It’s A Grand Life – Gigi’s Memories and Ones in the Making

September is here which means summer is over. I realize it’s not officially over until the 23rd, but once school starts, schedules are re-established, sports practices, games and out-of-town tournaments replace the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. It also reminds me of how very lucky I am to live next and near to four of my grandchildren and only a little more than three hours away from my other grands. I get to be a part of their lives all year long, something I missed living so far away from my grandparents. With their ages ranging from five to 15, the years seem to be flying by, and I want to be there with and for them as much as I can.

Both sets of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all lived in Texas. So, almost every summer, my parents packed up our car for a two-and-a-half-day trip from northern Virginia to my maternal grandparents’ home in east Texas.

The two weeks went by way too fast, and there was never a dull moment. My grandparents never traveled away from home, so all my memories of them came from our visits. My grandfather owned some property with a large pond he kept stocked with fish. My granddad fixed bamboo poles, filled a cooler with drinks and sandwiches, and spent hours with us fishing at the pond. Truthfully, we fished and he baited our hooks and took the fish off that we caught. The poor man barely got his line in the water for having to deal with us. My grandmother and aunt got the job of cleaning the fish for the fish fry we always had at this amazing park that was next to a beautiful lake with a carousel and a miniature golf course that was more like a par three course. I often regaled my daughters with tales of my visits.

From there, we drove for a day to west Texas to spend two weeks with my paternal grandparents. The time there was much different from being with my other grandparents but equally as enjoyable. They owned a wonderful restaurant where they took great pride in introducing my sister and I to all their patrons. I also loved waking up in what had been my father’s room, the amazing aromas coming from the kitchen, my grandmother’s homemade preserves made from the different fruit trees they grew, visiting with their neighbors, playing games and just being with them.

Looking back on vacations with them not only brought back wonderful memories, but also made me realize how much of my life they missed. It is impossible to only be with someone two weeks a year and manage to learn everything their life held during the other 50 weeks. It is certainly understandable, but it made me aware of how blessed my husband and I are that we can be with four of our fabulous grandchildren almost every day.

People say that life slows down as you age. While it’s true I won’t be running in any marathons – not that I ever did – I am still on the go when I am with them. I hope never to let a chance go by to be with my precious grandchildren. The memories I made with my grandparents I will always cherish. I know the ones I make with my grandchildren will always make me smile and warm my heart. I hope it will do the same for them.

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