Summer is rolling by – and we are trying to fit in all kinds of adventures and fun excursions before it is time to go back to school. The very rainy spring and summer, along with the crazy heat 100º heat index days has sadly had an impact on some things.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I brought the 4 grandkids back to our house so they could pick raspberries. We were merrily singing in the car and then we spied some ominous looking storm clouds in the sky. Ruh-roh…. As fate would have it, the rain started pouring as soon as we climbed out of the car, which, if you have ever hauled little kids around – you will know that it can take ten minutes for the little darlings to shuffle their way out of the car seat and onto the surface of Mother Earth. To say that we were bummed would be an understatement. However, the munchkins soon perked up when we brought them indoors, set up the little kids table and chairs in the living room, and let them have berry shortcake with ice cream and whipped cream. After about 5 bites, Althea pushed the yummy treat aside and declared, “I am ready for my other food!”
Now, let me state for the record, that I am NOT the Betty Crocker Gaga, that’s the other Gaga, Gaga Jill. She is a great cook and baker (as is my Mom and my daughter). I hate the kitchen and all that it stands for. I had been patting myself on the back for making those berry shortcakes. I sighed, rather dramatically and said, “What other food? It’s 7:30 at night! There is no other food!”
Althea’s lips puckered and quivered. I caved and asked, “What do you want Gaga Pam to make for you?” She replied, “Soup!” Mackenna and Declan joined in the chorus and stated to chant, “Soup! Soup! Soup!” What could I do? I dragged myself out to the kitchen to make soup. My husband was the only one who could watch what I was doing in the kitchen. I was clanging and banging around. Mackenna yelled out, “We just LOVE your soup, Gaga! It’s the best!” And that’s when my husband lost it and actually snorted out loud. I was running the can opener, opening up 2 cans of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup! He said, “Oh yes, Gaga, YOUR soup really is the best!” I had to laugh. I replied, “Well, it is a lot of hard work – but you are worth it. This is my old family recipe – no one can make soup like me!”
At their annual 4th of July party, Mackenna set up a lemonade stand to raise money to donate to foster kids. She and her Mommy outdid themselves creating this stand. And Gaga Jill baked cookies with Mackenna and Althea to sell. Mackenna had a little money box to keep her “paper money and coins” in. (She ended up raising almost $130!). She was serving lemonade to her Pap Joe when Mother Nature called. She made a mad dash up to the house after collecting her 50¢ but before she dispensed the lemonade into the cup. “Hold on, Pap!” she exclaimed. “I will get your lemonade when I get back!” He tried telling her that he could help himself, but she insisted that he wait until she came back. So, he did. He stood there so patiently for at least 10 minutes.
We had a photo shoot at the lake last week. I had brought along this enormous inflatable swan. The grandkids were worried that the swan (and them) would be swept out to sea. Well, Althea actually stated that she wanted to be swept out to sea. I explained to them that we were actually on a lake and that could not happen. Mackenna proceeded to tell me how I should position the swan on the sand. “I will tell you what to do, Gaga” she said. “You always do, Mac, you always do”, was my reply.
Declan, at the age of 2, is at that age of seeing how far he can push my buttons. He’s really good at doing that, I might add. “I need carried!”, he will wail when we are out and about. I will argue that I am old and tired, but his sad pleas break me down and I bend over to pick him, and he then declares, “No, I walk!” I ask him if he is a big boy and he will earnestly reply, “No, I am Declan!”
Baby Ophelia is truly a happy, smiley little girl! Althea likes to search for music on Alexa and somehow discovered a song that asks, “Whatcha gonna do with that big fat butt? Wiggle! Wiggle!” Ophelia LOVES this song and when you sing the words to her, she grins and indeed does wiggle that big booty of hers!
I know that these precious moments with my grandkids are indeed fleeting and I am savoring our times spent together – well, except for making the soup. Hey, it’s exhausting making soup from my old family recipe!