came out of the carpet, this was done so that you could see how well it worked, sort of inspiration for all of the sweating that you were enduring!

So Henry began cleaning the carpets, and although the instructions were not returned with the previous renter, he figured it out. Clean and clean, back and forth, room to room. I even offered to help, but he was having too much fun to share, so mom and me just watched and were marveling at the great job he was doing. The carpets had never looked and smelled so nice before. We were proud of dad for doing all this work and thought " look at him, he is having so much fun doing this". When he finished and brought the machine into the kitchen, we were all looking at the filth that was staring back at us from the dome, thinking, man, did all this come out of OUR house? Henry was preparing to empty the machine by unlatching the clips that held the bubble in place, when Nonna uttered those now famous words, " Honey, I don't think you should do that ".

After much discussion between the two of them as how this machine worked, Mom asked me my opinion. I was enjoying this entire event up until this point, but somehow I was now unsure about being home at this moment, that maybe I should go outside and find something to do. Not wanting to take sides, I thought my reply was a smart one as I said " I'm not sure dad, but the carpets look good! Mom and me watched as Henry unlatched the bubble thing and all of that dirty, filthy crud flowed like a current onto the kitchen floor. Being a Bannister, I can fully understand what was about to come out of my father's mouth, as mom and me stood there with nothing to say. It was then that Nonna started to laugh, and laugh so hard, I thought she was going to bust. You know, laughter can be catching and as I looked at my dad's red face, I could not help myself, so I joined in. We were laughing so hard that Henry got the bug and joined in with us. I felt safe at this moment and will always remember this situation for as long as I live.

Allow me to say that I have put myself in Henry's spot many times over the years, and I appreciate him being the kind of man he is. But Nonna knew when something was hillarious and she certainly expressed herself during these moments. I want you to find something that you can laugh about, and laugh really hard, if not for yourself, then laugh for Nonna!!

Love John

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