Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Under the Yum Yum Tree

(Spending the Weekend at Nana and Papa's House)

Much like Christmas Redux, I was once again caught in the middle of some serious situations that I didn’t know how I was going to get out of.

There was this old girlfriend who had dumped me with a Dear John letter. Now she was suddenly hinting that she’d still like to ‘be friends’… except that she was practically engaged to some prince on campus. Within days, I was scheduled to appear in front of the disciplinary board and would probably be kicked out of school. My best buddy was struggling with his drug and alcohol addiction. My new girlfriend had just dumped me and was threatening to send her father after me. On top of all of that, there were three hard-ass fraternity football players who were looking to whoop my ass if they ever caught me in the Triangle Bar again.

So it wasn’t quite the best time for me to be playing chutes and ladders, candy land bingo, swinging from a monkey bar or racing my corvette up and down the cul-de-sac. Those races, in particular, were never fair. Brennan’s Hummer always crushed me on the turns and Charlotte’s Jeep rolled over me more often than not.

The grandkids were coming over… only this time they weren’t leaving. It was another weekend at Nana’s and Papa’s house. It would probably fulfill its advanced billing as fun, exciting, stressful and enormously time-consuming…for me. Another unofficial break from my writing. It’s one of those things you do because that’s what grandparents must do when inquiring minds want to know… about everything.

Reading and game-playing is always paramount on our weekend agenda.

Our backyard is usually a menagerie of rabbits, squirrels, black crows and birds of every species. All of it under the Yum Yum tree. The porch is perfect for bird-watching even in the rain.

Even race cars need to rest sometimes.

After the park, there’s only one restaurant to go to – Culvers

Fishing at Great Grandma’s house in Wabasha

Portraits by Denis

Portraits by Brennan 

Portraits by Charlotte

A tractor fair takes them to a grandpa’s farm they never had a chance to visit.

Aquatic challenges at the water park

Brennan and Charlotte are gone now. My rewrite of “A Shau” has been completed and is being edited as I write. I have pictures to remember that weekend and some pleasant memories too. But none of that really matters; neither the rewrite nor the pictures nor the memories on my part.

What really matters are the fragmented, fragile memories that both Brennan and Charlotte have captured in their plastic sieves of brain matter. I can’t know nor might I ever know what they remembered of that weekend. There were other weekends that preceded it and there will be many more to come after it.

All I know for certain is that something will be remembered. It might be something profound or maybe something minor and silly. But there will be a memory here and there that will become the hallmark of that weekend at Nana and Papa’s house.

Could I ask for anything more?

I think not.

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