Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This Says It All

I'm a huge picture taker. I love pictures, because they capture that one special moment. Sometimes, though, a picture seems to capture an entire lifetime. This is one of those pictures. This is my Grandma Casdorph. Grandma was born in West Virginia where she met and married my Grandpa. Now they reside in sunny Arizona. See their tangelos in the background?

My grandma jumps in with two feet to anything she feels is worth doing. She can name all the counties in Arizona, Utah, and West Virginia. (Probably more, too!) She can give you a detailed explanation of the street grid in Phoenix. She's almost as good as a GPS. (Which, by the way, Grandma and Grandpa use regularly, mostly for the fun of arguing with the computerized voice giving them directions.)

Grandma loves genealogy, photography, and computers. She had a scanner long before they became standard household appliances, and she knows her way around Photoshop. She loves to make personalized gifts. Someday, I'll have to post a picture of our dolls that have our faces on them, known as "Grandpa Dollies," and the accompanying story. Two Christmases ago, she took the time to personally convert all her old home video footage to DVD, then organize and duplicate the files so each home has a copy of any videos related to their own history. How many grandmas do you know that could do that without any tech support?

Grandma makes the most amazing pies, but when she says it with her West Virginia accent -- thicker after her yearly trips to family reunions -- the vowel sound is more like a short a... paaa.

Grandma has been battling lymphoma for a few years. She fights it bravely and without making any fuss. Recently, we received an envelope of pictures she took at Dylan's blessing. Attached was a post it note:
"Here's a copy for you and a copy for Kirk's parents. I found a lump in my neck, so I think my lymphoma is back. I have an appointment Monday."

Grandma loves her two chihuahuas, Pedro and Lolita. I mean REALLY loves them. One year she sent out Christmas cards with Pedro and Lita visiting Santa. The caption read, "Dogs are children with fur."

This is particularly funny if you know the story from my dad's childhood when Grandma put the family to a vote regarding a stray dog they'd taken in. "Either the dog goes or I go." The entire family -- including Grandpa -- voted for the dog to stay. The next day when my dad got home from school, the dog was gone.

My grandma emailed this picture to my dad. The included note read:
Hi, All: Thought you might like to see how Dad fixed my new bicycle so Lita can ride with me. Love, Mom

I saw the picture and immediately thought, "This is exactly how I always want to remember my grandma."

Just look at her. Happy. Doing what she loves. On a bicycle modified so Lita can take rides with her. I can just hear her West Virginia accent as she tells Grandpa how he's probably taking the picture wrong. I admire her strength and conviction, her love of life, her active lifestyle. I don't know exactly how, but for me all of that fits in this one picture.


Kris said...

Sounds like a terrific woman to me!

Teresa Fontana said...


What a wonderful post! Thank you for capturing the spirit of my mom so eloquently.


Anonymous said...

I like her. A lot.