Summer is just about over. School is set to open. Just in the nick of time, we found a few days our grandsons, Ethan and Seth, could spend with us on the farm.
Most of the summer, the boys were involved with soccer games, or soccer practice, or camp.
Even after all that, Ethan needed one day to visit the junior high school he will be starting soon. Seth also had a scheduled meeting with parents and teachers getting him ready for fourth grade.
The boys arrived here Sunday afternoon. Of course, I had planned for their visit for months - and I do mean months.
When there was a close-out on a hand-pumped airbrush gadget last spring, I bought one for each. Together we would decorate T-shirts and then they would be able to take their machines home.
The first night I had planned a special event. Even though it was the end of August, we were going to celebrate the Fourth of July.
I had purchased legal fireworks fountains when Independence Day had passed - like I said, I was planning for months.
Waiting for dark was the hardest part of the evening. Bob and I didn't have to do anything, just supervise as the boys took over.
The display was gentle as far as fireworks go. There was a lot of sparkle and crackle, but not a lot of pop. Seth said he was glad it wasn't too noisy.
Ethan and Seth took turns using a lighter to set fireworks wicks aflame, and then they hightailed it back to where we were watching.
I don't know how they didn't trip over each other, but they didn't. Except for igniting the individual showers of sparks, the flashlight was usually off, even for their great escape.
A bit of a squabble did occur toward the end. I think both boys were getting tired and Seth wasn't happy when Ethan chose to light the fountain they had chosen for their grand finale - luckily, a word from me ended the dispute - really one fountain looks pretty much like another.
On Monday, we took a trip into Green Bay. Grandpa even came with. It was raining. Bob couldn't do any of his work for a few hours and he needed new works shoes.
So off we went to The Heel on Adams Street. As soon as that errand was finished, we took in the exhibits at the Neville Museum.
A display of early video games was a hit with the boys, except they really wanted to play the ancient game Pong and it wasn't set up to play - the neat thing with the games that were available to play was that they were free.
Grandma didn't have to supply quarters the way I had to when our four offspring went to the arcade in the 80s.
We wandered through the other exhibits at the Neville, too. Both boys found all kinds of interesting displays that caught their eye. Of course, they were moving faster than Grandpa - Bob likes to read all the posted information - this outing turned out to be a success for all ages.
Lunch took us to one of Bob's and my hangouts, The Pancake Place on Military.
We explained that they made giant pancakes at that restaurant, still the boys' eyes bugged out when they received a pancake bigger than their plate. Yum - and leftovers for breakfast.
We had a couple other errands to run during our trip to Green Bay, but we still had plenty of day left for adventures on the farm.
First, we worked with the airbrush gadgets I had gotten them and painted shirts to take home.
Second, Bob wanted to pick up apples and pears that had been knocked down during last week's storm. The boys were actually excited to help because the apples would be taken far from the house, using our utility cart and Grandpa was going to let them take turns driving.
The three of them weren't out by the trees two minutes before Seth came crying to the house.
The second apple he picked up had a bee on it and the poor kid got stung - with a bandaged finger, Seth was soon back with Grandpa and ready for his turn driving. His tears had evaporated by then, thank goodness.
We have Ethan and Seth here for another 36 hours yet to be filled. Since it is so hot, I think we'll go to a movie. I hear Despicable Me 2 is funny. At least it can't be as hazardous as picking apples with Grandpa Bob.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net; http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke.://://