Tag Archives: grandparents

Celebrating Some Anniversaries (or Remembering Awesome Family Moments)

This past week had a couple of family anniversaries. I try to remember to celebrate each one when it happens, but things have been a bit crazy lately for me so my mind did slip a bit. But I figure it’s never too late to celebrate.

The first anniversary that happened recently was my grandparent’s anniversary. We don’t necessarily celebrate this anymore since my grandpa died because we don’t want my grandma to be upset. But I still like to remember it because it is a good reminder of how a marriage can last a very long time. I was lucky that I got to celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary with them several times. For their 50th, they took the entire family on an African safari. That still is one of the coolest trips I’ve ever taken. And for their 60th we had a family party up in Portland.

I also got to be there for what would end up being their last anniversary together. It was their 67th anniversary and it was a pretty simple dinner as a family. But even though that anniversary wasn’t a huge celebration, it’s still a good memory because it was such a fun dinner. Obviously at the time we had no way to know that was going to be the last anniversary my grandpa would be alive for, but I’m so grateful that I was there and got to celebrate with them. Also at that anniversary, my grandpa was telling the story of how he met my grandma. We ended up taking a video of that and it’s something that we all are so glad we have forever now.

I think we all wish that my grandparents would have been able to celebrate more anniversaries together. If my grandpa was still alive, this year would have been their 70th anniversary. I’m sure that they would have done something special to celebrate that. It probably wouldn’t have been a trip, but I bet we would have done a family dinner like we did for their 60th. It’s sad that they weren’t able to make it to that milestone, but to know that they made it to 67 years is pretty special. Not everyone has a marriage that lasts that long and it’s proof that you can stay married that long as long as you work at it. And it’s an inspiration for me even though the chances of me getting to 67 years with someone is a long shot (if I got married this year, I’d be 101 during a 67th anniversary).

Also this past weekend was my brother and sister-in-law’s anniversary. This one is awesome because I’m reminded of going to their wedding in Hawaii. I don’t get to take trips that often and going to Hawaii for a week was such a treat. And of course, I love that Krystle is my sister-in-law because she and I have gotten so close. Celebrating their anniversary is cool, but celebrating the day that Krystle officially became my sister is almost more special to me (sorry Ross!).

And they shared a pretty cute photo from their anniversary this past weekend. They both ended up buying each other the same anniversary card. It was not planned at all, but I think it shows how they are meant for each other.

I think that some of my single friends don’t love celebrating other’s anniversaries like I do. Maybe they see it as something that they haven’t achieved yet and they might be jealous. And I can understand that feeling even if I don’t feel it myself. But even with all the craziness I’ve encountered with my online dating, I’m still hopeful that I will find someone one day. So being able to celebrate isn’t something I’m jealous of, it’s something I’m looking forward to having myself in the future.

There are a couple of times a year when family celebrations are bunched up together. My mom’s birthday and my aunt and uncles anniversary are on the same day. My parents’ anniversary, my cousin’s birthday, and my birthday are within a few days of each other. And then there are these two anniversaries only a few days apart. I don’t know if all families have bunches of celebrations like we do, but it’s fun for me. It also makes it a bit easier to remember to celebrate everyone since I’m doing it in batches (except of course this year where I didn’t do things in advance). The next big family celebration will be my grandma’s birthday/Thanksgiving. And it’s crazy to think that November will be here before we know it!

The Roadrunner (or More Memories In My House)

For several years, I’ve been getting things of my grandparents’ to put into my house.

This started when my grandparents were selling their house and moving to their apartment. They had to do a big downsizing and lots of things were given to various family members. While I didn’t really get any pieces of furniture, I got some cool things from my grandpa’s office. That never felt weird because since they were downsizing, they chose to give those things away. And none of the things I got had significant memories to me because they were mainly things from my grandpa’s office (I wasn’t in his office that often in their house).

Then after my grandpa died, I got more things that belonged to my grandparents because my grandma was moving from the apartment she shared with my grandpa into a smaller apartment.

