My maternal great-grandmother Ceridwen Donald, born in 1899, migrated (immigrated?) to Canada from Wales along with her husband David way back before my grandparents were born. They eventually settled in Regina Beach (yes, that’s pronounced just like vagina, thanks) in Saskatchewan, where my mother and my uncle came along in the fullness of time.
A few years after Ceridwen and David’s daughter Helen married a man named Jack, on their way to becoming my grandparents, my great-grandfather David passed away and my great-grandmother moved in with my grandparents. By the time I met her, she was a frail, wrinkled old lady named Nana.
My family eventually moved to the States before I was born, making me both a Canadian citizen, via my mom’s citizenship (ius sanguinis), and an American citizen (via ius soli), having being born in Bellevue, Washington, USA, North America, The World. So there’s the secret of my half-assed Canadianism.
At any rate, around when my grandfather Jack retired, he and my grandma owned a membership in a nationwide recreational park known as Thousand Trails. They have recreation parks all over the country, and by the time they retired they were staying in one rec park or another in their old but comfortable Carriage travel trailer most months out of the year.
Our family vacations and weekends with them at Thousand Trails are still my most favorite childhood memories.
One of the things I remember most was Nana, sitting in her chair from the time she got up in the morning until the time she shuffled off to bed, with her yellow blanket in her lap and her fisherman’s hat on her head, with her folded up kleenex placed behind the right lens of her glasses.
The trailer had one “bedroom”, in the back, with two twin beds where my grandparents would normally sleep. When I came to visit for the weekend, they would sleep on the fold out bed in the “living room” part of the trailer and I would share the back room with Nana. They would make the kid take one for the team. Since I was only about eight or nine at the time, I was okay with that.
The reason for this is, she snored.
She snored like a lumberjack with a rusty dull saw and a fierce case of emphysema. I was amazed that she didn’t choke herself to death. She also would wake me up talking Welsh loudly but clearly in the middle of the night. I never had any idea what she was talking about. I would try to get to sleep before she could, but it never worked. For years I spent my Thousand Trails nights falling asleep to the lovely nighttime sound of my Nana and her earth-shattering snores.
My Nana died when I was sixteen, which was, oh, fourteen years ago or so. My grandparents both passed away within the last four years, so that now all I have left is the memories of the sun-drenched weekends in LaConner and the memory of my Nana and her snores.
They’ve passed on, but I tell you what, PVDD is passed out on the couch, and I think he’s channeling my Nana. Hopefully I can get up out of this chair fast enough if he chokes.