impromptu moments: (teaching young children about the world around them)

teaching children

Yes, that is an earth worm being held in the hand of my granddaughter Hannah Grace, age 4 while her cousin Destiny, age 5 looks on. If you look closely each girl is relaxed and ”in the moment” as they discover how it feels to hold the earth worm. Destiny’s mother Rebecca is telling them all about the earth worms habitat and habits and how important they are to our garden soil and, well, that they must keep them safe and not destroy them.
As I looked on I was drawn back in time to more than sixty years ago —

The Summer of 1949 was extremely hot. The red clay soil was so dry it had turned to a fine powder. It felt like silk between my toes and after mid morning became too hot to walk on without shoes. I remember this because I remember that I walked with my grandmother Nannie to a nearby neighbor’s farm to swap her freshly made butter for jam and on the way back I wore my shoes.  All I need do — all these years later — is close my eyes and drift back in time to feel the powdered clay pushing up between my toes and smell the aroma of the pastures on my grandparents farm. This is something that has never left me.

In a way it is the roots that have grounded me all my years. I know the peoples I belong to, what I am part of. The history. The family. My family.

Lately I have found myself revisiting a time very few of my friends can equate to because they did not live it.  They did not live in rural America, did not know the feel of the hide, the stench of a wet barn nor the sweetness of that same barn after being freshly laid with clean straw. They did not swing from rafters and they certainly never tipped a cow.

I wish more than life itself my grandchildren could experience what I experienced as a child or at least when I tell them of my life they would completely understand it.  But I fear the stories are too removed from what their lives consist of today for them to fully appreciate how wonderful it was all those years ago.  At times they look at me in wonderment when I tell them of my grandparents farm.  I’m completely convinced they think I’m making up stories for their entertainment.

When they are elder — sixty years hence — will their grandchildren understand how it felt for them to hold an earth worm? How then can I expect them to know how it felt for fine silken soil to filter through my toes. But I want to keep trying to explain all the things that were so wonderful when I was their age so at each and every opportunity I become an impromptu performer and charm them with my stories.







Missing Potato Chip Bag

“Abby, who took the potato chip bag?”
“I Don’t Know”
Destiny, who took the potato chip bag?”
“Nobody, Grandma!” (suspicious statement)
“Hannah, did you take the potato chip bag?”
“No, I didn’t do it, Somebody did” (skipping away, singing Jingle Bells)

So, there’s my answer ::: First I Don’t Know took the chips; then for some reason Nobody got a hold of them; and finally for some unknown reason Somebody took them far far away ::: mystery remains unsolved. 

Hannah and Tips Stay with Grandma



Did I ever mention that I write children’s literature? 

It’s one of my passions. I began long long ago in a far away land, as the rains fell gently across my window pain ‘ahem’ pane  — actually, it was in a two story condo in Orange County between husbands — when one of my daughters did something really naughty. Her act gave reason for extra cash and an apology;  I had plenty of emotion cash for the apology but little actual cash to cure her deed. 

Hint about the dastard deed of Miss Pamela Louise: dish soap in very hot water will get spattered raw eggs off windows. 

I wasn’t thrilled about the six eggs taken from my refrigerator which were used to ”decorate her class-room window” during a dare from other forth graders. A few other forth graders were to do the same, but unfortunately for this little kitten’s Mum, it was my brave daughter who took up the dare and follow through with the act! She was caught in mid stance with egg number three in her hand (…very naughty Little Kitten, Mother Cat said…).  

I asked  “Pam how will we pay for this!” 

“I’ll write a sorry note!” she replied. Oh, the mind of a forth grader. Sorry takes care of the pane ‘ahem’ pain. 

That sorry note became a story to share with her classmates during her public classroom apology. I was there to witness her recital of “Naughty Little Kitten”; after her reading, and at the suggestion of Mrs. What-Was-Her-Name, who noticed the children were enthroned by the story, I wrote other stories to share with the classroom as “”learning lessons”” as the teacher put it. And, soon I was making a few of those extra cash dollars — you know, just in case we had more egg spatter or other nonsense caused by one naughty little kitten to contend with. The school principal had a connection with someone in the publishing community.  It was a short lived career.  While it lasted I was in a little kid’s story heaven, in other words: I loved doing this. 

