Well, we just got back from visiting my grandmother, who is soon to be 85. She lives in Bethlehem, as I mentioned in the previous post, but she was born and raised in the nearby Cornish slate-mining community of Pen Argyl. She met and married my grandfather and then lived in the adjoining Welsh slate-mining town of Bangor for 30 years and then divorced him. Yeah, she's a feisty one.
The thing with my grandma, is that she kind of has her own language. Not knowing this may lead you to ask yourself what the hell she's talking about in the course of a conversation. Some of them are regionalisms, some are just her, I think.
mangoes: to most of us, this is a tropical fruit with a very large pit. To her, this is a green bell pepper. The red bell pepper? Red mango, of course.
it wants rain/it wants nice: This would be the weather forcast.
tree shack: I would call this a tree house, as most of the rest of you would also.
brootsy: Not sure on the spelling of this one, and not entirely clear on the definition, but I think it means squirmy or wiley, as a small child would behave. An adjective.
rootchin' around: Again, not sure on the spelling, but I think she means squirming around. A verb.
leave, let, left: The usage of these words gets all turned around. "She let the chair cushions out in the rain." "My mother never left us go to the movies."
pockabook: This is more of a pronunciation thing- pocketbook. Nobody in the midwest says pocketbook, it's always "purse" or "handbag".
highball: This may be more of an age thing, but it's what is offered before dinner.
So, our trip out was a whirlwind. We drove all the way to State College last Sat. and stayed there overnight. The next day, we drove around the town and the campus. I imagine it is heavenly in the fall. We had just a short drive to Bethlehem, but got stuck in traffic, so we got off I-80 and angled over. What a crazy thing to do! We drove through all these itty bitty coal towns over hither AND yon on these twisty turny roads, through Pottsville, St. Claire, Manahoy and FINALLY go to I78, where we were stuck in traffic for over an hour. I have never been so grateful for a DVD player and a cooler packed full of food and drink in my life.
Monday, we went to the Musikfest in Bethlehem- seemed to be more Fest and not as much Musik, and we missed the Reverend Al Green by a day. The festival food had the usual deep-fried anything, the colossal turkey leg, the funnel cakes and popcorn. BUT, they also had Hungarian food- haluski, halupki, and other yummies.
Tuesday, Mr T was invited to be the 4th on my step-grandfather's golf outing. I encouraged him to go, even though he played 18 holes of golf for the first time this July. It's not everyday you get to play golf with 3 WW II vets. When they came home, they all had a cold beer and then went to buy Grandpa John a computer! He's 87 and has had cancer 3 or 4 times. He worked in the steel mills before he retired. He had lung cancer last fall. He mows his own grass. He does all of his own home repair. He reads the paper. He is still sharp as a tack. He should be everyone's hero. Wow.
Wed, my grandparents had an American Legion dance to go to, so we headed up to Easton to the Crayola Factory. In case any of you live near and have considered taking your kids, reconsider. We had been 2 times before when the girls were younger, and it was ok, but for the money ($9.50 each for everyone 3 and up)it was nightmarish. All of these busloads of small children in matching t shirts(child to adult ratio looked to be about 10-1) unloaded and took over the place. After an extremely short demo of how crayons and markers are made, you procede to different stations where you try out different Crayola products. Can't we all color at home? Paint? Cut? Ack. We then HAD to visit the Pez museum around the corner- the kitsch factor was too great to pass up. THEN we travelled to Allentown to see the Liberty Bell Shrine- where the bell was actually hidden durning the Revolutionary War. They have a nice replica there that they let you ring. THEN, on to Hellertown for a tour of Lost River Caverns- a privately owned cave that you tour. VERY cool. We topped it off with pizza and cheesesteaks at the Crossroad's Hotel- delicious. For Sweet Adeline, a cheesesteak is a sandwich made of thinly sliced steak and has cheese on it- usually on a hoagie roll. I am not doing it justice, but they are fabu. We enjoyed them with a cold Yuengling draft.
That was it, as we left yesterday for the trek home. In years past, we have done the Amish thing, as California Teacher Guy mentioned. We've gone to Hershey, Gettysburg, up to the Poconos. This ended up being more of a Grandma centered visit. She's not going to be around forever and I want the girls to know her.