An Over The Mountains And Right Back Again Meander
This Christmas was super special for our family because my cousins brought my grandma over the mountains to spend the Holiday with us. It was so glorious! My grandmother is eighty, and she didn't think she was going to get over to North Idaho again. Three years ago my Papa passed away, and he used drive himself and Grandma over the mountains to visit us in their gigantic Winnebago motor home at least once a year. We've still seen Grandma here and there since he departed, but it just hasn't been the same, so to get to have her stay with us for Christmas was just the greatest.
Of course, we had so many parties and get togethers during the time she was here that I think we might have worn poor Grams out. She was such a great sport about everything though, and I definitely enjoyed playing cards and board games with her. Having your grandma live six hours away from you over a mountain range is the worst.
Anyway, my cousins brought Grandma, and I was to take her home. So, on Friday morning I loaded my Grams, mom, and daughter into my little blue car and jetted out of here for Randle, Washington. It's always a bit of fun returning to the land of your birth, and The Big Bottom Valley is one of the prettier places on this planet that I have ever seen, a green, mossy wonderland stuck right in the middle of craggy snow topped mountains. I was in a pretty amiable mood as we set out for Gram's house.
The thing is, it was snowing pretty good when we left, and we had....stops. One was to visit family in Spokane. That was a nice little interlude that allowed us to miss rush hour. The next stop was in Yakima. To say that I am not fond of Costco is an understatement, but I am beyond willing to take my Grandma anywhere she needs to go, and she needed to go to Costco, so I glided us across Eastern, Washington to her next destination. Is there ever a time when Costco isn't a melee? What a sea of consuming humanity that place is!
Okay, they do make a dang tasty chicken pot pie, I will give them that...
Anyway, after jettisoning Costco, I wound my way up White Pass, feeling all sorts of nostalgia and pointing out sights to my daughter. Stuff like:"See that rock pit there, yep, I tried to sled down that beast, cartwheeled down was more like it."
We arrived to Grams as the evening's darkness descended, ate the notorious potpie after my mom and I ran to the store to get Grams some fresh comestibles and milk, and crashed hard, for I had to drive us back to Idaho the following morning.
In the morning Grandma and mom hollered at my daughter and I to go in her room. In her room is a massive gun safe that has all manner of things. Grandma placed a little enamel pen in my hand and told me it belonged to my great, great, great, great grandmother. She told me that she wanted me to have it because it reminded her of me. I just stood there for a second beholding the little blue and green enameled leaves in a speechless state. Her generosity touched me, as my grandma knows I don't really care for jewelry but I absolutely adore history. And her, I adore my grandma.
We then showed my daughter the old Confederate currency Great Grandma had kept and the leather satchel that my great, great, great grandpa carried on him as a banker in Wyoming territory. I kept petting the leather on that satchel, it was as soft as butter and looked brand new. An amazing thing considering it was 160 years old.
We went through some more things before eating breakfast and getting on the road. Grams lives right next door to my uncle, but I hate leaving her and I hate being so far away from her. She is talking about moving into assisted living closer to us as her mobility is not real great. I would love it if she moved close to us, but I understand how important it is for elderly adults to make their own decisions about their lives and circumstances. Just because you are older and in need of help doesn't mean you cease to be adult, you just need a bit of a life modification. Definitely something to think about when one is planning for their elder years. My Grams though, she is so squared away, I hope to be just like her in that department when I am older.
We said our goodbyes and sped away. The sun was actually out, which is rare thing this time of year in the Valley. Mom and I spent the next four hours chit chatting like mothers and daughters do. The drive was very pleasant until we left the Love's Travel Stop out of Ritzville, Washington with hot coffees.
I was flying down the freeway, and my mom, daughter, and I were chatting with my dad on speakerphone. During that time mom had sipped on her coffee and placed it into the cup holder where mine had been. No biggie, I just placed mine in the other spot. Well, mom picked mine up, discovered it wasn't hers, and went to plunk it down. As she did she managed to spill a huge amount of scalding coffee right onto my right flintlock.
Three things happened in unison: I screamed, mom hollered "I'm so sorry" over and over again, and my daughter burst into a screeching fit of laughter. By the time we had all calmed down, my dad, who was on the phone and heard it all just said to my daughter, in a very deadpan manner,
I was just happy that I didn't even jerk the wheel a bit even though my right butt cheek was scalded. You can't say that I am not good in a time of crisis....