Thursday, September 8, 2011

A visit with my Grandparent's

Early Saturday morning I headed out with Kim and dad and we drove to Minnesota. Nothing like a 14 hour drive to kick off the holiday weekend.

We arrived in Pine Island, MN around 8:15 p.m. that evening and were greeted by my grandfather. The last time I had seen my grandfather just over a year ago when he moved from Sherman, TX to Pine Island, MN. He didn't recognize me at first. I've lost 82 pounds since I last saw him and if you know my grandfather then you know he says exactly what everyone is thinking. There is no sugar coating his remarks and you need to have a thick skin around him. Once he realized it was his eldest granddaughter he had to share that the last time he saw me I was for a lack of a better word, huge. He held his hands very far apart to emphasize how wide I was when he last saw me. And for the remainder of my visit asked everyone we encountered who knew me to "guess how much weight I'd lost?" Gotta love that old man. That is just the way he is and in his own way was expressing how proud he was of me. Our family certainly gets our sarcasm from Grandpa Jackson.

Sunday morning after Kim and I woke up...around 9:00 (nice to get to sleep in) we ate a little breakfast and chatted with dad and grandpa at the breakfast table then headed out for a run on the Douglas Trail. It was a beautiful morning, in the mid 50's and I actually enjoyed my run. Amazing what cooler temperatures will do for your endurance during a run. The 6.5 miles flew by with beautiful scenery, cool temps and a flat trail ;-)

After our run we enjoyed a little lunch and headed to the nursing home to visit Grandma Jackson. It is hard to see her in this enviorment. All my memories of Grandma are of a very active and healthy older woman. It saddens me to see her frail and needing assistance to accomplish everyday tasks. I certainly treasure the time we spent visiting with her and it's great to hear all the stories she and grandpa share. They have been married for 66 years and first met when they were 13 years old. Her mind is sharp and she can recall details from 60+ years ago as if they were yesterday.

My cousin, Troy, stopped in to drop off a gift for grandma the first day we were there visiting. He had been on a business trip in Paris and brought her back some chocolates. Kim and I looked at each other and said that he was trying to one up us. After we left the hospital we stopped at Aunt Low & Uncle Joe's home to visit a little more with Troy and his precious daughter, Lizzy. Afterwards, we went back to grandpa's to heat up a homemade lasagna Aunt Low had left for us. Guess who had been by grandpa's? Yep, Troy. He had left grandpa a bottle of cognac from none other than Paris. What a brown noser! ;-) In the picture below you can see Kim, dad and grandpa enjoying the cognac as we waited for dinner to finish cooking.

Monday we headed to Aunt Low and Uncle Joe's home for a nice steak lunch. We were spoiled this trip by Aunt Low's generosity and delicious cooking. We had a nice visit with them before heading to the nursing home.

After our visit with grandma at the nursing home we headed back to grandpa's and Kim and I took an evening run. We went on the same Douglas trail and enjoyed the 60 degree weather and smell of the fresh outdoors. We ran 7 miles that evening and then returned to grandpas where we had a entertaining game of scrabble.

Tuesday morning was our last day in MN. We woke up and headed over to Aunt Low & Uncle Joe's to borrow their bikes for a bike ride. Uncle Joe went with us. A little side story, back in the early 80's Uncle Joe took Kim and I on what was suppose to be a little ride around town. That little ride ended up being a 30 mile bike ride. I don't remember our exact ages but if I had to guess I would say Kim was around 8 which would make me 13. After returning from this bike ride Kim got sick. To this day Kim claims that her getting sick was not a result of the long bike ride but rather a poorly timed bug. The rest of the family believes she got sick after being forced to ride 30 miles. Anyway, Uncle Joe agreed to go on a bike ride with us and we headed to the trail and had a relaxing 10 mile ride. We were much kinder to our Uncle than he had been on us many years before. It was nice visiting with him and enjoying the beautiful fall weather. It was in the high 50's when we headed out on our ride. Pine Island has a borrow a bike program and we passed by the building while we were out.

Soon after passing this building Uncle Joe was trying to get my attention to take another route. When I looked back at him his bike had hit a lip in the road and he flew over his handle bars, tucked in a shoulder and did a somersault on the pavement and then jumped up like a jack-in-the-box. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt and there was no blood, but it now gives us a new story to replace the one we created 20+ years ago when Kim got sick.

After returning the bikes to Uncle Joe's we walked the 1/4 mile back to grandpa's to shower and have lunch before heading back to the nursing home for one last visit.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to visit with my grandparent's for a few days. Tuesday's visit my grandmother looked her best. The two days before she had been in her bed during our visit. I'm glad my last memory of this visit was of her up and out of bed.

Kim and I then headed to the airport. My dad and grandpa drove us into the city to catch our flight and luckily everything was running on time. We even made it back to Dallas 30 minutes earlier than planned.

Thank you to my MN family for your generous hospitality!


Courtney Smith said...

Grandpa so funny. He made the same comments to Jess when we visited in July. Glad you guys had a good visit. Miss you.

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