My Amazing and Heroic Aunt Diane

2019 1216 aunt diane

Here is a true and recent story about my Aunt, Diane Householder Norrbom.

A couple of weeks ago Diane’s sister, my Mother, Jane Stoneman, had half her power go out in her house when lightning struck quite nearby. Supposedly all fuses and breakers were checked. Two major electrical firms, George Brazil and Parker Brothers, were called for diagnosis and help. The George Brazil estimate came in at $14,000. Parker Brothers wanted $11K. Diane drives over from California. Finds a fuse box no one checked, including the two prestigious firms listed above. Finds replacement fuses in a drawer. Hey, presto–full power.

But it gets worse, then better. Some signs all is not right. Home security batteries need to be replaced, plus at least one surge protector. Diane goes to Home Depot. “Picked up a guy there who said he was an electrician,” says Diane. She took him to Mom’s and he finds that the intermittent-outage problems that are still occurring are due to APS (Arizona Public Service Company, Mom’s power supplier) not doing a good job when they switched Mom to a “smart meter.” They call APS. APS checks, ACKNOWLEDGES FAULT, and makes things right. Mom’s house’s wiring fully restored. Diane spent a LOT less than a grand–maybe between $250 and $500–to completely fix the problem, and update the maintenance on the alarm system’s backup power to boot.

At the same time, she got Mom a new, dependable yard guy, who worked tirelessly to clear tree-debris and get Mom’s yard back on track. She did a boatload of other things too. All in one long weekend.

So this is my salute to her. It’s awfully clumsy. Diane is Beautiful, but my portrait of her is off the mark, because, as always with those I care deeply about, I tried too hard and clenched up. But the respect and love is there.

In the poem, I call her an “Uber-Mama.” That’s not saying she drives an Uber. It’s saying she’s the Mama of all Mamas. Heck, she’s even playing Mama to MY Mama at this point. She has a power of attorney, and thank Heaven she does–enough said about that!

I also compare her to Top Ramen, that favorite of college students, because Dirt Cheap Yet Gets The Job Done. It is extraordinarily difficult to get Diane to agree to be reimbursed for the many things she’s done on Mom’s behalf.

The poem refers to a “passe-partout.” A Passe-Partout is a key that will get you through any door. I have barely scratched the surface of all the doors Diane has opened along her journey. She is an incredible survivor, and beloved by many.

My Amazing and Heroic Aunt Diane

Matriarch and Uber-Mama
Youngster (in your 60s)–you
Are like noodles of Top Ramen
Much like Heaven/passe-partout
And your Deeds are truly Legend
Zapping Evil Right and Left. I
Illustrate your fine Agenda
Nipping-budding Waste & Theft. In
Grace nigh-Wiccan Pitch & Blende


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