Wednesday, June 17, 2009

our trip to gunnison

my dad was born and raised in a small farming town in central utah named, gunnison. since emily and i started dating and since we've been married, we haven't had a chance to go down there to visit my grandma and grandpa.

gunnison is a little boy's dream land. lots of 4-wheelers, motorcycles, vermin hunting, open fields, and for me, a lot of boy cousins the same age as me. so i have lots of great memories of gunnison as a kid. so i wanted to take emily down there to get a feel for herself. plus, we would get to visit G&G frandsen in their element.

grandma and grandpa love their combo garden/park out behind their house, so each visit begins with a tour complete with an explanation of the different flowers and trees they planted.

then grandpa wanted us to take his rhino out for a ride to the farm. pictured below. it's sorta like a cross breed between an ATV and a suped up golf-cart.

so grandpa (remember he turns 90 later this summer) pulled it out, fixed the tire, and told us to take it out along the clarion road (expecting me to know exactly what and where that was) to show her where my dad used to do his farm chores.

well, we dutifully took it out for a little spin. but emily wasn't feeling super hot, so we didn't go that far before we turned around and came back. well, right as we turned back off the farm road into their neighborhood, the rhino sputtered and died. emily jumped over to the driver's seat and i went to push this beast in my work clothes of shorts and flip-flops the extra two blocks back home. after about ten yards, i was like: ok, pull it over, let's walk back and i'll bring some gas back.

let's just say, my mechanic diagnostic skills aren't that fine tuned. any boy who grows up in the suburbs, learns the basics about fixing things, like: lawn mowers, weed whackers, bicycles, car tires, etc. but i never learned much more than that about engines and such. so i just figured it was out of gas and the gas sensor must be on the blink. well, grandpa was much smarter than i.

he had me drive him out there in his classic ford festiva. pictured below.

we got out there, he took one look and told me to go back to the shed and get a chain. i did. and returned. first we hooked the chain up to the rhino. no problem. it has a giant brush guard off the front. then we looked for a place to chain the festiva. not a simple task. it's not really a towing vehicle. after kneeling on the dirt and gravel road and looking around for good place, i suggested the latch from the rear-hatch. the chain hook fit. and we got lucky. lucky as well that the latch didn't pop off because the festiva would have been doomed to a permanently opened rear hatch door.

anyway. we somehow towed the rhino with the festiva back to their house. grandpa started dissembling the rhino, taking out seats, removing the center console, etc. finally we got down to the engine. grandpa looks at me and asks an innocently emasculating question: do you see the spark plugs over there on your side? not wanting to disappoint my rough and tumble, can do, fix-anything, 90 yr old grandpa, i was like: uh, i don't really see it over here. in my head, i was like: uh, i have no idea what you're looking for.

long story short. he found it (on his side, luckily), plugged in the wire, and the rhino fired up right away without problems. i was so proud and not that surprised that grandpa's diagnostic skills were like a well-trained physician and he didn't flinch at all until the work was done. so awesome.

four years in provo and four years in new york city. 8 years from doing real man work in the yard or with machines. needless to say, my limited skills have slipped quite a bit.

anyway, we spent the rest of the day relaxing and listening to grandma tell us stories about different relatives and even some stories about our great-great-polygamous-grandfather and the neighborhoods he settled in salt lake.

it was awesome. i love gunnison.

we finished the day with more family fun. stevey's mom, my aunt pat, threw emily a really fun baby shower at her home in spanish fork with all the women on the frandsen side, plus steven my sister's husband, my dad and me. it was great to see everybody. the last time we all got together like that was when patty hosted our wedding shower at her house last christmas. yet, i don't think we'll have another reason for a shower at our next visit to utah.

we got this cute quilt that the shower attendees tied for us.


ron said...

We love Grandpa, Grandma, Gunnison and all the memories and happy family times spent there. Looking forward to the reunion there next week.

Thanks, Pat for the 25th Frandsen shower. We always enjoy tying, eating and 'catching up' on family.
~ Shauna
PS ~ Peter, I'm proud of your mechanical skills. The picture of the Festiva towing the Rhino is priceless.

petey said...

a bridal shower and a baby shower in 6 months. yikes. thanks frandsens for being so kind to throw us 2 showers so close together! you are all so generous and such fun company to be around!

we had a really wonderful time down in gunnison--grandma and grandpa frandsens' home is the perfect "grandma house" and it was so nice to experience gunnison and to see where the frandsen legacy really got started. thanks grandma for the yummy meal and grandpa for letting us take the rhino out!

petey said...

oops. that last comment was from emily . . .

paul said...

oh i miss my byu...

Nick said...

That has to be my favorite blog post in a long time. Classic Grandpa story. He is so awesome. The Festiva/Rhino combo was hilarious. The only thing missing from this story was the sidecar and some frozen cookies.

Emily, you have now been initiated.

Jill said...

Emily, I'm glad you got the perfect intro to Gunnison. Yes, the festiva/rhino part is a hoot. And why is it that we always say Gunnison, when really they live in Centerfield?

mom/shauna said...

Nick, we did get a glimpse and a story about the sidecar...and Grandma loaded us up with frozen chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

Stephen said...

yes. the perfect grandpa story. deer hunt two years ago he spent the entire saturday reconstructing a hose for some part of the engine, then drove the hand-fixed truck off the mountain. and it was all done with bailing wire...

mom/shauna said...

Stephen, reminds me of the beautiful photo you took of Grandpa's hands 'fixing' and 'mending.'
Was there bailing wire in that photo?

Whitney said...

Cute quilt! Sounds like you guys had fun in Utah. We can't wait to see you tonight!

Dad (TMF) said...

Yes, Gunnison is a suburb of Centerfield.