Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth of July

Today DH and I celebrated the Fourth by watching a home town parade - with grandson as the main attraction. There is nothing like watching a parade through an almost-three-year old. He danced, he waved his small flag - and he constantly tested the don't-go-in-the-street rule. Dad was there too, along with grandson's other grandparents plus a friend of his other grandmom's; it was a great experience. I missed seeing our daughter-in-law who had to work. Thousands of people sat in chairs and stood up whenever a group marched by with the American flag. Marching bands - cheerleaders - a few floats - and lots more various bands who were transported by trucks pulling flatbeds - and lots of advertisers took advantage of promoting their businesses.

After the parade, son, grandson, DH & I walked for at least a mile, looking at the various vendors. The highlight of the walk was the most elaborate outdoor "porty-potty" I have ever seen. No sirree - not your typical blue, one door, must-I-go-in-there john we've all seen. This was the king of all kings. Sitting regally on the parking lot of a gas station, it boasted FIVE stalls, piped in music, 3 sinks with running water - AND air conditioning that turned on when the entrance door closed. Of course, that was just the women's side. For some odd reason, neither of the two men (grandson didn't count) would venture over to the men's side just to give me a report. Funny - that would not have been a problem had I asked a female to check out the women's side.

Almost 4 hours later, we arrived home - tired and sunburned. Our planned picnic was cancelled due to thunderstorms, so we had a quiet dinner in the dining room, feasting on picnic fare.

Couple of observations and thoughts now that I look back at the time spent watching the parade. I still get teary eyed over high school marching bands. I marvel over World War II veterans still participating in walking down that long mile plus in uniform. There is still pride in standing up whenever the American flag passes by. I love all-drummer marching bands best. My heart warmed when I heard grandson's other grandpa thank a couple of the kids from the parade who walked by with a "job well done" and "you were terrific". Being welcomed warmly into this yearly tradition of watching the parade by daughter-in-law's parents.

Great day - great company - and later on, great food (even if it was enjoyed indoors).


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Family Time

Yesterday evening, my dear husband (fondly known in print as DH) delivered the Saturday evening message at church. Along with several other men, he's been attending weekly mentoring sessions with our pastor. From what I gather, the pastor's goal is to mentor & teach so if the opportunity so arises, these men can deliver the message at Saturday evening services.

DH delivered the message for the first time the previous Saturday. It's taken me a little bit of time to digest the fact that (1), he did it well and (2) there was a sense of right when he delivered it. The fact he did it well did not surprise me. When the Holy Spirit calls and is within you, you have no choice but take care of the task at hand in a pleasing manner. The sense of right when he delivered the message is a struggle for me. What if God has called him to the ministry? What if God's plan takes us on a new course of action? Now this is a large piece of life to struggle with - for me, at any rate. Something to pray about, I'm sure.

Our son came to hear his dad speak - and brought our grandson. No, not his son - our grandson. Once his son enters grandma territory, he instantly becomes our grandson. Almost three, he found quite a few things in the church fascinating. Once grandpa got up to speak and addressed his grandson and the reply was "Hi Grandpa - what are you doin'?", I knew it wouldn't be long before grandma & grandson would be taking a little walk outside the church. And so we did.

I wasn't overly comfortable with our walk. Our church is surrounded by a cemetary - a very old
cemetary. While many of the headstones are worn, it's clear that they mark the spot where a very young child was laid to rest. In anticipation, I thought - oh Lord, this is not one of the conversations one has with a grandchild. Your own child, yes - not a grandchild. There are four discussions that are reserved for parent and child: sex, death, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. None of the four should ever enter into grandparent territory. Thank God, grandson just looked and asked if that was an "E" or and "L". Whew. And so it remained that way. Grandson has an extraordinary ability to divert one's attention away from the inevitable - that of going back into church. Several times on the way back, he'd say "hey grandma - look at this" and in total concentration would crouch down and find a piece of clover that was utterly fascinating. After clover, a tiny headstone, a larger blade of grass and part of a feather, we finally made it back to the church. No small feat considering we were less than 30 feet away from the church.

After church, we decided it would be grand to go to a coffee shop and talk a bit. Okay, I decided it would be grand. We met up in a small coffee shop, one of the many shops in an 'elite' shopping area. The coffee shop was probably the least expensive store in the entire area. My sister had attended church with us. Wonderful opportunity here. She took grandson for several walks and was delighted more so than he was with the walks. She has never had children - and I truly believe she would make a wonderful mother. She listens with her heart - which many of us do not do even with other adults. She reported grandson's favorite expression while window shopping: "Hey, check it out" accompanied by finger pointing. She reported that several times, accompanied by the most beautiful laugh. We all loved it.

So, another beautiful weekend made even richer by the presence of our son and grandson at DH's 2nd 'preaching' episode. Next Saturday evening will be his 3rd opportunity. Hopefully, daughter-in-law will join son and grandson to hear grandpa (AKA DH) talk again.

Whatever God has in store for us, I already know we've been so wonderfully blessed with two children - two grandchildren - two additional children called daughter-in-law and son-in-law plus my sister living so close by. Anything else is just icing on the cake.