All Wet

Grocery CartI needed to pick my granddaughter up from her piano lesson in five minutes, and it was a good seven- minute drive from the store where I stood with $219.43 worth of groceries in my cart to the piano teacher’s house. I did not have the luxury of waiting under the store awning with the other shoppers until the torrential downpour ended. Nor did I have the luxury of an umbrella–I had to run to the car. Luckily, I remembered where I parked.

If my husband had been with me, I would not have been in this predicament. With his Smartphone weather app, he keeps me updated on the exact number of hours and minutes until the next rainfall. He, though, was sitting in his office–dry.

So, I ran. Water spewed from the cart’s wheels as I jogged through standing water. Some bags flapped in the air while rain pooled on others. My panting heart filled with thankfulness for every hour spent at the gym as I gasped for air.

As is the way with Kansas weather, seven minutes later the sun was brightly shining. “Thanks for getting me, Nana. I’m sorry you got all wet.”

I love that girl.



As We Age…

Milk in MicrowaveFor the most part, I have adjusted to the aging process. I give credit for my adjustment to the fact I am blessed with good health, good friends, and good family—especially grandchildren.

Still, some days I question whether both John and I are aging normally. One (or both) of us occasionally does something really stupid. For instance, just last week, one of us drove the car into the garage and got out without shutting off the ignition.

We also now know milk stored in the microwave overnight rather than in the refrigerator doesn’t taste good on cereal.

Also, it is not necessary to wear two belts at once.

Fortunately, too, the automatic garage door is only slightly bent and still opens after someone attempted to back the car out of the closed garage door.

We both know the disappointment of arriving home to cold chili and discovering someone failed to turn on the crock pot.  However, we also know the joy of returning to an empty house and finding someone had turned on the television.

On the good side, we are aging.



Mr. Snakey

Dead SnakeA trip to treat my young grandchildren (ages five and six at the time) with a soft-serve, chocolate-dipped ice cream cone on a hot summer afternoon turned into a planning session for “Mr. Snakey’s” funeral service. (I’m not sure how they managed to have a dead garden snake in their possession.)

“Nana, do you have a shoe box?”

“And, a soft, white piece of silk?”

“Do you think “Mr. Snakey” needs a pillow?”

“We will wear our best clothes.”

“I don’t think Mom will let us have the funeral in the house, so we’ll need folding chairs for the yard.”

“Nana, do you think Auntie can come to the funeral and play her violin? Violin music always makes me sad.”

“Nana, maybe you could be the preacher and say some kind words about “Mr. Snakey.”

“You could say he had nice scales.”

“He had really friendly little beady eyes, too.”

“I know, I’ll say ‘the only good snake is a dead snake.’” I said.

“NO, NANA, NO. DON’T SAY THAT,” the kids shouted in unison.

Needless to say, I was not invited to Mr. Snakey’s funeral. The dipped cone was pretty tasty, though.

Parenting Joys

Book CaseSeveral friends and I recently recalled some “parenting joys’ from our children’s youth. Not surprisingly, a couple of us knew the joy of finding a child we feared “lost” asleep somewhere in our homes. We laughed at ourselves, but secretly, thanked God our child was found safe.

Not necessarily a joy, but several of us learned the hard way that “grounding” the child old enough to drive younger siblings to ball practice, a friend’s house, or the library was not a good idea, for while that child who loved to read was in her room reading, the parent was driving the younger siblings to ball practice, a friend’s house, or the library.

Another easily made mistake was allowing a child to over invite guests to a slumber party, especially a slumber party for girls. If “cattiness” or “over-giggling” occurred at 3:00 A.M., and it became necessary to make good on the parental threat to “take everyone home right now,” a lot of gasoline was burned and parental sleep lost. In the case of boys, a large number of boys at a sleep-over consumed a month’s worth of groceries.

Gosh, I miss those days.

Fourth of July Guests

Grilled FoodAs our Nation approaches another Fourth of July, I am mindful of the Fourth of Julys I took for granted. Fireworks exploded in the sky, delicious food consumed, and conversations shared with friends. Some years, particularly during the Viet Nam era and perhaps the first years of our country’s subsequent wars, I may have spent a small amount of time reflecting on the sacrifices made by others. Sadly, my focus was probably upon the menu for the picnic, whether or not the house was clean, and what time the fireworks display began.

This year I am keenly aware of the meaning of the Fourth of July. Recent events cause concern for America’s future. Yes, this year as I celebrate the Fourth with good friends and good food, I will take time not only to appreciate the sacrifices made for freedoms I have as an American citizen, but to fully comprehend the freedoms I take for granted.

I wish, too, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, along with their friends, could join my friends as me as we celebrate the Fourth.

America could use the likes of them today.