Monday, February 13, 2012

Never too Old for Adventure

We left rainy Portland heading south for a 4 1/2 hour drive to Ashland, Oregon. Off to see the grandson of my friend, Paulette. Her oldest. It seems to be a trip we will make yearly. Our first was last year....just testing the water. How would a college boy react to two grandmas coming to visit?

The trip to Ashland was beautiful, especially with the weather improving as we covered the miles. Ashland is a small town of the Arts nestled in the mountains in southern Oregon. But this is not about going to the theatre or shopping in the sweet, little college town. It is about a young man and two 'older' women.

My parents never went to see my son when he was at Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois, and they in Ohio. She and Dad just never made it. But we are progressive grandmas! Well, maybe.

Justin was excited that we were coming for a visit. We liked to think it was about us; however, we did carry in dozens of cookies and groceries to last for quite awhile. A trip to the grocery with him didn't hurt either. Okay....we might be more attractive visitors if we could buy him off.

Soon we settled back into the same groove we had found last year when visiting the then freshman. We played Scrabble. We ate at his favorite places. I stayed back while he and his grandma went to a movie. He studied and ran while we spent time peeking into stores. No pressures against his time and his responsibilities. We were there to just spend what time we could with him.

We can't forget how important we are to our grandchildren no matter how old or how far away they are. The visit was not about us. Sometimes we found ourselves giving a word of advice, but soon found our stride in how to back away.

The love between Justin and his grandma was endearing. Sitting next to her during breakfast, he laid his head upon her shoulder. She patted it. A gift to a grandma. Never did he leave us that he didn't give his grandma a hug. They are never too old.

After a long leisurely breakfast, we took him back to his quad. A grandma reluctant to leave her grandson. A grandson eager to get back to his life, but equally reluctant to see her go. Warm hugs all around, and we were once more on the road heading back through the mountains.

Sometimes it is an effort to drive somewhere not familiar. Sometimes it is awkward to step into a world of young people. For all the years we have lived, we can still be nervous stepping out of our comfort zone. My parents never went to see my son in Chicago. They preferred to stay on the farm where they were comfortable. They missed seeing a grandson graduate. They missed watching him perform. They didn't have a chance to see him in his element and meet his friends. And for him? He missed the times he could have had with his grandparents in the few years before my father's passing.

The drive might be long and the bed lumpy. The food might not be home cooked. Leaving the nest to fly for short time into uncharted territory can actually scare us the older we get, but there is nothing to compare to the look in a grandchild's eye when they first see you approach. To learn about the child's life instead of expecting them to give in to your wants. There are gifts for giving and those for receiving.

We are never too old for adventure.


  1. It sounds like it was a wonderful adventure.

    1. Every day is an adventure. We just learn it really late in life. Thanks, Grandma Kc.