Neighbor Logan caught us at a busy time, but he loves a frenetic pace. He appeared at the front door with a bag of marbles, hoping grandsons David and Nathaniel would be free to play with him. Both were getting ready for work, so John agreed to play. We couldn’t remember the rules of the game and had to consult the internet. It seems you begin by drawing a circle in the dirt, but the indoor version calls for defining the circle with thread or string. My shoestring circle was too small, and John’s twine one was too big. After finally getting set up, we found Logan didn’t have enough snap in his thumb to shoot the marble.
David left for work, and we had three hours to do a week’s grocery shopping, eat lunch, and get Nathaniel to work. The race was on. Logan picked up our car Bingo cards on the way out. For both trips to town and back, John called out numbers. Logan won about five games in a row, and he tied Nathaniel an amazing four times in a row.
With John, every trip to the supermarket is a race, even if there is no time pressure. Nathaniel took a picture of our list with his phone, so he was consulting that as we darted about. He picked out bananas as John chose cherries. I got the peaches and cantaloupe. Logan led us to the free stuff on our way to sausages and brats. The sign said a small bag of popcorn was free for children under 12, and that went in the cart. I chose chicken thighs; John got the ground beef, and Nathaniel picked out pork chops. Logan’s older brother saw the boy with Nate, whom he had never met. His look of bewilderment changed to recognition when we rounded the corner, cart on two wheels. In the dairy section, an employee greeted Logan, asking about his chickens. We didn’t know her, but she obviously knew him. Asking for a hug, she got a willing one! By the time Logan spied yogurt that he wanted, I’d pushed the cart beyond him to catch cottage cheese, yogurt, shredded cheese, Neufchatel, and butter that the tall ones grabbed. Almost out of breath, we found we’d shopped at the rate of $180 per hour. I took a quick shot of John and Logan as our favorite cashier restocked shelves behind them.
Back at home, I rushed to take two light bags of groceries inside, making a beeline to turn on the oven. The fellows piled everything else on the counter, and by the time the pizza was done, I’d stowed it all away. I was beginning to relax as we ate lunch, but Logan was still in high gear. He found a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle and had almost finished putting the outer edge together when it was time for Nathaniel to go to work. Logan rode along to Maggie Valley so they could play more Bingo, and then his mother called him home. I suspect both households are now strangely quiet.