I woke up to the smell of coffee. There was a steaming cup on the chair not far from my pillow, nicely within reach. There was no hint as to how it got there, but at the same time, there was no doubt it was husband Ron, who has learned the wisdom of waking me gently. His whole day seems to go much better that way!
A few hours later, Ron having left to spend the day helping a friend re-shingle his roof, our yard was filled with the sounds of children at play. I sat in a lawn chair under our big old oak tree, entirely grateful for the gift of shade on this hot summer day. A gentle breeze ruffled my hair and kept the black flies and mosquitoes at bay. Mikey, 7, Matthew, 5, and Nolan, 3, were puttering about around me intent upon the business of childhood. Spurning the large (and expensive!) play center, they used the garden hose to fill the water-play table (which was entirely legal) and then quickly turned their attention to the hollowed out patches of black dirt, one under each of the swings hanging from sturdy branches of the oak tree. The little boys squatted at the edge of the puddles as they formed, and soon sticks and pebbles were being gathered to be used in this recipe for summer fun. Before long, shirts and shoes were shed and there was some serious wading going on. I'm not sure when exactly the wading turned into wallowing, but it didn't take long!
Meanwhile, the boys suitably, and, to my mind at least, harmlessly involved, I picked up the cordless phone for my weekly friendship catch-up call with Belinda. Our conversation was punctuated with the occasional, "Excuse me. --STOP THROWING MUD!-- Okay, I'm back." Eden, 7, had appeared from somewhere around the end of the lilac bushes and soon was right in there with the boys, taking only seconds to become just as smeared they were, neck to toes with black mud.
Just as I said goodbye to Belinda, Jacob appeared with baby Greg and the trampoline was hopping and popping with five children all bouncing at once and crying "Popcorn! Popcorn!" And that's exactly what they looked like!
There were trips into the house for popsicles and drinks and tools to fix broken toys. There were bumps and bruises and hugs of comfort quickly given. There was laughter and good-natured teasing and gentle admonitions to please rein it in.
As much as I was enjoying it all, it is Saturday and the end of a very long and hard week. I felt the need for a nap creeping up on me. Just in time, Daddy Mike appeared around the end of the lilac bushes. He began collecting shoes, and shirts and gave the "Five minutes!" warning.
Suddenly the yard was quiet and I was headed for the couch for a seriously delicious Saturday afternoon nap. Grandchuldren are the crown of life, but having them living as close as next door is blessing upon blessing. I got little done on my own agenda today, but I know there was a little more etched into the memory banks of the four little boys next door. Sigh. It was a day well spent.
Psalm 128: 6 "...and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel."