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Posts Tagged ‘grandchildren’

CAT STORY #1

 

“You want to know how to wash a cat?” my husband said on the phone. “First you need two people. Don’t try it by yourself.”

 

SILENCE

 

“No, don’t use the whirlpool. Cats don’t like to be immersed in water.”

 

This is all being said very calmly with brevity. Then my husband hangs up.

 

“Who was that?”

 

“Haley,” he said, indicating our ten-year old granddaughter.

 

“Did they get a cat? They already have a dog.”

 

“I don’t know,” Jerry said, “I didn’t ask why she wanted to wash a cat.”

 

Now you see, here’s an example of big difference between men and women. Can you imagine a grandmother not asking right off why her granddaughter wanted to wash a cat? Did a strange cat wander into the yard all dirty or greasy and Haley wanted to help? I did that once. Embarrassing story below.* Did her parents finally agree she could have one?

 

So I catch her father on the phone later.

 

“Did Haley get a cat?”

 

“No, she and her friend started a dog and cat washing business. First they set up a table to sell lemonade and candy. Business was slow. Then a neighbor asked if they wanted to wash her dog for $10. Now they have a ‘business,” as she calls it, and have put $68 in the kitty already.”

 

I could not be prouder. At her age I was selling watermelons out front or seeds door to door. I thought this generation had no interest in such enterprises, but Haley is very proud of her business, as she well should be. I think our country is going to be in good hands down the road.

 

CAT STORY #2

 

Last night my youngest son, Jason, called and said he had a kitten. Is this Raining Cats Week? But the story was an interesting one.

 

Jason’s neighbor was given a loaner truck to drive while his was in the shop yesterday. It had a funny sound, like a cat’s mew, but he drove it all the way to Daytona (from Orlando) and back. The truck was still mewing when neighbors gathered to check it out. Jason could hear the sound was coming from the spare tire well up under the truck, so he dove under there. After three hours of struggle, he came out black and greasy, with a coal black kitten clawing his hands.

 

Someone gave him kitten food and he took the kitten in the house. Now we are looking for a home. If Jason wants to show someone’s future pet in its best light, I know where he can get a superb cat wash.

 

 CAT STORY #3

*Now for the embarrassing cat wash story.

 

A strange cat wandered into our yard many years back. The poor thing was covered in oil or grease and seemed to be pleading to me to help him. I got out soap, turned on the hose and this poor, strange cat let me wash him all over. I hoped the grease poured on him had not been hot and burned his skin. He didn’t seem to be in pain, but I washed gently. The smell was unusual, not like cooking grease, but I couldn’t place it – not until years later. I was sitting in the stands at a tennis match in Hilton Head. Almost everyone there was slathered with Avon Skin so Soft and the scent was overpowering – and familiar. The cat! But why? The same reason adults apply it to themselves some put it on their animals, I was told, to repel insects. OHHHHHHHHHH

 

 

 

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A Central Florida day-care center is under investigation after a toddler bit a one-year old girl repeatedly. Wonder what fairytales they read those children at the Hansel & Gretel Preschool?

 I know.  Sick humor again.

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I hope Jerry and I are good grandparents. It surely didn’t start out that way. stjohns3-2-8-032-1.jpgThe first time her parents trusted us alone with our year-old granddaughter we took her to Birds of Prey. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Audubon Birds of Prey in Maitland, FL rescues injured birds and releases them back into the wild when possible.

Haley smiled at the white-faced, barn owl as we entered. That may have been her last smile. We pushed the stroller to the bald eagle cage. There poor, injured, no-longer-majestic eagles loped around an enclosure, some dragging a wing. Haley’s face began to screw into a tortured mask. We quickly turned the stroller toward the cage behind her. On every crooked limb sat an injured vulture. Their bald, blood-red heads popped from fluffy white feathers above their scruffy black bodies. Wings drooped on some, claws or feet were missing on others. The scene we had always looked on with pity we now saw with a toddler’s eyes. Before Haley lay a Tim Burton horror scene of deformed, hissing, grunting vultures. She screamed to the top of her lungs. We calmed her down and cut our trip short, feeling like failures as grandparents. We thought we would be better at it.

Haley is ten years old now and thankfully doesn’t remember our first little foray. Perhaps it had no lasting impact on her little psyche. When we are out in nature now my camera cannot rest in my lap. She shouts incessantly “Ahmaw, take a picture! An anhinga! A gator! An eagle! An osprey!” Is it just possible that we didn’t scar her permanently?

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boys4-07-0091.jpgThe yellow school light was flashing, the crossing guard stood ready in her bright orange vest. School children made their way home. Since a pause in life is mandatory at such times, why not observe whatever catches your eye? On previous days I have counted blonde children (very few), chosen the cutest, wondered about the tiniest. Yesterday their methods of conveyance began to fascinate as they whizzed or walked by.

Children in Seminole County, Florida, must walk if they live two miles or fewer from school. Many do just that, but many others have found creative travel methods to save shoe leather and get to that after school snack more quickly. In one short block paraded:

  • Bicycles
  • Skateboards
  • Trikkes
  • Waves
  • Heelys

You’ve run into Heelys before, (or they into you) probably at the grocery store. Heelys are ordinary looking athletic shoes with wheels that drop like landing gear. They are cool personified. I want a pair. Of course, bicycles are the old standby, but skateboards making a huge comeback. New versions like the wave, with only two caster-like wheels and a wasp like board, were new to me. The Trikke, a carving board is propelled as your body sways side to side. It looks like a scooter with a V facing forward. It certainly wins points for uniqueness and surely for working your obliques.

You who denigrate fitness of young people might try using any one of the above conveyances while balancing a bulging backpack just so. Their prowess was amazing to watch.

I don’t count the time waiting for kiddies to cross wasted at all. Grandmas need to know about these things. I’ve gotten as much mileage as I can out of Hannah Montana, online video games and Spiderman. Perhaps I’ll throw in a few comments about the wave next time I chat with the grands. That will be when my granddaughters come over and help me sign in with the Webkinz they gave me for my birthday. I understand I can go on a shopping spree for my little raccoon. It’s not enough to keep up with the latest news to sound erudite with your friends. We grandparents know there is a whole other world out there with its own vernacular and we’d best hit the books. Just don’t make me carry them in a backpack.

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lambjesus.jpg“We’re going to see Mary Had a Little Lamb,” three-year old Hannah squealed again.

“No, Hannah,” I corrected her more times than I care to remember, “We’re going to see Mary and Baby Jesus.” Her look humored me. I reminded her of the manger scene at Ahmaw’s house and the first Christmas story. That look again. During the long wait in line Hannah let everyone know she was going to see Mary Had a Little Lamb.

“There are no lambs here, Hannah, just Mary and Baby Jesus.” My granddaughter was going to be very disappointed if she expected to see a lamb.

A Walk Through Bethlehem took my daughter-in-law, granddaughters and me through dusty paths, past markets manned by Biblical figures greeting “Shalom.”  The smell of oil from lanterns, frankincense and myrrh and and sounds of the market transported us to an ancient time and place. In the crisp night air it was easy to forget we were on church grounds. Along the way characters discussed the pilgrimage to register for the census upon edict of Emperor Augustus. Hannah quietly took it all in. Abruptly it seemed, we reached a stall with hay, three opulently dressed wise men, and Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. A cow lay on the ground with a jackass nearby with the feel of a real manger.

“Mary had a little lamb!” Hannah shouted. I shifted my gaze from the real live baby. There beside Mary, a little lamb bleated as Hannah’s patted its puffy wool.

I know when I am beaten.

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