My Grandparents have created a beautiful legacy. Nine children. Forty-two grandchildren. Sixteen great-grandchildren with more on the way. They created a home where their children knew they were loved, and their grandchildren know it just as well! These two are some of the hardest working people I have ever known. They garden. They can food. They babysit grandchildren. They cook meals for dozens. They serve others on a daily basis--many not even being family! They are incredibly humble, loving, giving, patient and kind. If I could be HALF of what they are, I would be pretty awesome myself. ;)
Some of my greatest memories are hanging out at their home with everyone talking loud, laughing, and eating together. I loved playing in the backyard on the trampoline, the oversized swing set, playing in the barn and swinging on a rope from the tops of the haystacks down to the ground. I loved taking rides on the 4-wheeler around and around the field behind their house. I loved when the ditch was full of water so we could go swim and make mud pies. I loved riding down the steep stairs to their basement in a cardboard box, and watching my uncles ski down those same stairs with their snow skis. I loved eating my grandmas canned peaches and home-made bread whenever we came for a visit. I loved picking and eating the sour green apples off the apple tree. I loved helping Grandma snip beans and discover what other treasures had been pulled from the garden! I love getting an ornament for Christmas and a $2 bill for my birthday with a sweet card about how much they loved me and how proud of me they were--for various reasons.
We had some great family vacations together--and they always involved camping. One spot we always went was a camping area in Utah called Benion. With oodles of tents, campers and people, we always had a great time playing cards and Chicken Foot, eating junk food, singing around the campfire and telling story after story! The children always had fun playing in the creek and discovering a rope swing to launch ourselves in to the pond! That was heaven on earth to me. Literally. How I miss those days!
For a few years the new tradition became going to Wyoming and camping along the Snake River. We'd have to rent out several campsites as ALL the children and grandchildren came AS WELL AS all the friends we all invited. It was a serious party! We rented rafts and every day for 3-4 days we would raft the Snake River as many times as we could (If I remember right it was between 5 and 7 runs each day!) We'd have water fights on the "slow" parts, occasionally stop the raft and go cliff jumping on other parts of the river, then hold of for dear life as we approached the scariest rapids--The Big Kahuna, Lunch Counter, Ropes and Holy City. At the end of the 2-hour trip, a big van, usually driven by my sweet grandpa, would pick us up and take us back to the top to do it all over again. May I add that my great-grandma and grandma river rafted with us? Brave souls for their age I believe! This annual trip was one of the highlights of my childhood!
Sorry, I went a little overboard with memory lane there for a bit, but there's not a part I want to delete. This post and these people are such a part of me and my life. I love these two so much and am grateful for what they have given and taught me.
Thanks for reading! LOL!