I’ve been trying to write to my grandparents more lately.
“Trying” is probably the most important word in that sentence. I’m not very good at responding to my grandma’s emails most of the time, but I think I’m doing better.
Being away from home, it can be easy to lose touch with my relatives who I’m not seeing regularly anymore, but trying to counteract that is important to me as I try and at least stay in the loop.
Sometimes it feels like there is a long delay between when things happen and when I hear about them. By the time information makes its way from my aunt to my mom to me, its usually old news.
With my grandma, in particular, there’s not much risk of that. She sends about five emails a day, mostly with links to articles she read or about causes she’s passionate about so I can count on a quick response.
One of the factors that pushed me to talk to her more was, believe it or not, Words with Friends. I’ve developed something of an addiction to WWF recently, which is not directly because of her, but when you go back a little farther, that’s where the root of it goes.
When I was young, ever the English teacher, she would bribe us grandkids to play Scrabble with her when we went to her house. If I remember correctly, we’d each get a dollar if we played with her, plus another dollar if you won. None of us ever won.
She had plenty of advantages on us, such as a full vocabulary and the patience to look around the board for the best move instead of just taking the first one she saw.
OK, that one was mostly my issue (and still is) but I choose to blame that on the attention deficit disorder. In the words of the band AWOLNATION, “Blame it on the ADD, baby.”
I don’t know how many years its been since I played Scrabble with her but it been awhile. We tried to get her set up with WWF when it initially came out, but for one reason or another, she never cared for it.
She was also responsible for much of the reading I did growing up, taking me to book signings when authors I liked came to town, as well as taking my cousin and me to the midnight release of the final “Harry Potter” book, which I think was the first time I got to stay up that late.
While she deserves all the credit for the initial interest in reading and writing, my grandpa should take the credit for the interest in sports.
As a professor at the University of Colorado, he usually had season tickets to both basketball teams. At that time, the CU women were a perennial top 25 program under the legendary Ceal Barry, while the men were a few years away from a rise of their own, though not to nearly the same heights. In his seats, I was able to see NCAA tournament games, NIT and WNIT games and more.
I still keep up with the Buffs, in large part because I know that he’ll want to discuss what they’ve been up to since we last talked.
It’s fitting the first event I ever covered was in that same arena, then the Coors Events Center, as the CU men took on BYU in a mid-December non-conference match-up during my senior year of high school.
With the help of my grandpa, that was where my love of sports began, and then a decade later merged with my interest in writing, which must be credited to my grandma, as I covered my first event as a member of the media.
Without their influence, I don’t really know where I would be now, but I think it’s safe to guess that I wouldn’t be here writing this. A thank you is the least I could do, so hopefully writing this will give it that something extra.
Recently, I told them how to find my stories so they can keep up without having it sent directly to them. I think I’ll let them discover this one on their own.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an email to write.