Prepping for a Visit

My oldest daughter and the grandchildren are coming for a visit in July. There was a baby shower scheduled for my daughter who is pregnant with triplets. The baby shower was cancelled due to my pregnant daughter going to be in the hospital at that time, and stay until the triplets are born.

My oldest daughter is coming for a visit. She will stay with me and we will visit the pregnant mother. The grandchildren will stay at our house and be watched by my husband.

Since she and her children have not been here before, I am overly excited. I want everything to be perfect. But in truth, I will not accomplish perfect, but things will be nice.

One request from my daughter is to teach her daughters how to ride a horse. They have ridden horses used for dude rides, but never a finished horse. A finished horse does maneuvers simply by turning your head in the direction you want to go. When watching an experienced rider and a finished horse perform, it looks like the horse reads the rider’s mind. They move as one, and perform some wonderful maneuvers. I have trained one of my horses to be very light and finished. This horse is also a very good children’s mount and teacher. What some call in the horse world, a “horse master”.

When I was training horses and teaching riding lessons, my children were learning beside me. They became very good riders, and those who wanted to train, learned the skills to train a horse to be a partner, not a servant. I hoped that my children would pass the skills on to their children, but none of them have horses or desire to be horse trainers.

I will be able to share with my granddaughters the love of the horse and how to ride as a partner, one with the horse in body and mind.

I am cleaning the tack, riding one horse whos training is not complete, hoping to have her training to where the young girls can ride her. Busy getting the spare bedrooms ready. I will have to set up a crib for the two year old, as he still sleeps in a crib. Meal planning and activity plans.

The activity plans are for my husband for when he has the three grandchildren, while my daughter and I are at the hospital visiting. My husband does not think of games or activities for inside very much. He is an outdoors type person, playing catch, going fishing, or just messing around. Since it is going to be hot during the midday, he needs options ready for him.

Besides horseback riding we will go fishing. The grandchildren have heard from their cousin and seen pictures of big catfish to catch. They want to try to meet or beat his record. The tack needs to be resupplied from the visit with my grandson.

Since it is hot during summertime days, there will be games to be played inside where it is cool. Hopefully, I can get our famous swimming pool ready….the six foot across horse trough.

The sheep will start having lambs a week before they arrive. A busy time for me. All my regular work, lambing and preparing for a week long visit.

The grandchildren are excited, horses, sheep and lambs, puppies and dogs, fishing and who knows what else they think they might do here. I want to be ready to meet those young and ambitious expectations.


Summertime Visit

Each year I drive the long miles to pick up my grandson, Mr. J. He has come to my home each summer since he was four years old. He actually lived with me for nine months starting at age two. Circumstances with the divorce of his parents, and his mother moving to Texas, he needed a place to stay for awhile until she became settled. Granny’s house was a good place to go. Then his father came to Texas and stayed with us for nine months. So, for over a year he lived at our house.

When things settled and his parents found their rhythm in life, he came for visits. The length of time started as a whole month. But as children grow, they have other activities. This year Mr. J will visit for three weeks.

The drive to bring him to Texas and return him home is the worst part of our summertime visit. Two days on the road makes a long trip. On the trip to Texas we talk about the year and catch up. We also make plans for what we will do this visit.

This year, we are fishing and riding horses. His horse is not caring for a baby this year, and we will be able to go on rides. He has been riding her since he was two, they are both getting older. There will come a time when he will not be able to ride his beloved Vicky horse.

Fishing is another activity he started learning at the age of two. We would take him to the local lakes, hook the perch and let him reel in the fish. He has learned how to bait his own hook, take off his own fish, and how to put rigging on his pole. The first day of fishing this year, his first fish was a channel catfish, 20 1/2 inches long, weight 3.5 pounds. His largest fish he has brought to show was three years ago, a channel catfish 28 inches long.

But staying with Granny is not all play, there are the daily chores of taking care of the sheep and horses. We are also refinishing a dresser for his aunt who is having triplets. He has learned how to paint different items in the past visits, but this year he is learning how to hand sand and refinishing an old dresser, and make some minor improvements and repairs.

Two years ago when Covid-19 broke out and everyone was on lockdown, he could not come for summer visit. His mother said he was miserable. She said that would not happen again. His summertime visits are a recharge for him. A time to learn new things and just be a kid.

Mr. J and I have a special relationship, grandmother and grandson, but also best friends. He is able to talk to me about anything and everything, without feeling judgement or getting in trouble. We have worked through some of his hard problems, learned how to deal with emotions,the problems that arise from having divorced parents and step parents.

During our fishing trip, we discussed that these summertime visits will eventually come to an end. He is getting older. One year he will have a job, or be at college, and unable to take three or four weeks visits with Granny. He is getting older, growing up and will eventually have commitments and responsibilities, that he does not have today. Today, we will enjoy the talks on the lake banks waiting for the big catfish to bite, or feeling the rhythmic hoofbeats under us as we ride.

He also realizes that the day will come when his beloved Vicky horse will no longer be able to carry him on a ride, she is sixteen this year. His hope is to ride her filly born last year, when the filly will be old enough to ride. And perhaps, he will be able to train her, be the first on her back for the first ride.

It has been a cherished joy to teach my grandson the many lessons, first to be talk using words, to learning to ride alone, to catching and reeling in a 28 inch catfish. Memories we both will cherish for a lifetime and beyond.

So, if I miss a day or two from writing the next few weeks, I am out fishing or riding or working on a dresser, building more memories to recall in the future and a relationship for a lifetime.