Friday, December 27, 2013

Tumbleweeds - memories of Bama

A picture of my grandmother holding the tumbleweed she received from
my Dad one year for Christmas.  He rescued it while moving from TX
to CA (military).  She kept this tumbleweed in her basement
for years.  This picture was displayed on a board at her memorial.
I was thrilled to see it there - I had never seen it before!

I was chatting with my aunt at the luncheon we attended after Bama's interment.   We were remembering Bama - we brought up our memories of her basement and all of the treasures.   I told her there was a tumbleweed in the basement on the top shelf from TX (I don't know all of the details of how she rescued the tumbleweed, etc - I should find out!).   My aunt told me that she didn't throw anything away and believed the tumbleweed was in a box in the basement.

When I arrived at the memorial service that night, my aunt gave me the box that contained this tumbleweed.   It was perfect .... I had written about it in my eulogy.   I took it up to the stand before the memorial service and pulled it out to share during that memory.

A part of my eulogy:

Grandma was sentimental.   She kept everything.   It was sweet to walk into her bathroom and see the wood boot I carved in 7th grade, a wooden mirror one of my brothers made hanging in her hallway, and a Popsicle stick project hanging from her kitchen cabinet nob that one of my kids made.   She even had a hand written contract hanging in plastic on her filing cabinets in the basement that my Dad made his sister sign when she was a little girl promising that she would never move out.   I remember going into her basement and finding dresses and hats from various special occasions along with flowers in her refrigerator that she saved from my parent’s wedding, my aunt’s wedding and uncle’s wedding.   She also had a small box in the basement that had contained her wedding ring and another box that contained letters the she and Grandpa wrote to each other.   She even had a tumble weed on the top shelf that my dad gave her for Christmas one year - my dad had rescued it from the road while traveling in Texas back in 1970 (or maybe a year or two earlier).   It was magical in her basement.   Oh, the memories and treasures it contained!

I brought the tumbleweed home with me.   I sprayed it and it now sits on top of our family memory tree ... a perfect place for it - as she played a major role in our childhood memories!

I did find out more about the tumbleweed.  Here is what my Mom shared:

Dad and I left Laughlin AFB in Del Rio Texas, heading to Mather AFB near Rancho Cordova, California at the end of March, 1970.   Dad now had his International Harvester 3/4 ton pickup truck with a camper hood over the bed of the truck.   As we were driving along in Western Texas this tumble weed tumbled across the road.   Dad pulled over and chased it down and put it in the back of his pickup truck, a gift for his Mom.   We proceeded to Modesto California where we stayed over General Conference Weekend with Elder Stephen's parents (one of the missionaries that taught and baptised us).  Elder Stephens had given us some things to bring to them on our way to next training station.   While visiting them, they introduced us to Food Storage and sitting for hours in front of the TV watching General Conference.   We proceeded to our home in Rancho Cordova on Crawford Way.   While stationed there for Navigators School, we adopted Sean, saw San Francisco, Dad got his navigators wings, Mom and and his sister came out for a visit.   This is the time she went along with us to every event the church had going....even camping in the mountains just east of where we were living.   It was her first taste of the church.   When she got back to Franklin Park, she asked Dad to take her to church and the rest is history.   In December of 1970, we traveled in the truck to Chicago via the southern route.   Our truck broke down in the middle of the night in a snowstorm, in the mountains just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, the home of Elder McEuen's parents (the other missionary).   They rescued us and we stayed with them for several days while waiting for our truck to be repaired.   Sean was just a little fellow, 4 months old enduring this cross country trip.   By the time we got to Chicago, the poor little fellow had a bad cold.   Naturally I was worried, his first cold! I was a new, inexperienced   mother and pregnant now with Corin.   We made it just in time for Christmas.   I took this famous picture of Mom holding the tumble weed.   It captured the moment she opened this most unusual Christmas gift from her wonderful son, Richard.

1 comment:

And We Sailed On said...

I love that you put the tumbleweed at the top of your tree… that is so awesome.