Today brought our annual, and eagerly anticipated, trip to Grandma’s house to celebrate her birthday. We are all thankful that the Lord has granted her sixty-seven hale and hearty years, and that she is still going strong. As it happens, she is going so strong that we’ve made plans to attend a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert together as our Mother’s Day gift to each other.
After rousting a passel of pipsqueaks before 7:00, we headed up I-95 a little before 8:00 a.m.; the trip went so smoothly that we had time to stop at the florist to secure a bouquet of her beloved lilies. Grandma understands her grandbabies, and shares their love of craft projects and puzzles, so she had all manner of wonders awaiting them. It was tough to get them to hold off long enough to let her open her gifts and cards.
We passed a pleasant few hours celebrating another year in the life of a remarkable lady, joined by her cousins Sherrie and Tony, who, when I am in need of an example of kindness and gentleness, are the first people who come to my mind. They were delighted to meet Mr. Man and Baby Guy, both of whom were born after Pop-Pop’s memorial service, which was the last time we saw them. I’d venture to say a tremendous time was had by all.
Beanie decorated that cake all by herself. Grandma will be picking little pearl pink candy beads out of her carpet for weeks.
The tiny people having already eaten, the adults settled in to enjoy lunch together, swap stories, and generally catch up. Having been to the store with me the previous day, Beanie and Mr. Man were both acutely aware that among my purchases had been a tray of pickles, olives, and tapenade, so when they realized that we were sitting down to eat, the two of them stormed the table looking for olives, about which they are both fanatical. Both were somewhat put out when they discovered that the shiny black fruits were nowhere in evidence, and Grandma, being thoroughly tenderhearted where her grandbabies are concerned (and also being of the mind that it’s hilarious that a toddler and a preschooler both have olive addictions), retrieved a can of their hearts’ desire from her pantry and dumped it into a bowl. She placed it within easy reach of little hands, near the edge of the table, and that’s when the fun started.
You see, in Beanie and Mr. Man’s world, olives are not only delicious, but aso enormously fun to eat. They have holes in the middle, you see, and if you have very small hands, you can turn each of your fingers into olivesicles. Tony and I dove for our cameras to record the resultant floor show.
All in all, Grandma declared this a thoroughly delightful birthday.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for grandparents and all the elder relatives who have taughtus, and now teach our children, how to love unreservedly. Thank You for the years You have granted them, and granted us with them. Thank You for olives and fish and all the other wonderful edibles with which You have graced our world. Please help us to be good stewards and caretakers of our elders and of the world You gave us to share with them, and open our eyes to the beauty and wonder of that world, all its growing things, and all its people.