Friday, July 8, 2016

Phase 10 And Sour Apples

My Grandma came to visit recently. Whenever she comes, we play at least one card game - usually Phase 10 or Uno. This week, we played tons of Uno games, a few games of Phase 10 (one of which, she and I sort of tied...though, in reality, she and I were both on Phase 10, and she went out of cards first, so she won.), and a couple games of Apples To Apples. We like to switch Apples To Apples around and use the green cards as our hands, and the red cards as the ones we have to describe. We call this version "Sour Apples." I guess you can't possibly lose when you describe a choose-your-own card that says "Mark Twain" with a card that says "Mark Twain." :-D

I love spending time with my Grandma because she is just an amazing person. She always has a plan, and she makes sure everyone sticks to it (that's one reason why we lovingly call her "Sergeant Grandma."). And she cuts sandwiches lengthwise. And she makes hot cocoa and cinnamon toast for breakfast. And she has a cute Shi-Tzu named Bailey, who is so soft! He's a shy little puppy dog too.

She took me on a bus tour to Branson a couple years ago, and I had a blast. It was nearly Christmastime, and we got to see Jonah at the Sight And Sound Theatre, the Dixie Stampede (I love horses, so that was an awesome experience), Daniel O'Donnell, and quite a few other shows. By the time the tour was over, we were both tired! The week was full of things to do, places to see. I got to eat Sprite and ice cream for supper one night. ;-) It was a super fun trip.

A photo I took of the reflection in the ceiling of a truck stop we got off at during our Branson trip.

Sometimes my Grandma will call us or send small letters to each of us kids. She calls me Princess, and I love that nickname. I used to want to be Cinderella when I grew up (that dream was imagined recently when I got to dress up in a lovely, Baroque-period dress, and, as I half-ran up the stairs of the building, a lady referred to me in these words: "She looks like Cinderella!"). I guess I still want to be Cinderella - I just need a Fairy Godmother and a pumpkin coach.

A long time ago, she would take us girls (my Mom, Sunshine and me) to Victorian tea parties. We would dress up the part and attend the tea. The sugar cubes had icing flowers on them, and the tea was always delicious. There was a harpist one year, and I thought she looked like an angel. I always had fun at those parties, even though I was super shy all the time. I liked dressing up in pretty clothes for the parties. One year, the tea party was Scotland-themed, and my Mom dressed me up in a plaid skirt, white socks, dress shoes, a blouse and a beret. I looked so cute. One of the dishes they served was haggis. Try it first, then ask what it is. It was pretty good, as far as I can remember.

She taught me how to play Sudoku. I remember watching her write a 5, and since then I've written my 5 like that because I thought it was the prettiest 5 I'd ever seen. She makes the bottom half, then adds a long, sweeping line on top. I have a thing with numbers, so I love how she writes a 5.

At times, she'll accidentally leave one of her books at our house, and I'll find it. They're usually Amish novels and short stories, sometimes a really good mystery. I think that's what got me started with liking novels - her forgetting a book on the end table, and me picking it up.

She bought one of those record-your-voice books where you speak the words on each page and it plays back to you whenever you turn the page. We have that book in a special place, and sometimes I take it down and turn the pages and listen to her read the storybook. I love the last page of the book, "I love you round and round the world. I love you through and through. And when it seems impossible to love you more, I do." That's her. That's my Grandma.

When we had to move to a house that didn't allow pets, she said she would take care of my guinea pig, Inca, at her house. We were so close to having to move, and I'd have to leave my little baby, and who stepped in to keep that from happening? My little Inca was very happy there, I know.

My Grandma tells stories about Peter Rabbit and baby squirrels, makes imaginary sandwiches on our backs, makes sure you wake up at a good time, acts like a kid when the opportunity presents itself, and is always ready to do something with you.

I love my Grandma. She's too amazing for words, but I hope you can see just how much I love her.

Sergeant Grandma, you're the best.


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