We had a rocky start to our Thanksgiving trip to St. George. We were all packed up and ready to drive the first portion of our trip when we noticed that we had a flat tire. With run flat tires it was a little worrisome to see our tire actually deflated. Everyone was all decked out in their ski gear ready to drive to the slopes for a few hours before heading to Grand Junction. It would have been a great plan if our tire had not been flat. We carefully drove to the dealership and were completely bummed to hear that we would need not only one new tire but all four. Skiing was now out as well as a good chunk of our money. Our bad luck continued when we got pulled over on Rt. 70. The blasted cop pulled us over for going too fast as we were descending downhill with a speed limit reduction that we did not see. We were really close to turning around and going home but thankfully Mike kept going. We stopped in Grand Junction for the night as initially planned. I think we all needed some time to recoup both mentally and physically from the events of the day.
After a good night's sleep we packed up the car for the rest of our drive to St. George. Before getting to St. George we stopped in Cedar City to visit with my step grandfather Don and his wife Josephine. The last time I saw Don was right after Mike and I were married. It had been 16 years since then and almost 20 years since my grandmother had passed away. Don was really excited to finally meet my kids. After some hugs and introductions we showed the kids around the house. I was really excited to show the girls the back room where all of my grandmother's dolls and various stuffed animals were. My grandmother loved collecting dolls and making her own dolls. She was so talented in painting their faces and making their clothes. As a child I spent a great deal of time in this room admiring all of her dolls. Of all the dolls she had there was always one that stole my eye. This tiny doll had a white bonnet and a long white dress with baby blue ribbons. I loved how delicate her face looked and how the long dress made her seem bigger than she really was. I couldn't believe that she was in the same place I had last seen her - snuggled in the cradle between two Amish looking dolls.
The next room I showed the kids was the "pink room" which was where I slept when visiting grandma and Don. I also loved this room because it was my grandmother's special room adorned with her fancy clothes and her jewelry. I always felt safe in the pink room. Abby quickly took interest in the cradle filled with the stuffed cats. My grandmother loved cats and she always had a couple of cats in the home. The three I remember were called Midnight, Chine, and Spooks. The girls loved hearing me tell stories of those cats.
As it was nearing lunchtime, Josephine made the kids hot chocolate and peanut butter toast. The kids were enamored by Don's interesting version of butter spread first then peanut butter. While the kids were eating I was able to ask about some photos of my grandmother. Josephine was able to find a few for me to take with me. Luckily Don had remember some of my grandmother's friends that were in the photos. By the end of our visit the girls had really gotten comfortable around Don and wanted to stay longer. On our way out of the city we stopped at the cemetery to see where my grandmother was buried. We found the general area where she was buried and made a game of it to see who could find her tombstone first. Everyone was looking carefully but in the end I was the one who found the tombstone. We took some pictures and then I had a moment of silence to reflect on my grandmother's life when I knew her. It had gotten windy by this point so it wasn't too long before I was back in the car with everyone else. Our stop in Cedar City was just what I needed to get over the frustration from the day before and to have a positive and grateful attitude for my life and all I have been given.