Okay, so Jeb wanted to go to the mall that morning instead of the parade and I am no hand at taking night pictures, so there are no parade or fireworks pictures here. In the early evening, though, we went over to my Mom’s house for a family get together where we had a barbecue. My mother’s garden is in full bloom and a lovely setting for picnics, so I took lots of pictures of that.
The little pond on the right is what my Mom up and built just this month where she used to have a hot tub she’d stopped using. It’s awfully pretty… but can you imagine not wanting to use your hot tub in the green house anymore? How can that even happen?
This is my pretty mom, out taking photos of her flowers while they’re blooming so she can later remember what will bloom where. She actually keeps a chart. This is why her garden is so exceptionally beautiful methinks. She knows exactly what she’s doing. I did not inherit this trait from her alas.
On the right is my sister Gail with her fur baby, Tigger.
My sister’s other dog, Jet, the one who ran through the closed sliding glass door last year, jet-like, without a cut, was terribly excited by all the crazy neighbors firing off fireworks early. He was dashing back and forth barking in the direction of each POP, BOOM, or CRACKLE and being a general knucklehead about it. Far from scared, he was actually having a lot of fun it seemed. He here is at one of the rare moments nothing was sounding off and so he was holding still…
After eating, while waiting for the fireworks at sunset, we lounged about the garden playing games, all, unfortunately, with money involved.
My sister doesn’t like to play games unless there’s gambling involved. I didn’t like that part but I was out numbered and got pushed into playing, even by Jeb.
In one of the games we played (I don’t know what it’s called), we each put $3 on the table and took turns rolling 3 special dice. On each dice was a dot, a star, a “Left,” and a “right.” If you get dot, you get to keep a dollar. If you get a star, you have to put a dollar in the cup at the center of the table. If you get a “Left,” you have to pass a dollar to the person on your left. If you get a “Right,” you have to pass a dollar to the person on your right. You lose money and get it back in pretty quick succession thereby and you only roll as many dice as you have dollars in your hand with the exception being that you can end up with more in hand if you’re lucky, but there are still only 3 dice to roll. If you have nothing, you roll nothing. Eventually, most of the money will end up in the pot. The person with the last unpotted dollar is the winner and gets the pot.
This is my sister Gail. Guess who won this round?
It was a fun evening… which is an odd thing to call it since it was still daylight out until close to 10 PM. I got some beautiful pictures of Mom’s garden thereby.
Sometime mid-way between game playing and fireworks, I went into the house for something, the main part of which was upstairs from the backyard where we played, and found my little grandson, Levi, sitting alone on the top step in the relative twilight in there. He’s 6. He looked sad sitting there with his chin in his hands so I asked him what was wrong.
“I miss my grandpa,” he said with a heavy sigh.
Thinking he must mean Jeb, I said, “But he’s right outside. Why don’t you go see him?”
“Not Grandpa Jeb,” Levi said, “my REAL grandpa. He died.”
Note: Levi has no dead grandfathers in this life… maybe some dead great-great grandfathers, but he never met any of those. Still, I sensed a story there, so I wasn’t about to correct him. Instead, I asked him what happened to his grandfather.
He glanced up at me like I was being particularly slow and said, “He DIED. He was sick and he died and he left me all alone in the house.”
I’ve read many times of children between the ages of 2 and 7, thereabouts, spontaneously spouting memories from past lives and had, as a matter of fact, long-expected that he would be one of them. He seemed more aware than usual as a baby. When he was a newborn, I found that he would answer random yes or no questions directed at him with a nod or a shake of his head.
I thought he’d be my grandfather reborn though it was quickly apparent he wasn’t. For one thing, Grandpa was still appearing regularly in my dream as I remembered him, more so with Grandma once she’d passed, and… well, I asked and the answer was a definite “No.” That had been about 4 or 5 years ago. I never asked a second time and now it was being brought home to me again. My grandfather did not have a relationship with his grandfather and would not have missed him.
“What is your grandpa’s name?” I asked Levi.
Levi sighed again and shook his head. “I don’t remember. I only ever called him Grandpa. He’s gone and I miss him.”
When I was a kid, I called my grandparent’s by their last names with the preface of Grandpa/Baba or Grandma/Nana appended so it took me a fairly long time to learn their full names and I was never allowed to address them by their first names. In sharp contrast, Levi calls each of his grandparents and great-grandparents by their first names with the preface of Grandpa or Grandma on it so it’s weird for him to be mentioning a grandparent whose name he doesn’t know.
In any case, I was unable to get any more information out of him so I just hope he’ll talk about it again sometime. Now I’m curious!
We continued game playing outside until it was too dark to see the went up to deck to watch the fire flowers blooming all over the sky. The fireworks that night were spectacular. All the neighbors must have spent a fortune on them. They were shooting up big mortars on either side and fore and aft as well. On on the Tulalip reservation across a thin strip of Puget Sound from us, the fireworks were going off all up and down the shore every second. Over the water itself, the public show was going on, but the neighbors fireworks were so much closer as to be the better. Really nice. Lots of of OOOH and AAAAHHH moments.
How was your 4th of July?