Gary and I went to Steve’s preschool one Friday in November for a special day of showing grandparents all that they enjoy and learn each day. Our four-year-old could not have been more excited. We listened to books being read, enjoyed a chapel service, ate sugar-filled treats which was Steven’s favorite part, and worked together on crafts. A good time really was had by all.

My son and his family went to Chicago a week ago. Actually, Steven corrected me and told me that it’s Arlington Heights, not Chicago. They went for Steven’s great grandpa’s birthday. We were coming back from Houston so we missed the party, but the pictures said it all. Not everyone came. it’s a huge family with ten kids, twenty-six grand kids, and fifteen great-grand kids with two more greats arriving in 2023. Grandpa baked his own cake and there were ninety-eight candles!

I asked Steven how old Grandpa is and I got a real kick out of his answer.

His eyes widened and he started waving his hands.

“Grandma, Grandma,” he shouted for all the school to hear. “Grandpa isn’t just eight,” he exclaimed, “he’s ninety-eight!!!”

When people learn we moved from Hawaii to Wisconsin they are shocked. I explain that it took brain damage to get me to here. I suffered a traumatic brain injury during a car wreck and could no longer do my job. We decided to move to where I had a family, which I have learned is the number one reason move to Wisconsin, and so here we are making a new life in Oshkosh.

Of course people talk about winter and all the changes, and there are certainly a lot of those, but I’m working hard on the positives about the move. One of them is Steve with his impish grins and creative mind and fun sense of humor. His older brother Lucien is eleven, more serious, sarcastic, smart, and kind.

There are many things I miss about Hawaii and always will. But having my grandsons here is a pretty big consolation prize for giving up my mountains, oceans, and the diversity of people and food.

On Friday when I heard Steven’s way of telling Grandpa’s age, I missed Hawaii a little less.