At 7:10 on a late November night, I picked my phone up to call my Grandmother Terri for our phone-date. Though late it seemed with darkness falling earlier every day, with her bright personality and her quick wit, she always had an eagerness to participate. My grandma has a passion for people, a passion for travelling, and a passion for her grandchildren. These amongst many more things, and the simple delights my Grandma holds in everything and everyone around, keeps her heart young and animated, and we could learn a few things from the way she lives.
Teresa Mae Valcome, born February 15, 1943, was born at the Fairview hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Daughter of Frank Alsred Valcome and Elizabeth Pauline Matuscehek, she had one brother who was seven years older than her. They lived in Minneapolis until she was four, moved to Dwight, North Dakota, but were back a year later. Later on she would move to Champlain once she married my Grandpa, William Hanson, and soon to Brainerd with my dad Christopher and my Auntie Jolanne.
“I was adventurous,” my grandma told me; I could almost hear the sound of wind in the trees and sound of waves in her voice. A child that loved to be outside, she spoke of clambering up trees. Not a hard thing to imagine for me, my grandma had always given me the impression that she was a wild one, ready for weather and anything else the day could throw at her. She talked of easy times growing up.
“Back when I grew up, Minneapolis was a comfortable place to be. I didn’t have to fear going out at night or walking to safe,” she said in airy distant voice, Minneapolis had seen much more pleasant days. “I used to ride my bike ten to fifteen miles from North Minneapolis to South, to Lake Calhoun.” Full of energy, always ready to hit the road, she told me that her hankering for travel was a trait she inherited from her father.
“My father used to take us on weekend rides, we would go and stop wherever we wound up at,” my grandmother said in her slightly distant phone voice, mid-way through our interview. An over-the-road truck driver, Frank Valcome, would take his wife and his two children traveling. “When he was home, he’d get the urge.”
With a giggle in her voice, twinkle in her eyes, and fondness in her heart, she recalled a memory. “On a whim one Saturday we went on a ride, and ended up being gone for four days. We didn’t pack tooth brushes or extra underwear,” she said, “and we didn’t know how long we’d be gone.” Of course my grandma mentioned that they had to instead buy tooth brushes and under wear, “and have our mom do our laundry at the motel.”
This urge will occasionally take her all around mid-Minnesota: Pequot Lakes for Bean Hole Days, Nisswa’s Lighting Ceremony, waking up to go to Wadena, Detroit Lakes, or back-road travelling, and other events around the Brainerd Lakes Area, she has a fondness for it all. And she always has a friend to do this with, whether it is Norma who she has known since 1974, or her friend...