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October 15th, 2008

So here we are in Georgia.   And our moving van, along with all our worldly belongings, is no where to be found.   Last we heard, it may even still be in Maryland.   I think the moving crew was more than a little ticked off that we didn’t feed them much while they were packing.   But seriously, I am hoping that we aren’t soon to be part of a Dateline exclusive on moving company fraud.

So here we are in Georgia, and here I am in Starbucks with Casey’s laptop (as the home computer is on said moving van), and I am already broaching past the hour I promised to be home within.

All is not awful, inspite of missing our things.   We have been treating life like a vacation, living out of our suitcases as we are.   We checked out the Atlanta Zoo on Saturday, have been out to eat nearly every night, and have been exploring the local parks and shopping centers.   So we’re having fun, but it sure is hard to feel settled.

On a more somber note, I lost my dear Grandma Kay two nights ago.   She was my namesake, Kristjana, and turned 96 in June.   A native of Iceland, she was without a doubt, the most joyful woman I ever met.   She was a mom to three boys, three grandkids, and four great-grands, and an urban working girl in downtown San Francisco long past her retirement age.   She was loved by all who met her, an infectious personality, sweet and always ladylike.   In fact, she never wore a pair of pants until recently, and then under great restraint.   She once did a day’s secretarial work for Ty Cobb,  but refused payment, stating that it was her honor to work for him.   He eventually repaid her with a very chic powder set from an expensive department store.   Sweet Grandma Kay never even took it out of the box, claiming that it was too expensive to use.   She used to call our house every Sunday after church, announcing herself, “This is Grandma Kay, from San Francisco!”   I never saw her get angry, though she was not shy about sharing her righteous indignation over a lack of manners or an injustice.   She buried two husbands and a son in her 96 years, and outlived most of her friends.   My Dad will be hosting a party to celebrate her life in her downtown townhouse, 7 blocks from the ocean and 3 blocks from the San Francisco Zoo, where she lived for as long as I can remember, and then even before that.   Kenny and I went to visit her when he was 7 months old, and when I put him down for a nap after lunch, she said, “I believe that it would be wise if we all laid down for a nap, don’t you think?”   And when the clock in her dining room announced that it was five o’clock, she would be the first to offer cocktails, or perhaps a Sprite “with a kick.”   I visited her right around her 90th birthday, and together her and I walked up to the cross on Mount Davidson, which you can see from her kitchen window.   I have to admit, I really thought she might outlive me, she was that zesty.

I will miss you, Grandma Kay!


  1. Jessica says

    Kristjana, I have been following your blog since your husband introduced it to me a while back (we met in Cabo San Lucas last year). If you’ll be at Founders this year, my husband will be there as well. I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother, especially amidst everything else you have going on. Prayers come with this (and go out to that pesky moving van!)

    October 15th, 2008 | #

  2. Brooke says

    Well this is my first time posting a comment. I’ve been reading you blog for a while now. I just had to say how sorry I am about your missing belongings. I cannot even imagine being in a new town with two young boys and NONE of my stuff. My youngest daughter is six months old and I can’t even begin to think how I would handle what you’re going through. You and yours will be in my thoughts and prayers. (Your belongings too) Oh and my oh my what ADORABLE boys you have. All 3 of them (that includes Dudley of course).

    October 15th, 2008 | #

  3. Brooke says

    Ah, silly me, I completely forgot to give you my condolences on the passing of your grandmother. Please forgive me. As a mom to a new baby yourself I’m sure you understand the swiss cheese brain syndrome!

    October 15th, 2008 | #

  4. Aunt Syl says

    Hey ya’ll,
    I can’t wait until you and the boys all talk like your mother does! (no offense Janet;)

    I am so sorry about Grandma Kay. I know you will all miss her terribly, but do write down all your memories of her to share with your children. Imagine all the changes she whethered over practically a century! Love, Aunt Syl

    October 15th, 2008 | #

  5. Becky says

    First of all, I am so sorry to hear about your Grandma Kay – she sounded like an amazing woman! Grandma’s are so special and they all have their lasting traits, impressions and attitudes, that’s what make them so special.

    Uggg, the moving van – I pray you guys don’t show up on Dateline. I’m sure it’s just one of those things but it’s “one of those things” you hope and pray doesn’t happen to you or your friends. It’s just another adventure to add to your life. I suppose the most important thing is your family made it safe and sound and you’re together.

    Hang in there sister, I can’t begin to express how impressed I am with your overall attitude and am amazed how you’ve kept it all together! You should be so proud of yourself!

    And by the way, we have friends who moved to Atlanta when their kids were small a little older than your boys and yes, the accent DID happen – it was cute though!

    October 16th, 2008 | #

  6. Sandy says


    I found your blog while surfing one day, and have been following it for some time. You have a beautiful family! The boys are adorable! Good luck with the move. It is hard to move to a new city with 2 small kids! I am sorry to hear about your grandmother. She sounded like an extraordinary lady!

    October 16th, 2008 | #

  7. lindsay says

    What a lovely tribute to your grandma you wrote. Wishing strength to your family at this time. And wow, on the movers. Seriously.

    October 17th, 2008 | #

  8. Claudia says

    Long time reader, first time writer, sorry to hear about your grandma, it was great that you got to spend sometime with her unlike some of us that don’t have any memories of our grandparents. It sounds like she was a lovely lady and she is definitely in a better place now. Don’t worry about your movers as they should arrive soon! Blessings to you and your wonderful family.
    p.s. I also have 2 children, a boy who is 2 1/2 years and a 15 week young baby girl (she was born on June 30 I think it was a day after your baby was born). Just started working about 3 weeks ago and I always look forward to reading your blog as it is my downtime and is kind of therapeutic to me 🙂

    October 17th, 2008 | #

  9. Uncle Dave says

    Hi Kristjana,

    Great write-up on your Grandma! Are prayers are with you guys and the entire family.

    October 17th, 2008 | #

  10. Melissa says

    I have been reading your blog since you were pregnant with your new baby boy. We actually have a lot in common. I have a 3yr. old dd and a 3 month old ds. Welcome to the south! You will love it here! I live in southeastern NC near Myrtle Beach SC. I am sorry about your grandmother. You are so lucky that you have had grandparents so long. All of my grandparents died by the time I was in the 7th grade. I am now 33 and missing them more than ever. Oh! I hope the moving van has shown up by now!

    October 18th, 2008 | #

  11. Kimberly says

    Hi Kristjana
    I am so sorry to hear of your Grandmother’s passing. She sounds like someone I would have loved to meet! What a treasure!
    We miss you here in MD– and I am glad you are “making lemonade” with your present circumstances. You may have more in common with Grandma Kay than her name…

    October 18th, 2008 | #

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