Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekend ABC's - F is for Feet & France

One of my favorite people in the world is Gam, my maternal grandmother.  She passed away just over a year ago at the age of 97 and I consider her one of the main reasons I have slightly more depth to me than a bird bath.  

Toward Gam's later years she became forgetful and copious note taking took over for her short term memory.  She'd sit, quietly listening to us when we came to visit, pencil moving quickly in order to document what time we arrived and what was new.  The big events were captured with her star rating system.  Phone calls received "a big star," where new jobs, marriages and pregnancies would get "three stars."  

It was probably one of the hardest things we had to witness--this crazy, energetic lady who went to Europe for the first time at age 76 and drove a stick shift VW Bug until she was 89--had lost her independence and the memories that went along with it.  Occasionally however, she returned to her old, insightful self.  Those moments became even more powerful.

Gam's cousin, Dorothy also led a full life; however, always leaned toward the ... let's just say downer side of the soiree and has expressed her disappointment with not being dead already since oh ... 1983.  One afternoon a few years ago Dorothy was complaining about ... anything, and Gam looked up from her pencil and paper and said simply: "Dorothy.  Make this day beautiful and then make  tomorrow beautiful and by the time you start looking back at your past you will remember only beauty."  

I had Gam in mind as I embarked upon my Summer 2008 To Do List (read more about that here).  After week #2, I must say that it is turning into exactly what I had hoped.  

This weekend Wade, K-Dog (who owns the doggy daycare that Fisher goes to) and I had plans to get mani/pedis and cross #9 off the list--painting my toe nails hot pink.  We were joined by two of Wade's good friends.  Let's see, we'll call them Flight Attendant and Motorcycle Diva.  There is something about being around a bunch of ladies (and you Wad-ay!), regardless of how well you know them, that simply says insta-party.  After a lemon drop before our pedis and a few more lemon drops and dude joined BBQ after our pedis, the stories were ROLLING.  SSG was also ROLLING.  From laughter.  And fullness.  I finally tore myself away SIX hours after my originally scheduled departure time.  Rick Springfield was playing loudly in the background and I sang "Jesse's Girl" all the way home.

Sunday I recuperated and started reading My Life in France by Julia Child, which, when I'm finished will satisfy #10 on my list.  I don't know much about Julia Child aside from the fact that my mom had her cookbook on a shelf in our San Diego kitchen.  I think Mastering the Art of French Cooking didn't get cracked from the time we moved in (1978) to the time she sold the house over 20 years later.   But I must say, after lounging around this afternoon and reading things such as: "Those early years in France were among the best of my life.  They marked a crucial period of transformation in which I found my true calling, experienced an awakening of the senses, and had such fun that I hardly stopped moving long enough to catch my breath," that I really like Julia.  I'd say she's pretty much down with what SSG has got going on this summer.  

Independence Day weekend, OPI's "Lucky in Love" on my toes and time spent eating and drinking with friends?  I think that qualifies as a beautiful weekend--the likes of which Julia and Gam would approve.  

With three big stars, of course.


Big Hair Envy said...

What a great weekend! I'm sure Gam was there with you getting her toes painted "Lucky in Love", or maybe just "Lucky in Life" :)

I can't imagine how I would have turned out if it hadn't been for my Grandma. I miss her every day.

Anonymous said...

A little tear just slipped down my cheek! I think I would have brought a Lemon Drop to the salon for Gam, but only for Gam. Maybe, when we came out, we could do the Lavern and Shirley dance/kick together, all the way to the car in search of more Lemon Drops!

Gam, if your reading, you did a fabulous job with SSG! I know you are proud......

Anonymous said...

'll have to put Julia Child's book on my to-read list. It feels like you turned out quite a bit better than a "bird bath!" Love that remark! How wonderful that you had GAM in your life. Precious memories, no doubt.

AshUnabashed said...

That was a lovely post. I wish either one of my grandmother's was as inspiring. But my mom is ... so I still feel pretty lucky.

Where did you get your pedicure? My two girlfriends and I want to go this weekend, but we're searching for the perfect spot. Suggestion?

(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl said...

Aw, thanks guys! You guys are the best, seriously!

Ash--the place we went to was on Capitol Hwy. I had never been there before but it was LOVELY. I think it was called Capitol Nail. BUT, if you're downtown there's a place on NW 23rd in a little house that has these fantastic massage chairs on the 2nd floor. Then you can shop too!

BellyBabe said...

Your Gam's words of wisdom is my new favorite quote. I would love to be able to use it (on emails and myspace etc) if you don't mind. If it's ok, I would like to credit her if you will tell me her name (private email at, if you like) or I can list as author unknown. Not publishing it or anything. I just like to have thought provoking quotes as email siggies and this one is the greatest!