Going to Grandma's house

Back when I was attending George Fox University, I would drive over the mountain from Newberg to Hillsboro for Thanksgiving with my family. But one year, instead of visiting my parents, I made the long drive to my grandma’s house in Talent, a tiny little town in southern Oregon, and spent the weekend with her. It was a good weekend, and my grandma wanted to know if I’d ever come back again. I thought about it for a minute and asked if maybe we could make Thanksgiving her holiday. I’d just come down every year. She liked that idea. So for 20 years now, I’ve been making the drive down to Talent for Thanksgiving with my grandma.

In those 20 years, my grandpa has died, and my grandma’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. So a few things have changed. I do all the cooking now. But a lot of things have stayed the same. We watch Lucille Ball on VHS. We play a game of dominoes each night while eating ice cream and listening to Christmas records. I make cinnamon rolls on Friday morning. And my grandma always asks, “Eric, do you think you’ll be able to come for Thanksgiving next year?” I always say, “Yes!” Which makes her laugh. And I get a hug. “Eric, I love you.” She says it every year while giving me a second hug.

I love her, too. No matter what I face each fall – a dark and stressful season for me – I always have time with my grandma to give me hope, to make me thankful.

I’ll be at my grandma’s house in nine days, and the anticipation has been slowly spreading outward, helping me to see so many other things for which I can be thankful this year. Last Friday, for instance, I got the corrected financial reports for October here at Barclay Press, and I took some time to consider the progress we’ve made since January.

We’ve reduced inventory by 17 percent, we’ve reduced debt by 13 percent, and we’ve increased our reserves by 3-1/2 percent. These are little things. Those reserves, for instance, are the result of just six people making donations of from $10 to $100 a month. But those reserves helped us pay our rent one month, and another month, they made it possible to pay off a line of credit that had come due. (If you want to be one of those people, just click on the Share Stories Change Lives link in the right margin, and donate through Paypal. I would be so thankful for more help!)

There are lots of other things I am thankful for this morning. A hike with friends to Tamanawas Falls on Saturday afternoon. A visit from my youngest sister. Cinnamon roll pancakes at the Blockhouse Cafe in Dayton. Last night’s supermoon.

And just nine days from now, I’ll be getting a hug from my grandma. She’ll be shouting about how much she loves me.

I can’t wait.

Eric Muhr