Posted on March 19, 1999

There are at least 56,828 things to do during spring break. If you have a credit card, or know how to use a stolen one, the number grows exponentially. But there is one activity that rarely gets a lot of hype this time of year.

Some people live a paper airplane's throw away from relatives, but most do not. I'm also betting days, fortnights, maybe even months have passed since your last family visit.

Even Saddam Hussein's grandparents would probably relish a chance to tug at his cheeks every so often. Unfortunately, there are so many look-a-likes running around Iraq that most relatives have given up by now.

If I had a doppelganger, my grandparents would probably see more of me. Things haven't been terrific for the four of them lately. They've all been in and out of the hospital about as often as Dennis Rodman quits and rejoins a random NBA squad.

My grandfather has endured two surgeries in two months. He has logged so much hospital time that he's earned his medical degree and will perform his own surgery.

My grandmother had a knee replaced, which will possibly knock her out of contention in the 1999 Boston Marathon. She had been walking Louisville malls to prepare for the event.

My other grandparents had doctor's appointments earlier this week. It's probably just another ploy to visit the city because they live 20 minutes south of Louisville.

A perfect world would give me a chance to visit my grandparents at will and possibly do so in the Mystery Machine. Even though that's not the case, I still try diligently to visit them when I go home. I usually have time because all my friends assume I'm in the Witness Protection Program, considering the amount of time I see them.

My dad's parents try to persuade me to play bingo, another great idea for an Olympic sport. It's amazing to watch people who remember seeing the Declaration of Independence signed daub 45,781 bingo cards simultaneously.

On the other hand, my mom's parents watch every college basketball game because they have a satellite provider. My grandma recently turned down the Notre Dame coaching position, although the New Jersey Nets' offer is still on the table.

There are so many things my grandparents have done. But the biggest thing they have taught is I can make my own decisions. Whether I want to join a random cult or spend a week inside Big Lots, they would back my judgment.

Some might say I've been fortunate enough to spend ample time with the quartet. I disagree. It is not possible to spend enough time with them. I would love to hear more war stories from one grandpa or more construction and farming stories from the other.

Plus, every visit to grandma's comes with an awesome reward — food. I am a macaroni and apple pie connoisseur, dishes that my grandmas have perfected. I would settle for a home-cooked meal any day versus a high-priced, French-named delicacy at a luxury resort.

If you have a spare spring break, I could use it. There are some really cool people I'd like to see again.