I've been hiking quite a bit, lately. Not just leisurely strolls up the street, but serious hikes to the tops of mountains or to alpine lakes. I took an 11 mile hike with my brother the other day and found myself griping a lot (because, let's face it ... a steep hike riddled with rocks is hard!)
. Suddenly, I remembered a hike I did with my mother and my grandparents, about 20 years ago. I was visiting my home town and this was one of our family activities.
My grandmother would've been in her mid-60's at the time. I was roughly 20 and in the best shape of my life. My grandmother just wrecked me, that day. She skedaddled up that hill, like nobody's business! I'm about 5' 9" and she's about half that, with tiny powerful legs. I'd barely ventured up the trailhead and could hardly catch my breath. She was already halfway up the mountain!
The little engine that could!
A little over a year ago, my grandmother had a stroke ... pretty much wiping out one side of her body. She was bedridden for a while, but she's as determined a person as I've ever met (try telling her that grains are bad and you'll IMMEDIATELY see the determination in her eyes!)
. Her yen for life had her on her feet and gaining strength in no time! ... Walking up stairs and working to rebuild connections to her right arm.
It just so happens that we all live in the same city right now, and we had a family taco night the other night. Grandma was there, and because my family is so awesome, my father even made me a batch of about 8 cheesy taco shells
! (Thanks, Dad!)
I'd just returned from that hike with my brother and ate them all with glee. After dinner, feeling incredibly drained, I stood up ... and dropped my hat. My grandmother saw this and proclaimed, "Don't worry, DJ. I'll get it. I'll even do it with my right hand!" She then proceeded to shuffle over to me, gently leaning against me as she did so. She then bent down, collected my hat and reached way up over my head to put it on me. I looked like one of those guys you see at the mall, with his hat turned slightly sideways. Soooo cool!
What does any of this have to do with a Pumpkin Smoothie? I'm glad you asked!
See, when I'm cooking, a call or email goes out to friends and family who love attending for all the tasty yummy food! My grandmother is a regular visitor. On this occasion, she offered to help! Here you can see my grandmother building us a tasty delicious Pumpkin Protein Smoothie!
"Look, DJ, BOTH
HANDS!" ... The little engine that could!
Grandma ... you have no idea what an inspiration you are to me!