Brisk winter wind blows in company for Susan

Susan Manzke
Harrison, 7, joins grandma Susan for a game of Skip Bo.

A lot of my time is spent with my cats and dog. Some human company may stop by, but winter slows down everything, even visiting with family.

Lucky for me, last weekend I had three family members come by for a daytime visit. Daughter Rebecca came early. Son Russell and grandson Harrison arrived around noon. Their drive is about three hours long, longer if blowing snow crosses country roads.

The first thing Rebecca did when she arrived was pick up a cat. Barn-E was easiest for her to grab. Too bad he wasn’t in the mood to be held by a relative stranger. Living without much company means my cats are leery of anyone but me. To change their attitude, Rebecca tries to cuddle with Barn-E and Car-E, showing she is a friend. Too bad they refused to take the offered love and ran for the hills, at least we tried.

A cheese pizza went in the oven for lunch for the four of us. I also baked fresh chocolate chip cookies and bread. We nibbled on the cookies and bread and packed the leftovers up as take-home treats—that’s what grandmas do.

Harrison brought a card game from home called Skip-Bo. He had to teach me how to play the game. So, I could understand, we played with our cards face up on the table.  That way when this grandma made a mistake Harrison could help me, which he often did.

Harrison with one of Grandma’s quilted pillows.

I was surprised by how long the game lasted. It took forever to get rid of my stack of cards. I continued to draw from the wrong pile. Even though I lost I had a blast.

Since my usual card game is a hand of Solitaire, I suggested we play a second game, which we started. Too bad our time together was coming to an end. By count, Harrison won, when we wound up the second game.

It was time for my company to head home. Rebecca had to give her cat his afternoon insulin shot. Russell and Harrison had their long drive home, where their old Chihuahua, Kimo waited for them—Mommy was away at a work conference across the country.

I hated to see them all leave, but that’s life. Of course, I worried about their drives home. A wild wind had come across Wisconsin and was blowing snow across country roads. They didn’t see that as a bother, but I was happy when I received messages saying they had reached their destinations safe and sound.

It was back to normal for me. Time to feed my critters. The cats all came out of their hiding places, even Cruella. Sunny danced around the kitchen waiting for his bowl and a few barn cats looked in the kitchen window. All wanted their food NOW!

I worked quickly so no one was starving.

Later that evening, I zoomed in on an internet game of Yahtzee. Afterward, I put my feet up and watched Death in Paradise on PBS. It wasn’t until bedtime that I remembered to remove the roll of toilet paper from the holder in the bathroom.

Barn-E with the destroyed toilet paper roll.

I usually don’t keep the toilet paper out where my cats can attack the tissue, but company doesn’t always understand this. The cats were in hiding, after all, so the exposed roll was safe, until…

As I was preparing for bed, I found a pile of white tissue on the bathroom floor. The culprit could have been Barn-E or Car-E, or both. It was a waste, but my fault for forgetting. Oh well, I’ll remember next time when visitors cross my threshold again.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;