The summer evening is perfect. Certain Man invites Delaware Grammy to go for a ride with him on the golf cart. Our only Granddaughter is chomping at the bit, dancing in eager anticipation. She
knows is fairly certain that she is going along.
There is a little guy here tonight. He has a new baby brother and his Auntie Chris is babysitting for him while his Daddy is visiting his Mommy. He had his turn to observe this new blip on his horizon, but he was more troubled by his Mommy being in the hospital bed than he was impressed with the beautiful baby brother. He is always up for a tussle with Uncle Daniel, and tonight they run around in the way that Certain Man always does with little people. I love how Certain Man is fully engaged as he tosses and hides around the corner to jump out and tickle and laugh. He just likes little ones so much!
Charis is pensive. She sidles up to her Mama and whispers, “I don’t think Grandpa likes me any more because he is being so nice to Jamison!” I notice the whispering, and Christina tells me what is worrying Charis’ little head.
“What???” Says Grammy, more than a little indignantly. “You KNOW that isn’t true, Charis-girl! Grandpa loves you just the same. Besides. Who is going along on the golf cart ride?”
“I am, but — ”
“Oh, Charis-girlie! You don’t need to worry. Grandpa loves you!”
Her little face was a mask of worry, and she shrugged her shoulders, unconvinced. I heard a deep sigh.
Then Grandpa took matters into his own hands and said, “Are you ready? Let’s go do the golf cart ride!”
She jumped up, ready to go! But then little Jamison doesn’t want to be left out! He begins prancing around, clapping his little hands and saying what sounds like “Me, me, me!”
“Aw, he wants to go, too,” says his Auntie Chris. Charis looks a bit taken aback, but her cute little cousin wins her over, and she decides that we should take him, too. She and Grandpa decide who is going to ride where, and we pile on. Grandpa drives, Jamison is squished between us, and Charis rides in the back, giving directions.
(Not exactly a flattering picture, but oh, well–)
“But don’t go through the woods, Grandpa,” she instructs. She has lately taken a dislike for the neighboring tree farm, a tangle of undergrowth and vines. Certain Man has an understanding with the neighbors, and there are quiet paths and a sort of almost sinister beauty among the tall trees.
“Oh, Charis,” says Grandpa emphatically. “We have to go through the woods! It isn’t any fun if we don’t go through the woods.”
He heads out across the lawn at a fast clip, and she says, “Grandpa, Grammy’s gonna’ fall off! Be careful!”
“Oh, she’s okay,” says this Grandpa on a roll. “She won’t fall off!”
“I’ll hold on to her,” announces a voice behind me and I feel a little hand take a less than secure hold on mine. I look back and see that she isn’t holding on to anything besides my hand.
“Hang on, Charis!” I tell her. “Hold on tight! Grandpa is driving fast!” We make a sharp turn into the woods and I look back to see a look of dismay on her face. “Hon–” I speak quietly to the brash navigator. “Our girlie is worried.” Then over my shoulder, I ask, “Hey, Charis! Do you want to come up here with us?”
“Yes, I do,” came the instant reply.
“Just wait until I get up here to the edge of the woods, Charis,” says her Grandpa. “That way you won’t need to walk on the weeds or through any brush to get around.” Back out of the woods and into the sunshine, he stops and she clambers to the front. “Where are you going to sit?” He asks her.
“On Grammy’s lap,” she asserts while doing just that. And now we are off in the direction of the neighbors sunflower field. The weeds are growing as thick there as the flowers, but we stop and Charis looks for the “perfect” one to pick for “Auntie Karen.”
We try hard to get Jamison to help find a flower, too, or to even just stand by one that is his size for the sake of a picture, but he wants nothing of it. He marches right back to the golf card and climbs back in. He isn’t able to quite get up on the seat, so he plants himself on the floor, ready to ride some more.
Well, that’s okay with the powers that be. Charis has three flowers and she is ready to go. Grammy is just along for the ride, so she is okay with going. Our fearless Chauffeur makes sure we are all in our places and heads out for a few more quick turns and sharp ditch banks, enjoying the protests from his girls with that amused look on his face. And then it is back to the farmhouse at Shady Acres. The night is coming in, and Grandpa wants to work in the next door trailer for a while yet tonight. Charis is spending the night here at Grandpa and Grammy’s house, and Jamison’s Daddy will be by to pick him up after a while.
Delaware Grammy listens to the evening sounds of a family settling in for the night. There is a bath in the laundry sink for a little guy, and a sleeping bag spread out for a tired girlie. Certain Man and Youngest Daughter head out to try to get a little bit of work done at the trailer while the night is still somewhat young. Jamison has a story and devours some fruit snacks and animal crackers. In the distance, I hear Nettie’s television, probably tuned to Family Feud while she sleeps in her chair. Cecilia coughs to remind me that she needs to be taken to bed. Charis is sleeping soundly now, and Caleb comes to pick up his boy, so Christina heads home. The house is quiet except for the ticking clocks and occasional chime.
So many things to be happy about. Family, little ones, quiet conversations, adventures that are especially suited for a Grammy as well as the little ones, love, and sweet, sweet memories of other times and other places.
For all of this, and so much more, my heart gives grateful praise.