My Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day had pleasant surprises, beginning with my discovering Danish daughter Lise had joined my Aura frame and posted several photos. Once she accepted an invitation to the frame, she could post photos from anywhere in the world to display almost instantly on our kitchen counter. Kate, David, Nathaniel, John, and I could see her pictures on our phones, as well.

Lise in Kosovo on our counter

As we pulled into the church parking lot, son John $pencer called to wish me a happy day. It was 7:00 am 2,000 miles away. Rose joined him, and we had a lovely chat. A day or so later $ sent me a photo taken that Sunday when they were hiking.

After church, Kate went up to the choir loft to see David shutting down the sound board he runs for that service.

No one complained about my wanting photos of us.

I particularly like the one with Kate and David, because they bought the balloon for me. It had been a lovely day from start to finish.

A Satisfying Day

You’d think walking to the creek would be a humdrum event. I found it exceptionally pleasant with daughter Kate for company.

This day Kate spotted an abandoned Easter basket bobbing in the water. Of course, we wondered who lost it and why, knowing it would remain a mystery. A few days later, when John and I went to a meeting at the firehouse, I walked across the parking lot and found the blue basket on the creek bank, a foot or so above the water.

The rain clouds bearing down on us caused a pause for a photo and much faster footsteps to get home.

We took pictures from the overlook on the way to Cataloochee and the six elk we found grazing in the valley.

Grandson David and daughter Kate
Grazing elk in Cataloochee

Kate and David posed in a big barn and sat at desks in the old schoolhouse.

Mother and son requested a picture of them on the bridge in Cataloochee. We all enjoy mountain streams, and I took home five video clips when one should have been enough. I took the one below while standing where Kate and David had been sitting.

We found it very satisfying to wander through the day, enjoying each other’s company.

Six Together – Nathaniel’s Celebration Concluded

When it was late, the older generations toddled off to bed as the younger set got out the Checkers board. After lunch the next day, they resumed the Checkers tournament. The game talk was vicious, but they “played nice”.

I wanted a photo of everyone, and they kindly humored me.

It was Sarah’s first time to participate in the mirror ritual. Nathaniel’s putting the mirror up when he comes and down when he leaves will continue as long as we live in this house.

Spell-check Amusement

I was extolling the pleasures of grandparenthood when the spell checker flagged the word “grandparenting”. It suggested I add a hyphen to make it grand-parenting.

The second choice made me laugh. It was “grandpa-renting”.

John has 49 cumulative years of grandpa experience. How much do you think I could get to rent John out as an experienced grandpa???

Celebrating Nathaniel’s Graduation

Nathaniel and friend Sarah came for almost 24 hours so that we could celebrate his university graduation. This was my favorite photo of the two of them.

Nathaniel and Sarah
Kate, John, Nathaniel, Sarah, and David

We had the celebratory meal at the Blue Rooster where we could hear and see each other.

Nathaniel sat right under one of the blue roosters in the dining room.

A Nathaniel creation was planned from the beginning, and he made a strawberry shortcake with the berries he, Sarah, and friend Dakota picked the day before. Sarah did a beautiful job of preparing the berries.

When the cake was half way finished, I asked them to pose with it.

Everyone waited patiently for the official photo and a close-up of students and cake.

What you can’t see or hear was all the cheerful chatter. It was wonderful to have these hours with them, and I think we made the most of it. Congratulations on your graduation, Nathaniel!! We are very, very proud of you.

Kate is Here!

Want to walk with us to the creek? Daughter Kate is with us for a week, and we are loving every minute. I won’t take photos of our sitting and talking, but we have recorded things we’ve seen outside.

The first amusing thing we passed was a neighbor’s vegetable garden. I always wave to the scarecrow the first time I see him in the Spring, not realizing that it isn’t a real person. This year Warren added two pink flamingos, which made us laugh. In the middle is a sprinkler he has hooked up to a pump in the little stream that runs beside his property. I’ve never seen it operating, but his plants are never thirsty.

CAT greeted John and Kate, then walked with us for a while.

Kate found just the right spot to scratch her neck.

At the firehouse we found the first rosebud of the year.

We took the obligatory selfie at the creek.

I was pleased to find a cluster of blooms of the horse chestnut tree on the way home.

Kate posed with Park Branch that flows through our area. It is so small that it is called a branch rather than a stream.

At home, we found the lilac bush blooming and scenting the air all around it.

