We love you Grandma

My heart is saddened to learn that my grandmother from Canada has passed away. Seeing as I grew up in California I didn’t get to see my grandparents very often but when we did they were extremely memorable trips.
My first memory of a trip to Canada was when I was probably 7 years old. It was a complete disaster getting there. Our family would pack up in our yellow van, putting the ice chest between the two front seats, which would serve as an additional seat for one of the 11 kids. We would pile in for the brutal drive. I don’t know how my mother did it; my dad was smart and would fly up later so that he didn’t have to make the road trip. Seatbelts weren’t a high priority back then so we would constantly move all around the van. Mike and I would be in the back and he would punch the seat and then I would pretend to start crying. I would have to do it loud enough for mom to hear so that she would then start yelling at Mike. How completely stupid were we? We were trying to get mom mad at us which was almost suicidal. But what else were we to do on those long boring trips. We didn’t have iPods, cell phones, dvd players in the vehicle…the only thing we had was countless merciless hours of The Carpenters on 8-track.
On our way to Canada our van caught on fire, broke down in the middle of Montana, and Gary and Jim went hitchhiking (Thanks to the family who went out of their way to help us out), but we finally made it…and then the real fun began. I rode a horse for the first time. I vaguely remember having a night terror episode, screaming at the top of my lungs as Grandma came running in trying to figure out what was going on…and then the whole family had “rear” terror as the milk from Grandma and Grandpa’s cows wasn’t quite the same as we were used to drinking. It messed up our digestive systems and 11 kids were sick and all had diarrhea. I don’t remember our van breaking down on the way back home but imagine all that time with 11 sick kids. I’m not sure which was worse, the trip there or the trip back home. I know I crapped my pants at least once and I am sure I wasn’t the only one. The smell stuck around in that vehicle for another two months.
Other trips to Canada were much better. When I was a teenager I remember sleeping in a camper just outside Grandma’s house. We were able to ride their ATV’s but the most memorable was taking the canoe and going fishing in one of the nearby lakes. My brother’s and I would spend hours out there casting the lines and catching the fish. I caught the biggest one, a 14 inch Pike. We brought it back and I helped (actually watched) as Grandma cleaned it and then we cooked it up. I don’t like fish so I naturally thought it was disgusting but I will always remember Grandma talking me through each step of the whole process.
The last time I saw grandma was when Lexi was born. We headed up there when she was a week old (Lexi…not my Grandma).
I truly wish I could be there as the family honors her life. I love being around them and all my dad’s brothers and sisters. My grandparents have quite the posterity with nine children of their own. We hope we will always make you proud. I love you Grandma and will be excited to see you again some day.
……………..Edit to Post……………..
Well…I am packed and ready to go to the funeral. I am hitching a ride with some cousins. It will be a long drive to Canada but it should be fun with all the ice and snow covered roads. I hear Montana is nice this time of year.


About kromeril

I'll come up with something
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One Response to We love you Grandma

  1. Great tribute, Kris. However, the van did continue to break sown on the way to Salt Lake and we had to have the gas tank pulled to find out what was wrong with it before we could go on home to California!!

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