My Grandma Sanford in Lake Huron, Greenbush, MI.
Post a photo of a person you’d love to trade places with for a day. Why did you choose this person?
What do you admire most about their life? What can you do to make your life more fulfilling?
I have to admit, it was hard for me to choose a person for this challenge. There are a lot of
strong, admirable people in my life that I would love to change places with (not to mention
wanting to trade places with someone fabulously rich so I could make a generous donation to
the Bank of Holly). I thought about my Aunt Sue, who has made an amazing life for her family
& who’s life is my personal version of the American Dream. I thought about my Aunt Barb, who
raised four amazing children, all of whom I admire. I thought about my sister, who is a police
officer & yet still keeps a positive outlook on life & who has so much love for Collin it melts
my heart. I thought about my Mom, who is a detective & provided me with a great example
of how to raise Collin & who is the rock of our family; the quintessential Mom. I thought
about my Grandma Bonsole, who raised five children, survived a divorce (back when
divorces were taboo), found my Grandpa & never forgets to buy a lottery ticket. So, you
can see how hard this was for me. Trading places with any of these people would enrich
my soul & I can’t even begin to imagine how much I could learn from one of them in one
day. I bounced back & forth all day. Aunt Sue, Grandma Bonsole, Aunt Barb, Seester,
Momma….no, Aunt Sue…no……
In the end, I chose my Grandma Sanford.
My Grandma Sanford is an amazing woman who never gets enough credit for all she does
& for all that she has done in her life. She & my Grandpa are still in love & I have never
seen either of them go to bed without giving the other a goodnight kiss. It amazes me to think
of the history their marriage has seen; the creation of lives their marriage has resulted in.
She raised four children on a fixed income, as my Grandpa made a career out of the Air
Force. She moved her family to every type of climate you could ever think of, Alaska,
Las Vegas, Guam, Michigan & many more places I’m sure. Every meal in her home
is homemade & if you drop by for a visit, she could have a feast ready in ten minutes flat.
I’m not kidding, folks, You should witness it. She has a twin sister (whom I always called
Annie Lane growing up & I don’t think I even realized her name was Elaine until I was at
least 16) & I have always admired the relationship she had with Annie Lane, her other
siblings & her mother, Grandma Eskuri. She always had time to be silly with us kids &
she always had some sort of fun activity planned for us when we visited her house. In fact,
some of my happiest memories are wrapped up around this amazing woman.
I remember when she & my Grandpa came to Vegas to be snowbirds. We went to
their new house & my Dad ordered pizza. When it got there, the adults realized
there was no place for us children to eat. Not a problem for my Grandma. She put
together a makeshift dining room table out of a box & dug some paper plates &
napkins out of another & sat down with us to eat. Simple, really, but as I kid I
thought it was the coolest thing. Ever.
She gave me my first, “real,” tea party after I got my very first glass tea china for
Christmas. She let me fill my pot with real juice & helped my fill my plates with
cookies & potato chips & pickles (don’t ask…we are a pickle kind of family &
they are the one thing you can depend on being in Grandma’s fridge) & let me host
my very first ever tea party at her house.
She always had a Christmas cookie decorating night at her house; there was always
an Easter egg coloring afternoon; endless afternoons of baking chocolate chip
cookies…& licking the spoon after. Most importantly, she always had time for
me. I always felt special & still feel special when I’m with her.
I credit her with some of my greatest qualities. My love of the Great Lakes, my
Holiday traditions, my inner-child, my tickle noises, my no-bake oatmeal cookie recipe,
my heart swelling love for my family, my strength to press on when bad things happen,
& my, “tsk, tsk, tsk.” They are all from her & they are all things I hope to pass on to Collin.
If I could trade places with her for a day, I’d take away with me the best parts of
her. Her patience, her perseverance, her happy soul, her enormously caring heart,
her fun-loving attitude (even still) & of course, her cooking talent. The things I could
learn are endless. One day wouldn’t be enough, but I would spend that day soaking
in every minute; picking apart her brain; learning about her history & her life. A life that
resulted in four children, ten grandchildren & eight great-grandchildren. What
an amazing life.