I had a half day at work on Friday (I had 1.67 days of vacation to use up before the end of the year, so Friday was .67), so just before lunch I hit the road to my aunt Nancy’s house for a little lunch date with my family. (Side note: I drove to work for the first time since I started working there and it took me six minutes. Much better than the hour to hour and a half commute I used to do).
Anyway, my cousins Chrissy and Allie were visiting from BC with their husbands Aran and Keith (respectively) and their beautiful little babies, and I haven’t seen them all since Allie and Keith’s wedding in BC in June so I was pretty excited. We also had our amazing Nana with us for the day.
That picture is terrible. I didn’t have my camera with me, and my iPhone was slacking on the picture-taking, but that is basically just a lower-quality version of this picture from the spring:
Only one less dog and one more baby. Chrissy and Aran’s son Evan is missing from both though, he is tricky little minx to lock down for a photo. But I did get him earlier…
I’m surprised they were okay with me holding Evan upside down, considering my track record of dropping children on their faces… Evan sure liked it though. He made me do it over and over and over.
Anyway, we had a really great lunch full of Ukrainian food in honour of our Ukrainian Nana.
Who is the cutest Nana in all the land. We say that she is going to live forever because she is fueled by love.
We started with borscht (beet soup) that my aunt made herself, and it was soo delicious.
Seriously, it was amazing. I am sometimes not the biggest fan of borscht, it really depends how it is made. My Nana used to make really excellent borscht also, so I guess it runs in the family. My aunt said it is really easy to make actually, so I think I may have to try it out sometime. Pretty much my entire family is obsessed with sour cream also, so we all topped our soup with that.
And our main dish was pierogies! Or my family has always called them something different that I don’t know how to spell and I can’t even Google it, but when I was little I interpreted its pronunciation as “pettah hair”.
Whatever you call them, they are the best. Definitely one of my favourite foods. My Nana used to make the best ones ever! I miss them so much. And of course each pierogi on my plate must be topped with sour cream. It is very important. I can NOT eat pierogies without sour cream. And fried bacon and onions. Yes yes.
We also had kielbasa, which I LOVE, and cookies for dessert.
After lunch (and man, I was stuffed), Allie and my uncle Brian had some work to do outside, so the rest of us headed into the family room to sit around and digest. Chrissy and I snuggled up with our Nanny on the couch and had a little catch-up session.
Nana snuggles are the greatest. My Nana has smelled the same for as long as I can remember, and being near her makes me feel all warm and comforted.
Anyway, we were just talking, and all of a sudden my Nana brought out a little gift bag and said she had presents for us!
I know all about Nana’s presents, let me tell you. She is all about the ‘care packages’. She always likes to get us useful gifts. I have mentioned this before, but it’s worth bringing up again. When she lived on her own, she loved to get me anything that was on sale at the grocery store, so cookies, oranges, cheese (wrapped in wax paper, tin foil and then plastic wrap), and bread were all big items that frequented the care packages. Also half-used bottles of Windex and paper towel. And stamps. The care packages have always been very random (but very useful), for as long as I can remember.
And they are more random now that she is in a home and can’t really get out and shop for herself. My care packages from her now consist mainly of socks won at Bingo, cookies saved from meals (in Ziploc bags), other random gifts she has somehow acquired (like little stuffed animals, or figurines), and stamps (still stamps!).
Here was her care package for me around Easter:
And another one from a year ago or so:
So I know how random her “gifts” can be. But I was not prepared for what came next.
When my Nana was not doing well in the summer, she was pretty much bedridden, and couldn’t get to the bathroom on her own during the night. So she wore diapers for a bit. Hey, it happens. We will all be there someday (let’s not think about it). So I guess when she was getting better, she switched from diapers to these diaper-like pads. They were basically like REALLY thick maxi pads. So she pulled two of them out of the bag, turned to Chrissy, handed her one, and said “These are for your PANTIES,” (really loudly because her hearing is not the greatest). And then she turned to me, handed me the other, and repeated “THESE ARE FOR YOUR PANTIES.” And went on to explain why we might need them. Feminine time, you know (sorry to all you men reading this).
They were not unlike this:
And Chrissy’s husband was sitting across from us watching the whole thing.
We were dying. Chrissy, my aunt Nancy and I could not contain our laughter. I tried, really I did, but I was crying. I was doubled over with tears streaming down my face. My Nana has been known to say funny things sometimes… One time after Easter dinner as we were leaving (and this was years ago), she asked us “Do you want a beer for the road?!” Um, Nana. That is illegal.
But this trumped everything she has probably ever done. And she was so serious about it. She really was just trying to be helpful, and it warmed my heart and made me laugh ridiculously hard all at the same time.
As we attempted to contain ourselves, my Nana looked at me and said “Oh, Lindsey! I thought you were Allie! Sorry, this isn’t for you,” and she took the pad out of my hands and tucked it back into her bag. And then she handed me MY gift.
Frickin’ cookies saved from meals!!!! No pad for me, suckers! This of course made us all laugh even harder.
So then my cousin asked, “Why doesn’t Lindsey get a pad?”
And my Nana said “Well Lindsey lives on her own you know…”
Yes, yes I do. A girl has to eat! If living on my own gets me cookies instead of a diaper, well, I am down with that. She also gave me $20. Who is the favourite?! 🙂
And then Allie came inside, and my Nanny regifted her the pad, and we all laughed all over again. She is 98, so of course she is allowed to have moments like this. But man it was funny.
It was a great day with my family. I loved seeing them!
And I know our Nana had a great time too. She kept saying how happy she was to be there. She is amazing. Sometimes I look at her and I just feel like my heart might burst. She makes me so happy.