To keep my sanity (such as it is), I have to pack my bags, contact my cat sitter, and take off to get a grandkid fix now and then.
I sincerely wish my five grandkids lived closer, but the “trip” is always greatly appreciated by me, and I think by the kids, as well.
My most recent “kid trip” was the weekend before Halloween, to see Tyler and Brooke in Northfield, Minn. I was informed the kids had broadcast to whomever would listen that their Grandma M. was coming. Each drew me some “welcome” artwork, and it gave me pleasure to know that my visit brought them pleasure.
However, I found Northfield goes “all out” for Halloween. I never saw so many gorillas, cats, bumblebees, witches, and other assorted critters almost everywhere I went, including restaurants and K-mart. I saw Red Riding Hood and the Wolf in full regalia, a cat (adult) complete with whiskers, and carrying a mouse. She growled with gusto.
When I arrived Friday, we went to the church, where pumpkin carving was underway, in addition to “Halloween Bingo” and pizza. There was an array of strange characters wandering around…with pink and purple hair, with exaggerated beards, and a lot of little characters with wings.
Saturday started early (5:30 a.m. alarm), so we could get to Zumbrota for a walk/run, in which Tyler participated. I again saw a strange assortment of critters. A gorilla fired the starting shot. Witches and a cat took off on the run. Another cat recorded the entries. Plus there was the curious assortment of orange, green and very black hair on certain heads, young and old.
When the race was over (Ty placed third in his division), medals were awarded, costumes were judged (the cat won the adult race, as well as best costume), and various games were played. All this was over by about 10:30, so it was time to eat while watching the costumed folks at the restaurant.
The evening was spent seeing just about every strange thing imaginable. We went to the Pirate’s Cove. Can’t really explain it, but it included music, a lot of pirates saying “aarh,” long corridors with strange side rooms, “fallen” ladies (Brooke got to try on a hat or two). Walking along a “bridge” with a moving, circular “thing” encompassing it, you ended up staggering off, feeling like you’d consumed the “bottle of rum” the pirates kept swigging. Told you it was hard to describe. The “Pirate” drums up a lot of business with these tours, and he puts on events for all ages, as well performing at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
Next was the cemetery walk, in the dark—on uneven ground. Here, impersonators tell the story of people buried at different gravesites, somewhat like “Spoon River Anthology,” but true. It was interesting, historical, and included a tale about men from Jesse James’ gang that were shot and buried in Potter‘s Field. One was removed by a med student and was used as a cadaver at med school. Poor little Brooke didn‘t quite understand the people were “actors.” She was a bit spooked.
By then it was even colder, darker and later, so it was the perfect time to visit the haunted house. Brooke bowed out on that, but Ty had great scares, and a great time.
All of these performances require a lot of work, energy, decorating, and many (ghastly) people, most who donate their services. The haunted house, for instance, had admission of a canned good or $1, all of which went to charity.
Before I left the next morning, the kids had to swim in the motel pool. Tyler asked what I enjoyed most at the haunted house, and I replied, “watching you…enjoying yourself.”
Each of my grandchildren is unique, and I enjoy each of them because they are unique unto themselves. I don’t know that any of them realize how much I am revitalized being with them.
That morning, I told the kids’ mom that I felt like I‘d stumbled through a graveyard all night…but truth be told, I loved it.
Raising children has its own reward, but the end result (grandchildren) is the perfect reward. I think my “fix” may last a little while…at least until Christmas.
Ghosts, goblins and grandkids