Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Should've Sewn Capes for All of Them for Christmas

I discovered this picture of Montrose on Flickr. Taken by cjanebuy.

When I walked into the restaurant last night, there were 12 adults and 8 kids crowded around a series of pushed-together tables. My entire immediate family, plus some in-laws, had gathered to dine on pizza then walk through the town I lived in for 8 years before moving to Hollywood with Mr. Wonderful. This little city was partly developed by my maternal great-grandfather, and it's the place where my beloved grandma lived from age 2  into her 90s. To say I adore Montrose isn't enough. It's my village. The place of my people and so many of my memories.

Though we lost a few members after dinner, there was still quite a group of us tromping down the main street to take in the holiday decorations. My brother was pulling my youngest niece and a friend's daughter in a wagon decked out with tinsel and Christmas lights. I joked that we should all start caroling.

But as we crossed the main intersection, my Mom said to my brother, "Oh my gosh you need to go help that lady!" On the other side of the street, an older woman in thin pink sweatpants was on her knees, struggling as two passers-by tried to get her back on her feet.

Immediately, my brother (a fireman), my dad (a longtime wannabe fireman/cop/superhero) and my cousin's husband (an artist who is very tall and strong) dashed across the street. My brother knelt on the ground, easing the lady back so she was resting in his lap. My sister (a nurse) darted over to see if she could help, too. They think the woman may have had a small stroke.

As I stood on my corner, watching the scene unfold, I was overcome by emotion. There was something about seeing my family rushing to the aid of a stranger that nearly brought me to tears. I don't know if I've ever felt more proud of them. They are such good people.

The fire engine and medic truck arrived and my sentimentality quickly passed as my cousin went to work on a rescue of another kind. A woman had approached us and asked what happened and when my cousin turned to respond, she noticed a spider on the lady's collar. "I'm really sorry but you have a giant spider on you!" she said, swatting furiously at the woman's head.

We laughed about it the rest of the way down the block.

It's pretty neat to be part of a family that's not only an asset to me but to the entire community. My grandma would have turned 97 this coming year, and although she's not here with us anymore, I know she'd be so proud to have her brave, strong children and grandchildren standing together, doing such good on her streets of Montrose.


  1. Aww, you big sweet baby. Nice story. I hope the lady in peril was okay. Here's to your granny too!

  2. Did they get her wallet? Just askin'...

  3. well of COURSE this happened. you can't just go out for pizza and call it a night. :) I'm sure there will be more fact, i'm surprised my mom hasn't called me yet...then again, our moms are probably STILL on the phone discussing every detail.

    this also reminds me of when we were at the viewing/(not catholic so can't recall the name of the event the night before a funeral) of a very dear childhood friend who died in a car accident, and the priest was so loaded on pain medication that he literally fell over backward right in the middle of the hail mary' dad and a doctor friend had to go rescue him until the paramedics showed up. and of course the lights from the firectruck and ambulance lit up the funeral home light a disco. we still have a good laugh about that.

    glad you all had fun!!!

  4. I always love hearing stories about people who lived in one place their whole life (let alone generations of the same family living in the same place). I moved around quite a bit as a kid, so never had that opportunity. You are most definitely lucky to have the family you do - they sound like outstanding individuals!

  5. concur with all of it. montrose, multi-generations (my 85 y.o. grandma now lives in a house her dad helped build), but most of all... you really have a great family!!!

  6. Wow TWA - I hope she was okay, too. And sometimes I have to be a big, sweet baby like you!

    Jeff - No but I think my brother made off with her bag of groceries.

    Laura - It would have been more of an "of course this happened" if it had been my mother who fell down in the street somewhere. Your story made me laugh yet again when I read it. I think you're going to have to start guest blogging on here.

    Nilsa - It's weird how we're small towners even though we live in LA. I actually think there are a lot of us out here. You will always be way more worldly than I because you moved around so much!

    Erin - You are so sweet. :) That's amazing your grandma lives in a house her father built! Way to keep it in the family. :)

  7. It was a fun and sentimental night - thinking of how happy grandma would have been to be strolling with us. Yes, Montrose is full of history and memories as I too was born and raised in grandmas's house til I left home to be married to dad. We all have memories of times treasured at her home which remains in the family. We will make this an annual event, that the grandchildren can look back on as special family memories too.
    Hopefully, next year we don't need to come to the aid of a stranger or one of our own.
    A lovely post for a lovely evening. Thank you.

  8. I'd get teary too. It's great to see people being kind to strangers, more so when they are our family. Of course you are from good stock. ;-)

  9. oh! I got teary just reading this! How wonderful your family seems!

    (just for fun, my word verification is "nononono" silly, right?)


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