Monday, August 18, 2008

70 Years ...

Happy Birthday, Grandma!
It seems like only yesterday that I was eating fresh peas out of your garden and twirling my baton on your front porch. I have such fond memories of our times together as a child. Singing songs from old movies while driving in your VW, eating toast with jam, watering the hydrangea bushes, reading Dr. Seuss, going to fabric stores and enjoying the outdoors. My favorite moments with you are those when we did nothing but laugh. You always heard me and gave me encouragement to be myself. You’ll never know how precious those moments were for me. I carry them with me and think of them often.

How happy we are to be back in the Northwest. Not only have we left the mosquitoes behind in Minnesota, but we rejoice to have you so nearby. I hope that we do not take this closeness for granted and let too much time pass by before we see you again. Maybe my children will come to know what it is I adore about you. I hope so. We love you. We miss you. Happy Birthday.

Today you are You,
that is truer than true.
There is no one alive
who is Youer than you.
~Dr. Seuss

We attended a family reunion in Oregon in honor of my Grandmother who turns 70 in a few weeks. It was wonderful! I reconnected with relatives I haven't seen in at least 10 years - since my wedding. My grandmother was surrounded by crowds of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and more relatives and friends. It was a beautiful sight. She looked around at all those people who had come together to celebrate her life and said ... "I started this." As, indeed, she did.

I am the oldest grandchild and I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with my grandmother as a child. She was my "happy place". When times were difficult growing up, she was my safe harbour. When I was with her, I didn't have to worry about grown-up worries. I was able to be silly and relaxed and she made me feel remarkably clever and brilliant. She taught me many things. Too many to share. But I am thankful to have a place I can still go to in my heart and remember.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Woes of Moving

Moving is so inconvenient. The hassle of packing up everything you own and driving it across the country coupled with the pleasure of looking for your shower curtain at 5:00 am your first day back to work is misery. Its normal to lose a box or two during each move, which matters little unless they happen to contain the beaters for the mixer, the spare key to the car, or the children's immunization records. Eating fast food and pizza while the kitchen is packed and then unpacked is somewhat disgusting. And then there are the obvious inconveniences of new phone numbers, email addresses, mailing address, doctors, dentists, schools and a completely foreign system for doing everything a new way. Obtaining a new driver's license, license plates and voter registration ... Why is it all so complicated? Why do I have to bring 12 pieces of mail to prove I live here?

I have been so thrilled to be back in the Northwest that such inconveniences are very tolerable this time around. Once again we're close to family and friends and the weather is just how I like it. I can go outside without getting completely devoured by mosquitoes and the post man delivers mail right to my house. YAY! Its so nice to be back. Or at least, it was until last week when I realized that I wanted Chinese food. Chinese food is serious. I have no idea where to get my chow mein. I don't want to test-drive new restaurants when a serious craving hits. All my favorite places are too far away and I'm once again in new territory. Now along with finding a new dentist, I have to find a new Chinese restaurant. Moving stinks.

"You do not sew with a fork, and I see no reason why you should eat with knitting needles."
~Miss Piggy, on Chinese Food and Chopsticks