Bleary eyed…

Early morning, once again, arrives way to soon for me. The minute she saw me at the top of the stairs, the old cat PK started howling at me “feed me! Let me out back! No feed me!” I like to imagine that there is a please somewhere in the yowls, but I know better. A quick scoop up of her fragile body stops the noise, and I pet her until she says enough. Feed the cats then check the phone for messages.

My phone is set for do not disturb between the hours of 9pm and 8am. Although I don’t want to hear the alerts, I know that there are things happening on the shop/house build this morning that may require my attention. Sure enough, there is a request for me to call the cement company to pay for two extra yards of concrete that was ordered for this morning’s 6am pour. Insert the ear buds, make the call and let the foreman know it is done. Check.

My eyes still feel heavy as I step into the kitchen to begin my morning chores, when I hear my honey open the bedroom door. Breakfast now takes priority. A banana and greens protein smoothie should do the trick for the man. As for myself, I will stick with no sugar/stevia vegan protein and greens for mine.

Breakfast has been consumed, along with a few supplements and the daily comics. Once I finish with the chores, I get to pick up two of our grandkids for a couple days. I cherish the time we get to spend with them, knowing all too well how fast they grow up and get busy. The sports schedules have already reduced the visits I used to get. Once there are work and social schedules, time with them will be at a premium. The weather today is not great and we are expecting rain. If so, a bowl of buttered popcorn and a game of monopoly may be on the table for the afternoon. Literally on the table!

Tomorrow, we are going to a neighborhood garage sale in town. I will give them both twenty bucks to buy whatever they like. I do get veto power, but that will be reserved for extremes. Non modest clothing, or inappropriate decor. They are good kids, and I have yet to have to have to use the veto. We will have Subway sandwiches for lunch, and Baskin Robbins ice cream for a treat. I love sitting down to a meal with them and just listening to them talk. I try to just listen and ask questions, and toss in a few teaching comments in the midst. Serious lectures are reserved for the serious, which does not often come up. This is becoming an annual summer event with them. A close friend who has never had children is joining us. She loves them, they love her. Again, her company with them every now and then is becoming a tradition also. We will probably go out to dinner with Grandpa after work too, and then we will watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire together. The kids love trying to beat Grandpa at trivia games. Before bed, we will probably read a few more chapters of the book in the Little House series that we have been trying to get through whenever they spend the night. I think we are on book three?

Of course I will have to answer building calls and questions, and I definitely plan on taking everyone out to the site to see what has been done so far. And I will have a few household chores to do. But the days with the kids fill my love tank to overflowing. I pray that I am filling theirs too. I want it to be about them, about their growth, about loving them. Loving and serving others has always brought me great joy.

May you discover what type of service brings you great joy in life, and may it fill your emotional tank to overflowing.


Mothers and daughters…

It was an early morning for me. Well, actually no earlier than normal, I just had a “date” with my almost nine year old grandson planned. His elementary school is great at putting together various, usually, before school activities. Muffins with Mom’s, Donuts eight Dad’s, Time with Grandparents. His older sister would have joined us, but she has early morning orchestra practice.

I rushed to get my morning chores done and eat some breakfast. A bowl of quick oatmeal with freeze dried blueberries and pecans should hold me over til ten or eleven. I actually got on the road with what I thought was plenty of time to get there, forgetting that over the past few months, the commute has gotten a bit longer. Thirty minutes from door to door used to be perfect. Now I am looking at closer to forty. I hate being late, and could feel the stress rising in me, so I plugged in my earbuds and turned on my Brian Crain music. Shooting piano and orchestra would keep me calm for the remainder of the drive.

This morning, I deliberately put on the ring I inherited from my mother, and the one from my grandmother. My grandmother died when my kids were young, they didn’t really know her. My mother passed going on ten years ago now. She met her first great grandchild and died a year later. On the trip to the school this morning I reminisced about this. The tears flowed as I thought of all she missed out on, she would have had four great grands to date. My father lives with us and so often gets to see the greats. As I thought about it, I thought I would tell my grandson about three rings. I would tell him that my mom would have been there with us if she was still alive. My grandmother, not so much. The tears flowed again, as I realized that that was one good thing I learned from my mother. Attending the little hints is important, even if she was always late.

He was just getting shoes and socks on when I arrived. We drove the quick five minutes to school in the rain, and arrived in time. After signing in, we were handed a pack of papers and we were able to choose muffins and milk. The muffins were the humongous Costco muffins. My grand chose chocolate chocolate chip with chocolate milk, I went with blueberry. We sat and talked and ate. We talked about the rings, we went over one paper that was titled “Twelve things for grandchildren and grandparents to do together”. We marked off the ones we had, and circled the ones we hadn’t. Turns out we have never bird watched together or been to the movie theater together. We’ve done plenty of walks, cooking, gardening and meals out. But, no bird watching. Go figure. I will just have to get out my mini binoculars and my Birds of the Region book and we will have to do some. As we left for recess, they were offering spare muffins to all. My grand suggested that we get one for his sister. He chose the poppy seed for her, and I wrote a note on it, with love from Grammi. In the halls, he saw her teacher and asked if she would give it to her when she arrived back from band.

My grand asked me to stay after muffins and come to his classroom with him for indoor recess. I was blessed to meet a couple of his friends/classmates and his teacher, and watch him play his favorite motorcycle game on the computer. When other kids started to arrive, I offered to leave if he wanted me to, and he patted the chair next to him and said that he wanted me to stay. My heart was full.

I still have half the muffin in the van. I am sitting in a friend’s house hoping the cat will come out to say hello, but I am pretty sure that isn’t going to happen at this point. They are out of town and asked me to look in on her. From here it is off to WallyWorld (our nickname for WalMart) to grab a shirt to complete an outfit I want to send to my out of town grandson. His birthday is next week. Of course I will send the customary snack boxes of Goldfish crackers in rainbow colors. He lives in a different country where they can’t buy those. Then home to prepare for the last night of company during the Feast, and Sabbath. If I have any time left after that, and it stops raining, I have some all natural fertilizer that needs to get out of my dining room and onto our lawns. I’m not holding my breath on that though.

So far, it’s been a good day. I hope you find beauty in raindrops, and joy in the sound of them hitting the roof.