Star Wars and International Summer


My grandmother was born in 1944. She was a single mother who raised two kids. My grandmother loves to cook, and she is the best cook in the world. She loves to travel and explore different cultures and art. She is infinitely creative and can think of a better way to do nearly anything. My grandmother inspires me with her stories of travel and everyday life when she was young. One of these stories was told to me by my grandmother, about when the first “Star Wars” came out. The second is about a summer where we explored the cultures from around the world. I hope these stories will show you how lucky I am to have a person like her in my life, telling me stories and guiding me to try new things.

“Star Wars” Wonder

When the first Star Wars movie came out, in 1977, my grandmother saw it six times. She told us it was one of the first space movies that had come out, so it was very exciting at that time. My grandmother told me how the special effects were so amazing and the plot so exciting that when she saw it in the theater, nobody ate popcorn or talked, they just stared at the screen, trying to soak up every little detail.

She told me that at the time, my mother would have been about six or seven years old, and my uncle would have been four or five. My grandmother first saw the movie to see if she could show it to her kids. The second time she saw it, she took my mom and my uncle, after she decided it was appropriate. My grandmother took her parents to see Stars Wars the third time. She went again with her friends, then she took some of my mom’s friends. She also took her sisters. My grandmother says she never got tired of the movie because it was so new and wonderful and great.

My grandmother showed me the toys and posters she bought for her kids. I vaguely remember playing with them when I was little, but I hadn’t yet seen Star Wars, so I had no idea what they were.

An International Summer

The summer I was 11, my sister and I went over to my grandma’s house every Thursday. One afternoon, while sprawled on her couch, enjoying air conditioning and general peacefulness, she called my name from the kitchen where she was probably cooking something tasty and homemade.

“Girls, I have an idea,” my grandmother said to my sister and me, “Every week let’s choose a different country, and then we’ll cook their food and explore their culture.”

So we did. The first country we chose was Thailand. My sister claimed cooking, and she and my grandmother made cucumber salad and chicken satay. We had to go to Jay’s International Groceries to buy bizarre foods for the dishes. At the store, we also bought a dragon fruit, which was a strange Thai fruit that tasted like a kiwi, but not as sweet. I made Thai headdresses using paper crowns and gold paint. I decorated the dining room for the meal, and when dinner time rolled around, the food was delicious!!!

We also chose Switzerland. I cooked meatballs and rösti, and for dessert we made a Swiss-style apple tart. My sister and I made cuckoo clocks out of construction paper and decorated the room with the Swiss flag. My grandmother told us stories of when she went to Switzerland to visit her former exchange student, and she showed us tapes of a wedding she went to that was in Switzerland.

Our next country was Mexico. We made tamales and other Mexican dishes and invited the whole family over to eat. My grandmother and I practiced our Spanish, and my sister decorated the house with streamers and flags and Mexican art we found in the house. This Mexican day was the biggest one we did, and we transformed it into more of a party.

Australia was the following country. I forgot what we cooked, but we watched a movie called “Tracks,” which is about a woman who traveled across the Australian outback with only her dog and four camels.

Next, we chose Italy. We cooked pizza bread, and we went to Viviano’s Grocery Store in the Hill to get fresh mozzerella and fancy pepperoni to put in our bread. We bought traditional Italian blood-orange soda, too. My grandmother also bought us marzipan, which my sister and I sculpted into little creatures and candies when we got home. We painted pictures of the photos my grandmother took when she went to Italy with my grandmother’s fancy acrylics. After dinner, my grandmother had made tiramisu, which was a new food for me, and it was heavenly.

Submitted by Chloe, Age 13