Blog, children, Family, grandchildren

Foggy, Froggy and Soggy

Day 326

We spent the morning fishing in the tidal creed off the dock. It was hot with the heat index hovering around 109°F.

Not much luck catching anything edible although I did catch a shark and a small sting ray. Neither of which I would attempt to free by myself. Luckily our son-in-law and hubby were there to help. I am okay putting live bait on my hook and removing small fish, but not the dangerous stuff.

Our son-in-law took the kayak out to the small island created at low tide. He was using the cast net to cast for bait.

Unfortunately a storm came up and we all took a break until the storm blew over. We tried a little more fishing but the drizzling rain and the cooler temperatures signaled time to call it for the day.

After a nice dinner of homemade tacos we did some crafts and then played a couple of games of Uno which was lots of fun.

Three of the German Short Haired Pointers are here, so after dinner there was a huge pile of dogs and people intertwined relaxing and watching a little TV. Our granddaughter made peanut butter balls and coconut balls for snacks.

After a good night’s sleep we had a relaxed morning. Now it is time to pack up and head home. It’s been nice being with family and enjoying the water.

Blog, grandchildren, healing, memories, sister

Memories Past and Memories in the Making

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Day 319

Yesterday was the 9th anniversary of my sister Rosie’s passing. I think this is the first year I had not been counting down the days and dreading the arrival of the day. This year I didn’t remember until later in the day. That is how I want it, though. I want to move beyond the grief and celebrate all the days of her life rather than dwelling on the days of her illness preceding her death. She deserves more than that.

I wrote a lot about my grief and the loss of my sisters in my prior blog. I do not want to repeat all of those feelings here. If you care to read, you can read Things I Cannot Tell You by clicking here. I am holding her life in my heart today. She lived out loud for sure.

Yesterday afternoon our oldest grandson came up to spend a little time with us. He is going into his senior year in two weeks and will be applying to college soon. This age is remarkable. So mature in so many ways, yet still that little boy we have loved from the very start.

Last night we watched two Pink Panther movies (the remakes with Steve Martin). We picked up Thai food (I was pleased he wanted to try it) and ate in front of the TV which he is not allowed to do at home. Then we progressed to the dining room where we laughed while playing three games of Yahtzee. We each won one game so it was well balanced. When he was little, he was such a poor loser. He and Grandpa loved to gang up on me when we played strategy games. As he grew, so did his mind. I remember one game of Risk where he took over the world!

We played what he calls the Wikipedia Game. It is a six degrees of separation type game. The play entails all players starting at a given Wikipedia page. Then the goal is to follow links through Wikipedia until one player wins by finding his or her way to a very dissimilar Wikipedia page. One example was going from the Wikipedia definition for space to the Wikipedia definition of cat. It was a lot of fun for someone with nerdy tendencies like me. I was trying to explain the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game until he said he couldn’t play that because he did not know all those old actors. Ha!

We offered snacks before gong to bed. He declined. He just started training for cross country so he is very focused on what he eats. So disciplined!

I am up but he is still sleeping up in the guest room. We will hang out today and he will head home in the afternoon sometime. It is so nice to have him here. This is another visit to place in the memory banks.

Hubby is waiting on a call about our whole house generator. Yesterday the top literally blew off the battery. He was outside and it sounded like a gun going off. I ran outside to see him standing beside the generator. Luckily everything was contained, so he was not hurt. Neither of us had ever seen anything like that happen, so we will have someone come and check it out before just simply replacing the battery.

Just another day in the life here. Memories past and memories in the making. I would not want it any other way.

Blog, grandchildren, reflection

Reflections on a Sunday Morning

Day 315

It is extremely quiet since the grandkids were returned home yesterday. There is something special about these relationships. A trust that is unlike anything else. As much as I am tired, I miss the sense of wonder and the honest love that children bring into our lives.

Wrapping Up

We wrapped up our visit with a trip to mine for gems. Each child came out with a quart sized bag of various minerals. They loved discovering something beautiful as the water washed away the dirt. Later in the day we washed them all and laid them out to dry. Our 9 year old found all my books on mineral and gem identification and went about trying to identify all of the rocks she now had in her possession.

Friday night we watched one of my favorite Disney films: “The Three Lives of Thomasina”. We chose it because the grandchildren were so enthralled with the neighbor’s cat. It is an older classic which many people have never heard of or have never seen. I see someone posted the video on YouTube, but here is the trailer for those of you that have never seen it, or for those of you that loved it like I did.

