Grandma get-away


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Which lady is over the age of 70? I know – the immediate answer is “none.” My sister-in-law and I are 40 and our kids haven’t quite aged us enough to look 70 (although we have our days). Whereas my mother-in-law, Patty, looks like she’s 40 with her infectious smile and petite frame and zest for life when she’s really 70+ years old! Every person who meets her is floored when they find out her age (do her genes transfer to me since I married into the family?!).

I’ve been thinking of her a lot lately because she’s been under the weather and has not been able to engage in all of the activities she is used to engaging in on a daily basis such as a mile swim, lifting weights and fast walking (yeah, all of those activities might occur in one day’s time.) She is a machine.

Nonetheless, she still managed to take Maria and Alana two weekends ago and treat them to a raucous good time in Marion. Before they headed up to Marion on Friday night, she took the girls to Tuttle Mall. They got treated to a shopping spree at Justice. She even let them shop by themselves while she and Joe waited outside the doors – pure heaven for the girls who felt independent and cool not having an adult in the store with them. Little does Patty know that she provided them with quite the memory; Maria still talks about that shopping experience today and insists that she will go by herself next time we go.

Patty also took them to the indoor playground where Maria took off her shoes and stunk up the place. My girl does not believe in wearing socks so her shoes smell horrendous. Patty had to buy her socks and clean her shoes. Poor grandma! She called me to tell me in her sweet Patty-fashion. She never comes at me accusatory or obnoxiously. She started out with a recap of what they did that evening and then proceeds into it like any other incident. But I knew at that point that we needed to get on that girl to wear socks. And don’t you know that Patty must have said something to her to get her to turn around because she is wearing socks this week. Only grandma….

Patty took them to a Halloween party in the neighborhood on Saturday night. She bought them witch costumes and all. Spoiled, they are. They both had a blast and talked about it throughout the next day. All of this and she wasn’t even feeling that great.

The day after the party, the hostess asked Patty if Ri had fun. Patty said “of course” and the hostess said “I just couldn’t tell with her.” Maria is her father when it comes to showing her emotions. She could be having a blast and you’d never be able to tell.

Patty also described to me how Alana kept talking about her school friend, Riley. Maria got sick of hearing about Riley every two seconds so when Alana began to mention her again, Maria chimed in with “we know, we know, Riley has that sweater!” And when Patty asked Maria if she wanted a shirt that she was buying for Alana because Riley had one, Ri promptly replied “no way.”

I don’t know how Patty stays sane at times with these two but I am so glad that the girls can spend time together (even if they act like the Bickerson twins, as Patty affectionately terms them). I always wished that my cousin and I spent more time together growing up. And it’s nice they have a separate place to stay outside of their homes – it creates more of a get-away to them. And Patty lets them do their thing – be it shopping by themselves or playing on the computer or hitting a Halloween party and running around with other kids.

Jon always teases me and Patty about our big mouths, our desire to always engage in conversation, and our inability to sit still. I tell him he married his mom. He shuts up after that.

I do see a lot of me in her. We have similar personalities and that’s why I just want to see her feeling back to her normal self. I know how hard it was when I got pneumonia and couldn’t do anything. I was stir-crazy. So, here’s to Patty feeling better – watch out YMCA – she will be back soon with a vengeance!

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