One of things I've noticed the most this last year when celebrating holidays away from my immediate family is how far removed we are from my extended family. Watching friends of mine who have lived in a similar area their whole lives, I realize just how much I don't know about my family. So spending the majority of this last week with my grandparents, I've learned some interesting things:
1. My grandfather served three terms during the Vietnam War in the navy (I knew previously that he had been in that war, but I heard many stories these last few days. I am now more sympathetic to his aversion for all things Asian, though it still saddens me).
2. My grandmother's favorite class in university: Russian history. Apparently the professor was quite attractive.
3. My grandfather's baseball hat collection is now about 1000 caps strong (He's always had lots of hats, but I never considered that it was that extensive). He can tell you where he got every single one.
4. For my grandmother's 50th birthday, she partied for three days straight. Too bad I was -3 years old at the time.
5. Just as I did a few years ago, my grandmother severed a tendon in her hand. But unfortunately for her, the doctors she went to in Nebraska did not correctly diagnose the problem until nearly a year later. While the damage could easily be corrected by an easy surgery and some simple physical therapy, she's decided it's too much of a pain and is physically incapable of straightening one of her fingers (her version of this story takes about 45 minutes to tell).
6. My grandfather has children from his first marriage (we just never talked about it...).
7. Both my grandparents are significantly (and rather amusingly) losing their hearing.