Every Sunday night, I ring my mom to have our traditional Sunday Night Visit. I’m her only child who doesn’t live within a 60 mile radius of her watchful eye, so I like to give weekly updates. (There’s only so much my blog can cover.)

Last Sunday night was different. My mom was here. In fact, she’s downstairs right now getting ready for bed in our basement (or as she calls it, “the root cellar.” It does get a little chilly down there. Don’t worry, I equipped her room with a small space heater.) So last Sunday night, there was no one to call. We’ve been gabbing all week about our latest discoveries and our current projects. So now what? Last Sunday night I felt as though I’d just had a big meal and need a little something sweet before I could leave the kitchen.

So I thought I’d write to you all about what we would’ve chatted about over the phone had I not been lucky enough to have the real McCoy here in the flesh all week.

I would’ve told her about how difficult things can be when my husband is out of town on long business trips (which is why she came) and how did she do it all those years? (“It’s all a blur.”)

I would’ve told her about presenting “The Masters of Art” lesson in my daughter’s classroom and what did she know about Chagall for next time? Then I would’ve thanked her again and again for sending me to Europe all those years ago and for paying for all those Humanities classes. Fifteen years later, it’s all paying off….Second graders are getting grade A lessons here.

She would’ve told me all about her recent capers and treasure hunts with her good girlfriends, the latest party she is throwing and what do I suggest for the menu? Then I’d’ve picked her brain as to what I should serve for my husband’s birthday this coming week and she’d have some fabulous party idea. We’d talk cool new iPhone apps, the buzz on Pinterest, and why she still refuses to get on Facebook.

She would tell me one or two of the many acts of service she’s performed that week as the Relief Society president and I would comment how I envy her opportunities to serve. Then she’d tell me to stop being so silly. I serve five people who call me “Mom,” 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and how on earth can that be considered to be anything other than Christlike service? That would make me feel better, empowered even, and more patient with the sibling bickering I’d hear from down the hall..

We’d swap ideas of how different programs and activities are run in our different wards. I’d come away with some great new idea to implement the next Sunday.

I’d get the scoop on the interesting cases that have walked through the door of my dad’s law office, and which ones he was bringing home to sleep in the guest room until they got back on their feet.

We’d talk weather and once again I’d feign surprise at the “70 warm and sunny” report she’d invariably give (it’s always 70 warm and sunny where I grew up) and I’d spend a few minutes trying to convince her that I actually like having four seasons but she never quite believes me. It would end when she’d ponder all the fun wardrobe pieces “70 warm and sunny” doesn’t make allowances for. She’ll just have to wear her faux fur hat when she comes to visit then, it’s settled.

And visit she has! Faux fur hat and all! True, we didn’t get to chat on the phone last Sunday, but I did get to watch her play Connect Four with my five year old and do a real live victory dance complete with cheer. “Nana doesn’t throw games” was her battle cry. I’m thinking of having T-shirts made. Then she played my eight-year old at Boggle on the living room rug and declared her a genius. (We already knew that, but since “Nana doesn’t throw games” we knew it was a real compliment.)

Instead of a phone call we spent time on FamilySearch.org, face-timed my mother-in-law, and not only did she help with Sunday dinner, she helped do the dishes too.

Now that’s better than any phone call. But unless my dad can spare her another week, weekly phone calls will have to suffice.’

Read more by Margaret Anderson at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com