Flashback Friday: Graduating

Right now, a lot of the kids I work with at the grocery store are graduating high school. HIGH SCHOOL! This makes me feel old, very old, so I thought I’d take advantage of my writer’s block to present to you a flashback into my graduation ceremony and prom. Yay!

I graduated with a very small bunch of students. I think there was about 24 of us, with some of those kids just getting a “Okay, fine. You can graduate because we’re sick and tired of you” diploma. Not even kidding.

I was chosen out of maybe three people to be the valedictorian. Not because my grades were amazing (Because I nearly failed Math 12) but because I wrote an awesome essay on why I would be a good valedictorian. Go me!

That’s a crappy old photo of me doing my speech. What to know how terrified I was? EXTREMELY! Oh, and want to know why there’s snowflakes on the stage? Because our theme was Winter Wonderland. Hell yes! Ironic considering my hometown is a desert and it was at least 30° C outside. Pretty freaking hot for June. Oh, and that Ram on the wall is the school mascot. The Ashcroft Secondary School Rams. ASS Rams. ASS RAMS. Okay, moving on…

Prom was the day after the grad ceremonies and I spent the day getting my herr all did up. I now hate bobby pins and the taste of hairspray. My dress was big and poofy and matched the theme of our prom.

Look at how young we look! Haha, and my looking at the girls in the background, it seems that blue was a popular dress colour in 2004.

The great thing? I can still fit into my prom dress (if I suck it in and don’t breathe)!

Alright, so that concludes Flashback Friday. This weekend I’m actually heading out to Ashcroft for the annual rodeo. Yee-haw!

What was you high school grad/prom like?

Flashback Friday, Part 2

Last week I flashed back to my memories with my grandparents on my Dad’s side of the family. This week, I’m flashing back to my Mom’s side of the family.

I’m fortunate enough to have amazing memories with both my grandparents and great-grandparents on my Mom’s side of the family. My Nana and Papa (my great-grandparents) lived in Palm Springs, California, so I didn’t get to see them very often. They would come up every summer to “escape” the heat in Palm Springs. (Apparently it gets hotter than the summers here, which is ridiculous) You can see the road on the other side of the river from my grandparents house and my brother and I would wait and watch by the window for them to drive along.

My Papa was the one who got me into playing the piano. He played the organ (and accordion!) and I remember sitting beside him on the bench and “play” along with him. When I got better, I remember my mom getting me to play for him while she placed the phone on the piano so he could hear me. The one time we travelled the Palm Springs to visit (and go to Disneyland), I remember him calling me a mermaid because I was constantly in the pool, splashing everywhere.

This was during my first Christmas.

My Papa passed away when I was in Grade 5 or 6. I didn’t really react much then, but I miss him a lot now. I think that if he were still alive, I’d still love playing the piano.

My Nana was amazing in the kitchen, as any grandparent should be. I remember her collecting apples and apricots from my Grandma’s trees and making the most amazing applesauce and apricot jam. A couple years after my Papa passed away my grandparents moved her up to Kamloops so she would be closer to family. I visited her as often as I could and even fulfilled my promise that when I was old enough, I’d take her to the casino and we could play the slot machines. She always had Canadian Club (a whiskey) right before dinner and would make me check her breath to see if the booze smell was noticeable.

She slowly fell ill and because she didn’t have medical coverage in Canada, my Grandma had to take her to Washington so she could get the help she needed. A couple weeks after her 90th birthday, she told the attending nurse that “Tomorrow’s going to be a good day.” She passed away in her sleep that night. I miss her terribly and wish I could’ve spent more time with her during the last few days in Canada.

I was either 16 or 17 in this photo

My Grandma and Grandpa are both amazing people. From travelling to Calgary, multiple camping trips and family get togethers, they are amazing, devoted Grandparents and have nothing but love for all their kids and grandkids.

During my high school graduation

The concluded my Flashback Friday for this week. Happy weekend everyone :)

Flashback Friday, Part 1

Growing up, I was lucky enough to know both sets of grandparents as well as three of my great-grandparents. I know some people grow up without grandparents, or at least not both sets, and never got to know their great-grandparents.

I’ll start with my Dad’s side of the family. I don’t have pictures of my great-grandma, “Granny”, as we called her. My memories of her include her old apartment near Chinatown in Vancouver, which reeked of Tiger Balm, her wig and the fact that she was blind. I remember her touching my face, asking how old I was, what grade I was in. She’d call me a good girl and give me stale cookies.

My Dad’s parents, who we called Grandma & Grandpa Chow (original, right?), raised my Dad and his siblings in my hometown before moving to Vancouver to retire. My Grandpa owned a store, which belonged to his father, back in the day and it was quite popular. “Wing Chong Tai” is what is was called and it’s even in the museum in my hometown, with a picture of him and everything. I remember once, we were grocery shopping while we were visiting in Vancouver and he insisted on buying my brother and I a chocolate bar, even though my Dad told him “No” a million times. (Grandpa Chow won!) After having cancer and a stroke, he passed away when he was 86. (Or at least I think that’s how old he was.)

My Grandma Chow didn’t speak English very well, so I only remember her yelling “Eat!” in this high-pitched voice that demanded respect. Her food was amazing. I remember her jade jewelry. I was only about 3-years-old when she passed away. I can’t remember how old she was when she passed away, but she battled with diabetes. I remember her insulin needles in the cupboard in the bathroom.

This a picture of my grandparents and I when I was almost 1-year-old. They came to visit every Easter, which meant twice as much Easter candy and chocolate. (Also note how Chinese I looked when I was a baby!)

Next Friday, I’ll flashback to my Mom’s side :)

Happy Friday everyone!