This morning as I watch another little girl, my granddaughter Hannah Grace sleep I am reminded of all the fun I had writing and sharing these stories with children. I was reminded because of one about a little girl sleeping in grandma’s bed with her dog sleeping beneath. Then as fate would have it, this morning I ran across the picture seen above. Amazing how things (thoughts) come together.  

So, on another writing place this morning I wrote: “This picture seems appropriate :) for this morning ~~~ little Miss Hannah is still asleep in my bed and Tips the dog beneath, both in restful slumber. Can’t say I remember a morning like this with my youngsters! Oh wait Tips is up and we’re headed out :) ~~~ It’s raining and it took longer to encourage her to do her thing! Not too cold but the slight breeze and dampness of the rain sent me back inside to wait on Tips just as soon as she was out of site around the street side of the house (must be her “big potty” place?) ~ one whine at the door and she’s back in and going to check on Hannah which is a good reason for me to stop typing! and added Love, Mum”

I have the joy of caring for Hannah and Tips during my kid’s trip to North Carolina to fetch belongings for a move to Ohio. I live in Ohio so this move is a move I approve of big time. Soon, I’ll have Abigail and Destiny here as well. Along with Joseph this will be five little ones three to five years of age! All blonds except, of course, for our red headed Joseph which seems appropriate that the boy has red whilst the girls have blond. My house is about to get really busy and fun — which brings zero complaints from this Grandma. 


what to do when you’re bored

This week my eldest son Brian and his family came for a visit.  So I had some great grandmother time with some sweet little ones.  While Mummy and Daddy were out one of my granddaughters was showing me how she could take pictures on my new ‘tablet’ so we decided to have some fun with our poses :)  — This is me and my little Mattie who is five years old and she is a real honest to goodness joy to have around. Very helpful but very independent, just like her Grand-Mum!

What do you do with your grands when they come for a visit?

Happy Birthday Hannah Grace

hannah's 2nd birthday 072

Happy Birthday Hannah Grace. The year has swept by us little one and you grew into a whirlwind of joyfulness the entire family loves to be witness to. You  learned to say all your alphabet from A to Z and count to 100! You became a fierce golf cart driver and a motorcycle rider. And all this and more before you turn four! Your Nana can’t imagine what next you shall do Hannah Grace before you thrive and dive into the age of five. So, on Saturday when Mummy puts four candles on your cake make sure you say a wish for the thing you want the most and then work real hard to make that wish come true. I love you my darling Hannah Grace. You are a blessing to us all.

“Mommy, can I be a balloon for Halloween?”

Kids are amazing! Creative little creatures who have terrific imaginations. They give new meaning to the term: thinking outside the box.  And this is never so apparent than when it comes to picking out their Halloween costumes.  When my youngest was five she asked to be a balloon. Thankfully she had a willing Mum who attached (with scotch tape) blown-up water balloons to her pink leotard dance class outfit. She was the cutest little thing!

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So…tell me: what are your kids asking to be this Halloween? Really, I’d love to hear your stories.







I  advocate Action Against Abuse and pray a silent prayer you do as well . . .

Around 1946  my Mum Marie stood tall against abuse — long story short, because she stood tall that year three years later she became my Mum when she married my Daddy bringing with her two new brothers — the elder of my new brothers had (in the beginning of his relationships) a struggle with being abusive (what he saw is what he repeated) but the younger (by six years), who was influenced more from his mother’s new marriage to my Dad, never suffered the same condition. Why is this true? I think because he repeated what he witnessed and what he witnessed was a loving and happy couple.

Why am I telling you this?  Because I need to say it. And, because I want you to hear it.

I also remember doing things, just like my Mum, standing with my hand on my hip, just so, just like she did. This made my father laugh more than once when I was a kid. Kids mimic and are like a sponge soaking up everything parents do and the proof is in the words we, as adults, speak to our own children and sometimes, stop in our tracks and say, “Where did that come from” or “I sounded just like my Mom or Dad!” Yep, there you have it …. so speak love, compassion, empathy, kindness and charity and teach those principles.


I beseech you to take-care with the little ones. They are so precious.