confessions: cruising and chasing boys with great grandma

gma johnston

I was 17 years old. My grandparents were in the front seat of their late 80s Oldsmobile Ciera sedan, and I sat in the back with my great grandmother, who was also in her late 80s.

We drove through Longview, Washington, on a clear, sunny November day en route to my cousin’s birthday party at a pizza place.

As we cruised down the long highway stretch of Longview, I looked to my left and a few young guys in a muscle car were flashing smiles and revving the engine.

I turned to my great grandmother. “Those boys are smiling at you, Grandma!”

She laughed, smiled that beautiful smile and waved them off.

The boys continued to speed alongside our Oldsmobile and soon my grandpa was in on the fun, telling great-grandma she should stop flirting with those kids. We lost them as we turned into the pizza place.

“It’s been a long time since that has happened,” Great-grandma said.

It’s not often a girl is cruising with her grandparents and gets chased by a couple of hot rods. But it is one of my favorite memories of my great-grandmother. She was always up for a drive and every family gathering was an adventure with her.


I miss her so much already.

Great-grandma made everyone feel like family. She was the first person you looked for at a family function. She was the definition of joy, grace and hospitality. I dream of growing up to be as like her as I possibly can.

I also hope one day, when I’m more than 80 years old, I can cruise the town with my children and great-grandchildren and still laugh at silly boys in their hot rods.

Do you have a fun memory with one of your grandparents? Please share! 

Much love,

one of the proud great-granddaughters of Leona Marie Johnston

cfrq web



More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • Sandra Ardoin

    Years ago, my grandmother and her two sisters-in-law drove to Texas to visit me. I lived in a rental house in the country that was owned by the company I worked for. One morning while they were there the gentleman who did various odd jobs for the company stopped by to discuss work. He was quite a bit older than me, but younger than the little, widow ladies in my den, and dressed in typical country-boy Texas attire: crisp western shirt, Stetson, jeans, and Justin’s. (This was during the run of “Dallas.”) This man was a very nice good ol’ boy.

    While he and I talked, I heard tittering behind me. I looked and the ladies were huddled together like football players and giggling. After he left, they rushed up to me. “Is he really a cowboy?” “Is he married?” Etc., etc. Alas, I had to break their hearts and tell them he was taken. So, it appears you’re never too old, Nicole. 🙂