The Curse of Company

It never fails, right?  It doesn’t matter if your company is friends or relatives.  Something’s going to go wrong at your house.  It can be a clogged sink at Thanksgiving or a frozen water pipe at Christmas, but the minute company comes-a-calling, something is going to break.  My mother was the victim of the  ‘ company curse’ last week.

My mother feels she has two jobs when visitors come.  She believes her first job is to feed them to death.  The curse involved here is the ‘traveler’s curse’.  The ‘traveler’s curse’ is that as  soon as you travel fifty miles from your house, you need to eat everything available.   My mom never misses a chance to make food available.

The ‘company curse’ had to do with her second job.   This job is to make sure we are comfortable as she entertains us.  This involves finding out everything going on around her hometown, north of Houston,  and making sure her swimming pool is ready to go.

My son, his wonderful girlfriend and I  went  to visit mom last week.  My daughter met us at her house.  After we said our hellos and mom told us every event going on within a fifty mile radius, she sent my son to turn the heater on the pool so the water would be the perfect temperature to swim the next day.  This would be the first time the pool was used this year.  Mom was excited that the Houston temperatures were warm enough for swimming, with a little help from the heater. My big toe let me know that a little heat definitely was required.  Son turned the heater on and we thought all was good.   The heater and pump were replaced on the pool last year.  But, we found out later,  the heater didn’t work.  Mom was more disappointed than the kids.

Next it was the air conditioner.  As I said, it was hot in Houston and the humidity was at about 90%.   We, West Texas dry climate people, were sweating profusely in the still air.  When we took our daily walk and the pollen showered our sweaty bodies, we took on a new yellow glow.   Luckily the repairman came the next day and temporarily fixed the broken air conditioner.  He repaired the air conditioner for the  short-term and explained the mega bucks needed to fix it completely.

A typical home air conditioning unit.
Sadly mom's problem involves the coil. Not an easy fix.

The next problem was my fault.  As we were playing cards one night and mom was telling us how her hand mixer broke as she was making my son’s favorite cheesecake, I broke her chair.  Yes, I have put on a little weight over the last few years but that’s not why the chair broke.  Like the mixer, the chair has been in my mom’s house for as long as I can remember and  I have grown children.  The chair had two of the brace poles (have no idea what they’re really called) already broken and maybe, maybe I was leaning back in it.  Remember I was really hot and someone dropped a playing card and I leaned back in hopes of catching a card breeze.  Another pole came out and the chair broke.  Thanks to my cat-like reflexes and fear of embarrassing myself by falling to the floor, I jumped out before the chair collapsed.  I heard my retired elementary school teacher mom saying something about how all four legs should always be on the ground.  I felt about eight.

All this and you might think it wasn’t the greatest trip, but it was.  Mom came to terms with it all- even the air conditioner bill.  I tried to hide the broken chair in the corner before I left. My sweet son promised to fix it next time he visits so mom was happy.  But, let’s face it, no matter what goes wrong, just being around friends and family seems to make all catastrophes better.  Maybe that’s the purpose of the ‘company curse’.  Even though mom hated the problems, at least we were there to lend a little support.

After we left, the pool repairman came and replaced the thermostat (no charge).  Of course, there was that residual ‘company curse’ bad mojo.  Mom called me today and told me her phone isn’t working.  All her calls are going to another lady’s house.  She can call out but we can’t call her on her house phone.   The phone repairman is coming tomorrow.  I bet he gets leftover cheesecake.

South-African Rose baked Cheese Cake on Dr. St...


  1. I so remember keep all 4 chair feet on the ground! Sounds like once one thing broke – everything else craved attention, too! (if it’s not one thing, it’s another). It is good you were there – a collective sense of humor is bound to help? Funny post.


  2. I love this post and yes family get togethers are great…you just know though that the repairman will never ever have seen a model quite like yours and there will be much intaking of breath…I think the repair bill is in direct correlation to the intensity of the intakes! Have a great week x


  3. LOL.
    Let me confess here in the privacy of your blog that I totally break chairs. Usually it’s the backs of chairs as I stretch backwards into them, if you can imagine that. It’s happened 4 or 5 times for me. Egads.

    I was thinking though, if the chair was about to go, maybe better you than your older mother or maybe one of her friends who aren’t endowed with such cat-like reflexes?


  4. Oh… Think I hit wrong button there…
    … I was psyched up to see her so I’m sure your Mum was just glad you all arrived and enjoyed. Wouldn’t mind some of that heat myself and the kids would love the pool hot or cold.


  5. I bet your Mum is missing you all… Even the curses. I was expecting company yesterday but my friend didn’t make it because a fire broke out in the apartment below her! She sat out for the 4th round trip today but no sooner had she left but she got a call to say her hubbie was in hospital.. He had come off his bike.. He is okay and will live but I was lonely all day.. I was psy


  6. I’ll always feed my guests well, with good homecooking, but if they expect the red carpet laid out, ours isn’t the right house. It’s strictly informal, if that isn’t a contradiction in terms.

    A good tip for avoiding catastrophes on the cooking front when you have guests, is to stick to recipies you’ve tried out on your family first. I once did a dinner party with new recipies for all three-courses. That was served late, late, late and everybody got very tipsy waiting.


  7. Hmmm, left over cheesecake? How is that possible? Lucky phone repair man. It sounds like despite all of your Mom’s multi-disasters, everyone had a good time anyway. This was a fun read. Thanks for sharing. 😉


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