With everything going on lately, getting out has been hard. Traveling around has been hard. I find myself missing my family a lot. I think a lot about my past and how I became the person I am today.
My Grandpa for example, he's awesome. Truly awesome. I hope he knows how awesome he is. I spent a lot of time with him as a kid (my sister too) with my mom working full time. I learned all about soap operas and why Luke and Laura were important. Oh, and Viki Buchanan... she was pretty important too. I learned that watching Jeopardy was totally cool and Wheel of Fortune was just an awesome way to teach the brain some problem solving. All things I've incorporated into my daily life. In fact, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune have become a part of our daily dinner routine in my house. My kids love watching those shows so much and get sad if there's a day they aren't on. They have no idea how important that is to me. I think he may have also given me some of my arguing skills... I'm stubborn as all get out. But I'm proud of that. Thank you, Grandpa. Oh, and teaching me that I need to "cut out that folderol".
I loved watching him play Solitaire too. He always gave me a sense of peace, no matter what was going on. Coffee and Solitaire. He's such a great man.
My Grandma is someone I remember as being sweet and kind, even in the hardest of times. She would make me ice cream treats a lot, with chocolate syrup, and I would let it melt and swirl it all together. We would play all kinds of games for prizes. Like Bingo, or those brain puzzles out of those books you get at magazine stands. The prizes would usually be candy and lots of it.
She used to collect key chains and had tons of bulletin boards full of them. Everyone would bring her new ones from new locations and of different types. It was pretty amazing. One of the biggest things though, was that my Grandma kept photo albums. She had neatly organized photo albums. I haven't looked at any of them since I was little but the pictures I do remember, they were amazing.
I love my Grandparents.
Yesterday I found myself pacing around my house. Thinking about them. Thinking about how they hadn't yet met my daughter. Thinking about how I hadn't seen them for probably over a year. So I called my mom. What do I do? How can I get out today and see everyone? We talked for a little bit about some options, but decided that we could meet at a restaurant near my Grandparent's house. A restaurant that was most definitely a part of my childhood memories. Little Italian Pizza. Oh my gosh, I LOVE this place. They have the best pizza on Earth, to me anyway.
Driving down there was surreal. It's been so long. I feel like I don't even know where I came from anymore. So much has changed. The roads were different. They felt different. Even where I remembered the restaurant was different, except once I got there it was the same.
Once I got there though, it was so great. My mom was there, my sister and nephew, my grandparents, my Aunt Theresa, and my Aunt Mary & Uncle Jeff along with their three boys. I've missed them all so much. It was so amazing watching them meet Mallory for the first time. Meeting her Great Aunts & Uncle, cousins and Great Grandparents. It was long over due.
The pizza and visiting didn't last long, but it was still great. On the drive home I was happy, I was calm, I was at ease. I felt sad though once I got back into Lake County. Because this was now my home, or at least close to it. This was now the familiar. Familiar but not at all the same. My husband and kids live up here, but not the rest of my family. I'm an hour and a half away from them. From the people that molded me into who I am. From the people that gave me the strength to push through the hard times. I miss them. I want them to know that.
I think about you all every day. You are all so so special. Thank you for coming out for pizza! Thank you for coming out to meet Mallory! Thank you Mom, Chrissy, Anthony, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Theresa, Aunt Mary, Uncle Jeff, Domenic, Dillon and Dawson! We miss you all as well as the rest of my wonderful family!!