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Grandma & Grandpa C (Keturah)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Like we have mentioned several times, much of this trip is committed to experiencing different ways of life. So, what better life to experience than Polynesian Village - a retired seniors independent living community! Woot woot!

I was lucky enough to be adopted by a couple I traveled with in China in 2005 -Vernon and Barbara Campbell. We bonded strangely well over our two weeks together and have kept in touch since then, so it was a happy reunion after 4 years!

For both Kendra and I, this was sincerely one of our best experiences on this trip. We had so much fun and we were so loved. Ahhh...sigh. We could probably write about them for days, but we don't have days, so we'll give you a few hilarious anecdotes that might give you an idea about our stay...

The TV

Like I said, we haven't seen each other in four years, but it would seem that only hugs and a big dinner are allowed to upset the routine...

Grandma: "So, do you girls ever watch Wheel?"

Kendra & Keturah:

(1) confusion - apparently, we aren't in on the nighttime TV lingo

(2) understanding glances towards one another - "Ohhh, Wheel of Fortune. Hmn. Yeah, Grandma. Sure. We do sometimes."

Thus, our first night together was an intense interactive experience with Wheel of Fortune and Jeapordy, or "Alex" as Grandpa affectionately refers to him.

The Cat

Picture a fifteen pound cat who does nothing all day but sleep and beg for food - absolutely nothing else. Now picture two grown reasonable adults rubbing her belly every time happens to roll on her back, tying back curtains so she can see out the window even though she walks away in the process, hand feeding her scraps every time there is food, searching under all the furniture in the house for her toys before bed, and the mass searches throughout the community instigated by every momentary disappearance. Now, bear with us one more time and picture those two grown reasonable adults compelling us to join in all these endeavors. You now have two not-so-fat girls chasing two not-so-skinny old people chasing one VERY OBESE cat...only to see her wander out of some bedroom and stretch out on the floor as we are on our way out the door to notify the FBI.

I am glad you are all having a good laugh at our expense, but I'll have you know that such unconditional dedication was applied to us as well. They fattened us up and then even though we did absolutely nothing, they gave us all their love. "You girls made our year here." Thanks Grandma & Grandpa for everything...

The Passion...Fruit?

Breakfast conversation can be a tricky thing, especially when one discusses fruit, in particular, passion fruit with one whose hearing is not what it once was.

Keturah: "Have you ever had passion fruit, Grandma?"

Grandma (76) looks over at Grandpa (83): "Well, now dear, it has been so long, I can hardly remember!"

And she walks over and gives him a big kiss on the lips.

Oh dear. I don't want to know. Although I sort of do, because they have only been married four years. They were both married to other people for 52 years, but after their spouses died, they found each other. So, they are like newlyweds, happy and alive, which is maybe part of why they are still so fun. Seriously though, what are the logistics of that....???

The Crazy Night

On our last day, we ate more than we can list in this space and then stayed up until midnight with a rocking game of Dominoes! Keyed up on sugar and love, we laughed harder than we had in weeks. Grandpa went to bed when Grandma dropped something in the kitchen:

Grandpa: "What's the matter out there, Barbara? Did you drop your teeth on the floor again?"

Grandma: "Nooo, Vernon. I think I glued them in pretty well this morning!"


It was such a beautiful time with them. They introduced us around the community center to all their friends as their granddaughters, took us out to eat, let us decorate for Christmas, took us to an oldies concert, collected shark teeth on the Gulf and let us experience all the old people stereotypes. We love you Grandma & Grandpa!

As a sidenote, I think I should mention that this could be the life for me: slow pace, everyone takes care of everyone, you are allowed to indulge your sweet tooth and everyone sits together to read newspapers and books and magazines. Plus, I got to ride a bike with a basket!

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