February 24, 2011

The Most Amazing People

Recently I was able to take the kiddos to go and visit my Grandmother. She's a pistol, that one.(The one on the right.) She's strong, independent, incredibly intelligent and would do just about anything for her family. She's brought us all through some hard times and given us reason to laugh. She's creative and good at whatever task she sets her mind to. She's totally computer literate and will show her grandkids and great grandkids a thing or two about her top of the line laptop and what it can do. She's almost 80 and drove herself down the west coast to visit family and friends for a month or so. She doesn't plan on stopping these trips any time soon either. We were able to visit her in AZ. I miss living closer to her.
     When she's learning something or teaching something you learn quickly that good enough is not good enough. If it's not right, you get to do it until it is. One memory of a lesson from her is when I was learning to crochet. I was grown up and my son was about 4. I had done an entire two rows in an afghan about 5 feet long and realized I was doing the wrong stitch and had missed a couple of them along the way. She wasn't even there, but my son shook his head and said "You better take it out and do it again.... She's going to make you do it over anyway." He was right. And I learned to crochet and be proud of my work that day.
On the left is Emma. She's my Grandmother's step mother. She's not all that much older than Grandma, but she hasn't slowed a bit either. At 90 she still drives herself and is capable of it, cleans her own house, cooks her own meals, does her own shopping and gives the plumber and earful when he doesn't come back and finish the job he said he would do. She doesn't give up either. She's pretty amazing. I only have one childhood memory of her at a family wedding and what I remember is her laugh. It was great to be able to get to know her again and see how independent and strong and patient she is. Anyone else would have thrown me and my kids who were on less than best behavior out of her house. I think she just turned down her hearing aid and let it ride. So sweet.
   This is Auntie Dolores. She's no slacker in the strong, creative, amazing department either. I love her music, her ability to find the good in the midst of the bad, her tenacity and the way she finds a way to make everything work out. She can drive a tractor or a luxury car with the same skill and comfort. She can shoot a snake and play the banjo, use a cell phone and talk you into just about anything. She puts people at ease, no matter their station in life and relates to just about everyone. No matter what mood you were in when you came into her company, you leave feeling loved. That's a gift. I am grateful and amazed at the line of strong and capable women I come from.
   Here's Grandpa Joe. Not an actual blood relative (not that that counts for much anyway) but one of the best guys in the world. He takes care of my kids like his own. He's good with meeting the whims of childhood, teaching my kids that "Can't" isn't allowed and finding ways for them to succeed. He takes us all on great adventures and worries about us like no one else. We leave his house tired because we have a had a good time on an adventure or staying up too late laughing so hard we can't breathe. That's just about the best thing ever.
   I left this long weekend exhausted. We drove and drove and drove, but I am so glad we did. The kids got to visit some of the most amazing people on the planet. I am so glad to be able to tell them about their families in the coming years and how blessed we are to learn about life from some of the best. Sometimes they drive me crazy, sometimes they talk a little too much, or not quite enough, sometimes I hear one opinion too many, but always I love them. We are real people and this is real life and they are real family. What a real blessing.



Katidid said...

You have a neat family!

Jacob Bastian Posterity said...

What a blessing to have grandparents and any other adoptive family that loves you that much. You have taken the best from them and passed it onto your children and tied generations together. You are always inspiring.