West Coast – Days 3 + 4

Continuing on with my journals from my trip…below are days 3 and 4 (Sunday and Monday).  Enjoy!


Yesterday was Sunday. We were up and ready to go, but grandma was pretty shaky, so we opted to stay home from class to let her medicine take effect. We had been warned about where they worship now. Grandma said that they have a ‘come as you are’ motto which resulted in inappropriate attire. When we drive up, she was not kidding. Yikes. Girls in miniskirts, spaghetti straps…Jean shorts…  Madness. She also warned that the preacher taught at a kindergarten level…and she was right. It was a decent lesson, the best he’s given according to her, about the importance of family life. Lots of signing…some clapping.  Anyway, it was pretty sad. So many people that just don’t realize that these things that they are doing are not authorized in the bible. Grandma and grandpa don’t like it at all for that reason, but the whole rest of the family goes there, and it’s close…and you don’t have to get on the freeway to get there.

Grandma was making me smile. I had never entertained the idea that they thought I might move back to CA. She was introducing me to people who grew up with my parents and a couple of times she said “she went off and married a Texas boy.  Guess we’ll never get her back now.”. Then she would laugh and I would smile. Because I’m selfish and love that my grandma wants me to move back.  :)

We came home and Rick and Diana were the only ones in town to come over of my aunts and uncles. Joel dropped Spring and the kids off at the house and came over, too. We were pretty good around each other. Not too mean, like normal. My grandma made…well, bought, a ham and some sides. I made myself a salad with tuna meat on top with some of the tomatoes and cucumbers from their garden. Yum.

After we ate, D showed Rick and Diana Megan and Joe’s wedding video. Everyone thought it was really pretty.  We chatted for a bit longer and the everyone left. I asked my grandpa what was next and he said ‘checkers?’?  Um…yes!  So we played a few games…I won 1, he won 2 and we had 1 locked game. Then he turned to D and asked if he wanted to play. He said sure and they ended up playing for a good hour or two. My grandpa was showing him the ‘tricks’ to the game. Apparently D had a splitting headache, but grandpa was having a good ole time, and D was being a trooper.

We had gone back and forth about going to second service somewhere. Grandma was in a lot of pain, so they decided to sit it out. I looked it up and found Tustin Ave Church of Christ…about a 15 minute drive. We heard a good lesson on the Macedonian church and how they gave all Paul needed. The singing was so much like home, and no clapping. We had introduced ourselves to a few men before services and afterward, had a ton of people that we were meeting. So friendly!  The couple who was sitting behind us heard us say we were from Austin and apparently their daughter and son-in-law recently moved there.  They currently go to Northwest but are about to move to Kyle.  I said to let them know that if the drive is just too much up to NW, have them visit San Marcos.  It would be a lot closer for them, etc. So who knows, but it’s such a small world. Their younger son is big into The Nightmare Before Christmas and so D showed off his Halloween costume and he loved it. This same family has Disneyland season passes and go these every Friday night to eat and hang out. I can’t even imagine. I have no words.

We come back home to find Dave, grandpa’s brother, visiting. Such a nice surprise. He lost his wife about 2 years ago and she was such a sweet woman. He’s a very sweet man and in no time, they were talking about odd jobs they had…which they then started talking about jobs their father had…mostly working for Disney. I learned a lot of cool stuff.

Apparently, we was a union worker who was great at carpentry. He worked on a lot of different rides at Disneyland – the jungle ride making all the animals and making them move; an elephant ride (not sure if this is the dumbo ride, or something else); the Bobsled – and apparently when they were done, they were going to put a dummy in the car and sent it through the track to make sure everything worked properly. When my GGP heard that, he said why put a dummy in there?  Guess he knew his work was pretty solid and climbed in and was the first unofficial passenger in the ride. And then of course the tea cups. They had installed them, but couldn’t get them to spin. They had him come over and asked if he could make them work. He said I sure can and they said great!  And he was in charge of who got on and off the ride. Well, apparently while he was working on it, Walt Disney was making his rounds and got on the platform. GGP knew who he was but rules are rules. So he headed over to ask him to get off, but about the same time, an electrical contractor was arguing with a worker. WD stepped in and asked what the problem was. The contractor thought the worker was trying to stiff him out of money by saying he worked longer than he really did.  Well, WD said pay him what he says and bill me for it. It will go through and you won’t be out any money. So, GGP didn’t say a word…he wasn’t about to boss around any man that stuck up for the working class. WD also befriended GGP. GGP would hang out in the tunnels just in case a part of a ride broke. WD would see him in there and they would talk from time to time. WD told him that he knew everyone wanted to talk with him, and he liked talking with GGP. So he said in public, we’ll pretend we don’t know each other, but if ever want to talk about something to just let him know.

