Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sorting Saturday and Happy Birthday, Grandma P!

Grandma P last Christmas
It was my Wonder Grandma's birthday this week.  91 years young!  She is an amazing lady, I talked about her before on my first Thankful Thursday post.  She works out at the gym three times a week, is in better shape than I am (I'm not kidding), and is sharp as a really sharp tack.  I was able to go with her Tuesday night to her church women's group and listen to her talk about part of her life - the nine years she spent married to her second husband, Dr. Robert C. Pendleton, who was an amazing, kind, man, and a genius.  He was head of the Radiological Health Department at the University of Utah and was one of the, if not THE, biggest force that stopped above ground testing of atomic bombs in the US.  He was very outspoken against the government, dedicated his life to studying the impact of the fallout on plant and animal life, and was interviewed by People Magazine in 1980, at the request of the children of Dick Powell, John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and others, because they all died of cancer after filming in Utah's west desert, downwind of atomic testing.  Just a wonderful man.  He died on July 10, 1982, when I was almost 7 years old.

Grandpa Pendleton loved hiking, fishing, hunting and camping
Anyways, what does this have to do with sorting?  Well, I have the unique privilege of having my 91-year-old grandmother, who can remember some of the smallest details and faces and stories from her life and others over the last 85 years.  She has these great old photo albums and she knows who almost everyone is and the stories behind the pictures, and I need to get them scanned in and tag each person in the album so we don't lose that great information.  I need to get her to write down more of her life story; this woman lived through the Depression, World War II - she sent my grandpa off to war as a Sea Bee, and saw him home after he was sent home with malaria.  She moved all over Utah and Nevada, has read and learned about everything related to geography and history, knows about flowers and rocks and birds, she was president of the Salt Lake Chapter of Dental Assistants, and then has had that amazing chapter with Grandpa P.  And in the 30 years since he's died, she's parasailed, skied, hiked mountains, visited Nova Scotia, ridden horses, spun around a racetrack, and lived through bypass surgery, hip replacement, an artery replacement in her leg, she's our bionic grandma!

I need to sort through her mind (sounds creepier than I intend it) and take advantage of the time I have with her so I won't lose any part of her amazing story.  She's in great health and I pray all the time that she'll have many more years with us - I can talk to her about everything and she always cheers me up with a bright, "Hello, Pretty Girl!" whenever I call or visit.  I'm so thankful for her and her influence in my life.

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