Some of the things I got then were sent to me by my parents (like the mattress from the guest room) and were selected for me. Some things were things that I specifically asked to get to keep (like the martini swords I got). And some things were things that I saw right before the old apartment was closed up when I went to lunch with my grandma and aunt. Everything that nobody had claimed was in the living room and I was allowed to select anything that I thought was cool and wanted to keep. I took a couple of things, but again they weren’t really things that had specific memories for me.

When I went down to San Diego for Thanksgiving, I knew I’d be bringing back the bear made from my grandpa’s sweaters. The bears had been shipped to my parents’ house, so I didn’t get to pick mine out until Thanksgiving. But I wasn’t expecting to take anything else home with me.

But when I was hanging out with my parents the night I arrived, I saw two painting from my grandparents’ house sitting in the rental house. I asked my mom why they were there, and she said that they were taking them back to their house because they had previously been stored.

One painting I’m not sure where it was in my grandparents’ house. But the other painting was very familiar to me. It used to be in the kitchen eating area of my grandparents’ house. I always called it “The Roadrunner” because it reminded me of the roadrunner in the cartoons. I think my brother and cousins might have called it that as well, but I’m not too sure.

I told my mom that I’d like to have The Roadrunner one day because I’ve always loved that painting. My parents then decided that they really didn’t have a place for The Roadrunner to be in their house, so I could take the painting home with me when I drove back to LA (thank goodness I have a decent sized car).

The day after I got back to LA, my parents came to my house for the afternoon. They were driving up to Santa Barbara to see my brother and sister-in-law and made a stop by me to have lunch, see my house, and help me do projects in my house. Fortunately, almost all the projects in my house were already done (I installed the a/c without my dad being there). But my parents did help me hang The Roadrunner in my living room.

New Decorations

Right below The Roadrunner is the acrylic chair I got from my grandparents’ apartment (it was my grandma’s makeup vanity chair in there) and on the chair is my bear.

I love having these things in my house, but it is a bit odd having The Roadrunner in there. I have thousands of memories of that hanging in my grandparents’ kitchen and even though I haven’t seen it in that space in years the memories are still strong. I’m almost doing double takes every time I pass it because it doesn’t feel quite right yet that it’s with me and not with my grandma.

It’s weird that this painting is the first thing that made me feel like I’m stealing something from my grandparents (which is not the case at all) and nothing else I’ve gotten has had anything but positive feelings. It might be because of all of the memories attached or it might be because it’s the most obvious thing in my house that I’ve gotten.

I know that the weird feeling will hopefully go away soon and I will only have the feeling of gratefulness that my family let me have this painting in my house because it is special to me. And I can create new memories with The Roadrunner now.

Skipping Over An Anniversary (or Forgetting But Not Forgetting)

This past Monday was my grandparents’ anniversary. Last year, I was lucky enough to spend their anniversary with them in San Diego. It was a pretty fun trip and I had a great time celebrating with them and seeing some of my other family. And after that I got to see my grandparents a few other times prior to my grandpa passing away.

Obviously, you never know when someone is going to pass away. We had no clue that my grandparents’ anniversary last year would have been the last one that they would celebrate together. And even if we did, I don’t know if we would have done anything different with our celebration.

I’ve mentioned that days that used to be celebrations for someone who has passed away have been weird for me. Some dates are harder than others. Usually dates where I remember that I don’t need to buy a card are the worst. But this is the first time that there has been an anniversary that I usually celebrate where one person has passed away. It’s one thing to not celebrate a birthday or even Father’s Day for someone who has passed away. But an anniversary where one person in the couple is still alive does seem weird to not celebrate.

I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to call my grandma for her anniversary or anything so I checked with my mom and my aunt. Both of them said that we weren’t going to celebrate it because it may have upset my grandma. We weren’t trying to forget that it was their anniversary, but we didn’t want to bring it up and make my grandma sad that my grandpa isn’t alive anymore. I think they might have also thought it is a weird thing to try to celebrate when half of the people you are celebrating are dead.

Even though I was nervous about how to celebrate my grandparents’ anniversary, it did feel weird not celebrating it. I did acknowledge it on social media by posting the photo that I took at their last anniversary.

