Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Valley Visit

     This story began last Thursday with me completely stressing out about not being ready to be out of town, us leaving the house in a hurry and then hitting a repulsive amount of traffic as we headed through Los Angeles around 5 p.m. But don't worry, it gets much better. 
     We spent time in the house Scott grew up in before we went to a Donavon Frankenreiter concert that night.
     Scott and I went on a trip with Donavon in 2008 and he still remembered us! Much of our excitement about this could have to do with the fact that he's a celebrity surfer and musician, but I like to think most of it is because we think he's a really good man-the honest kind that values family, is grateful for what life has given him and makes people who look up to him feel important. The show was awesome and with great company, great seats, and our favorite songs playing live, the stresses of the day quickly became part of the past. 
     On Friday morning we visited Scott's paternal Grandmother, Jean, for the first time in her new house. She has been through a lot over the past few years, so it was really nice to see her settled. We drank lemonade and ate cookies while she told us stories about growing up and raising a family. It was one of the first times I really got to spend time with her, but I became so relaxed in her presence that halfway through our visit I found myself tinkering with a music box, smelling her candles, and walking around barefoot, curious and comfortable, just as I had been when I was a child in my own grandmother's house. 
     I love spending time with grandparents, listening to them tell stories about their childhood when gas cost 18 cents and asking us things like "is your friend still going steady with that girl?"
     Late Friday afternoon we went to Grandma and Papa's house (technically Scott's grandparents, but I consider them mine too) for Papa's birthday. 
     Their house is filled with so many happy memories that even the air seems to embrace you.
     We sat in the living room on Friday evening. I watched Papa's face as he opened gifts. It was lit by a lamp I want to call vintage, even though it's just a lamp they've always had. He seemed so fulfilled.
      Grandma and Papa's living room is a warm room that appears to be untouched by time. Many items seem like they've sat in that house since 1968 when they moved into it with their four children. They came from Massachusetts originally, moved from Winchester to Jacksonville, Florida and then landed in the San Fernando Valley in the late 60's when Scott's mom Carolyn was nine, her three sibling's ages not far off. But the rest of the decorations are precious gifts that Grandma Debby would never part with, not while she's alive at least. 
     She mentions from time to time that she's going to "will" certain things to us when she's gone. She has a necklace she wears with a letter "D" on it. She tells me every time I see her "This 'D' is going to be yours someday" and a little of me wants to cry every time I think about owning that necklace. She says this to assure herself that her cherished keepsakes will stay in grateful hands who know the value of memories and the past, I think. 
     I relate to this a lot. I save not only birthday cards and sweet letters, but ticket stubs from noteworthy movies like The Hunger Games, every journal I've had since second grade and my favorite Halloween costume from college when I was a Corona beer bottle with my friends (it's actually just a painted dress). I still have parts of the outfits Scott and I wore the night we met; a teal sweater from mine and brown corduroy pants from Scott's that have a hole in the knee. They are away in labeled boxes in our garage. I say this so you won't picture us up to our ears in collected clutter. Some people probably think I'm crazy for hanging on to this stuff, but Grandma Debby wouldn't. I hope I will have someone as enthusiastic about having some of the things I treasure someday too.

p.s. sorry if I'm behind on emails! We were visiting grandparents, who, you know, didn't have the internet :)


  1. so precious. i love grandpa's face in the second photo so cute!
    how would it be to live back then, i think i would have loved the term going steady instead of hooking up. :)

  2. Aww your papa's face in that second picture is priceless!

    I'm lucky enough to have all four grandparents not only alive but within 30 minutes of me. I take it for granted sometimes and have to remind myself that they aren't always going to be here and to cherish them while they are.

  3. You captured such lovely moments, Dev! I love it. When I still lived in SD, I used to stop by my grandma's house on my way home from work. She's just the most precious woman alive, and she would tell me stories too. She's a bit of a hoarder, so getting to photos and such was a bit more work, but just talking with her made my heart happy.

    I'm glad you had a great trip!

    And thanks for thinking of your blog friends. :-)

  4. Hi Devon I am nominating u and your blog for The Illuminating Blogger award please go to http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/
    to pick your badge
    I am bestowing this upon u because well you and your blog make me thing and smile and I love looking into a life so different from my own. U also make me think when u talked about when u surf it teaches you about yourself I thought about that post and the ? u asked for days
    I hope u have a great night

  5. Um.. what?? You went on a trip with Donovan? You need to tell me more. Your weekend sounded so fun. I'm looking forward to spending time with family in a couple of weeks, but I'm NOT looking forward to dial up internet at my parents house which for me basically means NO internet. I always fall way behind on work when I'm there. Maybe that's a good thing...

  6. I love catching up with grandparents too :) they have such great stories! I don't get to visit mine as much as I'd like to now that I live on the other side of the country, but I try to talk to them as often as I can.

  7. What a fantastic post! You took me back for a moment to the days in my own grandmas house. We would go to visit every Sunday and the memories it created hold to this day! Thanks for the journey down memory lane.

  8. Oh, how I would love to see Donavon!! Everytime he comes to France, it's too far away to go and see him play.

  9. Papa is adorable!! I can't get over how cute he is in that second picture!!

    I just found your blog, I love it!!

  10. The concert sounds like so much fun. I'm a really big fan of live music, especially in a small venue where you actually get to interact with the artist. Definitely the best when they're as awesome in person as you've imagined them to be.

    It must be a blessing to be so close to Scott's grandparents as well. Hearing all of their stories, which can sometimes seem like they are from an entirely different world, is so much fun. I don't consider myself a very traditional person, but I do believe there are definitely parts of the past that are very worth treasuring.

    That second picture of Scott's grandfather is absolutely precious! A picture really is worth a thousand words.

  11. I love the picture of Scott's Grandpa laughing. Reminds me of my Grandpa's laugh. That's so rad you have them in your life. I always tell Joe we need to spend more time with his Grandparents. They really are a treasure and you don't get them forever. Plus then I get to share his Grandparents. Grandparents are the best.
    I can't believe you took a trip with Donovan.
    Happy Monday!

  12. He looks absolutely delighted with his presents. Great capture!


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