Friday, January 27, 2012

Grandma is Great!

When I was in high school, I completed a project called, "I Am What I Am" for a psychology class. It was a detailed scrapbook of sorts that outlined the elements of my personality and defined the roles others had played in making me the person that I am.  It included my talents, interests as well as embarrassing moments and personality weaknesses.  One of the required elements was to list the qualities of an ideal person.  This statement was included in the summary of my list: "I think the most ideal person I know would have to be my grandmother."

Some call her Goose, some say Granny but I think more often than not I use plain ol' Grandma.  She moved to my hometown when I was a very young girl and lived nearby all my growing up years.  (She moved to California about the time I got married.)  Every Sunday was spent at my grandparent's house where she spoiled us with wonderful dinners that had been planned to the very last detail.  Her cupboards were always stocked with homemade cookies.  She sewed my sister and I that famous red Annie dress that every little girl our age wanted.  She also made me gymnastics leotards and homecoming dresses too.  She handmade all the mints for my wedding.  It's no wonder that when my first daughter was born, I wanted to use her name.

Grandma turned 90 earlier this month.  It had been 5 years since I had seen her and I desperately wanted my children to create memories of her.  So when we learned of some unbelievably low airfare, we knew we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see her.  What made it more exciting was when my parents and sister and family decided to come too.

My dad and grandma actually share a birthday and Mom's follows three days later.  We got to California on Mom's actual birthday.  That night, my uncle Mike, who lives in the same town as my grandma, arranged for a birthday dinner for the three of them.

Doesn't Grandma look so good for being ninety years old?!  She is doing quite well I think, though a scary fall just moments after our arrival threatened to ruin our fun before it had even started.  Her tumble left her with a very sore hip and an enormous goose egg on the back of her head but she managed to get back up and keep going.

She delighted in getting acquainted with her great-grandchildren and we tried to soak in every moment of their interactions.

We made a day trip to beautiful Monterey but Grandma opted to stay home and rest as the effects of her fall had taken a bit of a toll.

We could hear the seals barking as soon as we got out of the car.

The whole crew minus Granny:

We wandered into some of the shops on Fisherman's Wharf and Anna desperately wanted this pink bunny hat that Uncle Mike had tried on her.  Erin said no but Uncle Mike was able to dry her tears by taking her to the candy store.

The candy store was fun for all of us!

We then drove down the road to Cannery Row, the setting of several John Steinbeck novels.

The beach was cold but beautiful.

Natalie wanted to show Great-Grandma her souvenirs as soon as we got home.

On our way to the airport the next day, we stopped by my cousin Sean's house.  He's created a "game room" in his backyard.  The kids thought they were in heaven with his popcorn machine, candy dispenser with free quarters and unlimited arcade games.  But it's pretty much a bar and this is the first and only time in their lifetimes I ever expect to see them in a bar!

Grandma posed with all six of her great-grandchildren before we said our tearful good-byes.

Caleb, Christopher--my cousin's boy, Natalie, Clara, Alyssa and Anna with Great Grandma Burke

It was a good trip.  I was thankful for the opportunity to spend time with family and most specifically to see my Grandma.

I hope my kids will always remember her.


Erin said...

Such a fun time! We are definitely glad we made the effort to come.

B.Bird said...

We love her for her yummy banana bars with chocolate chips in them (and other reasons too). When she was Warren's primary teacher she made them for his class baptism parties. He loved them so much he brought the recipe home and Mom made them for us and now I make them for my kids.

Jen said...

Looks like a great trip! I'm so glad you got to go see your grandma and that Caleb, Alyssa & Natalie could create some fun memories :)

Lucy said...

The bar pictures are cracking me up. What a fantastic memory you made for your children. Not many have memories of great grand-parents and yours looks like a fun one to know.

Caleb looks so grown up in that picture.

Lucy said...

The bar pictures are cracking me up. What a fantastic memory you made for your children. Not many have memories of great grand-parents and yours looks like a fun one to know.

Caleb looks so grown up in that picture.