I’m spending the weekend in Hammond, Indiana with my 94-year-old grandmother. I’ve been visiting her once a year for the last few years. She still lives in her home of 60+ years by herself, although she now has a helper coming in most days. My grandmother is a pretty amazing woman. She has slowed down but darn it, she’s 94!
Needless to say, when you visit an elderly person, you have a low-key weekend consisting mostly of sitting and watching television. I brought my laptop along and was once again grateful for the neighbor with the unsecured wireless network, and I also have a knitting project and a couple of books with me. We went out to dinner last night and earlier in the day took a drive up to the lakefront just to get out of the house.
I had some minor excitement on the trip here as a result of an overbooked flight. The airline staff asked for volunteers and I became the lucky recipient of a $300 voucher for future use. I haven’t volunteered my seat like this in years, but I have to say, it was sort of fun. I got here about 3 hours later than originally planned, but that was okay. Our budget is so tight right now, it’s fun to think that we might actually get to go somewhere in the next year, now that we have $300 toward airfare. Or, if nothing else, I’ll use it to come back here next year.
My grandmother struggled decades ago to build a family. She knows that we have had a hard time, but she doesn’t know the details. I still believe that the balanced translocation came from this side of the family, which would mean that either she or my grandfather carried it. But I would never share that theory with her. We had a little bit of a talk and I told her that we are going to adopt a baby. I didn’t take it any further than that. This is a woman who, while out driving yesterday, commented about how she made a move up in the world when she moved away from the town we were driving through. I asked her how so, and she said, “Well, look at all the Mexicans.” She has not had much exposure to other races or cultures and I don’t think she would comprehend why we would choose to adopt from Ethiopia (let alone actually remember that I told her we were going to). So, I’m just not going to go there until we’re closer to the process being complete. She did say, of course, that as soon as we got our baby I would get pregnant. Normally that type of comment would annoy me, but I’m not going to argue with a 94-year-old.
48 hours is a little long for a visit like this (I think both for my grandmother and for me), but I can’t really justify the trip for a shorter period of time. Next time I fly out, I think I’ll take some of the time to see any of the zillion people I know in the Chicago area.