Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Summer of Love

Many of you are probably old enough to remember flowers in your hair and the sweet music that evolved from a magical summer years ago. It seems as if I’m reliving that summer in many ways. So far it’s been filled with visits with dear friends resulting in laughter and hugs. We’ve filled our heads and hearts with exciting music, traveling around to hear our friends play various venues and always waking up the next morning with their songs still keeping us company. Even our teenaged granddaughter has enjoyed accompanying us on such ventures this summer, leaving her heavy metal music behind her and opening her ears to other avenues and even LIKING what she hears! If John Sebastian was singing “Do You Believe in Magic?” I would have to shout out “Yes”.

Of course, I’m exhausted.

I thought with hubby not working we’d have long hours where we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves and we’d be bored and restless and what have you. That hasn’t happened. We’ve had time to read a ton of wonderful books…..The Lacuna by Barbara Kingslover and Terrorist by John Updike have to be the best books I’ve read all year and both of us were spellbound by Stephen King’s Under The Dome which I read in three days (1072 pages), not doing anything else except walk the dog and answer hubby when he'd ask, “Where are you now in the book?”

We still don’t have a plan for what’s nextin our forced retirement. Hubby is still enduring physical therapy but is now able to join Rupert and me on our walks and actually mowed the lawn yesterday for the first time this year. Little by little it’s getting better. I admit to awaking in the middle of the night sometimes in a blind panic wondering when the money is going to run out and which bridge I’ll be begging beneath ….but, for now, I’m enjoying this beautiful summer of love. It’s never too hot for me, so I’m about the only person I know who’s not complaining about the lack of rain. As they sang way back when…..Let the sun shine, let the sun shine, let the sun shine in.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


She is not our first, baby Gwen, yet she is oh so special, this one. I’ve always said, if there was any woman on the face of this earth that I would choose to be a mother to my grandchildren, it would be Kate….and how blessed I am to have a son wise enough to choose Kate to have this special child with. To add even more to my blessings, Kate honored me by having me with her when baby Gwen was delivered last Christmas Eve. This was truly an event I will never forget. I have not been able to find adequate words to describe the emotions that ran through my heart and head on that day as Kate held my hand and this delightful little girl slipped into our world.

Gwendolyn Mary is a curious six-month old who has a quick smile after she warms up to you. Her belly laugh is genuine. She’s pulling up on everything she gets her hands on, eager to walk, exactly as her father was at that age. He pulled this task off at nine months, so proud of himself he jumped up and down with glee, then fell into the coffee table, cut his forehead open and needed three stitches. He did not attempt walking unassisted again for a couple of months. I’m hoping Gwen takes her time.

Gwen’s going to be such an amazing kid. Her folks are so patient with her, seeing the world anew through her eyes and enjoying the view tremendously. She can’t help but turn out to be even smarter than the two of them are. I hope I’m around long enough to see where her passions lead her. I know she’ll find her way to amazing places and will be allowed to dip her toes into the water on many shores in her search to find what feels like home. Her parents understand that happiness is the journey and not the destination, such an important lesson to learn. Gwen could not be in better hands. This shows in her smile, in her dirty face at the end of a busy day exploring her world, in the contented way she falls asleep in her mother’s arms. Ah, Gwendolyn Mary. She is indeed a grand baby.

What I Don't Understand

Yes, indeed, I could write a book with that title. Every holiday weekend we swear we won’t stay at the campground because there are too many idiots who literally disturb our peace with their misbehaved dogs and children while they drink all day and night and play around with illegal fireworks. I have to admit that it gives us great pleasure to get up early the next morning and walk Rupert through the campground. These transient campers are typically hung over, sitting by campfires with grumpy kids who still wanted their breakfast (imagine that) and dogs who haven’t stopped barking since they pitched their tent or pulled their noisy pickup trucks up to the campers they only use for holiday weekends. We stroll by, shout “good morning” to them with a smile on our face. We’ve observed the “quiet” rules, turning our fan on inside our camper so we don’t hear the drone that continues long after 11:00 PM on these weekends, after the illegal fireworks have frightened Rupert to the point of a near heart attack, leaving him in a pool of drool huddled beneath the table inside the camper, leaving me on the brink of another seizure, leaving us to wonder how much the rates here will be increased when someone loses a finger or two and the liability insurance rates go sky high. Those bright lights (much better when left to the professionals anyway) won’t seem so special then, I imagine.

This campground that we call home from May to October doesn’t have many bells and whistles. There’s not much for the kids to do here. That’s a common complaint. For us, it’s one of the reasons we stay here: we like it that there aren’t a ton of kids roaming around all the time. We’ve played that game. We love to have the grandkids come; we love to have them go home again. We’re here to watch the trees grow, watch the lake change as the wind switches direction, listen to the birds call to one another, chuckle at the chipmunks scampering across the camper deck, enjoy the sunrise and the sunset. We want the peace and quiet. We’ll relinquish it to those who crave the party atmosphere of the holiday weekends, yet we’ll never understand why they put themselves through all that. They’d feel so much better if they’d drink less, take a nice morning walk with their dogs and children, or sit quietly and look around them, enjoy these beautiful woods without making all that useless noise. Don’t they get enough of that at their jobs or in their homes?