I sat down at my picnic table outside. You could hear planes flying overhead and the rippling water of my stream on the other side my fence. It was very light outside, I had to squint.I picked up my phone and called my Grandmother's cell phone, she didn't pick up. So I called my Grandparents home phone and she finally picked up, and so our interview began.
My grandmother's name is Barbra Lehrbaum, she is married to Ken Lehrbaum.I think this is interesting because Barbie’s real name is Barbra.We actually call her Grandma Jean.She has grey hair that is always pulled back in a ponytail with a metal clip. She is always wearing big sunglasses, jeans, and and a colored sweater.She has lots of laugh lines, and thin eyebrows like my mother and I. She was born in 1934 in New Jersey, in a small town called Elizabeth. When she was young people called her Skippy.
The first thing I asked her was what she did for fun when she was young. Mostly she told me about her and her sister playing pretend games where she would live out in the country. She also would play jump rope, hide and seek, and tag. Her parents moved around a lot so she needed to know lots of games. My grandpa and she travels a lot so I asked her if because her parents liked to travel, if that´s why she travels. She responded, ¨You are born with a certain personality that could be completely different then your parents.¨
So then I asked her how she remembered her only sister, Lauri, growing up. Well as you know her parents moved around very often, so they moved schools a lot. So they didn't have a lot of time to make friends.Basically Lauri was her best friend, more than sister.So I asked her why she moved around so much. ¨Well, there is a lot of reasons.¨ So I just asked her for one. She said that her father was a cop, and got sick, so he had to retire when he was younger, and that I would have to talk to her later for all of the reasons.
Now I was going to ask her what her house, and room looked like, but I was worried that she might not remember because she lived at so many houses. But I did anyways. To my surprise she remembered a specific house well. She lived in an apartment building with two bedrooms. In her room there was a big window. They would open the window and this squirrel would come in, and they fed it nuts. ¨It´s name was Chichi and it would take the nuts and probably go hide it.¨The house had a porch where they would play.¨I always wanted to live in the country.¨
I asked her what she had wanted to be when she grew up, when she was a girl. She told me she wanted to be a jockey,¨But girls couldn't be that so it was kind of a pipe dream.¨ I asked her if she did anything to change that and she told me no, which made me kind of sad. She did go to college, and got a degree in art. She would trade her art for many things when she moved to Vermont. “Ya, you can’t trade things here like you could in vermont.”
“Why did you marry Grandpa?”I asked “Well we loved each other what’s more to say?” So I didn'tsay anything more of that. Lastly I asked her for what was her best advice that got her through life. “ Keep a sense of humor.” Things are sometimes hard but if you laugh at yourself, then things will be easier. Just keep things light.
“Well I’ve run out of questions.” I told her. “Oh, well how’s dance?” I told her about the ballet coming up that I was in, and how I thought my group had really pretty coutumes. I told her about how pe was doing gymnastics, she told me she would've loved that if it was available for her.
“Carissa! Who are you talking to?!” It was my dad. “Grandma.” I called back. “Really, like grandma Jean?” (He thought I was talking to my friends.)
“Well it’s dinner time.”
So I told my grandma that I had to go eat dinner, and that I enjoyed my chat, and I loved her.I realized I wasn’t squinting anymore.I hadn’t even noticed it had gotten dark.