Grandma and Grandpa

With this anniversary gone, I wonder if it will be weird again next year on their anniversary. Or how it’s going to feel at Thanksgiving when I think it will hit us all pretty hard that my grandpa isn’t there. There was a Thanksgiving years ago where my grandpa got sick and ended up in the hospital on Thanksgiving (we brought pie to the hospital after dinner). That dinner was weird enough and we all knew that he was fine and being released from the hospital the next day. What’s it going to be like when we know that he isn’t just somewhere else and we’ll see him the next day?

I guess this is all part of the grief process. I’ve had a weird time with grieving his death. Obviously I’m sad that my grandpa is gone. He’s the only grandpa I knew. But he and I have a very complicated relationship. While I’m sad I also have other conflicting feelings. But the sadness is greater because I also have the sadness I feel for other members of my family and how they are grieving.

Dealing with all these complicated feelings can be tough. I know that grief can be a long process and having these significant dates can bring up lots of feelings or make you feel like you took a step back in dealing with death. I’m just trying to focus on the positives and think about how much fun it will be at Thanksgiving this year with all of my family, even if we will be missing one family member.

Another Evening Of Mentees (or Advice and Socializing)

My second mentee only meeting with my Women in Film mentoring group was this past week. I offered to host again because it’s pretty convenient for me to have the meetings in my house. Plus it seems to be centrally located for the rest of the group.

Only about half of our group was able to make it, but I was still excited to catch up with those who were going to be there. I took the opportunity to use my new serving dishes I got from my grandparents and they were perfect!

New Serving Dishes

Since the group was smaller this time than in the past, we only spent about an hour catching up on the goals that we have gotten done and what our goals for our next meeting will be. It still inspires me every time when I hear what everyone else is doing with their careers. I’m so lucky that I was matched with this group who are all very motivated and are dedicated to getting as much out of this mentoring group as possible. This is exactly what I was hoping to get out of doing a second mentoring circle.

I hate that I feel like I’m trash talking my old mentoring group. I’m not. But with that group our mentors weren’t as tough on us about attending meetings and they never told us to meet on our own between the meetings with them. And the other women in the group were mostly absent from the meetings. I really only got to know 2 of the other women because they were the ones who showed up for the meetings.

After our hour of catching up, we ate some dessert and started to me less formal and more social as a group. It’s not that we haven’t been social in the past, but this time we really relaxed and started to share fun and silly stories. I got to know the ladies much better and I feel that we got to bond a bit more as a group. I’m hoping that if we try to stay to time limits with our personal catchup and goals discussion that at future mentee only meetings we can continue to be more social and not just about business. It was a really nice touch and I think that everyone else enjoyed that too.

We will have another meeting with our mentors next month (the date isn’t set yet), and I’m hoping to have fun news to update everyone with. Since everyone else always seems to have such great news and stories to tell everyone, I feel almost a bit competitive and want to have some awesome news of my own.

So I’m trying to work on my career much harder than I have in the past just so I can feel like I can keep up with everyone. But I think that is one of the reasons you get into a mentoring group like this. You get motivated by everyone else to better yourself and you have a great group to lean on and ask for help.

I’m working on some ideas about what will push me farther in my career, and I’ll be sharing one of those things with you all tomorrow!

San Diego Beach Lunch (or Having Some Of My Grandparents’ Things In My House)

I hadn’t seen my grandma in a few weeks, so I knew it was time to get back down to San Diego to see her. Also, my grandma is downsizing to a smaller apartment in the community that she and my grandpa moved to about 3 years ago so I’m inheriting some things that won’t fit in the new apartment. I already have my mattress and my parents brought me a few things, but there was a box that didn’t fit into my parents’ car as well as some other things that my parents wanted me to look at.

So I decided to head down to San Diego on Sunday to visit with my grandma as well as get the things that were waiting for me there.

I was pretty lucky and made it down to San Diego in just under 2 hours, so I was at my grandma’s place a bit earlier than I planned. The plan for the day was for my grandma, my Aunt Nancy, and I to go to lunch and then my aunt and I would go to the old apartment on our own. Shortly after I arrived, my aunt got there and we headed in the car to go to lunch.

We went to Poseidon in Del Mar which was right on the beach. There was a bit of a wait for a table, so we sat outside and enjoyed the beach from the sidewalk (I didn’t want to get sandy).

