No3 and Me
I love to visit my grandchildren. They are all such different personalities that I experience something new and pleasing with every visit.
No3 has her 11th birthday coming up later this month, and as I’ve mentioned before, she and I have nice chats about all kinds of topics, such as her future No3-Land.
This one particular discussion came up when she was about seven or eight years old. While we were talking, I got on the subject of my grandmother’s farm in Ontario with the 1840s brick house. My siblings, my cousins and myself all had fun there when we were children, and both her dad and uncle as well, so she knew a little bit about the place.
I was telling her about playing on the hills that used to have horses grazing on them and the wonderful swing that hung for several years, explaining all the fun we had with it.
Then there was the ‘tree house’ that my brother and sister had put together. It was not much more than a simple platform, but the neat part about it was that it was in the center of a maple tree. The tree itself was very large and was about halfway down one of the hills. The main branch that supported the ‘tree house’ reached out and literally rested on the top of the hill. This was excellent because we could just walk along the branch to get to the tree house…didn’t even have to bother with a ladder.
For most of our childhood, in the barnyard there was an old horse barn, two little wooden structures, and a brick carriage house. They provided wonderful play spaces for hours on end. All the wooden structures were eventually removed, leaving just the brick carriage house and the concrete cellar of the big barn, all of which was still neat to play around.
Out on the back hill we’d wander through the woods and find what we called the ‘skunk plants’…they literally smelled like a skunk when you kicked them over. It stunk up the village quite nicely if the wind was coming from just the right direction…I always got a kick out of doing that (but didn’t mention that misdeed to No3).
The best part was the old house with the massive rooms with 12’ ceilings, a 42’ long center hallway, three fire places, the cellar with an old icebox, the wood burning stove in the old kitchen, the claw foot bathtub, and the storage rooms upstairs that had old toys, chests filled with old clothes, all sorts of paraphernalia to sort through.
No television, not even a radio, chores to do but the 20 acres to wander around, new kids to meet and the whole little village to explore made for a wonderful home-away-from-home. It was great, and my enthusiasm must have been obvious.
No3 made a comment then which absolutely made my heart want to burst with joy. She said “I wish I’d known you when you were little. We could have been friends.”
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Thought for the Day: “To show a child what once delighted you, to find the child’s delight added to your own – this is happiness.” ~Joseph Priestley