Sunday, August 2, 2009

"great" Grandparents

Certainly I had some wonderful time and experiences spent with my grandparents as I was growing up. They were "great" grandparents. Not the twice removed variety; no, I just mean to say that they were great people of great character. They were simple and hard working. They were caring and loving. Something I did not get from them was a love of travel. For the most part they stayed close to home and if they even went on vacation type trips of any substance I don't remember them. Just that one semi annual trip to Philadelphia on the train with my maternal grandmother to do some Christmas shopping via the Kris Kringle Express. I thought of that as an adventure, yes, but more like an outing, although I suppose all things grow from small seeds planted.

But to be sure, there were no cross country trips, no flights to Europe, no explorations to the Caribbean Islands, no safaris, no summer long trips to Alaska. That was beyond their means and perhaps beyond their dreams- I really can't say. And while I loved them dearly and can't think how I could possibly have loved them more, I find myself increasingly pleased with grandparents who take their grandchildren on trips (I know my parents did that with my own son). Not because they are doing something "more" or something "better" but just because they are making family time and memories that are the kind of experiences that last a lifetime and foster the kinds of adventure that can be life changing.

We've had quite a few grandparent/grandchild visitors at Chicken Gold Camp, from Grandpa Gary and Grandson Josh who teamed up to find the largest nugget ever found here by a recreational miner (as far as I know), right up to this soon to be eighth grade granddaughter who arrived a few days ago to take panning lessons for a short while and didn't leave until days later after some really serious success at the panning trough. I gave them their first lesson...and it was off to the races. From that first peek at a speck of gold at the bottom of the first pan- the fever was on, it was infectious and there was joy and laughter for several days to follow. What a wonderful world of adventure these grandparents are able to open for their legacy. Was there more to this adventure than just gold fever? Would you think a young girl catching her first ever King Salmon (32 pounds) on the Kenai River sounds impressive and memorable? Or getting to steer the glacier tour boat LuLu Belle out of Valdez through icy waters on a whale watch excursion to be pretty special? Just a few of the glimpses into the world grandparents are opening for their grandchild.

This youngster was a real joy. Bright. Happy. Eager to learn and quick to pick up on what worked and what didn't. She was having the time of her life! And I don't mean "The trip of her life." Because with experiences like these under her belt, the world will call to come and see more and more as time and circumstances allow. Much more likely this is the first of many, as opposed to the one and only. I hope she knows and underdstands what a marvelous gift her grandparents have given her...and I told her as much. Little sister is on deck for next year and she's talking California here I Come. No problem. There's gold there too!

Thank you guys for staying with us in Chicken, You were great guests. Great Grandparents! We enjoyed your stay as much as we hope and think you did. Oh and one more thing: Go Wildcats!

1 comment:

Grandchild Connection said...

We Love Gundyville On Wheels! I would like to share the news about an incredible new service that strengthens the ties between grandparents and grandchildren. Grandchild Connection allows distant grandparents and grandchildren to develop close, meaningful relationships by utilizing today's technology of video conferencing. As part of the "VideoVisit" experience, we coach grandparents in educational and social activities that deepen the bonds they share with their grandchildren, and we provide the tools to achieve that end. We are putting the finishing touches on the site and are having our first soft launch on National Grandparents Day, September 13th, 2009. Come visit us now at