Earlier this year, we took a family vacation to Florida. The boy and I went down a few days ahead of the husband and spent some quality time touristing with my mom. At the time, all of my grandparents lived in the Tampa Bay area so we’ve visited quite a few times over the years. One of our favorite outings is to the kitschy Greek village of Tarpon Springs, and this year my mom and I took the boy on a tour boat ride that stopped at a little barrier island in the Gulf. We had twenty minutes to walk and wade around the island, and while we began looking for shells my mom soon wandered off on a mission. As we headed back towards the boat, she reappeared with two plastic bags full of discarded bottles. I couldn’t help but laugh to realize my “green” genes were clearly hereditary.
Throughout my childhood, my mom sought to instill a sense of wonder and responsibility about our environment. We went on hiking trips, homeschool nature camps, annual camping trips, and more. Each summer, her parents, my grandparents, spent a month with us and these outings became even more fun, as we went to wild bird sanctuaries and learned to identify various plants. My granddad had, in a past life, made maps for the U.S. Geological Survey, so he was a willing explorer. My grandmother was never without binoculars and a bird guide, although she could identify many species simply by sound. She loved owls in particular, and after our last visit my son and I happened across a metal owl sculpture in our neighborhood antique shop. He remembered looking at the owls at Great Grandmom’s house, so I agreed to buy this one for our house.
My grandmother passed away this week. I’m grateful that my son was able to meet her, and reminded of how much I have to teach him.
My grandmother was a life-long supporter of the Audubon Society. As I explored their website, I came across this great kids’ page.