Just a Silly Second

Most folks know I am challenged by numbers in many ways. Carrying a number in my mind across a room is almost impossible. Remembering a six-digit number from one screen to another is not easy, particularly if they should be in the same order. Today I hit a new low. I was hurrying to go out to walk, looked at the digital clock at 7:11 and said in my head, “Seven eleven-teen.”

Bob Repairs the Pergola

On Easter Sunday, John and grandson David propped the sagging beam that held up the Wicked Wisteria. In other places, wisteria vines have beautiful clusters of lavender flowers. Ours refuses to bloom, has produced velvety seeds only once, and is burrowing under the ground in every direction to take over our property and kill us. If left alone, the pergola would have collapsed. Son John $pencer had strengthened the outer part of the structure, and we couldn’t let his good work go to waste, could we?

John mentioned the problem to neighbor Bob. A few days later he came over to size up the job while John was away. I went out to check on him a couple of times, intending to take a picture or video. In no time, Bob finished the repairs and disappeared! Didn’t he do a marvelous job?

Bob’s was not the only disappearing act. The next morning when I went out to walk, I discovered the dead Christmas tree on the porch was gone. Bob took it to his burn pile to get rid of it! There are not enough words in the dictionary to thank him properly for such kindness. Our neighbors are irreplaceable – the absolute best in the world!

Logan Stays the Night

Neighbors Shawn and Bob were given marvelous tickets to a sold-out concert, and we were the lucky ones who kept Logan (11). What a delight! We picked him up at the tennis court, arriving in time to watch him practice. On the way home, he talked about the coach who is also his teacher for most academic subjects. She is the kind who inspires students wherever she goes.

Logan in red shirt on left

I was impressed with Logan’s taking care of his two dogs. As soon as we got home, he let the dogs out, fed them exactly what they needed, and let them out again – all part of their routine. I glanced at the floors to make sure the dogs hadn’t pooped inside. Seeing a dark spot in the hall, I asked Logan to check it. My depth perception isn’t what it used to be. He knew it wasn’t three-dimensional and put his foot right on it. Whew! Logan tended the dogs again at night and in the morning

The short afternoon was gone far too quickly. John and I had found a toy airplane that we thought might be fun. I asked John if he wanted to go out with Logan, and Logan quickly said, “I can play by myself. I’m used to playing alone.”

He is always accommodating. I wanted a video of the action, so I was outside with him. The plane was a total dud, not having a single noteworthy flight, not a single one!! Oldsters tend to think things in the past were glorious, but we remember airplanes that glided through the air and gently landed in the grass.

An airplane that refused to fly

Logan plays Wordle now, and he knew where to find unlimited games on the computer. We worked two together. Having talked with friend Susan, I knew people often have a favorite word to start. You choose one with most-used consonants and vowels. Logan’s is adieu, and mine is ideal. What amused me was the difference in our strategy. His mind is very quick, so he guessed words using letters he knew were correct. I didn’t repeat those on the second line, choosing to try out a different array to find more letters in the word. As in the game of Set, we both get the right answer, only he does it ten times quicker than I can. I stand in awe of his brain.

There was no time for play in the morning. After breakfast, Logan took care of the dogs, and we drove to school. I knew everyone would want to see his face and had to make do with a photo inside the car.

Logan always puts on his seat belt without being reminded.

Logan’s manners are impeccable. He holds good conversations with everyone, knows proper table manners, helps clear the table, says thank you for everything done for him, and his sense of humor is delightful. If every neighborhood had a Logan, what a marvelous world this would be! [Kudos to Shawn and Bob, once again, parents of the year.]

Letter in an old File

Cleaning out old computer files seemed like a good idea to do while John and grandson David were away for three days. I had erased old lists, plans, and notes to people who are now dead. I hadn’t planned on giggling.

I wrote that I heard Lise laughing in her room and asked what was so funny. She replied, “I’m reading your family letters that I got in college before scanning them. Look at this one.”

I shouldn’t have laughed, but I couldn’t help it. A child told me a nightmare he’d had. Of course, one can’t share the horror of a dream in broad daylight. I could understand he’d waked with heart pounding and sweat pouring off him, but there was nothing in the telling that could make me quake. The punch line was so exquisite that I can’t resist writing it. You won’t let him know, will you? I wouldn’t want his feelings hurt, and he won’t be ready to hear this one on himself until he’s 25 years old.

In a confidential monotone voice he said, “I had a bad nightmare. A buffalo came at me and then elephants. This was in the mountains, and an elephant picked me up and carried me off up the mountain. It was awful. I was hunting for the abba, — the abda, — the ABDOMINAL snowman when I got picked up.”

That kinda hits you in the stomach, doesn’t it?.