With Grandma

After about 15 minutes, a table on the patio was ready for us. It wasn’t right at the edge overlooking the beach, but we could still see the beach and water from our table.

San Diego Lunch

Lunch was pretty good. We had a long wait for our meal. It took them over an hour to bring our food to us and tables who were seated 15 or 20 minutes after us got their food first, but they were very apologetic about it and comped one of the entrees. I had gotten so hungry that when they brought my sandwich I started eating it right away without taking a photo (sorry). But I had a very nice turkey sandwich.

When we got back to my grandma’s apartment, I said goodbye to my grandma and my aunt and I headed back to the old apartment. My Aunt Cindy had warned me that I might be upset because the apartment looked empty and weird, but shockingly it didn’t bother me. I think I had prepared myself for it to look worse, so it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

The box that my parents had left for me was there and my aunt asked me to go around the apartment to see if there was anything else that I wanted to keep. All the stuff that was left in the apartment was going to be donated to charity, so I could take whatever I wanted.

It felt a little weird and almost like stealing from my grandparents, but I knew that if I didn’t take stuff, nobody in my family would have it. So I found a couple of things that I wanted like a purse, some quartz bookends, a lucite vanity chair, napkin rings, and a vase. And my aunt had found my grandparents’ copy of my parents’ wedding album along with their wedding invitation so I got that as well.

I also had brought my gardening shears and a plastic bag for a specific project. My grandparents had some amazing succulent plants on their balcony and because the planters they were in were so heavy, they were just going to be thrown out. But if you cut a succulent and let it dry a little, you can plant it and it will grow. So I cut a bunch of pieces and will be planting half for me and half for my parents.

Succulent Clippings

By then, it was after 3pm and I wanted to head home. So we got a luggage cart from the concierge at the building and I brought down the things I was bringing home.

New Things

My drive home was a bit longer than my drive down, but it was still uneventful. And as soon as I got home I unpacked the box that my parents had packed and sealed for me. There were a couple of things that I knew they were giving me (like new sheets and some of my grandparents’ serving platters), but there was one thing that was so special to me.

I’ve mentioned my grandpa’s love of martinis and how he got me to love martinis as well. And a few years ago I got him hooked on blue cheese olives. My grandpa always used these really cool swords to keep his olives in his martinis and I always thought that that was the most amazing thing. So when my parents had asked me if there was anything from my grandparents’ apartment that I wanted that my grandma wasn’t taking to her new apartment, the only thing I could think of was those swords. Those were in the sealed box along with the last jar of olives from the case that I brought my grandpa last year.

Martini Swords and Olives

Those swords are so special to me. I have them on display in my dining room now and they make me smile when I walk past them. While I’ve gotten lots of cool stuff from my grandparents’ old apartment, those swords are the most sentimental to me.

I’m still finding places for some of the other things that I brought back with me, but I’m so grateful that I have things that remind me of my grandparents in my house now. I don’t get to see my grandma as often as I’d like (the 4 hour round trip makes it tough to do too many day trips), but having some of their things in  my house makes me feel closer to my grandma and helps me not miss her as much.

Goodbye Grandpa (or Remembering A Full Life)

Early on Thursday morning, my grandpa passed away.

As you are reading this, I’m in San Diego spending time with my family. Our focus is on my grandma and making sure that she is ok and that everything that needs to be taken care of is done.

But I wanted to share with you all how badass my grandpa was. He and I had a complicated relationship, but he loved me and I loved him. And he really did live so much in his 92 years (he would have turned 93 next month).

I don’t know a ton about my grandpa’s childhood. I know that he wrote down his history and his family history on his computer somewhere, and I hope that we are able to locate that document. I really want to have that myself so I can remember where he came from and what happened when he was young.

Grandpa young

My grandpa was not someone who talked about the past a lot. In fact, I had no idea that he was in Germany in WWII fighting the Nazis until he was talking about it maybe 5 years ago.

Grandpa WWII

When he and my grandma got married they first lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Grandpa Lake Charles

They lived there for a while (my mom, aunt, and uncle were all born there) before moving to LA.

I’ve been to their houses in LA before, but sadly I don’t have any photos of that on my computer. But they lived in the valley and had some really cool houses.

