Even though we don’t celebrate Christmas, my in-laws do. So we drove up to their place this Sunday to have lunch together with my mother-in-law’s sister, Geri, and grandma Luella. She is a fine 95 y.o. lady who always has great stories to tell. Grandma Lu is my mother-in-law’s aunt. She’s still in a good shape. Well… considering she’s just 5 years shy from becoming a centenarian. Grandma Lu said, if it’s not because of her cataracts, she’d still driving.

What striked me was, in the middle of waiting patiently for the food to be ready, grandma Lu and I chat about home. My home.

“So I’ve heard about what happened this summer. Were your folks OK?”
“Huh?” I was busy chewing holiday goodies.
“Oh… you know, the natural disaster. What’s it called? The one that hit Java island.”
Big gulp. Didn’t expect her to know I’m related to Java island let alone current events such as tsunami that hit Pangandaran July this year.
“Oh yeah… the tsunami. No, my family’s fine. They do live on that island but in a different city.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. Didn’t an earthquake hit Java too not too long ago?”
Wow… I’m really impressed. Not an ordinary conversation with an old Iowan lady.
“Yes, you’re right. An earthquake hit Yogyakarta in West Java a month before the tsunami. How’d you know all these, grandma Lu?”
“I listen to news on TV.”
Say what?
“Well, I can’t see the TV anymore. Everything is blurry. So I listen.” She smiled, probably noticed my raised eyebrows and dumb look on my face.
“I see. So, other than the news channels, what else do you watch the most?”
“Discovery channel. My favorite is the Discovery Health reports.”

Way to go, grandma Lu!