Valentines day Bingo

We don't make a huge deal about Valentines day, especially now that we're not in public school with the usual card exchanges and parties.  It could easily go by unnoticed for the most part.  I'm kind of a cheap skate that way.  I just dislike spending money on commercialized money grabbing holidays.   Maybe I just like to be a nonconformist or maybe it's my own little way of "sticking it to the man" or most likely I'm just a  slightly cynical Fuddy Duddy.  My perspective is that we should be showing our loved ones that we love them every day by our words, actions, priorities and time.  A lifetime of sweet conversations, gentle eye contact, chubby little armed hugs is worth more than a Sponge bob heart shaped box of candy once a year.  
I like what my friends in Mexico call Valentines day.  "Dia de amor y amistad"
Day of love and friendship.   More than just cheesy "will you be my valetine?"  I guess I can embrace a day that reminds us to show the people who are important to us how special we think they are.  

Now that I have proven myself entirely unromantic and a total stick in the mud, I'll let you peak in on our unconventional Valentines Day.  We hadn't planned it in advance but we woke up that morning and decided to quickly make some cookies and drive nearly 2 hours to go and deliver them to some special people.   We  put the home school book work on hold for the day and chose a "life school" day instead.  

We whipped up some cookies and the kids pulled out all the crafting supplies.

We picked up a flower arrangement along the way and drove out to see my grandparents. 
We don't go to visit nearly often enough.  

I love my Grandpa!  I'm so lucky to still have 2 living Grandmas and 1 Grandpa.  They lived just down the road from us when I was a kid and I spent a lot of time at their house.  I loved to help feed the cows, ride in the tractors, and help Grandma shell peas from her garden.  My Grandpa was always so big and tall and strong to me.  His hands are still huge, and marked by his years of hard farm work.  His memory is good, but all those years of loud machinery ruined his hearing, making conversation difficult.  Sometimes actions speak louder than words though.  

Miss Cece loved leading around her great Grandma.   My Grandma is as sweet as she ever was but now she lives in a perpetual state of childlike surprise and wonder.   She is always happy to see us and she adores seeing the children.  She calls them "my little girl" and "my little boy".  The flowers and cookies we left will pleasantly surprise her every time she sees them, as she wonders aloud who would have left them in her room.   

My favorite memories of my Grandma will always include music.  She is a very talented natural musician who taught herself to play by ear.   While we visited in her room we asked if we could walk out to the main sitting area so she could play piano for us, and so Aili and Roman could play their new songs for her.   She asked my Grandpa "Where is my piano?  I don't know where my piano is.  Is there a piano here do you think?"  (that made me a little sad because her well worn piano is still back at the farm house).   She was pleasantly surprised to find a piano, the same one she plays everyday in the nursing home, and began to play for us.   Her fingers bounced across the keys with ease as she played.  Locked away in her memory is music.   She couldn't remember where her piano was but she still remembered the old hymns.  

She doted on little Cece.  It was so sweet.   She said a few times  "I just can't imagine where she got all that dark hair from".   I don't even try to explain.  I just shrug my shoulders and laugh along with her, enjoying the moment.  I notice that her joyful laugh hasn't changed.  

We just happened to arrive in time for the monthly Birthday party/ Bingo game.  The kids were being so good that we decided to stay and play.   The kids had fun watching for their numbers.  Grandpa, the perpetual mechanic, had torn apart his hearing aids (trying to "fix" them) so he couldn't hear any of the numbers.   Grandma got the hang of it after a while and then she was such a pro she kept three cards going.  

Who would have thought playing Bingo in a nursing home would be so much fun?  I didn't.  As it turns out visiting a seniors home is a great way to "socialize" my kids.   They got to practice being patient, considerate and careful around those who walk slowly and unsteadily with walkers.  They practiced breaking down their discomfort over disability and frailty.  They practiced showing kindness and respect to those who have lived long and interesting lives. 

Roman even won the first round and scored $6!

The boys were thoroughly impressed that the TV in this main room  had a Wii.  We didn't play with it but my boys thought they must be some pretty cool old people.  
I think Cece was everybody's granddaughter for an afternoon.  She sure wasn't lacking for attention. 

Our Valentines day didn't include a romantic get away, or a box full of cards, but it turned out to be a pretty special day of love and friendship.  

{Me and my Grandma}


Jenn said...

What a great way to spend the day, such precious memories for you & your kids. Thanks for sharing!

Marcy said...

Ok, you have me crying again. So beautiful Carla! I wish I could have spent some time with my grandma now. She is languishing in a nursing home waiting for the Lord and I can't wait until she gets to be healed and laugh in heaven like she used to. I LOVE the "where did she get her dark hair?" comment. My grandma said similar things when she could talk. LOL!

What a special day for you all.