Day 2 started as early as day 1.
GN was v-e-r-y testy last night so rather than let her sleep in as late as possible, I decided she needed to take the “long way” to school. She thought that meant her regular city bus ride across town, but I had a different plan.
I took her on a long drive. We stayed in the city limits, but I took her through the neighborhood where we lived when she was born. The frown started to leave her face. She remembers the little playground, though she hasn’t been there for thirteen years.
We drove up and down a couple of St. Paul’s seven hills and she started noticing the flowering trees. Her testy slumped-over posture started to fade.
We arrived at our breakfast stop and she began to be verbal. After eating, she was actually conversational.
After breakfast, we stopped at a grocery store to pickup an item from the international aisle that I needed to make her favorite banana bread. She was starting to tap her fingers to the music on the radio.As we worked our way toward her high school, we looked for the dry cleaners where I need to take her JROTC uniform before she turns it in for the summer.
We only live four miles from her school – ten to fifteen minutes away at most, but this morning it took us an hour and a half and I don’t know how many miles to make the transformation from testy to her smiley self. It isn’t easy being a teen and I wouldn’t do 9th grade over if I got paid a lot of money, but the long way to school worked its quiet wonder for today.
My tasks on my list for today included rearranging two cupboards in the kitchen . . . call it musical china if you wish. Three sets of dishes needed tending. I decided it was time to let go of one set. They came out of the cupboard and were packed for donation. The remaining two sets were just swapped from the cupboards where they were stacked. One set is more wintery and I like the other set for spring and summer.
My ulterior motive for the swapping and packing was that I really wanted to make one cupboard into a little coffee shop/library in the corner of my kitchen. I hate being in the kitchen, to be honest. The kitchen is the darkest room in the house. There isn’t a window in there and the sink faces the wall that adjoins my townhome neighbor’s kitchen. The kitchen means work . . . cooking, washing dishes, and scrubbing the floor. The little coffee shop/library cupboard is my attempt to make a bright spot in the kitchen that will make me enjoy it a little more.
The dishes that I want to use over spring and summer don’t take up much space and they are tucked in between two shelves of books. One shelf holds the books I want to get to this year and the other shelf holds my Minnesota collection: people places and events that have shaped this state I call home. I also tucked some coffee mugs, teas and coffee in that cupboard to make it more inviting. I tucked a few new books for GN in the cupboard too. Her hot chocolate is there as well, but she hasn’t noticed the switch yet.
I haven’t taken a photo yet because I am not quite finished with what I want to do in that corner cupboard.
I had time for a nap before I picked up GN from school.
After a simple supper, I plopped on the couch, sitting up, but with my legs stretched out. GN asked me if I wanted the television on. I didn’t. I told her we were going to work a crossword puzzle together instead. She practically dove onto the couch next to me, arranged some pillows to make herself more comfortable.
GN: why did you decide to do this, Grammy?
Gram: Because you didn’t have any homework and it will be fun. You have a large vocabulary for a girl your age, but language is more than just vocabulary. Crossword puzzles are a good way to learn, too. What you don’t get the first time, will stick in your memory for the next time a similar clue is given. You’ll see.
One Across: chew the _ _ _.
GN: I have no idea!
Well, you may not have heard this idiom before. Chew the fat . . .
Gram: No, not gross. it means chit-chat or small talk, but it is an idiom. Do you know what an idiom is?
GN: something idiots say?
And so the evening passed with my granddaughter snuggled close enough to see the crossword puzzle and make good attempts and guessing the words to be filled in.
One clue asked for the Morse Code message for help.
GN: SOS, right Grammy.
Gram: Yes, that’s right! Now, do you know the actual code for SOS?
GN: It’s dashes and dots, isn’t it?
Gram: Yes, but not in that order. And do you know how to ‘say’ the dots and dashes?
Gram: Well there is a phonetic pronunciation that would make the distress signal sound like this: di-di-dit dah-dah-dah di-di-dit.
GN: Cool. How did you know that?
Gram: Great- grandpa knew Morse Code. He used to sign his notes to Great-grandma with something that took me a long time to figure out. I figured it out.
We worked two crossword puzzles because GN had so much fun. with the first one.
My 2nd day of Retirement Internship ended when I picked up my granddaughter from school, but because there is much less pressure to keep a schedule when I am off work, I could share my retirement internship with her. It was a fun evening.