A Surprising Saturday

That first Saturday after John abandoned me and Goliath didn’t find me feeling terribly lucky. He left me with all the chores. Mine and his.

To be fair, he’d left us to head north and start a new job in Connecticut. I was to remain in Virginia, keep working, sell the house, take care of the psycho dog (and keep him from killing anybody with the temerity to consider buying it) clean, cook, take care of the yard, and a hundred other things that hadn’t yet registered.

John was not high on my list, and his spot on it was getting lower as the morning passed.

Until a car pulled up in front of the house just before noon, that is. Then John’s parents took the top spot on the shit list.

We were still newly married, John and I. I had to admit that Helen and Johnny were the most undemanding or in-laws, even as they started to get out of the car. They never surprised us by stopping in. Why now?

I quickly ran through my list of chores, trying to figure out which I could cut. But an Open House was scheduled for the next day. I sighed and pasted a welcome look on my face as I grabbed Goliath and opened the door, knowing I would be up all night finishing the list.

“We brought lunch!” Helen said, cheerfully, holding up a large paper bag.

“You like Chinese, don’t you?” Johnny asked.

“It’s my favorite!”

Helen pulled paper plates out of the bag, and Johnny pulled out the food that smelled delicious.

“We knew you had a lot to do, but you need to eat!”

So we did.

Then Johnny headed outside and mowed the lawn. Helen vacuumed the whole house, leaving me to the rest of my list.

Then they left.

Today I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to the best mother-in-law ever. Thoughtful, kind, funny, smart, and non-judgmental. Loving. I am one lucky woman to have her in my life all these years.

The best mother-in-law,


Filed under Humor

50 responses to “A Surprising Saturday

  1. Isn’t it amazing, the things we’re most thankful for? That you still remember the Chinese food and the help years later? I still think of little things people have done for me over the years and feel the same gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As always, a year late and a whole lotta dollars short. Sorry for the silence on y end, but I’m tying to restart my blog. Are you still out here? Please stop by if you get this. Heck, stop by if you DON’T get this. Just please, if you’re still out there, stop by my old place? I miss you!


  3. This is such a lovely story and you are maybe in the minority re: in-laws. But I have really have no idea if most are like yours or not. Mine was a nice lady but she was already fairly old when I married her son who was 10 years my senior. But she was very nice to me and I so appreciated her kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Months ago, before the great plague settled over the world, I was standing on line at the checkout of the supermarket. There was a guy behind me who considered himself a comedian. Those of us waiting for the pricecheck that made us his captive audience listened as he started a monologue on how terrible his wife is. As the next part of his routine he asked us, “Do you know the two different kinds of mothers-in-law?” I don’t know why I spoke or where it came from, but the words “Bad and dead” came out of my mouth. The “comedian” wasn’t pleased that it got a bigger laugh than any of his punchlines. Now I feel bad, because I know it’s not true. There is Helen. What a sweet story about a sweet couple. You are lucky to have such wonderful in-laws, and they are lucky to have a daughter-in-law who recognizes how wonderful they are.

    I hope you are well. I think about you, my blog sistah, often. Miss you, and so glad to see that you posted. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awww, Nonnie, I miss you too. I just don’t have the heart for blogging these days. But I read you, even if WordPress rarely lets me comment.

      Helen is pretty terrific. And I know how lucky I am!


      • ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ My mom’s name is Helen. I get to wave and throw kisses at her once in a while through her window at the nursing home. I guess it takes times like these to reflect on the people we love and realize how important they are to us. You’re important to me, so I’ll wave and throw kisses at you through my computer screen.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice to see a post from you, Elyse. And a very sweet one at that. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Like Step Mothers, Mother In-Laws sometimes get a bad rap. It’s wonderful to hear how much you love and appreciate yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! You’re lucky! I never really had inlaws around. My husband’s mother passed before we married (although I met her a few times), and his father (who lived across country from us) died the year after we married. There are step in-laws, but they’re not nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a sweet story! You are very blessed. I hope you had a happy mother’s day!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh, that’s so sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Clinton

    You made me cry. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You still got it, Elyse.

    Hope you are well.

    Jamie 😊😘

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ❤ Elyse. Good to see you here and I hope you are staying safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s a great MIL. Mine is great but only in moderation – she’s one of those people who knows how everything is supposed be done, though gets easily stumped by the hard stuff like using a dishwasher or changing a diaper. However, for the first week of her visit she can usually keep her urges to redo things and educate everyone on everything in check – the problem is, she usually visits for three to six weeks.
    So the current lockdown with most air travel suspended actually did have one positive side effect. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So good to see you posting, Elyse! I thought for a moment this was going to be a dim story about in-laws, but it turned out to be so sweet. Cheers to Helen!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s nice to have good in-laws. They help out in unexpected ways, and they enrich a relationship, rather than mess it up. I liked my in-laws too. They’re both gone now, but I feel fortunate for the 25 years, I was able to know them.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Good to see you back. I had a wonderful MIL , too. Hope you had a good Mother’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My MIL was in a nursing home and not in good health when I came into the picture. She was a lovely woman but I really never had a chance to get to know her. Your MIL was a treasure!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a great story! They knew just what you needed, and they stepped in and took care of it without being asked, subtracting from your burden rather than adding to it by expecting to be waited on or entertained. We never forget moments like that, do we? Back in the 90’s when I was in the Air Force, my husband got really sick while we were moving and I ended up with him in the hospital for two weeks and a full U-Haul in my driveway. I spent three days unloading everything I could lift, wondering how I would do the rest and get the truck back on time. A nosy neighbor wandered over and we chatted a bit about what was going on. He offered help, but I didn’t feel right about it; he was in his 80’s and had emphysema. “Not me,” he laughed. “My four boys run a moving company. I’ll send them over and they’ll have you unloaded in a jiffy.” And they did, for nothing. They moved my washer and dryer down the rickety basement steps and hooked them up. Then one followed me to U-Haul so I’d have a ride back after I dropped off the truck. After they left, I was so overcome by their kindness that I sat on the couch and bawled my eyes out. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Lovely MIL indeed. I had two. The first was terminally ill when we got married and the latter was much to be desired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That must have been a hard time for your husband. So many people have difficult relationships with their in-laws. I feel very fortunate!


      • My ex was expected to cope with the funeral arrangements as the rest of the family were incapable. We found we had nothing in common and had made a mistake in getting married so divorced after 4 years.
        The latter had delusions of grandeur, never liked me because I wouldn’t stand for her silliness and petty attitude, though I tried to treat her the same as my Mum. She was bitter, cruel and heartless towards my husband. We lost touch by her own doing.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Long time ago now. My first inlaws were actually OK, and it hit everyone hard when Mom died (1978).
            This time round, I got on great with Hubby’s Dad. His Mum was a different kettle of fish though and could be difficult. Saying that I do have some fond memories of her, but the last couple of years gutted us both.

            Liked by 1 person

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