While in Panama my grandparents sold their farm and moved from my beloved Fosston to Moorhead. Adjusting to the thought of this loss was hard on many.
Tons of thoughts came to my head of how life would change and how it was unfair how I was unable to say goodbye to my Fosston farm Christmas’.
Arriving at my grandparent’s new house, I was hardened inside but was, as ever, overjoyed to hug my dad’s parents. Entering this house that looked just like the other twenty or os down the road with the same yellow exterior was rough. I hugged my grandpa hello and with that came streams of memories:
I smelled the familiar scent of his pipe smoke and was reminded of the days of observing every movement he would make in his cushioned chair in their old farm-house. The way he would fall asleep to a war movie with the surround sound on during the loudest battle scene. The times when I would hear deep theological discussions between him, my dad, and uncle. Grandpa would always shake his head, lean forward, remove his pipe from his mouth and say, ‘well,’ and continue with a most intriguing story supporting his point. If one of them made a great point he would let out a ‘hmm’ and chew his tongue on the left side of his mouth (a sign he was thinking hard-an attribute I inherited).
Another thing I have memorized my grandpa doing is when he listens to his classical music collection (a love of mine) he sits in his chair, picking at the top of his head, zoned out in deep thought.
Along with these and many other odd habits and wonderful characteristics make up some of the reasons and memories that I love about my grandpa.
When I opened my eyes to let go of my grandpa’s greeting hug, I saw the stained glass window from the farm, it had been framed and placed in a window that separated two rooms. After stepping out of the hug I only felt the unusual feeling of crying, which never went away throughout my stay-but for many reasons.
Exploring their house I discovered it to be spacious, which meant room to place their belongings that once warmed the farm. The patriotic framed picture, the shelves full of books, the piano, all familiar table-cloth, Christmas garland, and all the hundreds of little things that I had laid eyes on many times throughout my life. “These treasures don’t belong here,” I thought, “my grandparents shouldn’t be here.”
Continuing on with the next couple hours before my cousin, uncle, and aunt arrived, I assisted my grandma with preparations for the evening meal. I set the table with the entirely familiar plates, silverware, and glasses. As my grandpa’s soothing voice sent a prayer up heavenward, while sitting with family around the table, I hoped in silliness that I would open my eyes to the farm…instead the prayer ended and I ‘amened’ into reality; a strange new land.
While eating I enjoyed conversation with laughter and updates on life, I suddenly realized, when my heart was re-softened, that it had absolutely nothing to do with the building, it had to do with my heart.
I could make a good time or a bad time, my happiness was my choice. Where was my joy?
For the last two hours I was wallowing in my depression, blinded by it,unable to see how much love our family can bring to any place.
After supper we gathered around my grandma, while she played the piano. Our nine person choir sang the many traditional Christmas cards with joy and love. I laughed and smiled, glad that God opened my eyes.
In the beginning of the third verse of “Rockin’ ’round the Christmas Tree’ I took ahold of my grandpa’s hand and started dancing with him. Thankfully my mom captured it on video so I can treasure it forever.
Christmas came the following day and I was hoping to awake to the signature scent of grandma’s pancakes (something that never had changed)…but instead I took a shower first thing and popped a piece of her homemade french bread into the toaster, without the slightest hint of a pancake. “Life changes” my mom had given me a book to read, ironically before leaving for Minnesota, that stated this.
Who Moved My Cheese is the title of the book.
Adjusting to one of the most obvious facts of life, that it comes with change, is my 2010 lesson.
Life is busy, hard, and filled with change, and within each day our attitudes affects the way we react to these circumstances. I believe, by personal experience that we, as humans, will always go through spirals: roller coasters of spiritual and emotional ups and downs. Tip is: make sure you AND those around you don’t go too far down.
Sometimes, I feel hypocritical because I write on a topic and go through a situation where it takes me a bit to eat my own words.
I do not blame you if you feel as though my blog needs no more visits, but know this: I will ALWAYS welcome your opinion and advice.
Making new memories in this house is my obligation this visit. I am soaking in the advice and opinions here as well.
I realized how much, through stories, this move affected my grandparents. It was one of the hardest things they have ever done and had apparently gone through much heartache. They have such a positive attitude about it and are focused on the future, leaving behind the hardships and bad memories.
We will create new traditions, memoirs, and reflections.
Already, during Christmas lunch have the Wester’s hearts warmed a house.
My grandparents have already made this change, this milestone, this transition, a memory and learning experience.
This house is now a home.