Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I spent the past two days with my grandparents in St. Petersburg, Florida. Three years ago my sister Bekah and I stopped by on our way back from a missions trip to Ecuador. This was my first visit since then. Grandpa and his wife, Cookie, live in a condo on the water with their toy poodle Gigi. Gigi and I became very good friends since I was her primary "walker" while I was there. I also did an assortment of jobs such as putting together their new vacuum cleaner (they were very excited about it; the neighbor called twice to get all the details!), taking out garbage and filling water jugs.

Yesterday morning while Cookie got her hair done, Grandpa and I went to the store. As we pushed a cart through the bakery, he got a sparkle in his eye. "Want to ruin a little bit of your appetite?" he asked. I'd seen that look before; I nodded and smiled. He opened the doughnut case and pulled out two doughnuts. "I won't tell if you don't," he said. (Twenty-five years ago when my grandpa remarried after my grandmother died, Cookie [yes, this is just about the best new-grandma name ever when you're 3] put him on a strict diet. Sweets were always off-limits.)

For lunch we went to a seaside restaurant called Woody's. A perfect breeze was blowing, so we took advantage of the outdoor seating. I ordered a grouper (fish) sandwich - a local specialty. Halfway through our meal a man seated nearby informed me that a bird had pooped on my back. Grandpa and Cookie thought that was pretty funny - "The true Florida experience." When I went to the restroom to wash off my shirt, a woman came in and asked me if those were my grandparents. I said yes. "They're so cute," she said. "You're lucky. Enjoy it!"

In the afternoon, Grandpa packed a little cooler and we drove out to Fort DeSoto State Park. Evidently I went to DeSoto Beach as a little girl, and Grandpa wanted to take me there again. I walked out to the water while he sat under the picnic shelter. The beach was beautiful - white sand against blue water. I'm used to rough, gray, cold, Northwest beaches. I stood in the waves for a while then returned to the shelter for a cold Pepsi. Then we drove around the park, and he pointed out all the special beaches and fishing spots.

It's interesting to get to know your grandparents as an adult. For example, I discovered that my grandpa is a neat-nick. He's constantly picking things up, shutting cabinets, straightening papers. Another thing I noticed is that Grandpa and Dad (and my brother) have the same feet. Mom once pointed out that they have the Hadley walk, and we've joked about the Hadley nose, but this is the first time I noticed the feet. My grandpa also loves taking pictures, which is a trait I think both my dad and I inherited. I feel incredibly fortunate to still have my grandparents living. I appreciate them more as I grow older, and I'm thankful for the moments we can spend together.


At 10:58 AM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

Suzanne, I think it's wonderful that you were able to spend this time with your grandparents! Not only that, but that you realize how special it is now and not later in hindsight. My grandpa passed away in January and I miss him a lot! I really cherish the memories I have of him and the time we spent together.

At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Danielle said...

That's great you got to spend time with your grandparents and build more memories!


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