Other Things

I normally monitor my blog comments rather closely, but since it was a busy week, I had not done so for a while. I had the normal spam comments, but there were also comments from bloggers who I have previously approved for automatic posting to my blog. I approved the comments and indicated to WordPress they were NOT spam I. Hopes it does something with the algorithm in hopes it does not happen again.

I am still working on a short story although last week my efforts were thwarted by lack of time. Perhaps I will make progress this week.

In two weeks we may go stay a few days with our daughter at a house they are renting for their family vacation. A change of scenery sounds nice.

Today my daughter and her family are flying to New Jersey for a family vacation with her wife’s family. My granddaughter is taking her first plane ride and I am hoping it all goes well and becomes a happy memory for her. She will get to meet her great-grandmother on this trip and that will be an amazing experience for the entire family. Four generations to celebrate!

We will be staying with our oldest grandson and the dogs while his parents take a trip to Ireland in September. He will be back in school starting his senior year in high school. It just does not seem possible. He started coming to stay a week with us in the summer when he was 4.

I am looking forward to my Sunday night call with friends. I hope they are going to be available!

Take Aways

My takeaways this week:

  • We all need to be heard. Maybe that is why we blog. Children need this, too.
  • Unexpected, uplifting mail is a treasure. Thank you, Lauren.
  • My grandchildren were delighted to see food growing in the garden and then eating it!
  • Fresh fruits (especially peaches) are more delectable than prepared sweets.
  • Having a purpose for our lives is vastly important.
  • The light is shifting. Summer is preparing her curtsy before her departure.
  • This blog may be the first time I have written the word curtsy.
  • Simple pleasures are the best by far. At least in my world.
Blog, grandchildren, grandmother

Parallels in Life

Day 313

Grandma might not make it.

Ha! I jest, of course, but last night was a rough one. I am always reminded why children are generally blessed to the young. It also reminds me to give a shout-out to all the grandparents who step up to raise their grandchildren when their own parents cannot or will not. I do not know how you do it day-in and day-out.

We actually had a really good day. We walked several times at the request of the little ones. We made some discoveries and the neighbor’s cat came for a visit. They were thrilled to be able to pet him and he was thrilled for the affection.

We managed to give them some time away from each other throughout the day which they desperately need from time to time.

My granddaughter and I made meatloaf for dinner and everyone ate well. We popped some popcorn and watched “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”. Neither of them had seen it but they seemed to enjoy it. I had checked with their dad beforehand and he said they were allowed to watch PG movies. I do not try to parent, just adhere to the rules.

They had some fruit for a snack, then showers and Part III of “Diamond Eyes” before settling into bed. They fell asleep right away. We were home free or so I thought.

About 2:00 AM I woke to my granddaughter wide awake, with the nightlight candle right beside her. I asked what was wrong and she said she could not sleep. I got her settled back and fell asleep. Until 3:00 AM when I heard someone crying.

My grandson was sitting up crying because his sister had pushed him and banged his knee into the dresser. After a quick reminder we do not push or shove each other, I got them resettled and I went downstairs for some water. When I came back, the oldest was in the easy chair with her blanket and pillow so I just let her be.

At 4:45 AM my cell phone went off with my granddaughter’s ringtone. I sat up and looked around the room and she was not there. I bolted out of bed frightened and found her standing inside the guest room door. She had decided to go there to sleep and was texting me to tell me where she was so I would not worry about her. My heart was pounding and I think I startled her in my panic.

So, grandma settled into the guest room with her where she finally went to sleep. I was having fitful crazy dreams by this time. Of course then my daughter called on her way to work at 8:15 A.M. so I got up and made some coffee. It was a night of broken sleep and craziness at grandma’s house!

Yesterday was also our youngest granddaughter’s 2nd birthday. We video chatted with her to say happy birthday. She seemed to have a good birthday and loved the Frozen Card we sent which plays “Let it Go”. She enjoyed playing it over and over and singing at the top of her lungs.

My two grandchildren with us are such a parallel to their dad and his sister. They have the same number of years between them and the oldest is a girl with a little brother that thinks the world of her. Unfortunately, that manifests itself in him hanging on her and hugging her endlessly which she find extremely annoying. They remind me so much of my children as they grew up so their arguments and frustrations are very familiar to me.

My granddaughter is also a deep thinker. She ponders things and questions things and her mind will toss them around for hours. It makes my heart ache, because that was me as a child. I thought about things that most children never gave a second thought about and it opens a place of deep feeling and vulnerability. I hope she has a tougher exterior than I did.

