Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mexico: Dos y Media

I realize this doesn't exactly give you any insight in to my recent trip to Mexico but I hadn't posted an entry in this series in quite a while and it is one of the favorites of all my relatives that read this blog. Also...I thought it fit somehow.

I promise part three in the series tomorrow, but for now here is Mexico: Two and a Half.

At Grandma and Grandpa's House.....

....they would have never gone to Mexico.

They would have supported me and been proud of me but they would have been nervous about my trip. It is something they never would have considered doing themselves...for two reasons.

#1) Grandpa refused to go to St. Louis even. He did travel very occasionally to South Dakota, where he liked to look at farmland just for fun, and once he drove all the way out to Utah to visit his brother. But he didn't like cities and he took two lane roads whenever possible. Even my sister living there had no influence over his decision to NEVER go to St. Louis...and his grandchildren usually had a pretty strong pull over him.

He based his decision on the one time he did go to St. Louis. For his 8th grade class trip they took all the kids to St. Louis. They rode all the way there (a 2 hour trip) in the back of a truck and had an awful experience. Even when we reminded him that he could now travel there inside a comfortable and air conditioned car he didn't want to.

#2) Grandma travelled more often. She went to California and Arizona and Detroit to see her sisters. She took the bus and she even flew, something else my Grandpa never did. But she wouldn't have gone to Mexico because of ....well, the Mexicans. My Grandma is prejudice; not in the sense that she would ever be cruel or degrading to anyone, but in the sense that she has very strong and stereotypical opinions about various groups of people.

She believes some of the standard ones like "southerners are lazy" and "the Irish drink to much", but she also has some of her own very unique theories. She believes that people who have horses will go broke and are always on the verge of financial ruin. She believes that young men who get married while in medical school do so to get some woman who can work and put them through school and then when they finally become doctors they dump their wives and run off with nurses. She expounded on these theories on more than one occasion...which is why I remember them.

But the one that takes the cake is one I heard her say only once, 20 years ago, but it was so outrageous that I remember it to this day. My aunt and her family were moving to Bloomington. A "northern" city over 3 hours away from Grandma's southern Illinois home. They had purchased a house but it needed new carpet. My aunt had arranged for the carpet to be installed before they moved up there, meaning while no one was home. My Grandma was lecturing her (mind you she was approx. 40 years old, but you're never too old for a lecture from Grandma) on the dangers of letting strangers into her house. She topped off the whole discourse with the phrase, "You know how those northern carpet layers are!"

I wish I could remember what happened after that. Did my aunt laugh out loud? I can't imagine how she kept a straight face. I laugh every time I think about it. But knowing my aunt she probably just said, "Oh, mother" and moved on. She was kind of used to it by that point.

On August 28, 1979*:

My aunt Amy started school that day and so did Grandma. She was studying to become a nurse. Grandma's college schedule was 8-11, I.N.S (whatever that is), 11-12:15, English Comp, 2-3:50, Anatomy and Physiology, which she notes sounds interesting. My parents and sister and I took a load of beans to St. Louis (I guess we were just sitting on the floor in the truck cab. I know it only had two bucket seats.). Grandpa worked around the farm and Uncle Shannon killed 2 grey squirrells for Grandad (my Great Grandpa) for his birthday. He turned 78 that day.

*I realize that this is supposed to be an "on this date in 1979" feature but on Sept. 4, 1979 my Grandma was sick and threw up. (Maybe it was the squirrell meat?) I didn't think that would interest most of you. So I gave you an entry from a different date.

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