Nine mosquito bites
Part 7 - Days in the life of a grandpa
Nine mosquito bites
Amanda and I finish our visit with Great-Grandma at the Care facility where she lives.
Then we are off to a local park where a path runs beside a small river.
A three level viewing platform is built out over the river. We usually pick up leaves or stones to throw in the water.
This day there are no leaves lying on the path, but we pick up stones from the gravel path and take turns throwing them into the water. We say "THERE!" when we see the two expanding circles made by our rocks touch as they ripple out from where the stones splashed in.
We walk further along the path to a bench where we always sit and rest. A larger river flows along before us. We sit in the warm sunshine and look for birds or ducks. We watch a speedboat roaring down the river. Sometimes a tug boat goes slowly by, towing a boom of logs.
Amanda looks forward to hearing me sing "her special song, that I made up for her just because I love her." I usually sing it to her here, while we sit and relax on the bench by the big river.
Hers is the longest song of all the songs I have made up for my grandchildren. It has twenty-two 4-line verses. I still get a few of the words mixed up. So I carry a print-out of the words in my shirt pocket to refer to when I get stuck.
Amanda pulls the paper out of my shirt pocket with a flourish. She relaxes in my arms and enjoys reading the words and singing it along with me. For a little girl just finishing kindergarten, she has learned to read amazingly well. She won an award at the school this year for her reading.
We sing through all 22 verses, and finish up with the last words -
Well, this song is finished; I have to say good-bye, - But one thing is very clear, - I love you and I will look forward to the time - The next time I see you, my dear.
We stand up and stretch, and start off down the next part of the trail. It's the shady part - through a stand of beautiful tall trees. A lady has already warned us that the mosquitoes are bad in the shade there.
We start off, and before we have gone thirty feet we are smacking mosquitoes off our arms. I have on jeans and a short-sleeved golf shirt with a collar. Amanda has on shorts and a tank-top tee-shirt that has more skin exposed for the mosquitoes to land on. I explain I will walk behind her and try to get the mosquitoes as soon as I see them land on her.
We end up running along the path, laughing as we try to "out-run" the mosquitoes. It is crazy. I have never seen so many.
We burst out into the sunshine a little further along, and we are free again. I guess mosquitoes like the shade more than the direct sunshine.
We relax out on a second viewing platform where the little river flows out and joins the big river. We walk onto the center part of a bridge that spans the little river just before it joins. We throw more rocks down into the water, and watch our widening circles until the ripples touch each other.
Then we start back. We are prepared to run this time through the shady part. I think we have gotten through unscathed.
(But the next day Beth drops by Daren and Jenna's house for something, and Amanda tells her to be sure and tell Grandpa that she got NINE mosquito bites on our walk.
She isn't upset with Grandpa, but she wants him to know. When Beth goes to leave, Amanda asks her, "Now Grandma, what are you going to tell Grandpa when you see him?" Beth assures her that she won't forget.
Beth tells me. I feel terrible. I thought I had protected her from the tiny aerial dive-bombers. But that's nine less bites she will have to endure during her life....)
But back to our walk....
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