Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Visit to Gebby

My paternal grandmother lives in Chandler, AZ, and I wanted her to meet Isaac (she has already met Caleb). My Dad, Issac and I took a road trip from Provo, UT, to visit her. It was a long trip, especially for Isaac strapped into his car seat with limited diversions. But, he performed remarkably well and I was glad we made the trip. Gebby, as she is called by the grandchildren (an older cousin invented it trying to say grandma) has had a long and in many respects fascinating life. Some interesting facts about my grandmother:

* she is 91 years old
* her first name is Valentine (but she was born Val and later changed it and gave herself a middle name)
* she loves John Wayne and has seen every movie he ever made
* she has lived in over 50 different homes (her first husband was in the military and they changed residences often)

* she only ever wears purple - really - everything is purple, clothes, stockings, shoes, accessories, EVERYTHING
* she plays the piano
* she does not make long distance phone calls, never has
* her memory is like a steel trap, until only very recently she was able to remember astonishing details from her childhood
* she is an avid genealogist
* she used to write down all of her bequests on a yellow legal pad and regularly remind her various descendants of what they would be receiving upon her death - she has since parceled everything out
* she knows a MILLION finger plays and taught them all to us when we were kids and now teaches them to our children
* she is a great, great grandmother several times over
* for years she collected ceramic rabbits - she must have had more than a thousand when she finally stopped

Me, my Dad, Isaac and Gebby - our 4 generation shot
(notice all the purple?)

* she is 5'10" and has a son who is 6'7"

* her knowledge of LDS church history is astounding as she has read nearly everything ever printed

* her favorite movie is "San Francisco" about the 1906 earthquake - the movie stars Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald and was made in 1936 (she watches movies all the the time, so I guess nothing made since then has eclipsed it in her estimation)

* she has been married and divorced 4 times (twice from the same man)

* she once worked as a reporter for the local newspaper and also at a fabric factory called Spotlight - their signature fabric was polka dot prints in various colors - for years my Mom had remnants of this fabric in her sewing room and may still

* she is the oldest of 5 and her younger siblings called her 'Bag Sassa'

* she is my only living grandparent


dana said...

Cute tribute and info on Gebby. I'm glad you were able to make the trip. Brave soul with Isaac in the car for that long.
I forgot about all the purple. Even her tissue box is purple!

diane said...

I like her. She is in touch with her inner cha cha. Have you heard of the book When I Am Old I Shall Wear Purple? Maybe she wrote it.

Annemarie said...

I love the color thing! I'm thinking maybe I'll do that...maybe with SILVER!
She is a very cute lady!

Anne said...

What a great post! And I thought I liked purple ... It is funny to me, because before we came to Israel, we made a special trip (by plane though) to see Aaron's great grandmother in Chandler Arizona! We were really glad we made the trip with the kids since she passed away 4 months later. Hopefully you will have your grandma for here to teach you more finger plays for maybe years to come.

Kimberly said...

What a great post. it made me miss my grandmas. I love all of the purple! I hoe someone has written down her stories so that your children will be able to enjoy them as much as you have.

Brown Sugar said...

Excuse me Linsey Crisler! you journeyed all the way to Chandler and didn't hollar at your girl?

Lauren in GA said...

She is so cute! I love the purple wearing, too.

I think that is really neat you got to go see her.

Lindsey said...

She seems like a great lady! Especially since she lives in Chandler! :)

Lynn said...

One time the Missionaries knocked on our door in midvale, Utah where we were living between having sold our house and buying a condo. We invited them in and as all do, we asked where they were from. One Elder said he was from Chandler, Arizona. I immediately told him that I had a sister living there. He asked who she was and where she lived. When I described her he said: "Oh, the 'Purple' lady." It turned out that he was from her ward. It's a small world.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you got my e-mail or Blog address. Would you send me your your e-mail address via another e-mail? I know this isn't the place to ask for this so please forgive me. Uncle Lynn

Heather said...

Purple, eh? You should send her down here for the mes morado. She would fit in with the Senor de los Milagros devotees.

Hollyween said...

Her 'purple wearing' thing is my favorite of that list. Too cute.

She sounds amazing.

Jessica said...

That is a fun fun post. Who knew someone else's grandma was that interesting?!

alisa and sometimes brandon said...

Too purple-y for the purple club? I think not!

Gotta love grandmothers! They've been there done that and live out their days how they want to: in all purple, watching People's Court, having the exact same snack every day at the exact same time, etc. etc.

Sandi said...

Lindsey that was the cutest post. I love the picture of Auntie Val. Please let me know the next time you are in town, oh, I said that already.


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