The Sustainable Grandma

I was really touched by the number of comments I received about my last newsletter.  Thought I would post the basics for your reading pleasure AND to add the wonderful  comment from Amy K about her adorable, prescious Eloise. It was about our vacation last week with our grandchildren and our activites.

Excerpts:

Here are some of our top, most fun activities as voted on by the gang of four:

 Building a bird’s nest — we have spent hours building just the perfect bird’s nest. Gathering pine needles, twigs, moss, grass and leaves takes hyper focus for a 6 year old. And every morning we check the neat for eggs. Wish I had it on a YouTube video when Liam found one (okay, so Grandma helped a little but it has created magic and magical conversations about birds & eggs & caring for something) He covers it at night!

Walks in the forest — we haven’t had this much rain in years.  The wildflowers abound. Looking at them, identifying them, and yes, even picking some because there are so many, brings delight to Grandma’s face when the “surprise” is presented after a long walk with Grandpa. And little ones see everything — the bugs, the butterflies, the birds, the WORMS! They jump up and down over a hummingbird or a blue heron wading in the stream.  They are excited — about nature and about being outside.

Building a fort — am I really doing this at 60?  It takes hours of gathering and planning and building and we are not close to completion. Madison is a planner and very thorough so I find myself following her direction because she has a better picture of how to accomplish our mission than I do! We are all outside, all getting dirty, all laughing and having a blast. And asking ourselves, what we do without Grandpa?

Feeding the birds (and as a by-product, the raccoons) — You can make fun out of any activity and we do.  It’s a ritual. Get the bird food, fill the bird feeders and then sit and watch “the nature channel” perfectly named by Madison.  We keep a bird book handy, give names to the chipmunks and squirrels that help themselves to the bird food, and laugh out loud when the Alpha male squirrel chases everyone away.

Forging the stream — this one is harder to describe. The water is high because of all the rain. So imagine really cold rushing water, a fearless 6 year old, an adventurous 10 year old both in their underwear splashing, trying to catch fish with a butterfly net, looking for fish eggs, asking if we can have any fish they catch for dinner (eeewww) and all of us getting totally soaking wet and cold amid peals of laughter. Thankfully, no fish were caught. Good memories indeed.

And what outdoor story would be complete without a S’mores story?  Monday night we were joined by our friends, Joe, Mary, Rachel (12) and Nick (9). So out we went, built the outside fire and started the great S’More event. No — not very green, no organic graham crackers, regular old Hershey bars but sometimes, you just gotta have fun!  We decided S’Mores are fun but none of us really like them.  What we did love was the time spent around the fire, the kids sneaking away to scare us and the overall love and laughter.

 Today’s schedule of events? Continuing work on the fort, more walking the stream, working on identifying the differences between elk, antelope and deer and baking Aunt Cherie’s wacky chocolate cake. The kids LOVE being involved with the cooking — no matter what we are preparing. Counting my blessings — every second.

 Thanks for indulging Mrs. Green the Grandma. Here is to your family memories — no matter where that paradise may be for you!

And here’s what Amy wrote:

Gina,
 
We had our own “urban safari” at the Reid Park Zoo today…Eloise (3) asked me on the way there if she could get a snail.  Yep, a snail!  I said, “Maybe someday.”  because I wasn’t sure what else to say.  While we were walking around we found a snail that was stranded on the dry sidewalk after ‘her’ puddle had dried up.  We checked and it still seemed squishy so we took a big leaf Eloise had picked up and the snail to the bathroom sink and got it wet again.  Miracle of miracles the snail poked it’s head out and Eloise squealed with delight!  As we walked out of the bathroom with the snail in my once-a-soda cup (reusable of course) Winking smile emoticon Eloise sighs, “I just LOVE it Mommy I just LOVE her!  Can I call her Chloe?”  Of course you can perfect girl you can call her anything you want.  Smile emoticon
 
Enjoy your adventures.
 love and light,
 amy