Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two Wheeled Pilgrimage and Wyoming Whoppers

This last weekend I had the privilege to travel to my grandparents’ home and stay with them for a couple of days. It’s a trip that I’ve been taking on my own every year for the past, oh, 4 or so years. It’s become a personal tradition that I really look forward to. I’m very grateful A supports me going to see them. One of the additional joys of the trip for me is riding my motorcycle there. I usually cover anywhere from 1,800 to 2,500 miles during the trip. I often take the long route to and from their home. They live in an area of the country where there is plenty of scenic beauty and long twisty roads. The trip is an annual two wheeled pilgrimage crossing 5 states seeking wisdom, friendship and Wyoming Whoppers!

While growing up in the Seattle area, spending time with my grandparents was a regular treat. My grandpa was a quiet and decent man who enjoyed taking us to play golf and dazzling us with his amazing whistling…he really sounded like a bird! My grandmother was an outspoken vibrant woman who took us to the beach, baked really cool and tasty cakes and hosted our annual GBBDD (Gingerbread Boy Decorating Day). GBBDD was something we all looked forward to because first, the GBB’s were huge and second, we were able to taste test all of the frosting at anytime. Grandma taught us how to carefully apply the frosting to the GBB’s using a large, canvas, squeeze tubes (at least I think they were canvas). Then we would finish decorating them with candy and other edible goodies. This event was truly a delight.

Now grandpa, he taught me the appropriate etiquette of golf….most of which, though I have aged and have played less and less golf, I still remember. Grandpa was a great teacher. I remember awaking really early in the morning and heading off to the golf course with grandpa. He was an excellent golfer then, someone I really looked up to as a young athlete. Today, at the age of 89, he still plays almost daily and regularly shoots his age. Still very impressive if you ask me.

When I was college age, I moved out of state, pretty much never to return home. At about the same time grandpa and grandma moved to the other side of the state to retire. We kinda drifted apart at that point, so I really only knew my grandparents through the lens of a child. It wasn’t until years later when my life had settled that they invited me to come see them and I decided to go for a visit. The tradition began and I wouldn’t miss the visit every year as long as I have the choice!

These visits are an absolute joy. I have the opportunity to get to know my grandparents in a completely different light: as adult to adult. I know I will always be there little grandson, ok, not so little, but the way I relate to them is different now. Now it’s more about who they are and where they came from and learning about their life experiences, instead of the past adolescent view of what grandpa and grandma did with me or gave me. It’s about them as people….family.

During our visits, instead of just playing golf, we sit and talk about the six holes-in-one grandpa has made over the years. We talk about grandma’s experiences working in California during WWII, and Grandpa’s service in the Navy. We talk about their childhood memories and what it was like growing up during the depression. I find great interest in their current life experiences; what they think of our country, politics and what they are doing in their local community. I plan on just sitting with them for 2 to 3 days talking, and I absolutely enjoy it.

Grandma’s tradition for my visit is having a fresh pan of brownies and a batch or two of Wyoming Whoppers….a very large cookie that has just about everything from the cupboards in it stuck together with sugar and love. Yeah, I’m still her little grandson. They’re very tasty and grandma makes sure I have a bag full for the moto ride home. I look forward to another batch and another visit with them next year!They currently live very close to where my grandma was born and lived until she was a teenager. Here are some pictures of the inside of the Catholic church from her hometown where she attended church and school. It was built in 1904, it is quite beautiful.

Here's a fun fake PSA video I shot on my moto last year while visiting my grandparents. It's shot on one of the local roads....enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hey there, hot stuff! Nice entry! And cool public service announcement vid! :)


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