Grandma and Grandpa

While they lived in LA, they lived it up! My grandpa got a boat and he, my grandma, my mom, my aunt, and my uncle sailed on it a lot. I’ve heard so many stories from their time on the boat, especially when they were in Catalina. My favorite story is actually one about my mom when she was hit in the face with a flying fish one evening in Catalina. But I think my entire family thinks that story is pretty awesome.

He also loved to fly. He flew a small plane that was just big enough for the family.

Grandpa Plane

They flew all over the US on lots of different trips. They would fly to Louisiana to go back to visit family and my mom, aunt, and uncle got to travel the US by plane quite a bit. I think that if he could have flown that plane for the rest of his life, he would have.

Once my grandpa retired, they moved down to San Diego. But even in retirement, my grandpa never slowed down. He designed the backyard and swimming pool at their house, and I don’t think that anyone could have done it better. And they had the best orange trees and the orange juice was freshly squeezed every visit.

Grandpa House Rancho Santa Fe

I think if I had to pick one of his favorite things to do, it would be to travel. My grandparents always seemed to go on these epic trips, both within the US and internationally. My grandpa traveled to all 7 continents (even Antarctica!) and inspired me to hope to do the same in my lifetime.

Grandpa Travels

Sometimes my parents, my brother, and I was lucky enough to get to join my grandparents on the trips they did. One of the most epic trips that we did as a big extended family was to go to Africa together.

50th Anniversary in Africa

This trip was for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary. All 3 generations (this was way before my cousin had her kids) of the family were there to experience the safari together. Besides my grandparents’ anniversary we also celebrated my parents’ 15th anniversary, my cousin’s 15th birthday, and my 14th birthday while we were in Africa. That was definitely one of the best birthdays that I ever had. My grandpa really wanted all of us to go to Africa together because he had loved it there when he and my grandma went before and he wanted to make sure that we could all experience it as well.

But more than traveling, he loved my grandma.

Grandma and Grandpa 60th Anniversary

Last September they celebrated their 67th anniversary and they seemed in as much love as ever.

Grandma and Grandpa 67th Anniversary

Last Thanksgiving, almost everyone in my family was able to be together (only one cousin wasn’t able to make it). We took a family photo after dinner and I’m so glad that we were able to get one more (almost) full family photo.

Thanksgiving 2014

While I am sad that my grandpa passed away, I can only admire how full of a life he lived. He really maximized every day that he had and I don’t think that he had any regrets of things that he wasn’t able to do (except maybe to keep flying a plane later in life).

I will always remember my grandpa as the one who got me to drink martinis (and I got him hooked on blue cheese stuffed olives), who loved to email dirty jokes to the entire family, and the one who gave me my love of traveling.

Thank you Grandpa for everything that you did for our family and for loving us all as much as you did. I know that there will be a hole in our family now that can’t be filled. But we will all try to live life to the fullest to honor how you lived your life.

Grandpa 60th Anniversary

Robert Joseph Fry (May 29, 1922-April 2, 2015)

San Diego Day (or Hanging Out With Family On My Day Off)

I always have Mondays off from my main day job (I work Tuesday-Saturday). I usually just spend the day getting stuff done around my house or running errands. They tend to be pretty lazy days (except for my workout).

But this past Monday my mom was down in San Diego visiting with my grandparents. Her cousin Karen (who I haven’t seen in over 20 years) was also down in San Diego. So I rearranged my day so I could spend a couple of hours in San Diego with everyone.

After an early workout and showering and dressing, I was on the road by 10:30am. The drive went much better than it has in the past. I was down at my grandparents’ place in 2 hours and arrived a few seconds after my mom and cousin Karen got there from their hotel as well.

Most of the day was spent in my grandparents’ condo just catching up. I hadn’t seen my grandparents’ since Thanksgiving so it was awesome to get to see them again. And my mom was at the tail end of a multi-state trip so she was filling me in on everything that she did. And of course, getting to talk with cousin Karen a lot.

We all went out for Mexican food for dinner. I knew we’d be going out to dinner, so I had planned my meals accordingly and saved a lot of calories for the meal. I also had done some research on good vegetarian options at Mexican restaurants (I still haven’t brought meat back into my diet yet).

