The Joy of Blogging: Grandma and the Camino

Before my parents took off for the weekend, they asked if I could do them a favor and drop something off at my grandmother’s house.  I agreed – not just to maintain my #1 Daughter status, but also because I was moving in less than a week and visiting Grandma was something I needed to do before I left.

Time with Grandma, however, wasn’t on my checklist. I had to pack for my move.  Call the editor of Busted Halo with a decision as to if I would again blog for them. Answer the fifty e-mails sitting in my in-box in my quest to get down to zero before I left. 

Instead of doing any of that, I sat on the internet looking up delicious-sounding vegetarian dishes.  I switched over to  I perused the other articles, trying to figure out how/if I could fit in and what angle I would take.  I went to the posts I had written earlier, and that’s when it hit me.

I started to print all the posts I’d written about the Camino (on white paper) and the comments (on yellow paper).  When I was finished, I called Mom and Dad to find where they stored a three-hole-punch.  I punched all the pages and put them in a black one-inch thick binder.  Then, I headed to Grandma’s.

As I walked toward the front of her building, I saw her and one of her friends heading out.  “Where you going?” I asked.

“Oh – I completely forgot you were coming!” Grandma said.  “We’re going to pick up Chinese.  Why don’t you come?”

Getting in a car driven by my 88-year-old grandmother wasn’t something I was looking forward to.  I was a little slow on the uptake and agreed – later wondering why I didn’t just offer to drive. Off we went.  I tried to look out the side windows, or at the speedometer hoping she wouldn’t go too much faster than I would have.

The drive wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Probably because the Chinese food place was less than a mile away and only required right turns. We brought the food back to her house and sat down to eat.  I’m pretty sure this was the first time in my life I’ve eaten anything other than Italian food at my grandmother’s home.  I felt a little like I was in another dimension.

She asked about my trip and, as happened frequently since I’ve returned, I stumbled over where to start, what to say.  But I had a book of words I had written along The Way.  I don’t think Grandma fully understood what the binder was when I handed it to her, but she promised to look at it before I came back two days later for the traditional Sunday meatballs.  (Note: Sunday would be the first time I headed to Grandma’s and would not eat meatballs as I’d become a vegetarian three months earlier, but I wasn’t going to get into that yet.)

That evening, back at Mom and Dad’s, the phone rang.  I don’t usually answer their phone as I don’t really live there and the calls are not usually for me.  But the caller ID said it was Grandma, so I picked it up.

“I just had to call,” she said.  “I’m three-quarters of the way through your book and I just can’t put it down!”  Well, apparently she could since she had to put it down in order to call me…but that’s beside the point. “This is just so amazing.  I feel like I’m right there with you. I can’t believe you did this.”

Though I had printed out the comments more for me to relish in later than anything, Grandma loved those too. She was amazed, like I was, that total strangers wrote responses to my posts.

During this conversation, it struck me that the best part of writing for Busted Halo while I was on the Camino was this: that I had a book my grandmother could read to understand a bit more about what I had just accomplished.



On Sunday, I went to Grandma’s and turned down meatballs explaining I was a vegetarian.

“Well, at least have some of the sauce,” she said.

“I can’t eat that either.”

“What? Why not?”

“Because you cooked the meatballs in the sauce.”

“Really?” She scrunched up her face, thoroughly mystified.

She scoured the refrigerator.  Like any Italian grandmother would have, there were plenty of other choices in there. She breathed a great sigh of relief when I accepted her offer of roasted red peppers.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. sandy tabin says:

    Well done. Will we be hearing what Asheville’s like here ? Like so many others I’m considering move to NC . Considering Chapel Hill .
    3 months to the day I saw a movie called Vegucated at the Rosendale theatre. It was a benefit for the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Place was filled and the film maker present ; answering questions after. Have been a vegetarian since.

    1. Hi Sandy –
      I became a vegetarian a few days after seeing Vegucated too! Watched it at Upstate in Rhinebeck and had the Q&A with the filmmaker as well:)

      Asheville and Chapel Hill are quite a bit different I’d say. I’d recommend visiting both – ideally via so you can really get the sense of it from the perspective of the locals.

      I’m never sure what I’ll write about on this blog. Asheville is all I thought it would be, I do know that. If you find yourself planning a visit here, do let me know. Would be happy to host or at least show you around:)

      1. sandy tabin says:

        Hi Rebecca,
        A very charming movie. Thanks for the couch surfing tip ; first I’d heard of it. Was just there in May (a fresh vege)but, have never seen old town. Have a connection with crafts and Penland .You could maybe look up Anvil Arts Studio in the mountains . As a friend of mine there might say “That’s very kind.” Being somewhat adventurous myself it could happen. I’ll be sure to post prior to next visit.

  2. Dear Rebecca,
    Good luck in the new home,(where?) and on your new voyage into the world out there…Sounds as if Cathy Seehase has started you on her new venture into the meatless world…Good for you…I, would rather die…….meatballs are my fave….and I would be glad to visit grandma and have your share. I am trying to cook more veggies than normal, if that counts for anything.. Just good-bye and God bless……love, kathryn farina….<3<3.

    1. Hi Kathy –
      Am in Asheville these days. Actually, I became vegetarian independent of Kathy – didn’t know she had switched til after I had. Cooking more veggies certainly counts. The vegetarian life isn’t for everyone, but if what I’m doing inspires someone to try a meatless dinner one night a week, or to eat more veggies, I’m happy:)

  3. Pat says:

    Good morning Rebecca…That was a great idea to put your Camino blogs in a binder for your Gma…you are a thoughtful daughter and granddaughter and I enjoy reading your blog as you make your way…peace and good…pat

    1. Thanks for reading, Pat:)

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