I believe it is important for my kids to get to know as many of their relatives as they can. I didn’t grow up with an extensive extended family but I’m proud that my kids have one.
I have quite a few memories of my Grandma Allred (mom Raines’ mother). We visited her and grandpa in Seaside, California a few times when I was a child and those are good memories. I was mesmerized by both the German cuckoo clock and the artillery training at the nearby military base. Both were unfamiliar sounds. Both were consistent and methodical, one ticking and cuckooing and the other a deep, low rumble.
The backyard was odd. They didn’t have any grass! There was concrete and sand and strange plants. But they had the most awesome thing in abundant. Snails! Hundreds of snails! My brothers and sisters loved finding and playing with them.
There were two parks we played at and both of them strange. First was a small neighborhood park. It didn’t have a playground, only a gigantic concrete mound to climb on and slide down. It had a tunnel through it to hide in. The second park was Dennis the Menace Park. Everything here was huge. I remember the most a metal tower to climb on. It had an arm that you could hang down from and spin on. I’m sure that’s gone now.
Well, the last time I saw Grandma Allred was right before she moved to North Carolina a few years ago. I think Madeleine was a newborn and Nate was two. Recently, she moved back to Logandale, Nevada (1/2 way between Mesquite and Las Vegas) to live with her sister and her husband. My mom and I thought it would be a really great idea to go on a road trip to visit her. Rob was in New Mexico/Arizona working that week so it was the perfect time. I packed up the kids and we were off.
While we were at the house waiting 3 hours for grandma’s 49-page personal history to be printed on the dot-matrix printer, the kids and I played “I Spy” in the tchotchke-filled living room, explored the backyard full of pistachio trees and pomegranate bushes, and took a walk out front on the lazy, small-town street.
Here is Nate trying to figure out what this is. I have no idea.
My great aunt Venita (sp?) crochets and Madeleine found this rainbow-colored washcloth that was just completed. She fell in love with it so Venita (sp?) gave it to her. She carried it around the rest of the day.
On the drive home my mom read grandma’s personal history to me and I enjoyed learning more about her and her life. Here is the link to the videos my mom made of grandma answering some personal history questions.
I’m so glad we were able to visit Grandma Allred! As I’m typing this, Madeleine is coloring a picture of Cinderella to mail her. I love that they now know who she is and will have at least one memory of her. We will have to go back for another visit sometime.