Today will be another day and the only one without rest will most likely be me. We may try to venture to the gem mines and let them have some fun at the sluice table. The buckets are salted which means they plant gems in the buckets so everyone finds something. Nothing like getting your hands dirty to make a kid happy.

The week is ticking by quickly.

Blog, childhood, grandchildren

Holding Space for Feelings

I,age Courtesy of Pixabay

Day 312

Yesterday we ventured out to run a few errands which included a stop by the farmers’ market and Barnes and Noble. At the book store we gave the kids a budget and told them at least half of their expenditures had to be books. They saw very quickly commercial toys are so terribly over-priced their ‘extra’ money did not go far.

Our time at the farmers’ market was brief. I purchased a basket of heirloom tomatoes and a basket of peaches. They love peaches and love knowing I will make a peach cobbler for everyone to enjoy sometime during their visit.

We found a little hotdog restaurant (not normally on our diet) where we stopped for lunch. We were all famished because it was a little later than our normal lunch time. The hotdogs were okay — not great — but they seemed to enjoy them a lot. Their eating habits have reversed. Our 9 year old has slowed down and she is much more selective in what she wants to eat. The 6 year old wants to graze all day long. Must be a growth spurt.

They both fell asleep in the car and slept through a couple of grocery store stops while I ran in and picked up the fixings for meatloaf which is my granddaughter’s favorite meal to help prepare and also help eat!

We came home and they were allowed some screen time with Grandpa while I peeled peaches and made a peach cobbler for dessert. We decided to pull together left-overs for dinner since we had such a late lunch. Then it was time to read and color and just relax a little. Our grandson was so proud of himself for reading a whole book all by himself.

Several times throughout the day the children were bickering and getting on each other’s nerves. They have been in close quarters with each other all summer long. We pulled them apart, each of us spending some quality time with the other. I listened while they both aired their frustration with the other while I tried to explain why things happen and how the other must feel about certain circumstances. They seemed to feel better once they were able to blow off a little steam.

I established a FaceTime call with their parents so they could tell them all about their day. They went into the other room and chatted away for about 30 minutes.

The hunt for lightening bugs was quick since a storm was rolling in and it became quite windy. The bugs were blown around so catching them was difficult. We came in and started to wind down for bedtime. Sleep evaded us all last night. I know they nap in the car kept the kids from sleeping and their squirming and giggling kept us from going to sleep. Grandpa read to them for a while with the promise of Chapter 3 of Diamond Eyes tomorrow.

Today is a planned down day. Tomorrow we will go mining for gems. All in all a good day in the foothills.

Blog, grandchildren, Home

#1LinerWeds – The Night Hour

Day 311

It was another day full of fun. Being summer, the grandkids have a lot of flexibility concerning bedtime and wake-up time. It is no different here. We go full throttle all day.

Yesterday, we had a big brunch because they slept so late. We took walks, watched the birds, chased bubbles and even had fun playing some online games with Grandpa. After a huge chef salad for dinner (with some accompanying chicken nuggets for the little ones) we relaxed before going out to check for lightening bugs.

We were much more successful in our pursuits this time. A few bugs were caught and released and there was much playing with flashlights and just running around in the early darkness.

Nearing bedtime, they requested a Chapter 2 of what they now call ‘Diamond Eyes’, so I invented a new chapter. Once tucked in they were extremely restless. Perhaps ice cream too close to bedtime – way to go Grandma. It took a lot of Grandma fussing for them to settle down. Even so, I could hear them whispering to one another so I asked what was wrong.

I miss Mommy and Daddy.”

I pulled my little one close, hugged him and told him I understood. I turned on one of our battery operated candles (with a timer for shutoff time) to put near him as a nightlight, I tucked him in again with extra hugs but I could tell he remained restless for a while.

Here’s the thing. No matter what fun we have or where we go, we always want to be where we feel the safest. For them, that place is home. I will forever be thankful they have a home that makes them feel safe and happy. I think about how many children do not feel safe or loved at home and it is heartbreaking.

It has been a long fun-filled summer for these two and our visit comes on the end of five weeks of being away from home visiting aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. I understand how much they must miss being at home in their own beds and surrounded by all the things that make them feel safe.

After all, we all want the same thing, don’t we?


One Liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda Hill. If you care to give it a whirl, visit Linda’s blog for the rules (there are not many) and give it a shot.