Toward the end of the visit of our English friends, Charlie spent quite a bit of time chatting with John in front of his computer. I didn’t find out until later that Charlie thought we might want to replace some of the Nerf bullets. He loved playing with the guns and probably wanted to make sure the next visitors had plenty of ammo. Christine explained that Charlie is used to researching purchases online. If there is something he wants, he is a veteran comparison shopper. The older man and the boy shopped a bit and looked at funny videos of Nerf guns that Charlie knew about. When the subject of church came up, Charlie said he would go with us.
We gave Charlie his choice of seats in the Jeep. He opted for the configuration our grandsons like, that is, sitting in the rear with legs stretched over the folded seat ahead.
The ride to church was fun. The service itself was interesting to Charlie until the sermon. He participated fully until the whole thing became extremely tedious as we sat and sat and sat. I was tempted to wiggle myself. The more unbearable it became, the more he controlled himself, behavior you might expect from a proper English lad. His parents would have been so proud of him. I had seen Charlie the day before when the park ranger’s talk was beyond endless. His mother had moved across the clearing to help quiet Wesley. After a reasonable amount of time sitting motionless, he stood up and constantly bounced around from log to boulder. I thought it was a good solution, because he got the fidgets out and did not impede anyone else’s view. There was no such outlet in church. If anyone deserved a reward, it was Charlie.
He went in with us to pick up barbecue sandwiches to take home for lunch. There weren’t many choices, so he opted for pulled pork without slaw. To his credit, he ate it all without complaint. The fun part? He and his parents had never had hushpuppies before, hushpuppies being the standard side served with BBQ in North Carolina.
In retrospect, I should have asked his mother before offering Charlie dessert. Instead, I asked him to give me an “ice cream face” to photograph and dished up Extreme Moose Tracks ice cream for him and his dad. Christine seemed to understand that the aged and the young can end up in cahoots with each other. The house is very empty today.