Sunday, January 13, 2008

One of the truest pleasures of being a mother and grandmother is visits from children and grandchildren. Our oldest son lives on the other side of West Virginia, which means on the other side of the state's highest mountains.

Which means little visiting in the winter months. But this weekend we got a weather break, and George and family came over the hills to Granny's house.

I realized that these two grandchildren were the only ones who had never been to breakfast at the Downtowner in Ripley. Now I make a mean breakfast, but at the Downtowner everyone can order what they please in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere where "everybody knows your name." Guess where we had breakfast?

The only thing the Downtowner doesn't make is grits, and I love grits. I found a work-around --I brought my own grits in my purse. The cooks graciously agreed to fix them for me. Ah, small towns!

After breakfast I introduced my visitors to Rachel and Mike of Rachel's Relics Antique Shop. Grace and I had fun trying on hats, and Grace found one that was obviously waiting just for her.

Back home, some of us baked cookies while others went outside to start building the greenhouse.
We spent the evening by the fire, piddling around with instruments none of us can really play but enjoy trying. Other grandchildren came to visit too, and one spent the night--blow up another air mattress!

They went home today (after a few of them tried coddled eggs with herbs from the garden for breakfast--not everyone liked them but at least they gave it a try). It will be a while before we see them again, but this weekend we made every minute count.

I was thinking about how much my grandchildren enjoy visiting here. I know kids--any change is a welcome change. But from their perspective, it would not seem that this is an attractive place to visit--no television, XBox or Wii or even very fast internet. No stores within 12 miles, no malls within 50 miles. No skating rinks, professional sports, Build-a-Bear, little-girl spa makeovers.

What is here: Woods. Dogs. Fireplace. Usually chickens, sometimes pigs. A tractor. Puppets and lots of craft

Poppa Larry clowning around with Clayton

supplies. Musical instruments they can play with. Books--lots of them. A big porch and deck. A granny who likes to cook with kids and a Poppa Larry who cannot be believed for five minutes. Stories and songs-- lots of those. Stars at night. Birds at the feeders. Deer in the fields. Unusual stuff all over the house that they are allowed to touch.

It must be enough because the grandkids clamor to come back.

I did not give much thought to how to be a grandmother until I found myself in that role. I've learned it as I've gone along. But it has been without a doubt the second richest experience of my life, right behind having my sons. Success for me isn't measured in dollars, but in the security of my family knowing that they are well-loved.

1 comment:


Lucky family. Ellouise

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