Mother Ran off With the Circus

Smell the popcorn and cotton candy, can you hear the harkers as they try to entice all into their booths filled with giant stuffed animals and brightly painted toys? As children we all want to run off and join the circus. When the big top came to town with wild animal trainers and the beautiful girl on the flying trapeze; the way the clown made everyone laugh why the circus frenzy took over our minds! We all wanted to sneak away and be gone in the morning off on a big adventure to join the carefree world of the circus.

Children that is, well; I guess my Mother never grew up. Let me tell you about the day my Mother ran off with the circus.

When you look up the meaning of lady in the dictionary you should find a picture of my Mother, a true lady. Anyone who met her went away with the same opinion so it wasn’t just my love for her clouding my judgment. Oh, that’s not to say she wouldn’t get down on her knees to work in her garden, care for her chickens; or help Dad work the ranch. But, when it was time to go to town we all had to have on clean clothes, comb our hair and wash our faces or we stayed home. Oh yes! She had to put on her tangerine lipstick.

The year my husband and I were married, 40 years ago, he coached a girls’ high school softball team all the way to state. My parents, being the perfect parents, came to watch the final game even though it was over 100° and Mother didn’t take the heat very well. I was so proud to introduce them to everyone!

Dad parked the car by the main gate under a big cottonwood tree with lots of shade and a good breeze where everyone entered so she could see what was going on and where everyone could see her.  After a short time she commented that she was getting pretty hot and being the loving, dutiful, daughter I walked her to the car.

After a few minutes she said, “Annie, I know you want to be out there watching the game, I’ll be alright. I’m just going to put on some Chap Stick and rest a few minutes..”

 “You’re sure,“ I say “I don’t mind and besides this shade feels great!”

“No, you go on, I’m fine,” Mother replies.

“Ok, if you’re sure, it shouldn’t be long!”

People were going back and forth through the gate with regularity. As time went on I realized more and more people were looking toward our car and giggling. I wondered but let it pass with the heat I wasn’t thinking to clear. Mercifully, the game finally got over.

That’s when I met Mrs. Bozo the Clown. There sat Mother with tangerine lipstick running down her chin, smeared all the way up to her nose; the biggest old circle around her mouth you could draw without circling her ears! Yep, my Mother the lady, with every beautiful hair in place and not a wrinkle in her suit had grabbed her tangerine lipstick instead of her Chap Stick and put on a clown mouth Bozo would have been proud of.

Now one would think being the loving dutiful daughter, I would have immediately blocked her from the view of others, handed her tissues, helped remove her clown mask and been respectful of the whole situation.

Wrong! I laughed uncontrollably, pointed to the rearview mirror and then pointed to the tissues. When she got them I took the first one to blow my nose and then one to wipe my tears. Now don’t think too badly of me she was wiping tears and blowing her nose too! This lady enjoyed a good joke as much as the next person even if the joke was on her.

Just think how many people had a good laugh that day because my Mother Ran off With the Circus. Mother, I hope I have done justice to this precious memory you left me with. You see Mother passed away April 15, 2008. Although my family can’t lovingly torment her with this story anymore I know she has a smile on her beautiful face as I share it with all of you. 

 

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