Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Redeemed

Just when it seemed like summer was lost in census work, the last couple of weeks have been full and complete. We can now face starting a new school year with good memories behind us. And, of course, summer is not over yet!

Once my work ended, I needed to focus on my grandkids. Kelsey and Seth are in town for such a short time and my girls love being with them. We looked for simple things to do since finances prevent us from going to big events and expensive places. Jon suggested a hike along the river with his family. At first Kelsey and Seth weren't too sure abou that. What would we do? What was there to see? Water, trees...

The trail is incredibly quiet. It isn't desirable for cyclists because it isn't paved. Jon led us to a rocky beach and the kids tried to capture tiny toads. We skipped flat stones across the slow moving river and we shared in Jon's world. He is an outdoor guy and has explored this area many times.

Our long walk led to pairing up and good conversation. When do we ever have time for that anymore? Jon and Seth led the way. I was glad to spend time with my daughter-in-law. Lana and Liana were in their own world of imagination. Kelsey and Arielle lingered behind, deep in girl talk. We ended our adventure with ice cream!

We spent another day at Nick's house, looking out for all five of his kids while he and Kristina worked. At first I thought, what would we do? Small house, very hot day, no room in my car for all of us to go somewhere. But I enjoyed the time with the little ones. Laci is two, such a delightful age, and Deacon is a calm, affectionate, good-natured baby. Mattie and Liana have lots of fun together. Yes, that is Seth with a moustache. He wore it most all the time. The older kids had fun playing Scattergories in teams and the room filled with laughter.

On our last visit with Kelsey and Seth, I took them to a park they had enjoyed last year. Kelsey admitted it wasn't quite as much fun this year--after all, she is 15. I guess this will be our last year here. The magic has gone. But the kids still climbed the rocks and ran up and down the stairs in the big castle.

We stopped at a grocery store on the way home and bought all their favorite junk food for dinner. Grandmothers are allowed to do that. I wanted Kelsey and Seth to enjoy their last dinner with us, picky eaters as they are. I bought hamburgers and waffle fries and chips and ice cream.

As we prepared dinner, Jon's family came over, along with Marissa and Damien and Gretchen. They all wanted to see the kids before they left. Kelsey and Seth seemed surprised. I told them everyone was there just for them. As we walked them to the car, they were surrounded with lots of hugs and last minute words to be careful and make good choices. I hope they feel the love of their family and that it will carry them through when they are so far away.

Everyone went home. It's quiet again at our house. We had summer after all.

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