I have a yearly event that I do with my oldest grandchild. The county fair. We started when she was still in a front pack, and now I get her on my own. She is school age, so our time is much more limited and these things must be carefully planned and choreographed. The date was set for Friday (yesterday). I arranged a walk on the ferry pick up on Thursday.
She is six, so it is no longer a freebie passage. sigh. (I just read that ferry fares have gone up 80% in the last ten years! No wonder it seems so expensive to visit my kids; it is!) So it goes. I picked her up Thursday around noon. She came bearing a couple of bags; one with her "Lion" and the other a suitcase. Of course the Princess Katelan big headed bobble Littlest Pet Shop also had to come so it could party with MY Princess Katelan, and the real Katelan too, and, and, and...Yep, all the way back to the ferry the excited six year old chattered and filled my world with words. Then all the way home, out to the field, during lunch, dinner: I think this kid may also talk in her sleep! She is very cute. She talks to the dogs and has tea parties when I can no longer take it. Again, in full speed chatter mode. The dogs LOVE it. Absolutely LOVE it! They see it as undivided attention....little do they know!! They sit and enjoy the pretend play. Watching her chatter with cocked heads. We go outside and the four kids, three four leggeds and one two legged, run and play together in the field. She laughing hysterically at something that Grandma is apparently not privy too.
During an almost quiet moment it was decided that we needed to check on the neighbor who had taken a weird fall a few days ago. It was after dinner, so maybe around 7:30 or 8 when we went over. It had begun to rain so we drove the truck. Dusk is short right now, and darkness comes quite quickly. In the short time we were visiting darkness fell in the woods in which we live. (She later told her Mom that we were over until midnight.) It is amazing how exhausting chatter can be to the listener and I was ready to head for bed...a trail of chatter following behind. Suddenly my evening routine was destroyed. I couldn't find my cell phone. I called it six or eight times. No response. Panic set in. Retracing steps I remembered calling daughter while on the ferry, but that was all I could remember. The ferry, Walmart, Burger King. That was it. First call was to the neighbor, who was also exhausted and had gone to bed. Nope, she didn't hear my phone ringing at her house. I grabbed a flashlight and retraced my now very wet steps around the house and out to the field. No phone in sight. I stopped and pondered the thought that it really could be in the hole that I dug and filled with the new tree; the tree to replace the one I had cut down the day before; (make note, drill out that stump and fill holes with rock salt.) What a thought. Can you say "dead Blackberry?" I went to bed figuring on making phone calls the next morning...and hoping someone would have found my phone and turned it in.
After a very fitful sleep I called BK, WallyWorld, and the ferry system. Nope, nope, and a message to be left as no one was answering the Lost and Found line with the ferry system. We were off to the fair.
Our county fair has little passports for the kids. There are twenty, or so, stations that they go to and get the areas stamped. After all the areas have been stamped then the passport can be turned in and there is a drawing for some little prize. Grandkid loves doing this, and now can read and follow the map. We were off on our quest; forget the rides, forget the junk food. She was on a mission. After we got a good number of stamped spots, we could then go back to the barns and enjoy the animals. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my new leg? We walked non stop for over three hours. NON STOP. Then we grabbed a bite to eat...her a Quesadilla, me a taco salad. That took all of maybe fifteen minutes, and we were back on the quest to fill the passport. It took five and a half hours. The final four spots were tough to find. The map was wrong. We finally found one of the stations, and she stamped three of the four spots. Score!! As Grandma was on her last legs, grand kid found the last stamp. We were done. Turn it in? No way!! She worked way to hard to give up her prized passport. We grabbed a blank one and filled out the form and turned it in. To the six year old it was all about the adventure, not the prize. That's my girl!
Heading for home I said a little prayer that there would be a message on the house line that the ferry system had my phone. When I got home there was a message...but it was from my doctor informing me that he needed to see me. Oh oh...
A call to the neighbor to make sure she was alright and the decision to call cell carrier and shut down the phone. "First," says neighbor, "try calling me one more time." After eight calls, what was the chance? I did, and she answered. I wanted to cry. You see, we wandered around the fairgrounds with no camera, and no watch. I use the cell phone for both. We couldn't call daughter to figure out plans to return kid, and keep her informed of the passport progress. I couldn't share the excited chatter coming from her six year old. Now all was right in the world once more. The phone had fallen into the cushion of the chair I sat in. It simply could not be heard by my close to eighty year old neighbor until she was almost sitting on it. She brought the phone up to me, and kidnapped the grand child so I could grab a nap.
After an orange dinner (mac and cheese, peach yogurt, and cantalope) we settled in for another night. This time I would be able to sleep; yeah right.
Kate needed her pants in the middle of the night. In two or three weeks we will be able to relax and resume some sort of normalcy. She doesn't mind the diaper. Show dogs put up with so much. It is just another "thing" that she must deal with. I needed to wake up enough to remember where I had stashed everything eight months ago.
The new day has dawned. Today is prepare Nugget for showing. Pack truck and bags. At some point the kid exchange. For now it is Saturday morning kid shows on PBS. I gave in and plugged my grand kid into the the media box. I feel so guilty. But I need a break. I am too old for this...
However, I wouldn't change it for the world. Well, perhaps I might opt for an occasional quiet spell now and then.
Time to go bathe a puppy.