Old Cowbelle: Looking Backward (again)
I guess it's true that old folks tend to live in the past. Because now that my 11 grandchildren have all "outgrown" Grandma, I like to go back, remembering the days when they were a big part of my life. Such fun years to think about!
The first one, Shannon Marie, what huge excitement, first grandchild! Such a little miracle--how we examined the little fingers and toes, ears, nose, the whole package.
Early in the day before she arrived, her Mother, two aunts, Great Grandma and I went on a picnic in the back woods, crawling under fences, up and down hills. But only Sandy knew all that day that she was in labor, but didn't tell us. If the rest of us had known, we would have been in a panic!
Each new grandchild that came along, 11 of them, each one was so very special! They were all so different, and yet all carried a few of the Wayne and Ina genes. What a blessing they all were.
How fun it was, living close enough to enjoy them, walking down in the coulee when the farm belonged to us, poking sticks in the spring that flowed down one ravine. I remember hiking up that coulee road with a small munchkin on my back.
And along came Nathan, Tricia, Melanie, Sarina, Amelia, Trent, Travis, Lacey, Dusty, later Chloe Jo, all so special in their own way.
My Mom was living then, and young enough to enjoy them too. I can see her fixing up long sticks with a string tied to them for Shannon and Nathan, so they could "pretend" fishing in her big white bird bath.
Somewhere I have a picture of my Mom "Betta," as she was called, walking with Trent when he was about three. He carries a pail and Betta has a walking stick, and they are picking pine cones. "Sheba," the black and white Australian Shepherd ambles along beside them.
Other memories include Travis, when he was a little boy; and later Dusty, we would pretend that our east deck was Noah's Ark, and line up all kinds of stuffed animals on the benches. We would pretend we fished over the deck rail.
Another thing Travis and I did once was measure with a 50 ft. steel tape, from our driveway south, to see just how long Noah's Ark really was. I had looked up in the Bible to find the measurements (which I am sure were pretty inaccurate).
It was such fun to have Lacey stay over for a day or two. She would always want to do a "project," like sewing something or gluing something, something creative.
When Dusty was a little boy, we would line up all the dining room chairs for a train and put the old round organ stool in front, for the steering wheel. We would put all kinds of stuffed animals on the chairs for passengers. And, of course, he had to have a sack lunch with him.
The granddaughters would put on my old clothes and "play dress up," and in one photo Tricia and Melanie are wearing Grandpa Murray's Army uniforms.
Such wonderful memories that can never be taken away.
And now the new great-grands; I don't even dare to carry them around, but am just thrilled to pieces when they don't cry when they look at me, even more thrilled when they lift up their little arms and allow me to hold them for a fleeting moment. I am still being blessed!
* * * *
One of the little worn out battered treasures that I discarded last week had a verse on it that stayed in my mind. It said "The world goes up and the world goes down; and sunshine follows the rain. And yesterday's frown will never come again!"