Monday, April 06, 2009

Visit With Grandma

[I want to take this opportunity to wish my younger brother Gary, aka The Enforcer, a happy 54th birthday since today, April 7th, is his birthday, and I forgot to send a card. Hea, he's got $10 of my money though since he won his son's NCAA bracket tourney. Since he's retired from GM, I imagine he'll spend today feeding the ducks at the park across the street; or heating up glass of warm milk, wrapping himself up in a comforter and watching Matlock. Happy birthday, bro!]

My grandma moved into assisted living over a month ago. This took some convincing because even though she is 97-years-old, she remains fairly strong-willed. Moving out of the home she had lived in for over 50 years wasn't easy, even if it was rather lonely there since my grandfather had passed away about ten years ago.

. . .
I visited my grandma in her new home after the move. The house where is staying in now used to belong to the rock star Madonna's family. Remember, Madonna lived in Bay City for a time during her youth. So now I can say I spent time in Madonna's bedroom for what it's worth.
. . .
Not sure how many senior citizens live in this particular home but it seemed like maybe seven or eight. Grandma has a bedroom by herself with a view of a park across the street out front. She says she used to pick tomatoes in the field there when she was just a girl. Now the farms are all gone in this part of town.
. . .
It seemed like all the residents there had their own reclining chair in the living room and a walker to get around. I felt as if I were in some video game, ducking aside while the residents passed by me with their walkers. Sort of like being in a live version of Pac-man game in slow time.
. . .
Anyway, there was not much in her room when I visited: her bed, a rocking chair, a nightstand, a dresser and a few pictures around was what I recall. The picture I uploaded here was one of them. My dad took the original photo for me from grandma and gave her back a copy. I don't remember ever seeing that picture of me playing the accordion, but then again my memory probably isn't much better than grandma's if it's better at all.
. . .

That's my grandma on the drums, grandpa and my uncle playing the saxophone. Of course, that picture was taken at least 30 years ago. But I like it because I look rather fit there, don't I? And it's nice having a picture of me and grandma playing music together. She really did play the drums too.
. . .
When I visited with grandma last, she entertained me with the usual stories, tales about her family, about her visits to the doctor, about her youth. I think she embellishes at times. But, hea, I do here on my blog too. She probably figures nobody's the wiser. I know I do.
. . .
Too bad grandma can't make it to my son's wedding coming up next month. I'm practicing my accordion so I can play a few polkas at the reception. My dad is practicing his saxophone. I believe my brother Gary is going to join us up on stage. We did have to find a drummer. My nephew Billy is going to volunteer there. It'll be just like the old days. Well, not quite but almost.

[Pardon the elipses, the . . ., as Blogspot seems to be messing with my formating today]


Blogger Fred said...

Dave, you must put a video of the band on your blog. Seeing you play the accordion would be priceless.

Grandparents are so special. I just wish Mom and Dad were closer so the girls could see them more often.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Wow, you play the accordion.... Impressive... I wouldn't mind seeing a video of you play you instrument. Maybe they could video your family at the wedding reception.....Just a thought.

I am glad that you Grandma is still up and kicking...It must have been hard for her to move...My dad would not move from his house and he ended up dying there... Let you Grandma tell her stories, it will make her happy and you might learn a thing or two.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

Well, I'm impressed that you play an accordion, too! Pretty cool.

Dave are you writing down your grandma's stories for your boys to have in the future? Embellished or not, those are treasures.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

FRED--That's asking a lot from someone whose computer IQ is zip. I can't even get my blog to create a blank row between my paragraphs here and you want me to upload videos? That's not to say I won't try though.

LUCY--Grandma loves visitors. I just wished I lived up north so I could visit her more.

LYNILU--My accordion playing is not that impressive. And keep in mind the accordion is supposedly the world's second most hated musical instrument, behind only the bagpipes.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

Madonna practices yoga. There are many wonderful poses and modifications for grandmas, too.

Family bands are the best! That photo is priceless. I'm trying to figure out the name of the band.

I've run out of matches and couches once again.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Enforcer said...

What, Vic's out as drummer? I thought he played well at Gabe's wedding. Did Billy pass the audition? Thank's for the birthday greeting and the 10 bucks.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, your family is talented! Congrats on the upcoming marriage of your son!


2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you finally find out who won the family bracket? The suspense is killing me.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

BONNIE--It's the Bob Morse Trio. No relation, but he was the drummer for my dad and uncle's polka band.

The Spartans run to the NCAA championship had a fairy tale ending (Humpty Dumpty).

ENFORCER--I thought Vic was retired. Billy plays regular gigs and just helped a local band cut a CD. So I figured he would be in better practice.

DEB--Thanks. If they weren't musically talented I may never have married Wendy since the first time we got together was when I invited a trio of women including her to hear my brother's rock band.

ANONYMOUS--Still bugging me, eh. So this must be Vic and you must be the Magic Duffer who came out on top in our family bracket. But I think I finished ahead of you in your own money league. So I think you just got lucky Fantasy football, now that requires skill.

3:57 AM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

Happy Birthday to your brother!

We have a 93 year-old in our family who won't go into assisted living, because he doesn't want to be around all those old people. And he's just so sharp - can still beat almost anyone in Scrabble.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

I too would love to hear your family's band/music Dave!

Sorry to hear about having to put your Grandma into assisted living. Good for her at being strong-willed!

Although, we here are having the same thoughts about the possible placements on both halves of the families.

Happy B-day to your brother!

5:31 PM  
Blogger Betty said...

An accordion player.....who knew?????

It's a bit depressing to picture the slo-mo Pacman game in which your Grandma now lives. It makes me afraid of aging.

Your brother is retired at 54? I'm in the wrong field, apparently.


1:35 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave ~ I'll bet at 97 she can live about any place she wants too? ~ I hope you had a Happy Easter! ~ jb///

6:32 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CASSIE--My grandma has an older sister living still, but her mind isn't nearly as sharp.

CARINE--I hope we can upload some music. (I hope someone can videotape, as I do not have a video-recorder any more).

BETTY--My brother retired from GM, so he does all right. But he doesn't like it when GM is in the news as it's been lately.

LZ--Grandma's first choice was an assisted living residence that was owned by a relative. But that was full. But you're right, she could probably live just about anyplace she chose.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:43 PM  

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