Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma!

I was the first grandchild on my dad's side, for 7 years, until my stinky brother came along. For seven years, I had the attention of a woman who LIVES for children. She came to California from Duluth, Minnesota where her parents who were french Canadian relocated from for warmer weather. I can't imagine how Minnesota was warmer than Canada - but this is how I know the story. San Diego was the last resort for her brother's failing health and her father was a carpenter by trade - a skill passed down to my dad, the man who can build ANYTHING.

Grandma, Kara and a beautiful red-haired doll on a cake

Walking in my Grandma's house brings back such comforting memories of childhood. The smell of bacon cooking, fresh strawberries and memories of her running out to our car as we were pulling away from the curb with a bag of snacks because - God forbid we get hungry on the 1-1/2 hour ride home, all memories that fill my heart and soul. She makes these amazing peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate that will make you weak in the knees. Knowing my love for cooking and collecting cookbooks, she organized and collected recipes from all family members and then added her very own special recipes. It was a beautiful way to document our family recipes.

Grandma and Kara - March 10, 2001

Grandma has had a myriad of health problems and we all amazed and thankful that she is still with us. Though our conversations are not as frequent as they once were, her voice cracks with emotion when I say hello and when we see each other I realize that there could be no better person to have 10 children by birth, raise a grandchild, have 3 great-grandchildren and commit yourself to raising your youngest daughter's children.

I can remember, years ago, long before I met D I was dating a dude in San Diego and I would often have time to spend - one on one with my Grandma. We would go to a movie or out to dinner - just the two of us. It was really cool. She would reminisce about stories involving my dad and the other 3 oldest boys, my dad is #2 of 10 and she would be laughing so hard we would both have tears streaming down our faces.

Yes, she gave birth to ten children - all healthy and her grand-daughter is an infertile - hmph. It is not a subject we discuss, I would love to say it is too painful for her to discuss - I just don't know what the truth of the matter is.

I will try to capture some video of our weekend in San Diego where we will celebrate her 80th birthday!


inland empire restaurant and food reviews said...

Hi Kara, Congrats to your Grandma on her 80th!!

Emily (Apron Strings) said...

Happy Birthday Grandma!!

(Oh, and what a beautiful wedding picture of you and Grandma!)

Emily said...

Awww you made me cry! What beautiful pics! Thanks for this lovely post - reminded me I need to call my Gran xoxo

Bri said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandma! I wish I had that kind of relationship with mine.

It is funny because everyone in my family seemed to get pregnant from thinking about sex. No one ever "wanted" to be pregnant, they just were. Now here I am. How does that work?

Have a blast in San Diego!

kate said...

Oh, how COOL! Happy birthday, grandma!

And you gorgeous thing! What great wedding pictures.

My grandma died when I was nine (well, the other one is still living, but she's a bitter old shrew who chose to write me off some years ago because I was in my 20s and living with a guy who I wasn't married to. Never liked her anyway...), and throughout my life, at moments when her death hits me, the thing I'm always saddest about is that she never got to share these major life events with me- no prom pictures to show her, no hug before I left for college, no celebration of getting engaged, no presence at my wedding.

Anyway, not to be a downer, but how wonderfully cool that you have your awesome grandma in your life! I hope you have an awesome trip to San Diego.

Bridget McGee said...

I wish I could have been there. I haven't seen grandma in a while. I started school though, so no more southern california trips for a while.

Io said...

Happy birthday to your Grandma!

I want some peanut butter chocolate balls...