COLUMNISTS

Anytime family pops in between showers is a good day

Susan Manzke
Grandma Susan wonders if Wyatt put enough water in the birdbath.

I didn’t have any plans for the weekend when my daughter Rachel messaged me. She wondered if I wanted company. She and Wyatt were at loose ends as the rest of the family were off on other adventures.

They arrived about sunset Friday evening, driving the two hours after Rachel finished work. A third visitor came with them, their rescue dog, Joy. The addition of the dog meant my cats would have some issues.

When my two visitors arrived, Car-E ran to the basement, tail fluffed and high in the air. He was not happy to meet Joy. Luckily, Cruella was upstairs and never got nose to nose with Joy. It took a little coaxing to get Car-E to leave the basement and take cover upstairs with his cohort.

As a grandmother does, I thought of what treats I could give Wyatt. Because of his peanut allergy, I had to take care of the food I shared with him. Food cannot be cooked in a plant that has peanuts anywhere. The best I could do was giving him special ice cream. For Wyatt, I had Magnum double chocolate ice cream bars. I keep a couple of packages around just for such occasions and because I happen to love them, too.

Because rain was on the horizon, we went outside early on Saturday morning.

The first thing Wyatt did for me was to take my garden hose and wash out the water bowl and birdbath on the porch. Both needed cleaning as messy raccoons had left their mark, leaving dirt when coming for a drink. Wyatt did this chore without getting wet, which was pretty good because the hose had a tiny leak that sprayed out unexpectedly.

Wyatt putting branches in Grandma Susan’s cart.

Next both Rachel and Wyatt helped pick up sticks and limbs from the trees in the front yard. These had blown down in the last storm.

After lifting branches off the ground with his hands, Wyatt ran back into the house. He returned with one of his grandfather’s grabbers. Picking up branches wasn’t any easier for Wyatt, but for him, it was more fun.

All that we gathered went into the back of the cart. We planned to ride down the farm lane and add these to the brush pile, but the ride never took place. Too soon drops started to fall from the thick clouds that filled the sky.

The filled cart was returned to the shed and we went back to the house. It wasn’t long after we kicked out of our wet shoes that a steady rain started falling.

It was time to change our activities. Wyatt chose a movie for the three of us to watch. Luca was a sea monster that changed into a human boy when he left the water. I think the funniest part took place when Luca’s parents came out of the sea, too. To find their wayward boy they went around the town throwing children into fountains and dropping water balloons. It was fun watching this Disney movie with Wyatt.

The weather remained an issue. Rachel cut their visit short, deciding to head home before stronger storms crossed the state.

Rachel's rescue dog, Joy, caused Susan's cats to perform a disappearing act.

Too soon they were on their way. The only ones happy about their departure were my cats. Cruella and Car-E reappeared as soon as my visitors were rolling down the driveway. They knew right away that Joy had left the house.

It wasn’t a long visit, but it was a quality visit and anytime family can pop in is a good day.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog