Seeing my Grandma Kandt, who will be 94 in April, is always precious. We slid into town last night, had a quick visit and then went back today after lunch for a more leisurely chat. She, Seth and I looked through a number of books and photo albums together, and Grandma shared stories from her childhood, first jobs in teaching, as well as meeting, dating (courting would be her word) and marrying my Grandpa. It is always interesting, learning more about this woman who has seen so much change in the course of her life.
The book above started the conversation off, with lots of notes about Grandma's father's side of the family. One wild tidbit: Grandma's Grandpa Jacob's wife (Caroline) and his brother (Valentine) died in the same general timespan, and so he proceeded to marry his sister-in-law and together they had 18 children (yours, mine and ours). When she died (#2), he married again, to a woman who had three children already, taking the total to 21. When my Grandma's mom (Ida Yanke) married her dad (Reinholdt Bechtoldt), rather than move out on their own, Ida just moved in. She had, after all, been the housekeeper and cook for the family after wife #3 passed away... not so great with long-living wives back then, apparently. So Ida was used to spending her days cooking and cleaning for those 21 kids. Oy. Thankfully by the time Grandma was born, Reinholdt and Ida were in their own home.
Grandma has always done a great job of recording the family tree.
Here's Jacob and wife #2.
I could not resist taking a picture of this gem; that's my Grandma and Grandpa in the navy suits, surrounded by their four girls and families. Circa 1977, maybe? If anyone has a hard date for me, I'd love to hear it. I remember being quite scandalized by my dear auntie MJ's shoulders. Aren't they beautiful? Hot, I believe we'd call them, now.
Seth enjoying reading through some of Grandma's notes this afternoon. I am so thankful for a boy who enjoys these trips with me, who is kind and thoughtful to his great-Grandma, and who will even indulge us in a game or two of Scrabble and Mexican train dominoes.
The boy and I of yesteryear. Takes me back...
Just to give you a sense of the warmth of Grandma's apartment... when I took her those tulips at 2 p.m., they were tightly closed. By 4 p.m. when Seth exclaimed, "Hey, look at the tulips!" they were bloomin' open. Warm is an understatement. Best to wear layers.
There is so much to be grateful for this week, as every week. The love and support of family; safety and good health that is so easy to take for granted; a couple of days off work; sleeping in; the ability to Skype with dear ones; breakfast with friends tomorrow; a son who will drive me home... well, a couple of hours, anyway; Tim Horton's for Timbits, Purdy's for hedgehogs, White Spot, just because... (Those last few items make it seem like the diabetes tour of British Columbia...) Nostalgia... that's the stuff of life.
I hope your weekend brings you "the stuff" of life, too. Peace.