This past May, my granddaughter, Kala, and her fiancé, Trevor, returned to Florida from Asia where they’d taught English for four years. Happy to be back in the United States, they visited family for a couple of weeks and then embarked on their new adventure: a move to Portland, Oregon.

When Kala was born, Helen smilingly said that after raising the four boys, I finally had my little girl. Although our visits have been infrequent because of the miles between us, we’ve made the most of our times together. Our “Grandmopps Days” come to mind: we’d go to a nice restaurant for lunch where we’d share our thoughts, ideas and feelings, and then to a happy, girly movie. I treasure the hours-long chats we’ve had, the places we’ve seen, afternoon tea at The Plaza, the not-so-formal teas at my house. She calls me her Magical Grandmopps. How cool is that?

Last week, I received an envelope in the mail from Kala—yes, one can get a personal note among all those catalogs!  Not surprising, given that my granddaughter is artistic and thinks “outside the box,” the envelope was covered with a pattern of printed envelopes in all colors.  What wonderful surprises were waiting for me!

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Typical of Kala’s imagination and creativity, she had gifted her Grandmopps with these special treasures: Matching the envelope pattern was a Tic Tac Toe card marked with an “x” in the first block; now it is my turn to put my “o” and send the card back, etc. until we have a winner!

On a card, entitled “Our Favorites,” with a column for “Grandparent” and one for “Grandchild” were listed dessert, season, hobby, book, animal, color, TV show, board game, holiday, candy, thing about you, etc.  Kala completed her column; it is up to me to fill in my column.  Instructions at end of columns?  “Save this forever.”

Trevor got in the act, too.  He enclosed a business card for his soon-to-be-marketed hot sauce:  “Fever Dream, hot sauce co.”
My favorite treasure was this note on the inside envelope flap: “Trevor walked me home from work and we picked these leaves together.” Tenderly pressed together was a leaf from an oak tree and several from an elm.  This exceptional addition to my treasures is typical Kala.

I have inserted my “o” next to Kala’s “x” on the Tic Tac Toe card; I am giving much thought to my answers on “Our Favorites” card.  When completed, they will be on their merry way to Oregon.  Oh, by the way, she also slipped in a note:  “Listen to ‘Where or When’ by Peggy Lee.”  Poignant lyrics and again, classic Kala.

Thank you my Kala for this magical and whimsical gift.  Until our next Skype “visit,” hugs and kisses to you and Trevor from your loving Grandmopps!