My family and I try to take trips up the coast to Santa Barbara to visit my grandparents as often as we can. My mother is a Santa Barbara native and (lucky for us) has parents that never sold the house that she grew up in. The two-hour trek is often difficult to fit into our busy schedules; my dad wasn’t even able to make it this time. Despite this, we still try to drive up as often as possible while we still can. My grandmother suffers from dementia, a memory-loss disease that’s hereditary in my family. It was initially difficult to cope with her cumbersome inability to remember; however, years into the disease, my family has found ways around it.
As you all may know, I am an avid shopper. My family always tells me that my inner fashionista is a trait passed down from my grandmother, who loved shopping prior to her diagnosis. One of the elements of my grandmother’s disease is short-term memory loss, meaning that she can’t remember things that are casually mentioned to her for longer than about five minutes. For instance, I had the pleasure of reminding her that I graduated from high school and am currently in college four times in the span of thirty minutes. Some people would cringe at the idea of having to repeat themselves so many times, but I actually enjoy it. It’s nice to witness my grandmother’s positive reactions to the various milestones that I’ve surpassed. I’m almost certain that her brain stopped creating new memories when I was sixteen due to the constant surprise she exudes when telling her that I’m now twenty years old and have a paying job. It’s obvious that she isn’t really checked in when I repeat these accomplishments to her, but it’s nice to witness her excitement every time. I will say, though, that I was a bit sour after being asked why I didn’t have a boyfriend ten times (I’m joking).
The ill weather resulted in a scarcity of quality images for my blog, but the ones shown from previous trips epitomize Santa Barbara living. My mom and I drove up on a stormy Friday morning and made our way back home Sunday afternoon (after having to double back for my MacBook charger while already being on the freeway for thirty minutes). During my visit, I joked around with my grandma about finding a boyfriend at the beach, had a wild evening at the movies with my sister, and loaded up on calories from my favorite SB digs.
By the time Sunday morning rolled in, neither my mom nor myself were ready to depart from the oasis. We’ll most likely be back in March for my grandfather’s birthday. Until then, I’ll imagine your peace and serenity in my dreams.