Let me just say, it's been a great morel season around here, even though we could have used a little more rain.
There were five children among the guests, so I asked them if they'd like me to bring the Legos out. They were all for it, and before you know it, I was also toting bunch of Little People stuff out in the little red wagon. I also took some sidewalk chalk. I told the kids the toys had to stay in the shop (not the chalk, of course), and except for a couple of brief moments of forgetfulness, they obliged.
There aren't a generally lot of introductions made among Arick's friends, so when one lady who was obviously grandmother to three of the children came in, Cliff and I had no idea who she was. Arick was pretty busy at the smoker (in his garage) and Heather was in the house preparing food; since the children had plenty to keep them busy, everybody went to visit with Arick and Heather. At this point I looked around and the only ones in the shop were Cliff, the grandma, me, and the kids. I found out where the lady lives and what town she works in, and I'm sure when we introduced ourselves, she gave her name. But as is typical for me, I don't remember it. As far as the children go, I know Kinsey well, but not the others, although they've all been here before. I finally learned one name: The boy spoke so softly I couldn't make out what he was saying, but finally Arick came through, noticed me struggling to understand the boy, and informed me his name was Roman.
So there we were, three adults watching five children play contentedly. At one point some of them said they were hungry, so I went to the house and brought back some string cheese and a few granola bars. Later I made chocolate chip pan cookies, too, and the raging appetites were controlled. I wondered if I could possibly get these kids to participate in a singalong. I got the guitar, strummed a G-chord, and had their attention. They all wanted to try it, so I let them do the strumming while I held the guitar and switched from one chord to another. I sang a couple of kid songs (you might know one of them would request "Old McDonald", a favorite of Cora's and one I would be happy to never hear again. But I sang a couple of verses). Then the grandmother (again, I'm kicking myself for not knowing her name) asked if I knew any Loretta Lynn songs. I'm more familiar with Kitty Wells, but I strummed as she sang "You Ain't Woman Enough". When I lit into "Silver Threads and Golden Needles", she sang along and sounded great.
My problem, I told her, is that I don't know all the words of many songs. "I should have brought my songbook," she said. I immediately invited her to Arick's big Fourth of July shindig (hey, she's grandmother of one of his friends, I don't think he would mind). And I told her to bring her song book.
As for the kids singing along, that didn't happen, but as each one at various times came over asking to strum my guitar again, I remembered Cora's band instruments in a box at the house: Tamborine, maracas, hand drum, triangle, harmonica, and frog. I sent Cliff after them and before you know it, we had a band. The harmonica seemed to be the favorite, so it had to be passed around a lot, but it all worked out.
|This is the frog. You take the stick from its mouth and rub it on his back.|
Roman and I became buddies before the day was out. He followed me to the house at one point and noticed a wild turkey feather on the bookcase, one I'd found in the woods. Since he was so fascinated with it, I gave it to him. He walked into the bedroom at one point and said, "Is this where you sleep?
I went to the bed, patted it, and said, "Yes, I sleep on this side. Cliff sleeps over there."
"That's where your dad sleeps?"
"Well, he's my husband, not my dad, but yes."
It was a good, relaxing day with some well-mannered children and good food. And I found somebody to sing a couple of songs with.
Seriously, one of my motivations for going to church is that it's the only place I know where I can find some people to sing with.