Long Distance Calls and A Pending Interview

Phone chats with my grandmother are some of my happiest minutes, especially when the minutes turn into hours.

As I child, I loved time with my mom’s parents, as they were easy to love, patient beyond what I deem normal, and had pretty wild imaginations. From “Honky Tonk’s Pizza Parlor” (see an early post dedicated to this) to the jaunts to a local lake in the summer, and basement billiard lessons, they really were a bag of surprises.

As close as I felt to them growing up, I would have never imagined that as a 30-something, I’d be lucky enough to still have regular, lengthy, important, and grounded conversations with my now 93 year old grandmother.

Tonight on my trek home from Kentucky, I chatted with her for more than an hour, and as usual, we covered recent news in about ten minutes, and then launched into the good stuff—old stories from a time I can only stretch my mind to imagine as I hear the age in her voice, her childlike laughter over old valentines she found from 1915, and the jagged cracks of emotion when she retold something about grandpa.

I sometimes feel guilty for moving away, because I only visit a couple of times a year, and there’s never enough time in a dinner or evening with her. But the truth is, it was the moving away that instigated the phone chats, and I imagine we talk a lot more than we would if she was right under my nose. It’s easy to say I’d visit all the time, and maybe I would, but I wouldn’t trade anything for those long distance calls.

I made a laundry list of questions that I want to know about her younger years, her marriage to grandpa, her perspective of the egg business, etc. and asked her tonight if we could “schedule” some interview time. It’s selfish, really…I want to capture as much of her spirit as I can; I lost this chance already with grandpa and don’t want to squander the present with her. So her interview begins this weekend (especially if she’s snowed in–I’ll have a captive audience!) 🙂

At work last week, the trainees were asked to think about our motivation–why we want to be successful, and what our goals are. When thinking about what motivates and inspires me, I saw her face in my mind and remembered her voice on the phone a couple years ago when I was telling her about my master’s degree. She told me she was proud of me for working so hard–and that’s a moment I’ll never forget.

I can’t wait to start her interview, as I know it’s more time I get to hear the great stories of our family; more importantly, it’ll be a document that can outwit time.

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My Dad Would Have Been Prepared For “Snowmageddon”

My dad has always been an extremist when it comes to safety precautions—he’s as prepared as a human could be for any possible disaster. If there’s ever a huge national crisis, I’m headed straight for rural Metamora where I’ll hide out in my parents’ basement, eat canned food and snooze under homemade afghans. As excessive as his precautions sometimes seem, (think mass amounts of bungee cords, pounds of sand, multiple blankets, and endless snacks) I was and still am thankful for his attention to detail, even if I didn’t recently heed his lessons like I should have.

My first car, an 80-something black escort, was a prime example, as the trunk was equipped with a box of sand, candles with matches, warm socks, a variety of non perishable snacks, flares, jumper cables, a first aid kit and a heavy afghan. I only needed a handful of these goods throughout high school and college, but on necessary occasion I was eternally grateful for my dad’s wisdom and diligence in making sure that us kids were always safe and prepared for whatever mother nature may have in store for us.

Most of my adult life I’ve resided in warmer climates and have subsequently paid little attention to these sort of precautions. Yesterday I was stranded for 22 hours in the snow/ice gridlock of our city, which has already taken on the nickname of “Snowmageddon 2014.” The usually one hour trek from Sugar Hill to my house became nearly a day’s trip, and I realized a few things:

1. My dad is always right, and I really wish I still had my winterized trunk of goodies.
2. In the absence of specific supplies my dad would have suggested, I still carry a pretty stocked purse—wipes, flashlight, pocket knife, gum, protein bars, and good lip gloss.
3. Southerners really freak out when they see snow/ice and my dad should give them a quick intro to downshifting on hills.
4. There’s still so much goodness in the world; a 20-something in Alpharetta was passing out hot coffee, an older woman in Roswell passed out cookies, and an entire family had their Red-Ryder’s out on 285 W passing out water.
5. Patience might be the most valuable attribute I could ever possess—I’m still working on this one.

My car will very soon be stocked with details to my dad’s specifications, just in case I ever need to spend the night in my car again. As for me? I’ve marked my spot next to Nicholas on the couch with my pink laptop and Rainbow Bright Snuggie and have no intentions of leaving the house any time soon.

Snuggie

I hope “Becah for JECA” knows how much I love this snuggie. 🙂