Tuesday, March 13, 2012

my heart keeps beating like a hammer.

well things have not gone exactly according to plan lately.
i went and visited my family in Georgia, and had a lovely time.  
i'll apologize now because most of these photos are completely unedited.
just a piece of Atlanta skyline on the way downtown.

getting ready for dinner.

my aunt kept everyone full of sugar. one time, in the course of a 24 hour period, i had 3 cream puffs (pictured) and 5 doughnuts. i also had orange fanta (the horror) with dinner everyday.
miss chloe wearing her Christmas best. it was a little chilly in the house.

 i'll do a post of my photos from the aquarium when i have had a chance to sift through them (i took nearly 200)

the main reason i went to Georgia was to see family, especially my grandfather. i, unfortunately, was unable to visit for his 90th birthday, but better late than never, right?
my grandfather wasn't whip sharp, because he was taken out of school at 16 to work and help support the family. he worked in the family garden business that my great grandfather owned, where he met my grandmother. when world war II was going on, he enlisted and was a member of the army air corp, he was an airplane mechanic, he thankfully didn't end up going overseas. when he came back to nebraska, he married my grandmother, and became a potato chip route salesman for his uncle's business. 
my grandfather wasn't wealthy, in the worldly sense, at least. he wasn't a strong personality that you had to tread lightly around. he wasn't picky, strict, harsh, or quick to anger. he certainly wasn't prideful, though he was exceedingly proud of all of his grandchildren (ahem, haha) he took care of his wife after her open heart surgery and valve replacement, despite some changes in her personality. when grandma passed away, they had been married 55 years. after her death, i taught him how to use the washer and dryer properly for my confirmation service project.
he didn't need a private education to know that his family was to be the center of his life. he worked hard all his life to support his wife and daughters. he later spent his weekends playing badminton over the clothes line with me, visiting graveyards with my genealogically-interested cousin, and visited my aunt's family nearly every Christmas until grandma passed away, then moved down with them while i was in high school. he always wanted the family to be together. 
while i was there, he was in good spirits, despite being short of breath after the trip back to his lifting chair from anywhere in the house. 
5 days after i left Georgia, to return to my normal life, my grandfather passed away. he collapsed in the kitchen, a few bites into a whopper. (not a terrible way to go in the waking hours, in my opinion)
he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. he never had a unkind word to say to anyone. his family will always remember his funny sayings; such as, weird people were "hoo-doos" when we were leaving for dinner it was always "off like a herd of turtles in a snow storm" and i will always remember how, oftentimes when we were waiting in traffic, he would absent mindedly say "valerie jean made a machine!"

so this, as well as exhaustion and a couple other struggles and frustrations have kept me from posting. i should be back in the swing of things now-ish. im kind of reframing my life, so it might be some time before i am as consistent as i was (say nothing)

ps. i am aware that this is a hot mess, punctuation-wise. sorry.


  1. So sorry to hear about your grandfather. My grandparents were more important to me than my own parents were - such amazing people. What an amazing story! You're such a talented writer. I know he's very proud of you. Thinking of you and sending you hugs. I hope thing settle down a little for you.

  2. Just wonderful Cousin Valerie! Enjoyed reading about your visit down here to GA and such wonderful words describing the grandfather we share. He was a good man and I'll miss him very much !!! Rusty