Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Who Are You? A Topic for Each Week of the Year {Week 6: Grandparents}

Week 1: Name/Birth
Week 2: School

What were your grandparents like? Do you have any special memories of them? Do you remember any stories they told you about themselves or your parents?

Maternal Grandparents
Grandma Edna {Dalley} Steel: How I loved my Grandma Steel. We used to visit my Steel grandparents yearly (or maybe once every two years). They lived in Plano, Idaho, and we'd drive all 12ish (including stops) hours there. We would leave very early in the morning to drive there and would be driving all day. This is so not safe and completely illegal now, but we'd fold down the middle seat of our suburban, pile blankets and pillows, and sleep for the first few hours of the drive! Occasionally, I'd make myself a bed on top of our luggage in the back. This really happened. Anyway, it was all worth it to visit my Grandma and Grandpa. I loved picking raspberries from her garden, then taking them in and sorting them with her and stealing a few as we'd go. They were delicious. We'd rummage though the attic to find dress-ups, then act out stories together. One time I'm pretty sure my sister married me to my cousin. Another cousin was our child. At my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, a few of the boys were playing "horse" in the church gym during the clean-up. They were sing a half-deflated old volleyball. My grandma joined in the game, in her nice dress from the party! One Christmas, she made us all pillows. They were a faux-fur kind of material and my parents still have them in their basement. Another year, she made every grandchild a teddy bear (keep in mind that she had nearly 40 grandchildren at the time). She called them "Ande bears" (Ande=Edna spelled backward). My bear is very special to me--I still have him. One time I wrote my grandma a thank you note for something she'd done for me--and she sent me a thank you note for my thank  you note! When I was 9, my grandma was diagnosed with lung cancer. She passed away in fall of 1995. We were all devastated--I remember sobbing through her funeral. I'm so grateful to know, though, that we will see her again. I have a beautiful charm necklace of my grandmother's to remember her by. 

Grandpa Louis O. Steel: Grandpa Steel is my only living grandparent. When I was little, I always called him the "teasing grandpa" because he is seriously a major tease. I still remember trying to sneak past him so he wouldn't tickle me! My Grandpa has walked with a cane for as long as I can remember. When he was young he had an illness (polio??) and ended up with a metal hip. Grandpa loves to read--which, unfortunately, is not possible for him now because of failing eyesight. I always remember him having a book next to him. He was a very fast reader and would finish a several-hundred pages long book in a matter of days. One time I was visiting and had finished my book (the horror!). Luckily, Grandpa had plenty of books to borrow. I settled on the first book in the Children of the Promise series. I loved it so much that he let me take books one, two, and three home to keep! Grandpa has had hearing trouble for many years. He is very quiet until you get him to talking--then he tells great stories. He went through a phase where he really enjoyed making potholders with one of those weaving loom things--I think all of his kids have a drawer-full! His favorite restaurant is Chuck-A-Rama (a buffet) or Golden Corral (another buffet), and we generally end up at one of the two when we take him out to celebrate birthdays.

Paternal Grandparents
Grandma Irene Alice {Russell} Rolfe: My Grandma Rolfe was diagnosed with Alzheimer's/Dementia when I was pretty young, and I really don't have many memories of her before that. After she was diagnosed and had to stop working, she came to "work" at our house. She'd help my mom with cleaning during the day and would spend some time with Kayla, who hadn't started school yet. My grandma always had a positive attitude and a smile on her face, even when her disease started making her easily confused. One random memory: my grandma and grandpa were on a trip with us and we'd stopped at a fast food restaurant on the drive. My grandpa got food for himself and my grandma, then went to use the restroom. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, my grandma ate both her chicken sandwich and his chicken sandwich before he got back! We all had a good chuckle over that one.

Grandpa Dee Rolfe: Honestly, I had kind of a complicated relationship with my grandpa. He was not the world's easiest person to get along with. But he was at basically every single game of every single sport I ever played. He was at all my siblings' games, too. We played a lot of sports--that was a lot of games. My sister and I played on a club basketball team called the "Vipers." We'd travel to out-of-town tournaments and I can't remember a tournament he didn't travel to with us. At the beginning of every game, just before tip-off--when it's actually pretty quiet in the gym--he'd yell "Go Viperrrrrrrrrrrrs" and keep going on that r sound for a long, long, time. It was impressive. After he started the "Go Vipers" tradition, he transferred it to our other teams--Panthers, Bighorns, etc. My grandpa really liked to experiment in the kitchen. Some of his experiments were more successful than others :) One thing I loved when I was little (and think sounds GROSS now!) were peanut butter and butter sandwiches. That's a lot of oil! My grandpa also liked to paint/draw. One year for Christmas he gave us portraits of ourselves he'd drawn. Grandpa and Grandma Rolfe always lived in the same city as us, so we saw them a lot--often on Sunday dinner, at every holiday, and of course at all our sporting events!

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