Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Tree From Which the Apple Fell

Yes, it's been quite a while. I could blame my absence on laziness, or writer's block, or laundry, or a super-bad internet connection. But mostly I've been AWOL because I've been trying to tread water in this unpredictable whirlpool called "Life." It's been one killer of a summer, I must say. So in an effort to placate my loyal reader(s?) a bit longer until my life calms down a fraction . . . or two . . . or twenty, I'm posting this article written by my dad a few years ago. It was recently published in a local newspaper. (And for the record, I think my kids are more like swarming locusts with cell phones.) Enjoy!

P. S. I'll see you soon--I promise.
*****


To Grandmother’s House They Go

Twice a year our Georgia Connection comes to town. Our older daughter, her husband and their four children live near Athens, Ga. and visit us at Christmastime and in midsummer.
They left for home 3 ½ hours ago. Since cousins like to be together, our four Middle-Tennessee grandchildren spent most of the 10 days at our house as well, forming an ever-moving, ever-eating mélange of adolescents and pre-adolescents — four boys and four girls who range in age from 5 to 17.
The Georgia clan and the two of us filled our four bedrooms and when cousins slept-over, sleeping bags covered every floor.
Do you remember how much food adolescents consume? Elephants put away 200 of food a day, an amount easily matched by our four grandsons and approached by our two older granddaughters. Where the calories go is a mystery. Not one grandchild has an ounce of excess fat. One hundred forty cans of soft drinks, 10 gallons of lemonade, three gallons of milk, 1½ gallons of ice cream and 72 popsicles disappeared in 10 days. A turkey breast, a pot roast, half a ham, a three-pound meatloaf, eight pounds of barbecue, eight pounds of shrimp, seven large pizzas and 15 pounds of catfish are missing.
We cooked three pounds of white beans from the grocery and four quarts of green beans, four quarts of peas and 40 ears of corn from the garden. Homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and blackberries rounded out their diet.
Lucky Charms and Pop Tarts suddenly appeared on the breakfast menu. Breakfasts ran from 8 to 11 a.m., lunches from 11 to 3 and dinners from 5 to 8 p.m. Of course, there were snacks in between.
Ten to 15 people ate most meals with us but last night we fed 22 as nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, boyfriends and girlfriends swelled the guest list.
Carolyn never left the kitchen for 10 days. I spent most of my time in the grocery store. I haven’t seen the statistics yet but I expect to see an upward blip in the national retail sales figures for July.
Six bicycles of various sizes, two tricycles, a motorized toy jeep, a croquet court and a shuffleboard court provided outside diversions but the most popular activity was hide-and-seek played at night with “it” armed with a flashlight. They call it “German Spotlight” for reasons that escape me. Other entertainment included golf for the boys, horseback riding for the girls, movies and Nashville Shores for them all.
Our house has a computer, four television sets, three bathrooms and a washer and a dryer. All were in continuous use throughout the entire 10-day visit. The upstairs den seemed always to hold grandchildren, one on the computer, some watching TV, some playing board games and all were eating. Now that we are alone, we are considering just raking out the den and hosing it down.
After teary-eyed farewells were over, I watched the final round of the British Open golf tournament and reclaimed my computer. These simple pleasures were somehow less satisfying than I had anticipated and the house seemed far too quiet.
Thankfully, we will see them again in six short months and Carolyn is reasonably sure that she can restore our house to its pre-visit state by then.
Retired pediatrician Bill F. now spends his days working with wood (“mostly making sawdust”), fishing (“but not very well”), puttering around his garden and writing.

15 comments:

claudiarohling said...

Hurry back! (I should talk!...just getting back at it myself!) Hugs through the rough times!

Lori said...

your dad has quite a way with words Cathy...i could almost see all the eating going on during the cousins stay at his home...thanks for sharing, i really enjoyed reading his article...hurry back!!!

kaniki's said...

Oh My Goodness Cathy!! That was a HOOT!! Loved the read by your dad, and hope things get a little more norm for ya too!!


Big ol' hugs....
Niki
Kaniki's Prims & Whims

Grace said...

trying to get back into blogging and life myself! But come back I need u to inspire me to create!! Hugs Grace

The Cutest Cottage Lamps said...

Hi Cathy, the article your Dad did was great! It was funny and I enjoyed it tremendously! Hope you can get back to "normal" soon!
xxxooo
Marilyn

Thimbleanna said...

Wow -- that's awesome! What a super grandfather your children have. So. Very. Cool!

Mom to Deanna said...

Cathy, now I see were you get your writing ability.

Jann said...

Loved your dad's article, Cathy--now I know where your talent for clever and entertaining writing comes from! Thanks for sharing . . .

Charmingdesigns said...

I LOVE it!! I am so glad you stopped by! I've missed your writings! Enjoy the rest of your summer, It is going by waaaay to fast.

Amy said...

Oh I love it!!!!!
Amy

Shes Off Her Rocker said...

Absolutely fabulous written summary of the visit! Somehow makes me lookforward to one day being a grandparent, too! Your Dad is a great writer! Sound like a good time was had by all, what a fun, big family!!

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Cathy
you have your Dad's way with words.
Missing you too but loving you more
Blondie

Gina said...

So glad to you see you back my friend. I wish you all the best in your goings ons. Your dad writes with such charm, and what a story that is! I was smiling the whole way through, thank you : )

Jacquelynne said...

Thanks for the laugh- swarming locusts with cell phones, indeed!

twinklescrapbooks said...

Your dad is a very talented writer! Don't worry about the absence--we all understand. I am struggling with blogging myself, after 3 years of blogging. I am just having trouble finding the time to do it and also to visit my blog buddies. Someday I will get it together (but not today! LOL).
:) tina