The kids and I leave tomorrow to drive up to CO to spend Thanksgiving with my grandma. This is what we do most years. She lives in one of those great old mining towns with a great old steam engine, and a great old main street. Every year on the day after Thanksgiving the town has a citizens parade down main street. Everyone meets at the park at one end of the street and walks down the 5 or 6 blocks caroling. At the end of the street is where the train station is, Santa waiting with cocoa and cookies. It is the one thing we must do each year to really usher in the holiday season. Last year we all stayed here and had them come down...it just wasn't the same.
This year we will celebrating without my grandpa who unexpectedly died from an infection last spring. We'll sure miss him, his tradition of us all saying something we are thankful for before we pray for our Thanksgiving dinner, walking by his office and seeing his face all lit up by the computer, him shuffling into the kitchen and breaking out the oreos.
This whole year has gotten me to thinking about not loosing the connections I have with new and old friends. About getting to know people and being real. I've been wanting to start documenting stories my grandma tells me. Things I dont want to forget about her. Ali Edwards posted some great links to NPR's National Day of Listening project, complete with a question generator encouraging people to listen to each other's stories. Also if you are participating in Jessica Sprague's "Stories in Hand" class then you'll have plenty of prompts for questions to ask a loved one, to get their stories out. If you can, record one of the interviews. I have a recording of my great grandma from about 30 years ago. It's so nice to pop it in a tape deck (hahaha) and hear her voice again.
(btw this is my favorite picture of my grandparents and my grandma would kill me if she knew it was on the internet! But this was after we had all just walked down main street 3 years ago. My grandpa, who loved his family so much but very very rarely showed it with words and even more rarely with physical touch, he and my grandma got a little goofy with each other in one of these rare moments and my grandma threw her arms around him, gave him a little shake, and then planted a kisser right on his cheek and he didnt even flinch :)