Visiting Washington….where I grew up, raised a family, worked, loved, laughed and cried. It is the place where God stirred the ingredients for me as I became a person, lover, mom, wife, grandmother, sister and friend. I always said home is where the heart is and that is true to a point, but it is Washington that holds my roots. Home is where we hang our hat…..where we build our comfort. Right now my home is in Colorado, with my sweet husband Dan. But what define us can point to our roots in some ways. When it rains here, I don’t care if I get wet because I’ve been in rain most of my life. When the sun comes out, I relish in it because it so seldom happens in the greater Seattle area….now, how I will be with the snow in Colorado remains to be seen. Regardless of the weather, visiting my family in Washington was as refreshing as a spring shower and as warm as a summer sun.
Our flight was good and uneventful….thankfully. Before I knew it, Seattle came into view. The “Emerald City” did not disappoint me…..with the sun shining and the green trees and snow cap mountains….I again was in awe and realized how beautiful Seattle is to me… flying in as a visitor.
Picked up by my sister, Marianna, our visit started out on a welcoming note.  We had our “base camp” at Marianna and Rod’s….their hospitality overwhelming in comfort, we felt at home in their care. A visit and stay over at sister, Robi’s, house was fun, filled with laughter, sister time away, as well as enjoying David’s (brother-in-law) wonderful cooking.
Our main focus was the grandkids, Savy and Jo. My heart warms with the memories of those two little girls. Going to the house where I entered into ownership with Kristin and Brett was unchartered territory. I carried many emotions driving there….anxious, strange, happy, sad. But as we drove up the driveway what hit me was excitement as Savy and Jo greet us with those smiling faces.
I wanted to keep them in my arms forever, but life is different now and every minute has to be enjoyed and cherished for the flash of time that it truly is.
Whether I was watching Grandpa show the girls how to cast their fishing rods, listening to them sleep next to me in the tent or playing Yatzee….the power of love around us was inevitable. The love between grandchildren and grandparents runs as deep as any love can. Maybe more so with me because I helped raise those little girls, back and forth to daycare, normal family life and all the ingredients that go along with it, taking care of them along side my little girl, their mom. Three generations of our family working together to blend a life.
I enjoyed quiet little chats with Jo as we venture off by ourselves to the restroom at the campgrounds, or spent time in the water while Savy and Grandpa fished. She openly chats about her boyfriend, their love for each other and plans for a future. I am smiling inside as big as the Pacific Ocean coastline, but I keep a quiet persona so Jo would regard this as a grownup conversation with her Nana. Listening to Savy express her imagination in the evening hours around the campfire. The moments of sharing love and togetherness goes without explanation…they are such special children, each in their own way. At times we listening to them bicker at each other…because that is what siblings do. Other times, Savy was the big sister helping Jo with a decision on what dice to add for her turn on Yatzee. Watching life through them never ceases to amaze me.
Then the time came when we had to head back to Colorado. It’s always good to get home, sleep in your bed and curl up on your own couch to chat about the trip or the work week approaching. We build memories in life; some are more precious than others but memories just the same.
I was so blessed as a grandmother to have Savy and Jo living with me for the better part of their young lives, as mentioned in an earlier blog, moving wasn’t easy. Now we hold tight to those memories and build new ones as we made our way to see them for a visit. I imagine there will come a time when they will be too busy to spend time with us, much like my oldest granddaughter Lindsay is now….they build their own life and that becomes their world. That is God’s plan and we will just roll with it.  I am thankful to live in a time when computers can be our friends. Skype is a blessing for sure, it allows us to see the girls while we leisurely chat about what has gone on since our last video chat. It makes the distance not so evident, at least for that moment in time.   
What I will always hold closest in my heart was the warm and welcoming hug from my daughter Kristin, our hearts beating as one as I soak up the fragrance of her hair, receiving a gift created by her hands. The moment Jo starts to read me a story and she does that extra swallow, or the way Savy moves her position to extend the adult image in her conversation. Seeing my son-in-law, Brett, and realizing what a man he has become. They say no one has the same fingerprints; I say no one has the same memories. We each find the thread we feel means the most to us out of every memory. My sincere hope is that when I die, God allows me to make a book out of my memories, and time to read it everyday.