One thing I didn't take into account when my family came to visit was the fact that all of them live in an urban setting. Crickets, Wolves and Birds woke one or all of them during the time they spent here.
I'm accustomed to the sound of Animals in the night. For the majority of my life, I have lived in the country. But this morning, even I was catapulted out of sleep by a Wolf's howl...and I began to understand how different living in the Bush is compared to city life.
On the whole, however, the visit went very well...singing Crickets notwithstanding.
My family arrived on a sultry afternoon, a harbinger of the following days, which would continue to become even warmer, until the inevitable Thundershowers finally occurred.
I was enveloped in a hug by a granddaughter who has grown another few inches since I saw her a few months ago, as soon as the family vehicle stopped outside my door. And not long after that loving, smothering hug, my grandson pelted through the door, with his arms held wide...and I was the recipient of another huge hug from a very excited little boy.
I was over-the-Moon excited myself! So much love was spread that afternoon on their arrival I wonder to myself how I could ever have thought my absence from my grandchildren's lives would make them forget me.
And that love continued throughout the visit.
Graydon, my grandson, and I walked the property with our Dogs at least a couple of times...the kinds of walks which last occurred with my granddaughter when she was three years old, where every Stone was overturned and each Stick became a sword. With his water pistol in hand, we went searching for the Mugglewump who lives in the draw in front of the house. The story of the Mugglewump came about because Graydon is not accustomed to Dogs. And I have two rather large ones.
The Mugglewump, you see, is also frightened of Dogs. He won't come over the Boulders which line the driveway, because the creature knows I have the Dogs with me, which, I told Graydon, is why I the Dogs live with Granda and I. They protect us from the Mugglewump who does nothing but mischief...he misplaces keys, books and dishes, he picks Flowers out of my garden and he would make life generally upsetting, if the Dogs did not keep him in his place.
Well. Graydon didn't actually want to see the Mugglewump. But he definitely wanted to see where the silly creature lived and he wanted to squirt Water amongst the Stones lining the driveway, just as added protection. And when I told him the pee from the Dogs on the Stones were what the Mugglewump didn't like, he wanted to pee, too...
The Mugglewump kept us very entertained on our long walks with the Dogs...and Graydon, as much as Nate and Lucky bothered him with their kisses, accepted them from then on. He was even convinced he had a Mugglewump at his home...and that his cat Elvis, who is rather old and confused, was protecting him there as well.
My granddaughter and her friend, Sabrina, are too old for Mugglewumps and they are accustomed to our Dogs. Graham and I found something else to entertain them...we took them into town for a shopping trip!
This was where Brianna discovered a grandfather's pride and joy in seeing her in various outfits in the store would open his wallet. She went home with a new skirt and a couple of tops...and because she did not expect this, our love for this beautiful young woman only deepened. She also remembered to buy a gift for her mother, my daughter Heidi, just because...
Because Graham has been ill for a very long time with cellulitis on his ankle, making it difficult for him to walk, the trampoline was still down when our family arrived. But, as Brianna said, teamwork made short work of this, and the trampoline was up in no time.
There were a few times I went into the house when all the acrobatics on the tramp were going on. Brianna, Sabrina and Heidi, my daughter, are all pros on it...yet my heart was in my mouth quite a few times. I thought it better to go in and have a cup of Tea, rather than sit and yell...Be careful...each time a somersault or another dangerous stunt (to me!) was executed.
This was the first time Graydon had used the trampoline. He was very vocal when jumps became too high when he was on it, and I blessed him for it. Soft, gentle jumps are more up my alley, as well!
Granda took Graydon for a ride on the tractor...another first for Graydon. He left the tractor convinced it was an Aston-Martin...who among us would not be thrilled to displace a lowly tractor with a luxury vehicle? In our minds, if nowhere else!
And so the days went by, much too quickly, of course, for my liking. We had cold roast Chicken and salads, barbecued Steaks and roast Potatoes, a couple of pies I had made beforehand, and a wonderful Goat Cheese Ravioli with fresh Tomato sauce Heidi made. For breakfast, we had farm-fresh Eggs and home-smoked Bacon. Of course, I had too much food...even the cashier at the store where I bought the groceries was astounded at the amount.
I discovered I no longer had any idea of how much to buy when the family visits, just as when I became an empty nester and was confused by how much food was required for only two people. But the extra food didn't go to waste...I gave it to my family when they left.
It was so difficult to see them go. It was all I could do not to take the car and follow them down the highway. Homesickness descended; in order to squelch the sad feeling, I cleaned the house, which looked as if a whole herd of Mugglewumps had descended upon us.
I wanted to hold Time, during their visit, until I decided Time was up. But I was not in control of Father Time; I knew before the visit occurred it would go much too quickly.
But I have things to do, for the next time I see them. I know Bree's taste much better now. Buying gifts for her will be ever so much easier after our shopping trip. And I will flesh out the Mugglewump's story a bit more for my grandson. Perhaps the Mugglewump will try to drive the tractor/Aston Martin, perhaps he will get stuck when he drives down into the draw...who knows what will happen?
This morning, as East Wind blows and Wolf howled, I am convinced I am right where I am supposed to be, just as my family is right where they are supposed to be...with visits here and there to cement the awesome love we all carry within us for each other.
It is the way of things in life...
And for our family, at least, there will always be that next visit!