We had so much fun with all my grandparents! Oh man….so much fun that we failed to get much in the way of pictures…
Grandma Ashmore flew home to let us get cleaned up from camping, then let us have the house while she went to an appointment. Never has a shower felt so gooood. Oh, and we met Koi! Also known as the sweetest, most affectionate and cuddly doberman that ever existed. That night we went out to an amazing thai/sushi restaurant in St George, then introduced Peter to Iceburg shakes- YUM. Peter: “the best peanut butter shake I’ve ever had!” Grandma did everything she could to spoil us completely rotten- we stopped on a whim at See’s candies on the way to get ice cream, then stopped and got a bottle of wine to help Peter and I digest all the deliciousness. Later she showed us Grandpa’s walking stick, made out of polished ….cactus. The kind of cactus has left my head temporarily. And a beautiful painting that they got in Haiti. Grandpa was the last to touch the painting, wrapping it carefully for storage. I couldn’t bring myself to tear the paper, and spent a good half hour or so painstakingly cutting each of the gazillion pieces of tape, carefully extracting the painting.
The next day we went to ihop for breakfast (at lunchtime) then lazily talked and napped until it was time to head to Cedar City, where the three of us thoroughly enjoyed and wept our way through the production of Les Miserables at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. We stayed up until 2am talking about the play, sharing music, and gushing over our favorite art. It was such a treat to hang out and catch up with Grandma A. But alas, the morning came and it was time to head north.
The Hyatt farm of my childhood! Almost as soon as we got there, Aunt Marie got the three of us (Peter, her, and myself each on their own) on 4-wheelers and we headed for the cliffs. Peter had never been off pavement on a 4-wheeler, so I got kind of a kick out seeing him negotiate the slippery dirt and bumpy roads. At that point, Marie left us to our adventure. I took Peter to what my generation calls the Egg Holes, and what my dad’s generation calls the Hat Holes: basically a rock wall with big, egg-shaped holes that you can climb into. Then we returned to the farm house where a collection of my aunts and uncles and gathered and we all talked for a while. Peter got to meet my aunts and uncles Shane and Lori, Trudi, Diana, Marie (already mentioned), Steven and Angie, numerous cousins, and, of course, my Grandma and Grandpa Hyatt. It was particularly fun to watch Peter play with Marie’s kids, Lily and Elijah, on the trampoline and eat apples off of grandma’s trees. Before long, Shane told us about a neat 1906(?) buggy he has, and invited us for a ride. We drove over to their house in Centerfield where we met his good friend Kirby, who was hooked up to the buggy and took us for a stroll back to the farm. SO fun and unexpected! After that we sat in the grass chatting with Lori, Shane and my cousins for a while before we headed in and had a good heart to heart with Grandma, bringing our day in Gunnison to an end.
The next day we headed northeast to Manti.
We got to Grandma and Grandpa Denison’s house mid-morning, where Peter promptly got to help Grandma update her genealogy records- which was actually pretty fun! After a trip to the bathroom, I discovered my little cousin Shane hiding around the corner listening to us. What an adorable but incredibly shy little boy!
After lunch, Grandpa took us for a drive up into the Ephraim and Manti canyons. I had never been up there~ it was dry, with many of the lakes well below their normal levels, but it was sooooo beautiful. This trip taught me that central Utah is much more beautiful than I had ever remembered. We chatted about the history of the area and our families and took a lot of pictures with the camera (that we still have not succeeded in dumping onto the computer). We then enjoyed dinner at a small but wonderfully delicious Mexican restaurant in Manti, where we talked about their time in Nigeria and England, as well as Grandma’s experience with malaria (which means she can never donate blood again! This caught our attention, because Peter loves donating blood and we’re going somewhere where malaria is a risk). Grandpa suggested going fishing the next day on our way out of town, but when we went to get the licenses, he realized we better check the weather: Flash flood warnings for the area all around Fish Lake and elsewhere- so we reluctantly canceled those plans and headed back to the house licenseless. Soon after we headed to bed, where Peter and I slept like rocks.
Our visits with my grandparents were wonderful. Peter not only handled it well, but got along exceptionally and loved them all. My experience of the visits was so meaningful to me~ I loved having the opportunity to get to know my grandparents on an adult level. I felt like, for the first time, I was able to get to know them as interesting, good, and unique human beings, rather than just as people who were there to take care of me (though they did indeed take good care of us while we were there). I also grieved my missed opportunity to do so with the grandparents who are already gone. Still, it was good to hear old stories and get to know my grandpas better vicariously through my grandmas and aunts and uncles- allowing me to get to know them better as people, outside their roles as grandpa to me.
Well, this has gone on for quite long enough. Until I get around to updating again….cheers!