Life’s Surprises

Dear Liza,

We just got off a Zoom visit with you, your Mom, and your Daddy. Normally, this wouldn’t be a surprising thing. But as I thought about it after our chat, I became absolutely boggled at it.

Fifty years ago, high school-aged Grandpa Nelson and I fell in love and decided to make our life together. We could see far enough ahead to know that we would go to college and get married. We planned to have two children. That’s pretty much as far the expectations went.

What we definitely didn’t foresee was what those two children would choose to do with their lives.

Your Auntie Katie got married, had two really nifty kids, and has started a comic book business, Books with Pictures. I suppose, looking back, this could be seen as a natural outgrowth of my Momma’s being a librarian and Great-Aunt Bonnie’s running a shop, but I certainly didn’t see it coming!

Each step along the way was a risk, a step into new territory. And, as difficult as it has been, Auntie Katie has combined her love of books, business smarts and social consciousness into something that has flourished and become central to the comics community here in Portland.

Further afield, we just zoom-chatted with you and your Momma in Russia, where you are visiting your Grandpa Victor and Baba Alla. The Internet connection was choppy as you were walking to the pool, but I got to see your lovely faces and the resort where you are staying.

On the same Zoom was your Daddy, who is visiting a friend in Aarhus, Denmark. We got to see Andrei’s house and neighborhood, including the little stream that runs through his property.

Your parents’ meeting and starting a family was a step into the unknown. International relationships have their own set of difficulties, but each has been tackled and dealt with patiently and with good grace. And adding you to the family was a delightful surprise!

I think my high school-aged self would be surprised, and very pleased, with how the future has played out. My very own kids, with skills and confidence, venturing further into the world than I could have imagined, and shining along the way.

Once again, I am learning never to set limits, on myself or anyone else. I wonder where you will find yourself in fifty years?


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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