Grandma Jacobson is my mother’s beloved mother whose words run through all of our hearts:

When you master the seemingly impossible, it does something for you that fits into your very character for a lifetime, and makes the next impossible thing seem that much easier.”

Grandma Jacobson

Those words she wrote in her journal during some particularly difficult growing-up-on-a-farm experiences have encouraged all of us, and our kids, to embrace the “impossible” in any way we can!

That tall, slender, ultra-athletic woman took herself lightly and also scared our pants off in the practicing piano category.

She meant business I tell you! I feel like maybe she’s giving the business to my mom about something or other in this photo: ha!

But oh her heart was as good as gold. See her off to the left behind me in the pink in this picture:

Oh I love that lady!

She passed away shortly after Dave and I got married, but he has the best memories of her. The first time he met her she was laying on her bed after a pretty awful hip injury watching the 49ers play football. Oh she was hollering for that beloved team of hers and Dave knew she’d be a kindred spirit right from the start.

Grandma Jacobson’s House

Since we grew up spending our summers at Bear Lake every year, we spent a lot of time at Grandma Jacobson’s house. We sometimes had sleepovers. We could walk to the grocery store to buy treats. Every summer we planted a big garden at her house and came in to weed and tend it each week. And that woman had the best dress-ups since both her daughters were in beauty pageants. Yep. Have I ever mentioned my mom was Miss Bear Lake? And my aunt went on to be the first runner up to Miss Idaho. Yes they were a pageant family.

Anyway, this last summer my mom contacted the awesome women who now own Grandma Jacobson’s house and they were pleased as punch for us to come relive some memories walking through that place.

We loaded up my brother’s sprinter van, every one of us nine kids plus my sister-in-law and parents, (Dave and most of the other spouses were gone by this time) and headed on in to see that house filled with so many of our memories.

We whisked by all those fields we passed in our childhood, still green with crops and huge wheeled sprinklers.

And arrived at that old, well-cared for home that used to be “ours.”

Here’s an old picture from long ago to show a different stage of upkeep on that thing:

Here’s the attic room that used to be painted purple and held all of my mom’s old memorabilia and a really squishy double bed we’d sleep on.

Here’s the kitchen:

It has changed so much but we could all envision all those hot cakes our Grandma would whip out for us in the mornings. And the creamed peas and potatoes she would make with the fresh vegetables we would harvest from the garden. That’s very importantly where I was introduced to Frankenberry cereal (dreamy to my young elementary-aged self). Ha!

Here’s the family room where we would sit and snap beans and shell peas in front of whatever sports our Grandma would have on the television:

We explored the downstairs we all thought was so spooky growing up.

Her old bedroom was so different, but loved remembering it as the spot where hundreds of games of Yahtzee were played.

We explored the back yard that used to be half-way filled up with our summer garden:

It was quite a trip down memory lane!

The ground-breaking for the Montpelier Temple

Montpelier, where this old home is and where my mom grew up, seems to be an unlikely place for a temple.

But a couple conferences ago they announced there would be one built right there in that spot. I had to rewind and re-listen. Montpelier, Idaho?? It’s tiny. But I guess it’s a middle ground for so many small towns in that area.

And as luck would have it, the spot where the temple will be built is literally kitty-corner right across the street.

If you’re standing right there (above) and you turn around and look back to your left, behind those glowing trees, there sits my Grandma’s house:

How crazy is that? It will be fun to watch the progression.

We drove past my mom’s old high school:

And down Main Street that is filled up with deserted shops.

I think the temple will do much to revitalize this old town.

Then we drove on home through golden clouds, all filled up in the van again.

…with a quick stop to do a little headshot of my brother Tal who needed to turn it in for a book he is writing:

(The book is called Dad Mode and I think it’s going to be SO GOOD!)

Drove along that dirt road filled up with so many of our memories back and forth through the years, back to the commotion of the lake.

As I embark on this business of Grandmother-hood I sure have a lot of examples to look up to.

And my Grandma Jacobson is one of the best of the best. Love to think of her rooting us all on as we embark on our own different “impossibles” in life.

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  1. This is lovely that you got to visit your Grandma’s house & to see where the temple is being built.

    I bet the house brought back lots of happy memories.

    It’s great too that you got to go there with your Mum, Dad & brothers & sisters.

    Just curious, how did your Grandma injure herself at the football match/game?

    1. She didn’t get injured playing football, she was just watching football. The injury actually happened while she was bowling! (She was a really good bowler too:)

  2. That’s so neat that the family that lives there let you come back to visit! I will admit, 5 years ago, I was renting a house, and my landlord said a former owner wanted to visit as you did, and I said no (the landlord graciously said it was my decision). I found it odd they wanted to visit, but now seeing your post I feel a little guilty!

    1. Oh ha! I think my mom happens to know these ladies so they were more willing to have us come see everything, I can totally understand why it would be weird. But yes, so many good memories fill up that house, we were so grateful we got to go in!

  3. Oh Shawni, thank you for posting all these precious pictures of my childhood home and our neighborhood, including the temple site! The two older single sisters who had bought the house were so excited to show us what they had done with it. They were cousins of one of my dearest friends from high school. I had stopped by a week before and they had welcomed me in. They said that the people who bought their childhood home in the valley had thoroughly trashed it which made them so sad. They are both into restoration and were thrilled to share the beautiful things that done with the home with us. They knew my mom and said that they felt her lovely spirit there often. We all felt it that day. They were so kind and welcoming. It was a day to remember!

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