I ended up getting Huevos Rancheros. It’s somewhat close to what I would make as a rice bowl at home, just with some eggs. Now that I’m being careful with what I’m eating, I’m realizing how difficult it can be to eat out. I had no control over oil, salt, or any other extras that were added into my meal. So I had to try to guess the nutrition levels of my meal as best as I could. But since I was careful with my breakfast and lunch, I think it was ok to splurge a little on my dinner. And I didn’t have any chips or partake in the pitcher of margaritas that the table got.

After dinner, we all headed back to my grandparents’ place and I got my car so I could head home again. I ended up being in San Diego for just under 7 hours, so that’s a pretty good visit.

The drive home was easy again and I was home in time to get some stuff done in preparation for my work week.

I’m so glad that the timing of things worked out so well for me to have a family day on Monday. My family has always been important to me, but I’ve realized lately that I need to put in a better effort to see my family. Time goes by quickly and I can easily go a few months without going to San Diego to see my grandparents and that’s not good. I might be going down to see them again in 2 months when my parents (and dog) are down there. But I’m still trying to work out the timing for that.

I know that it doesn’t seem like I did a lot on my day trip to San Diego, but just being around my family is such a great way for me to recharge and get ready to kick some butt again in my life.

67 Years (or Celebrating An Anniversary With Fondue)

This past Sunday was my grandparents’ 67th anniversary. I’ve been lucky enough to get to celebrate with my grandparents on their anniversary a couple of times. For their 50th and 60th, we had big events (their 50th was in Africa and their 60th was a family party in Portland). This year, we were doing a low-key dinner in San Diego.

That morning I went to breakfast with my parents and Krystle (and Tucker of course) and then we did some walking around at the seaport. Then Krystle had to get to the airport so she could get back to San Francisco. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to stay for the dinner because there weren’t that many flight options for her.

After saying goodbye to Krystle, my parents and I headed back to the hobbit house where we got all of us stuff together to go out that evening (and I packed my car since I’d be driving home straight from dinner).

We got to my grandparents’ place around 1pm and spent the afternoon talking. We asked my grandparents what their big memories were from their wedding and I asked my grandparents how they met (I had never heard that story before). It was really cool to get to hear them tell it and my mom actually took video of it so we can share it with other family members who couldn’t make it out to San Diego that weekend.

We all got ready to go to dinner and then we drove over to the place where the restaurant was.

We went to The Melting Pot for dinner. I had never been there and had never really had fondue before. My only experience with fondue was a single serving of goat cheese fondue that came with some bread at a restaurant once. But this was nothing like that.

We all decided to get the 4 course dinner (it was actually cheaper than getting 2 courses on our own). Between the 6 of us at dinner, we selected 2 cheese fondues to start with, then we each got our own salad. The main course was interesting. We each got to choose up to 3 meats and then as a table we got to choose 2 different cooking liquids. Then you had to cook your meat in the hot cooking liquids.

While it was fun, it was a little messy and crazy at times. All of us lost at least one piece of meat in the cooking liquid because we had so many fondue forks in the pot at one time. But it was pretty yummy.

After the main course, we were all stuffed. But we still had the dessert course to go. As a table we selected 2 types of chocolate (I don’t really remember what they were but they were both dark chocolate). Then they brought over a selection of cakes and fruit to dip into the chocolate.

The plate that my grandparents got had 2 candles in it for their anniversary.

IMG_3762

I tried a little of the dessert fondue, but I was only able to take a few bites since I was so full from the other courses.

Before we knew it, dinner was over. My mom and I left a little early so we could get our cars (we didn’t want my grandparents to have to walk too far to the car and it was parked in a parking garage). When my mom and I got our cars back to the restaurant, everyone else got into my mom’s car so they could all go back together. I said goodbye to everyone and made the 2 hour drive back home (no car breakdowns this time!).

I’m so lucky that I got to spend time with my grandparents on their anniversary. Since I live pretty close it makes it easy enough for me to come down to see them. I don’t think I’ll make it down again before Thanksgiving, but November will be here before we know it!

Day Trip To San Diego (or Driving Disasters)

This past Saturday I went down to San Diego to spend the day with my grandparents. I hadn’t seen them since Thanksgiving, so I was way overdue for a trip down there.

