Memories that make me smile

Another blog post that didn’t get published as it just needed some small tweaks… Here is Blog 9 of 10 total… in the last few weeks…

Ever have one of those days, weeks, months, or even years that make you sad and smile at the same time as your remember someone important in your life that is no longer there? I am having one of those; while recently watching a new movie “Wonder” I cried when the scene with Auggie’s sister Via, is spending time with her Grandma on the beach of Coney Island. I didn’t ever spend time with my Grandma Shannon on Coney Island – nor have I even ever been there myself. I did however have some wonderful times in my adult life with my Grandma Shannon.

She and I went on an adventurous weekend just her and I to the North Shore of Lake Superior when I was in my twenties. I took her to a place that was near and dear to both our hearts – Duluth. She and my Grandpa Harold Shannon had honeymooned in Duluth and stayed in the same hotel she and I stayed in when we went up there. As I child I spent many camping vacations with my Shannon family cousins, aunts, uncles, and of course my Grandma Norma and Grandpa Harold at Gooseberry State Park. This trip with Grandma Shannon to Duluth was a wonderful weekend adventure of my Grandma and I exploring a city we had both been to many times. She and I even found a tiny quilt shop right along the shores of Lake Superior. We saw the aquarium in the Duluth Harbor and we wandered the zoo there too. That is the only time I can recall visiting this particular zoo. This time with Grandma  was new in that it was just her and I for that weekend. Such a fun memory to have and to remember her by anytime I am in that city.

There is also that fun family vacation from my twenties again when a whole pile of the Shannon Clan road the train to Montana to visit additional family there. Grandma had spent some time living in Montana before she met my Grandpa and we had a great time seeing Glacier National Park together with lots of family members on this fun train trip. One of my favorite pictures to this day is Grandma Norma and I in the dining car on the train from that trip. Grandma and I shared a sleeping cabin to and from Montana on that summer vacation. I am also so grateful that I was a witness to Grandma sassying off to my cousin Cody on that trip when he tried to take her lunch receipt and pay for it when he paid for his. She had all of us rolling in laughter when she said very sternly to him “Cody, give me that back or I will smack you down!” She never would have hurt a fly but it did get Cody to give the receipt back to her so she could pay for her own lunch.

I will likely forever miss this kind lady who taught me lots of things when I was a girl getting to grow up spending a lot of my summer months with her. I have started attending the church I went to as a girl with Grandma and Grandpa Shannon. We would have lunch with her and Grandpa on Sundays at their nearby home after going with our Dad to Sunday school and the church service. It is nice to be back in a place that knows and remembers my Grandma Shannon for the kind wonderful lady I recall.  It is also so nice to bring Mackenzie with me and even a couple of our friends have joined us a couple times. I have been enjoying the very welcoming environment for little kids that are learning what it is like to attend church services and working to remain quiet.

As a child Grandma always had a big Easter egg hunt in her back yard for all of us Shannon cousins to discover and find hidden eggs. I had a great time hiding eggs for Mackenzie this year with Chris’ help as it reminded me with a smile of the fun I had as a kid finding eggs in Grandma Shannon’s back yard. The adventure of finding these hidden Easter bunny eggs this year included Mackenzie’s Grandma and Grandpa Shannon, my parents. It was really fun to include a tradition that was started by my Grandma and Grandpa Shannon into our holiday this year. So grateful for the times that we have together that make new memories using some old ones as inspiration.

Making memories for my kiddo is important! I am sure she will have many times she looks back and remembers good times with her family just like I have looking back on my times with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Hug the ones you love tightly as they are around you as you never know when you will just have the memories.