The Crazy Lady

I had a scary thing happen yesterday morning. I’d taken off the morning from work as daughter was taking new grand-critter to the vet and I wanted to go with. We’d not gone yet and the doorbell starts ringing off the hook! I mean, it was being LAID on. I start for the door, and I see the handle start moving – whoever it was was coming in! Turns out it was the old lady from across the road. (We live in the country and our house is on a long drive that winds back into the trees next to a farm field – her house is right across from the entrance to our driveway.)

She’s standing there, all disheveled, barefoot… yelling at me because she can’t breath because “he’s spraying that poison again!” She started going on and on about “he sprayed it two weeks ago and I’ve been in bed ever since coughing” and would I like to hear her cough? She is going to call the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) because we shouldn’t be spraying when it’s coming toward her bedroom window! She can’t breath! Do you want to hear me cough? Do you? …and you started a fire and I had to sit up all night worrying about my house burning down! … I try to intercede… “Ma’am…” “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I’M stupidbitchingcrazywoman’s_name FROM ACROSS THE ROAD!”…(She steps back and looks at the house)…(insert snooty tone)…must be nice to be rich and be able to build a fancy house like this and not care if you POISON other people! I’m 84 years old and I have lived over there just fine until THIS… I walked all the way over here and DO YOU WANT to HEAR ME COUGH?

I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. She was ranting! I closed the door. She left… barefoot… she got out in front of the garage and started waving her arms around and talking to herself… Then she started walking down the driveway, stopping every 10 feet to bend over and cough/spit/whatever. When she got near the end of the driveway, we saw a pickup pull in the drive and pick her up, then her daugher came across the road and they all went back to her house. (Found out later the pickup was the mailman). I’d called Hubby, I was so shook… yes, he was spraying just the edge of the field again. It was legal – the wind wasn’t blowing. It wasn’t going anywhere. Yes, he burned the ditch about 5 weeks ago and the wind wasn’t blowing her way and he was there watching it.

He decided he was going to go down and talk to her. He met up with her daughter on the road. She was soooo apologetic. I guess her mom’s never done anything like this before, but daughter said she’d just come from the attorney where she’s been trying to figure out something to do with her mom. She’s been drinking again and has some dementia and is getting worse and daughter doesn’t know what to do about her. She told Hubby that her mom will say, “do you smell that chemical?”… and daughter will say, “noooo”… but doesn’t make any difference. She gave Hubby her cell phone number so if mom shows up again we can call her.

It was a real shock – like day and night. She was so sweet this winter when I took cookies over to them and when Hubby cleaned snow out their driveway (for free) . Wow. What a change. I know my Dad is a mean drunk, but at least he’s the devil you know… you know what buttons NOT to push. With a stranger it’s hard to know what to say to calm them or whatever. I was so shocked I was speechless!

What worries me, too, is I know she has at least one gun and uses it occasionally on the crows. I think Hubby was going to call the daughter sometime soon and see if she can be sure that is put up. I don’t know what daughter would have done if she would have been here by herself. She sure didn’t need THAT… and if we’d been gone? Who knows! In that state, she could shoot our dogs, pull up all my flowers, who knows? So unpredictable…

Guess we’re going to have to be more careful about locking the doors – even when we’re home. She tried to walk right in! Hubby said he thinks the daughter almost wished she had so she could use that as evidence to help put her mom away…

When I’m an old crazy lady my kids have permission to lock me up.