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What happened to my youth?

August 27th, 2017 at 06:33 am

There's nothing like spending extended time with little ones to realize how old you've become.

There were times in my youth when I was a pot-smoking hippie making macrame plant hangers while walking around barefoot and blasting Janis Joplin on the stereo.

Later, I became a feminist college student at a women's college in liberal Massachusetts. I was still feeling like I could take on the world into my 20s, 30s and even my 40s, but it was sometime in my mid-50s that mysterious aches and pains arrived, when my stamina just petered out after a few hours of gardening.

My little visitors arrived Saturday with their incredibly calm parents, my half-brother and his Chinese-American wife. This was the first ever time they'd come to visit me at my home. Truth be told, I felt more comfortable making the overture toward my brother's wife than him. He's one who never says too much...he's always been shy....and it's hard to tell if he actually has an interest, or not.

M. handed me some goodies from a German bakery, a box of cookies and a pie. I gave half the cookies to my dad later, with strict instructions to only eat one at a time; most of the rest I gave to my friend R.

But back to the visit. The little girl breathlessly asked her mother if she could take her shoes off, and soon the 2 little ones were racing around my home. Thank goodness I had thoroughly cleaned. I even brought down the one board game I saved from my childhood, which always fascinated me.

It's called Spirograph, and it has all these little plastic wheeles that let you draw all kinds of interesting designs. I got them started with that; it was a bit too advanced for the little boy. I wound up with a bunch of kid art now posted on my refrigerator. Smile

Those 2 salads I made for lunch: the parents ate it but the kids had absolutely no interest in it. They appear to have very poor eating habits. Mom had brought some cheese crackers, and besides some red grapes I had and the crackers, that's all they ate.

I took them to the farm ice-cream stand afterwards (with dad as well). I noticed how unlike most parents they both are. When the kids wandered off to explore the farm, instead of most parents who issue a series of orders (Johnny, come back here, now! Or, sit down and eat your food...) they just followed their kids around to make sure they didn't get into trouble. But they didn't try to stop their kids from exploring, which I thought was pretty cool. They (and I joined in) continued this pattern when I then took them to a state-of-the-art playground near where I live. I figured it would help tire the kids out so they'd be quiet on the long car ride home.

The kids went crazy, and while dad was parked on a bench, the 3 of us followed them around from one exciting play feature to the next: a fort, a rope ladder, the zip line, the swings, etc. I took some photos which I'll see if I can post here, with Sian's help.

The kids were so excited and enthusiastic but it WAS tiring.

The parents were so calm and collected. M. just got a new job with Sanofi Pharmaceutical making well into the 6 figures doing what she did in her last job. I think she's still in her 30s.

My place is fully kid-proof, and at one point, the little boy was running into the kitchen and stumbled over the little tray that holds Luther's catfood and water bowl. The water spilled all over the floor. The boy got up and slipped in the water and fell again. His mom helped me clean things up and it was no big deal.

They left around 5:30 pm. Dad said he was exhausted and was going home to take a nap but that I should come pick him up for dinner, as is our custom, at 7 pm.

So, a full day. I was sort of looking forward to a nice, relaxing Sunday, but my friend R. called and wanted to go for a drive. He likes to drive with no special destination, something I used to like to do but which holds less and less interest for me lately as I can find more interesting things to do, plus he always gravitates towards stops of interest that interest him, not me. So it can be boring.

This time I suggested an endangered waterfowl conservancy, a place I've wanted to check out for a while. He agreed.

Friday I was reading the local paper and I noticed there was a tag sale that day, right on my street. I decided to go as I'm always hearing about these great things people find. I got there and for once I got there ahead of the crowd. A man who had been renting the house died, and his brother and his wife from Wisconsin were trying to empty out the house.

I immediately spotted a nice black wood bench. They only wanted $20 for it. He didn't have time to bring it to my house and it wouldn't fit in my car. I paid them the cash, they marked it as sold, and when my dad came over early yesterday for our luncheon, I borrowed his truck and with the seller's help, got the bench in the pick-up.

So now I have a nice little bench which somehow I'm going to have to protect each time it rains. Lug it into garage every rainstorm? I don't know...don't want it to rot. I suppose an easier alternative would be to throw a tarp over it.

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