Wednesday, May 15, 2024

You Crazy Bunch of Mothers

If the cops didn’t get called on your Mother’s Day brunch, then you might be hanging around with the wrong mothers.

At least, that’s what I’m told.

I went to a perfectly normal Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday. We had fresh fruit and quiche. I was up in Oregon, visiting my parents and my oldest sister, and our brunch was lovely. I then got on a plane to come home to what I thought was going to be a Mother’s Day tri-tip dinner, cooked by my sons. I came home to something a little different than that.

You see, our good friends down the street hosted a neighborhood potluck Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday morning, and I was thankful for that. I was going to be out of town for the morning, so I was happy my wife and boys would be down having a nice time at our friends’ house. The plan was for them to go enjoy the brunch, then I would get back into town and we’d have dinner all together.

I kinda got the impression the plan was changing when I got to the airport in Portland and started texting my wife and boys about what time I would be arriving. No one texted me back. I had sent a long string of unanswered texts by the time I was in my seat being told to turn off my mobile device or switch it to airplane mode.

I had a text from my wife waiting for me when I landed at 6:00 pm, saying that we were probably going to hold off on cooking the tri-tip for tonight.

I arrived home to an empty house and the sounds of laughter and the pop-pop-pop of street pickleball coming from the other end of our little road. I threw my suitcase in the house and strolled down to what turned out to be one of the most epic Mother’s Day brunches ever held.

It had started at 9:00 am, and was still going STRONG at 7:00 pm. There was a live garage band – courtesy of two slightly intoxicated musical dads with acoustic guitars – along with a pool party, a hot tub party, and a cornhole tournament in progress in the back yard, and a pickleball game in the street in front of the house where the moms playing were required to do shots whenever the total score became evenly divisible by five. (It was a loose rule). A large cheering section in lawn chairs had gathered, and I’m pretty sure some of them had wandered in from other neighborhoods.

I’m not sure what kind of traditional brunch food was served in the morning, but they had been through all of that, then onto lunch, and by the time I showed up the party was knee-deep in take-out hot wings and delivery pizzas. My wife was one of the lawn chair spectators, waiting her turn for another pickleball match, and when she saw me she gleefully told me the cops had been called on them.

Our friends’ house sits at the end of our street, between two tee’s of adjoining streets, so it happens that very few cars ever actually drive past the front of their house. You are either turning off our street before you get there, or you would have come around from the other way if you needed to be on the street at the end of ours.

This low-traffic phenomenon makes it a near-perfect spot for a street pickleball court. When you bring the net out, the court sits lengthwise with the road, up against their sidewalk, so there is a full car-width lane to get past it on the other side if you happen to need to drive past their house. Someone – and no one knows if it was a neighbor, a pedestrian, a motorist, or a member of a tennis league – called the police to complain about the “illegally closed off road,” or the “crazy out of control street party,” or something. No one was really sure, including the cop.

Apparently, the cop pulled up, took one look at what was going on, and just shook his head in the “I can’t believe some idiot wasted my time and the taxpayers’ money to have me respond to a Mother’s Day brunch” kinda way. Before he left, he wished all the ladies a Happy Mother’s Day and dutifully reminded all the pickleballers of the obvious, “try not to get hit by any cars.”

Anyway, the music continued, the pool party raged on, and when the sun went down, the floodlights came out to make sure darkness wouldn’t slow down the pickleball tournament, or the mom’s mid-game shots.

My wife, who isn’t as young as she used to be, tapped out at about 9:30 pm, with over twelve hours of Mother’s Day brunch under her belt. I’m a full five months younger than her, so I was able to make it another fifteen minutes or so before I had to pack it in and head for home.

Anyway, happy belated Mother’s Day to all you wonderful ladies out there doing the hard work! And hey, if you don’t have Mother’s Day plans for next year, I’d highly recommend coming by our street. The brunches are legendary.

In fact, it’s possible that Sunday’s brunch is still going on. I left before it broke up, and I haven’t gone back down to check.

It wouldn’t surprise me.

See you soon,



Copyright © 2024 Marc Schmatjen


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