Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday night grateful moment

Prepare yourself for a dose of nostalgia, Sher-style. Seth and I are in Kelowna visiting my aunt and grandma for the weekend, and there is nothing like driving the highway between the border and Kelowna to really get me thinking about my childhood... yesterday was no exception.

This week my gratefulness has a twinge of sentimental...

I'm grateful I grew up in such a beautiful valley. The first few years I was away from the Okanagan Valley, I was transfixed by the sunsets on the Palouse in Washington State, and thoroughly enjoyed the smaller hills and rolling landscape around me. I guess it's one of those "grass is greener" moments, but coming back to the valley now and seeing the lake, surrounded by real mountains, it just takes my breath away. Especially with the snow on the mountains, still. (I know, me with the snow already. Whatever.)

That's the "old" floating bridge of my childhood... it's since been replaced with a newer, multi-lane model.

I am thankful for such happy memories of my childhood. I have so many wonderful memories of family Friday night suppers, a pot of soup or haystacks, something freshly baked from the oven for dessert, laughter and relaxation. That quote I shared yesterday about a warm stove and a mom? That resonates with me very deeply. I had a brother who stood up for me against any school yard meany, parents who supported me through even some pretty foolish nonsense, and acres and acres to roam if I needed a little space to stretch my legs and my mind. I was very blessed.

Coming back into the valley also brings up memories of my elementary and middle school years... I shared a particularly humorous (to me) story with Seth yesterday of a pool party that we had in the 8th grade and how I don't remember a parent present (that would irk me now, as a parent. I'm pretty sure there must have been one, somewhere, I just don't remember it...) and someone had rented a Cheech & Chong movie... one kid called their parents (not quite sure why, much of this is somewhat hazy, but I think there was a general unease among most of the kids with the stoner aspect of the movie) who then called other parents and before you know it there was a mass exodus of kids whose parents showed up (which I believe mine did). Rumor had it that the elite few who stayed behind watched An Officer and a Gentleman, which of course further solidified their cooler-than-cool quotient with the class... I hadn't thought about that in about 30 years.

I am thankful that my son still enjoys going on road trips with me, and especially to come see Great Grandma. She's tired, and we wear her out easily, so we dip in and out to see her, but it means a great deal to me that he comes with me, and has a sense of the generations that have come before him. It took me a great many years to appreciate that in my grandparents... so I'm glad he gets it sooner than I did!

I'm grateful for music, which makes the miles go by quite quickly. We are quiet eclectic, the two of us on the road... yesterday we listened to everything from Two Door Cinema, Ratatat and Flashbulb (Seth's iPod) to the soundtrack from Fame, Alphaville, Bitter:Sweet and Double (my mix). Yes, Double. 1980s! The video below just makes me smile, remembering.

In a related note on music, I am grateful for my love of hymns. Grandma was telling Seth and I last night about singing to herself each night before bed, and I thought to myself, I could totally see doing that at 92! Mix in a little Sound of Music singalong, maybe a bit of Abba, cut to some Rock of Ages or In The Garden, and that's me in the nursing home...

I'm grateful for a bunch of long-gened grandparents. The stamina of these people is amazing! The Goerlitz grandparents passed away at 90 (Charlotte) and 95 (Frank). Grandpa Kandt (Bert) passed away at 86, just about 87... and Grandma Kandt (Opal) is still going at 92. I'm very lucky to have had them all present in my life, but especially poor Grandma Kandt, who gets all the attention of being the last living grandparent!

I'm grateful for my aunt Bobbi, who houses us so generously when we visit. And feeds us too! The minestrone upon arrival, haystacks tonight... you don't get that at the Manteo. I'm just sayin'.

I'm grateful for our little traditions on these trips, from Scandia Golf and Games (mini jungle golf in the dark, essentially) to Tim Horton's TimBits to White Spot to raiding Save-On Foods for Canadian/European chocolate bars... and my little side trips to Art Knapp's... hmmm. How many of those are food-related? Just a part of our heritage, I guess...

Another, newer, tradition that I'm grateful for is the Bi-Annual Meetup of the Hollandaise Sisters. Tomorrow morning I get to have breakfast with my friend, Lisa, who lives in Kelowna... we went to elementary school together, but the two years between our classes meant that of course we weren't really friends... that was just too big a difference at that age, I guess. But with the arrival of Facebook and the rather lovely surprise that we have more than a few things in common, we have gotten together on my recent trips to Grandma's and enjoyed a breakfast catch-up (hence the hollandaise reference, one of the things we have in common!) on each other's lives. One of those lovely and unexpected joys in life, definitely.

I'm grateful for the technology that helps us retain memories. Grandma and I went through a memory book/photo album of their 60th anniversary today, while watching a DVD of their 50th anniversary... so fun to see all the great '90s haircuts and massive eye glasses, listening to the laughing of the aunties on the recording... my mom and her sisters have the best laughs. I remember so many times as a child, just enjoying being around the four of them and listening to the rising and falling of the laughter, that funny lilt and sigh they would do when they'd all been laughing for too long. I love that memory so much.

I'm grateful for time. For the ability to travel and come back to this valley, for time to have matured enough to appreciate things I used to take for granted, for time with Seth to share with him what I find important in this world. All of it.

Wishing you good memories and a lovely weekend. Peace.

Picture sources: here, here and here.


  1. What a beautiful memory lane you have invited us to travel tonight. Thank you so much. You are a blessing to us all.

  2. So glad you're able to not only look back with fondness, but visit the place of such good memories. You come from a beautiful place, both geographically and figuratively. :) xoxo

  3. What an enjoyable read. And what a great tradition you have of recording your gratefulness every Friday evening.

    We had a lot of fun with you when you were growing up and you still provide uas a lot of pleasure thru your blog.

  4. A lovely post, Sher. Love what Jen said. You certainly do.


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