So anyway, Dave left and grandpa kept talking about his dad…our eyes were so heavy we just couldn’t help it. He and grandma also talked about when they were first married and grandpa was working the grave yard shift and working at Disneyland on the pirates ride during the day. Yikes. I’m not exactly sure when he found time to sleep. He was vague about it…might be that he simply doesn’t remember.

Anyway, we finally called it a night and I fell asleep in about 2 minutes.

Today they went to the doctor to find out the results from grandpa’s MRI (nothing major). While they were gone, we went to see my grandpa Fisher’s grave. My mom never took us to see it when we were growing up so we drove out there. The cemetery is huge and beautiful. There were a number of services going in while we were there – very sad. I had talked with my grandma Fisher a few years ago about their life together and when he died. I had mixed emotions while we were there. On one hand, I knew how he treated my grandma toward the end, but I also know he loved her very much and was really sick.

Grandma and Grandpa insisted that it would take all morning to go out to the Air Force base and get back. It took about 45 minutes to get there and we really only stayed about 15 minutes. So then we turned around and headed back and were really only gone about 2 1/2 hours. I looked through old photos while we killed some time waiting to go to lunch. I found some great photos of my grandparents when they were first married and…best part…GRANDMA LET ME KEEP THEM!!!  So. Excited!  (Pictured is one of my cousins Kate, Christina and I, and one of my Dad and his brother on his brother’s wedding day.  Nice Blue Steal…)

We ate at Souplantation…basically a soup and salad bar. They seem to really like it, and for a salad bar, it was pretty good. We have a lively conversation about their friend Lou…an elderly man (who died a couple of years ago) who had just a ton of money and a mind that was slipping. So Lou asked my grandpa to take over his checkbook to help (because poor Lou kept getting scammed and his slipping mind couldn’t understand that people were out to harm him)…and Lou just kept giving my grandparents money, even though they insisted he didn’t have to do that. On the way out, my grandma wanted an ice cream cone. I walked over with her and they had the tiniest cones I’ve ever seen. The perfect amount.  So I grabbed some, too. Grandpa kept paying for the meals we ate out for…when we said he really doesn’t have to do that, he would say “well, you don’t live here for me to spoil all the time, so I have to do it when I get the chance.”. Awe, shucks.

Next, grandpa took us to a specialty lumber shop and we walked around and looked at all the beautiful pieces of wood. Gorgeous pieces of wood. Mahogany, walnut, cedar…I mean huge thick pieces that I’m sure cost a fortune. An employee came up to ask if we needed help and grandpa said “well…this here is my granddaughter.  She’s a decorator [I interjected 'Designer' and the employee chuckled] and i thought she would like to see all the wood species you guys have.”  The guy smiled and said to let him know if we had any questions.  Yea, I have one – how in the world does anyone afford these huge pieces wood?  I digress.  I snapped a few photos of the various woods and then home we went. (Sorry for the un-edited and sometimes blurry photos – GP was too fast!)

We all took little siestas and woke up much better. I sketched a little, grandma went and worked on her rose bushes. We all ate our own dinner and started watching some tv. We talked about the birds that keep trying to set up nests on their porch. My grandma says ‘when are they going to learn?  I just go and grab my hose and evict them every time, but they just come back.” the seriousness in which she said that, along with the rest of the conversation was pure gold. So hilarious, I could barely stand it.

D hooked up to the Internet and we face timed with my parents and Chelsea…and Brodie who was very confused why he could hear us and not see us. We chatted for a little bit and my grandma…who hates technology…said “I feel creepy.”. Haha. Not THAT was creepy but that she internalized it and now felt creepy.  Cracked me up.  Then I got this photo in a text message:

Poor dog had nothing left to live for.  We were only heard, not seen and therefore no longer existed.
After some antiques road show and a quick phone chat with my Aunt Viv who was currently in Hawaii, grandma went to bed…and I had forgotten that D was sitting with grandpa playing domino’s…I have no idea how long they were playing. Had to be at least 2 hours. Yikes. There’s just nothing better than a spouse who genuinely enjoys talking with your family.  What a stud.

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