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(To honour the best grandmother I ever knew- my mother- I offer this archived post on this Grandparent’s Day September 13)

‘But Grandma, I can’t eat so early in the morning.’

As she finished meticulously ironing their pants she replied, ‘Well, you need something in your stomach. Hurry, we need to catch the bus in ten minutes.314204_364214163652748_1026626918_n

And, go to the bathroom.”

‘But Grandma, I just went!’

‘Go again!”

My sons often went in bundles of two for Grandma time.

They’d skip and hop to the bus stop to take train trips or ride tug boats or sunbathe while building sand castles.

But setting sail was one of their favourite adventures together.

After a sleepover, she woke them at 5am to catch the 7am bus bound for the Island ferry. As she was a non-driver, this required busing to the bus loop, singing the silly “People on the Bus’ song to wake up, catching a ferry bus, walking off the ferry down an excessively long tunnel to finally catch an hour trip bus ride into the town.

She routinely did this traveling at 70+ years old! 

Now, this was not some dinky ferry. It carried busses, trucks, and trailers.

Once on the ferry, there was no rush to find the ‘good to view’ seats, for as soon as the ferry set sail there was no sitting watching through thick glass windows.

Instead, Grandma insisted they head to the top deck to feel the wind rush through their hair.

They’d walked outside the whole ninety minutes, listening to the roar of the mighty motors, and watching the huge ferry waves challenge the small fishing boats that frequented the pathways.

They’d continually search the water for whales and the sky for eagles.

“Look – oh, look, there’s two eagles over there catching fish”

“Where? I don’t see them Grandma.”

“Over there.”


“ Look! There-  Oh, for goodness sake, you’re looking in the wrong spot!”


Anxious that no grandchild would miss these beautiful eagles, she literally yanked their neck and turned them around-


1511406_10152429175873278_1759205822013390631_nLunchtime consisted of food from tiny containers holding grapes, cheese, bread and just a dab of mayonnaise that she’d individually prepackaged at home.

After gallivanting for hours in town, the return bus and ferry trip was complemented with the requisite hot chocolate bought in the ferry restaurant.

It was a necessary caffeine kick because once more they walked the top deck, even thought they were all “pooped’  by this time.

While an invigorated Grandma handed off those boys at the bus look, I headed home with exhausted sons, who inevitably fell asleep in the car.

Setting sail on a grandma adventure always wore them out.

All my sons wish they could still share their adults lives with my mother, and ache that their children will not know this Great Grandmother.

My long-deceased mother is still a loved and missed Grandma.