07 April 2011

Green House, Good Life: Grandmother Edition

Last month, I managed to squeeze in a sabbatical from landscaping to visit my grandmother in Oregon. (We call her "Tutu" (Hawaiian for "Grandmother")...not to be confused with my other Tutu -- my dad's mom -- who lives in Hawaii.)

Can you believe this lovely lady is 91 years old?



I swear, she doesn't look a day over 85.

My aunt Patti, uncle Robin, and cousin Matt were visiting at the same time, and all I can say about that is, it ought to be illegal to laugh that much. Whether we were eating, shopping, playing games, or just sitting around talking, there always seemed to be something riotously funny going on. We managed to keep our composure for the obligatory family portrait:



We played Scrabble and raced to finish multiple copies of the same crossword puzzle, and I discovered that the part of my brain that is supposed to be devoted to Scrabble aptitude is apparently allocated to crossword puzzles (as long as they're easy -- no New York Times for me).

Oh, and most meals took place within sight of this fireplace, with a running joke about me stealing that fabulous vase:



We concluded that, sadly, it wouldn't fit in my teeny-tiny purse. (Yeah, that was the level of much of our humor -- larceny and a questionable sense of spatial relations.)

In a more serious moment, Tutu showed us a folder of some of the letters and things her children and the grandkids had sent to her and my grandfather over the years...but looking at them sent us back into hysterics. She wanted each of us to have what we had sent. I was evidently the most prolific writer of the family and came home with a lot of quality literature. Here are some gems:



I apparently thought it was really important to let the reader know my age. (In the third person, no less.)



And the date of the correspondence, even if you've run out of space at the top of the letter. (See "Day Sent 12-14" at the bottom of the writing area? Someone tried to steal my thunder by writing the full date in, like, real grown-up handwriting at the bottom right corner...but somehow ended up off by three decades.)



I think this one came shortly after I spent an entire summer with Tutu and Grandpa. And since I'm sure you're dying to know what's on the "over":



We must have had an inside joke about ice cream. I don't remember for sure, but I'd guess Grandpa and I ate a lot of ice cream that summer.

And then there's this special piece in red and white-out:



There are two theories about this one: (1) I signed both of our names, but Kevin wanted no part of my card and tried to white-out his name, or (2) I signed, then Kevin signed, then I tried to conceal the evidence that he had tried to move in on my birthday greeting (forgetting to white-out the "and"). The answer to that one is lost to the ages.

Those are some of the highlights of my visit with Tutu, but that's certainly not the end of the story. While I was there, I made time to explore some of the "good life" and even "green house" aspects of her community, and I'll be back to share some of my findings -- which, if you're anything like me, will make you wish you were 91.

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