Man of the House by Chris Erskine

Grandma's come to visit

Lord help the hipsters, casting about for edgy new looks and having to resort to styles we gave up nearly 30 years ago. In many ways, there is nothing less hip than a hipster.

Anyway, Grandma seems to be adapting well during her visit. Yesterday, she painted the bedroom a soft algae green and refurnished it with the sort of '50s furnishings Lucy and Desi used to favor.

Her suitcase is now unpacked -- did I mention it was the size of Cincinnati? -- and she is using my closet space for her 30 pairs of fuzzy slippers. It's a little scary to see her so comfortable around us.

Yet, I find Grandma to be a game and appreciative guest. We catch her up on the latest happenings around our house -- how a gopher snake slithered out of the ravine the other day, ostensibly to mate with the garden hose at the edge of the lawn. In our house, love and passion are almost everywhere.

"We called the fire department," the boy explains.

"Yes, we try to overreact at every opportunity," I say.

Like me, Grandma enjoys a little nip now and then (mostly now) and can eat an almost unlimited number of crab cakes.

She can tell a good story ("That man, could he talk! He had a tongue like a portabello mushroom . . . ") and her favorite sport is T-ball, for which we happen to have season tickets.

"I really like the price," I say.

"And the players are so friendly," she notes, as the 5-year-old second baseman curls up in her lap after the game.

"It is," I say, "like coaching a team of little elves."

"Or little gods," she says and hugs the second baseman.

It was a beautiful, sun-kissed evening at the ball field -- full with family. We couldn't get out of there slow enough.

Chris Erskine can be reached at chris.erskine@latimes .com. To read more of his columns, see /erskine.


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