Around Christmastime, while visiting my mom in Virginia, I suggested that she come up to New York in March for the closing exercises and award luncheon at the end of this semester of my volunteer gig. Mom used to come to this event when she still lived in New York- she's on a friendly basis with the guys with whom I fight.
I spent the last couple of days furiously cleaning the apartment. Mom's not the type to be offended by a pile of empties, though... as soon as she arrived, she asked me if I had a cold beer. Did I mention how much I love my mother? Needless to say, I had a cold beer for her. What I didn't have for her was a spare key, so the two of us had to go to the local hardware store so I could have a couple of spares cut. As luck would have it, we ran into a bunch of neighbors, including a woman who is in the process of moving into the apartment upstairs from mine. I get along with everybody, so I got the neighborly equivalent of a good report card. On the main commercial drag, there were plenty of retirees hanging out on the benches that grace the sidewalks in front of certain stores. It was a matter of scant minutes to get two keys cut, and we walked to the bakery to grab a snack. A high school friend of mine owns the bakery, so I figured mom would want to see him. He was out drumming up support for the upcoming St Patrick's Day parade, the local parade now being the official city parade. The son is a carbon copy of my friend- he looks like his dad and he has a similar personality. Needless to say, mom took an instant liking to him, talking to him as if she'd known him as long as she's known his father.
Our next stop was the butcher shop a couple of doors down, so we could pick up something more proteinaceous... we settled on a couple of Scotch eggs. We chatted with the proprietor and his sons about the Cadbury ban- they have enough chocolate stockpiled for Easter, but if Hershey lowers the boom, kiss those imported chocolates goodbye for Christmas. We also chatted with the gent in line ahead of us, whose daughter now lives in Virginia, about a hundred miles away from where mom hangs her hat. He opined that he couldn't see himself living away from New York, and I vigorously nodded assent. Mom commented on how she missed the New York culture, that neighborhood feel with mom-and-pop stores and retirees hanging out on benches in front of their apartment buildings.
Mom is a Bronx native- you can take the girl out of the Bronx, but you can't take the Bronx out of the girl!