"I just gave Grandpa the wrong directions to a birthday party, he may be lost. Also, it's the wrong day for the birthday party. The party is tomorrow. So.... 87 year old Grandpa is likely lost on the roads somewhere around your house and his cell isn't on. Or it is and his hearing aids are off."
Just a typical Saturday afternoon chez us.
When Aunty Chrissy called with the stressful (and somewhat comical) news, Lucia and I quickly hopped into the truck for a ride
around the neighbourhood on the grids, to see if we could find Poppa Pockets. I shouldn't say comical because Aunty Chris was quite stressed out, but I had no doubt Grandpa would find his way somewhere. Nonetheless, we didn't want him lost, so we set out to find Gramps. Lucia loves a good adventure and was having a great time trying to spot his grey Ford.
Within 10 minutes of our journey, he was found.
I drove across the highway to where the party was to take place (the next day) and then backtracked the way that he should have gone had he followed the directions he was given and then re-drove that loop until I saw him. It was a funny scene and of course he "knew" he had the wrong directions.
In the end, it turned out as a boon for us as we got Grandpa to ourselves for a day and night. We hung up our plans for the day (which weren't exciting anyway) and spent some quality time with my last living Grandparent.
You see, this day was perfect for me as I was just feeling a little blue as it was a year ago that we had a similar "drop everything and go" type day to Prince Albert to visit Grams. You can read about it's significance to me here. So to be able to be gifted that time with my Grandpa, well you don't have to ask me twice because I know how precious these moments are.
Lucia and Willis were thrilled to be able to hog his attention and he played endless card games with them and teased Lucia until she cried. He even came with his own Spiced Rum so we could have happy hour. After supper he told Willis some great stories about trying to enlist in the WWII but being too young and how he should have lied about his age and instead was stuck being a messenger with his horse and buggy for all the girls. He also told us about his job when he was young and how he would take his horse and sleigh out into the bush and chop down wood to sell and how he made 13$ one winter and it was a lot of money. Or how they would hook up a sheep to hall a sleigh around and how much snow there was all the time. While Grandpa told stories and entertained the kids, I scuttled around the kitchen, making chocolate shortbread. I had a very connected moment as I stood there, reading Grandma Diehl's recipe for the cookies, and thumbing through Grams' cookbook, all the while listening to Grandpa talk. Both my Grandmothers felt very present in that moment. And they probably were, I don't doubt that for a minute.
Later, after supper, after a sick Lucia went to bed, Grandpa taught Willis how to play kaiser (and subsequently re-taught me as I haven't played in at least 10 years.) Willis loved it and was giddy with excitement when he finally figured out how to take bids and kinda drop the 3.
A day of cards, laughter and great memories with Grandpa was exactly what I needed to remind me of those most important things in life.