The drive from my house to my grandparents’ place usually takes exactly 2 hours from my door to their door. There’s always a little traffic, but I usually can time out my drives to be when there’s the least traffic.

My drive down was pretty bad. From my house until Disneyland I was going at full speed. Then all of a sudden, traffic was ridiculous. I averaged about 20-30mph for the rest of the drive. It took me 4 hours to get there, and once I did arrive I was pretty exhausted.

As soon as I got to San Diego I picked up my grandpa to take him to the grocery store. That was a very easy and quick errand and we were back to my grandparents’ place within 30 minutes. Then I got to spend some nice quality time with my grandparents just chatting about anything.

We discussed my job situation, Tucker (who my grandparents haven’t met yet), politics, and lots of other random stuff. What I found most interesting was my grandpa talking about his time in WWII and the Korean War. I only learned recently that he was in WWII (it’s not something that’s ever really ever been discussed in my family) and I only learned on Saturday about my grandpa being a part of the Korean War. I know that my grandpa has been working on a book of all of his stories, and I really hope that he gets to finish it. There are so many things about him that I don’t know.

I also got to go to dinner with my grandparents. It was nice, but nothing too fancy. After dinner, it was time for me to drive home.

There was no traffic on the road when I started so I figured I’d be home in 2 hours.

Wrong.

After about 30 minutes of driving, my car chimed and in the dash it had a warning that said something like “Hot Engine Temperature”. I’ve had this warning once before and it went away after a minute of driving a little less aggressively. So I thought it might be the case again. Instead, after a few minutes of driving, the car chimed again and the warning now said “Stop Car Now”.

It’s never a good sign when your car says to stop. I pulled over to the shoulder of the freeway and then my car shut off by itself. The first thing I did was call my parents. I’m not sure what they could have done from a distance, but that’s my reaction when anything bad happens.

My dad told me to tell my car cool down for a minute and then to drive to an exit and get a tow back to LA. Fortunately, when my parents renewed my AAA membership they got me AAA Plus. That allowed me to get up to 100 miles of free towing (my old membership only had 5 miles of free towing).

When I called AAA, the guy who answered the phone knew exactly where I was from my description (it was an abandoned parking lot off of an exit near Camp Pendleton) so he could give the tow truck very clear directions for me.

Then I had to wait about 90 minutes for the truck to arrive. I tried to not be too upset or mad because I didn’t know what was wrong with my car but I was pretty sure I didn’t do anything to cause it. At least I had a nice view from the place I was waiting.

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The tow truck finally arrived and I’ll admit that it was a little sad watching my car get put onto the tow bed.

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2 hours riding in the tow truck later (which by the way I had the most awesome tow truck driver, Bob), I was home and my car was being unloaded.

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I was able to drive my car into my driveway and when I did the warnings had all gone away. But I knew that there was something wrong with my car and I didn’t want to drive it until it was fixed.

Fortunately, I found a repair shop close to my house and open on Sunday! It’s called Fix Car Now and they have a couple of different locations. I took my car in Sunday at 8am and the shop gave me a ride back home so I didn’t have to wait there. At 9am I found out that the water pump cooling system for my hybrid motor (the electric motor, not the gas one) was broken. It’s a known issue for my car so they were able to get parts for it pretty easily.

It took until yesterday for them to finish my car, but I did get my car back and it’s running even better than before. My car had issues over the past few years switching from the gas engine to the electric engine. But now that my car was fixed, it’s switching as quickly as it did when I got it!

The lesson in all of this for me was to stay focused on positives and being grateful even when things seem to suck. I’ve owned my car since 2008 (I got it used) and besides having a dead battery once (the normal battery, not the hybrid one), this is the first problem I’ve ever had with this car. And since I’m not working yet, my parents were willing to help me the cost of this repair. And while I was sitting in the tow truck really mad about everything, I tried to find a really good positive about this situation. The one I came up with was technically the tow ride was saving me gas money since I didn’t drive my car home.

Even in the worst circumstances there’s always something positive you can focus on. Even if it’s something small or stupid, that’s what I need to think about and not all the negative things.