I haven't been keeping up with my journal lately; not for want of anything to write, but more for being too busy. I spent Saturday scanning in a bunch of photos for the album/CD, and figuring out which existed where. When all was said and done I had at least one copy somewhere for all of the pictures except the one of Grandpa water-skiiing. I'm trying to track that one down.
The new pictures are scattered throughout the various albums here. In particular, pictures 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 20 in my group of photos; pictures 31-33 in Yvonne's album; the fifth picture in Gerry's album; picture 61 in Pamela's album; all of the photos in Sandy's album and all of those in the "tomb of the unknown photos".
The last time I visited Upstate NY, Pamela had a surprise for me. Years ago, so long ago that I had completely forgotten about it, I did a Spanish assignment featuring my Aussie, Mandy; her brother, JJ; and Pamela's bunny, Bandit. She had found it while unpacking. Unfortunately some of the pictures (including all of those with Bandit) were missing, but eight of them were left. This really means a lot to me. My parents divorced rather bitterly, and when he left dad took (almost) all of the pictures, including all of those with Mandy as a puppy. I have plenty of pictures of grown-up Mandy, but these are the only extent puppy pictures we have of her. The album is here. Mandy is the blue merle and JJ is the black tri.
This seems to be open season on grandparents. We're still waiting to hear about Andy's Granddad, and when his Grandma comes back from a singing trip in Italy she'll be having a lumpectomy, though the doctors are doing it outpatient and don't expect it to be bad. Then the other day I got e-mail from Mom that Grandma Shad had two more heart attacks. This wasn't supposed to happen after the surgery they did and the pacemaker they installed after her first two. Mom was hoping it was just the pacemaker battery, but it wasn't.
I rang Grandma last night and had a fascinating discussion with her. Backstory: My biological grandmother, from hereinafter noted as Grandma Sid, died when I was a month and a few days old, so of course I don't remember her at all. Grandpa remarried very quickly (which is why some parts of my paternal family are so mean to Grandma, which is stupid and unfair, but I digress), so for my whole life Grandma not-Sid has been my Grandma. She is a sweet wonderful person whom I'm reminded of whenever I see Andy's Grandma.
I had vaguely known that Grandma was a bridesmaid, possibly a maid of honor, at Grandma Sid's wedding. I also knew Grandma Sid had worked on the Manhattan Project as a geiger-counter operator. I had never, however, made the connection between said project and Los Alamos, NM. So last night I found out that they all met at Los Alamos; Grandpa was working on it in some aspect, Grandma Sid worked with the geiger counters, and Grandma was a typist. I knew that Grandma had been from Michigan, but not really where Grandpa or Grandma Sid were from, or how they had met. Grandma was the maid of honor, and Grandpa and Grandma Sid were married in Santa Fe. Grandma also was Grandma Sid's godmother, since Grandma Sid converted in order to marry Grandpa.
Grandma sounded very cheerful, which is no surprise, and hopefully she'll be fine. I reminded her about the tape recorder I gave her and asked her to start talking into it, as much as she wanted. She was going on about how she would talk about Grandma Sid and Grandpa, until I reminded her that I loved her too, and she was my Grandma, and I wanted to hear about her. I think I surprised her with that one.
In other grandparent news, Grandpa's wife, Mary, fell on the ice a few weeks ago. She had to have a balloon inserted into her spine (or something). Her doctor happened to be of African descent, and apparently she had to make a big production of this fact every time she talked about the impending procedure. Mon says she hopes that the experience will maybe make Mary a bit less racist, and I tend to agree. Sure, she's a product of a long time ago, and Grandpa also had some distressing beliefs, but I always feel uncomfortable when I hear someone I care about making derogatory remarks based on hereditary issues.
The good news, grandparent-wise, is that Andy's Grandmother (married to his Granddad; they're maternal while his Grandma is his paternal Grandpa's widow) had hip replacement surgery a while back and has recovered nicely, last I heard. I hope she stays safe in all of this mess of a month. I'll be seeing both sets of his grandparents in December; I'll have to make sure they're using their tape recorders too. I want to make sure that we have more from them than we got from Grandpa after he accidentally erased everything he'd said.
Along with working on the album for my family I'm also trying to cobble together a page with a bunch of my favorite drool-over paperweights, with information on how to acquire them. I feel sort of odd doing it, but hey, other people post their wishlists. I rather expect I wouldn't get any of them anyway, and I bet it will end up being a quick reference from me when we start doing toy budgets again; I won't have to go hunting for all of them.