To Grandmother's House We Go

Last month, we spent two weeks in Summerville.

The girls and I stayed with my mom in her little condo first and we swam at her pool everyday. Grandma gave us a huge turtle float. 

Grandma did a lot of cooking and baking. The girls helped and enjoyed wearing Grandma's aprons. 

The girls enjoyed Grandma's cats' antics. We haven't spent a lot of time around cats, since my husband is allergic, so everything the cats did was interesting to the girls. 

I took the girls to see Fort Sumter. I grew up around Charleston, but had never been. My dad would have loved to go, but his health wasn't great and the boat would have made him nervous. But he loved Charleston and stories of the Civil War.

I also took the girls on a carriage ride through downtown, something my husband and I had done with his parents before the girls were born, but hadn't done again since. 

I showed them the market downtown where I often went as a teenager and we got ice cream. 

Here, my youngest is reading the family Bible I used to pull off the shelf and read when I was a girl. 

Cookies in progress. 

My youngest is learning to twirl Grandma's old baton, something else I did as a girl.  My mom was a majorette in college. Her old baton sits with her umbrellas and walking sticks. It stays at Grandma's and my daughter practices whenever we visit. She is getting better each time we visit. 

We spent a lot of time with my sister who also lives in town. 

We made dinner on the grill beside the pool once or twice. 

While sitting at the pool under the gazebo there, a cardinal came very close and perched next to us and sang over us for half an hour or more. 

While we swam, the cardinal sat atop the pool house and watched over us and sang out loudly. It was really uncanny, since they say cardinals are a sign of loved ones who have passed away coming back to check up on you. We are trying hard to take care of my mom in my dad's absence, so I took comfort from the cardinal's presence. It would have been just like my dad to watch over us at the pool. Water made him incredibly nervous, since he couldn't swim. But nevertheless, if we were swimming, my dad wouldn't be able to stay away, feeling it was his job to keep us safe somehow. 

Grandma had stacks of magazines that she wanted help removing. So we decided to make collages first and then toss the magazines in the trash. It took us a few days, a few hours each day, to finish our collages. 

We took mom bowling, something she always enjoyed doing during her many years of work as a recreation director and care-provider for people with mental and physical handicaps. 

Since I grew up around Charleston, I still have some amazing relationships with people there. I took my kids to meet Coach Newton at his berry farm. I always knew he had a berry farm, but had never been. 

The girls met Coach's niece and played around the farm buildings and in the chicken coop. 

Coach was my history/social studies teacher in 9th grade. I became a Christian that year and invited Coach to my baptism. And believe it or not, he came! He was also a Christian. I can still remember looking out from the baptismal and seeing him in the audience! He gave me a Student Bible that I used so often through high school and into college that it literally fell apart. Coach was a football coach and I was a cheerleader, so I saw him daily around the fields at practices or games all through high school. He remained in touch with me through college. He and other adult mentors literally watched out for me and kept each other informed about my welfare. 


I took the girls to church one Sunday at the church where I was baptized, first took communion, and eventually married their dad.

Rice crispy treats in progress

Finished collages

On our first few visits, the cats were not so comfortable with us. But on this visit, they were much more sociable, affectionate, and even playful. 

My sister and I took the girls to Hobby Lobby for the first time. Believe it or not, we had never been. We don't have a Hobby Lobby close by and we generally avoid shopping. But we loved it there! I don't think I can afford to go more than once a year, though. 

At this point in the visit, my husband came to town. My mom's condo is almost too small for me and the girls to even visit, but we are all girls and we can share beds, so we make it work. But once my husband came to town, we had to move from my mom's tiny condo to a rental house in my sister's neighborhood to extend our stay. I love my sister's neighborhood, so it was nice to play neighbors for a week. 

Avril got a yarn hooking kit at Hobby Lobby, something I used to do as a kid. 

She also got a pair of rollerblades she'd been begging for for months, and then she also promptly got a broken arm! 

At this point in the visit, I attended to the Circe National Convention with my oldest daughter for a few days and evening. I had been in the Apprenticeship program and it was time for me to graduate. My husband, mom, and/or sister watched the younger girls, so that I could go to the Convention with my oldest. Here's the stack of books we brought from the Convention. 

My sister helped babysit the younger girls while I was gone to the convention. She and her boyfriend of twenty plus years took the girls fossil hunting and they found some amazing things!

Mom came over to our rental house every night. One evening, she made us her famous goulash, fried potatoes, and cornbread, my dad's favorite meal. 

We played lots of board games.

Our rental was right down the street from my sister's, right next to the neighborhood duck pond, so it was a great spot to stay. My sister would come over on her golf cart and take the kids around. We all worked together to get Mom back to her condo in time for bed. 

We made homemade ice cream with Grandma's machine.

Another Hobby Lobby project in progress, hand painting our own Nativity using some of Grandma's paints

It was a great visit and a real blessing. I wish we could go more often, but we live so far away. But we make it a point to visit Grandma at least once a year for a least a week, so the girls can make lasting memories with her. 


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