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The Morning After

November 5, 2014

No, this isn’t about the election or sex or anything like that. This is about deep gratefulness.

Those who have seen my fun photo album recently of both grandchildren (11 months and 13 months) coming for a visit Nov. 1-2 know what comes next.


There is the oh-so-empty house.


The toys and books strewn here and there.


The fun of bath time with an almost-toddler. The look of glee in Sam’s eyes when I resurrect one of the girls’ old bath tubs, all cleaned up for the occasion.

The smudges on the patio door as babies now into “cruising” stand and greet the puppy eye to eye.

The house is full of poignant and throat-catching glimpses of a too-short weekend but perhaps all the more special because we can’t see our little ones or children as often as we’d like.

My mother talked about these times.

P1060747 Floppy Frog seems to convey my feelings pretty well.

But I’m so grateful they are not in California or Oregon or Africa, thousands of miles away, like some of my friends’ grandkids. But if they were, I’m sure I’d find ways to adjust and to see them as often as we could.

It all goes back to when I went away from home for college, and then married a man from my new “home,” and well, you just don’t think about some of those things when you leave home for college or service or marry someone away from your home area.

I’m just so SO grateful to have grandchildren at all when I know friends and folks from church and relatives who never get to this stage.

This first year has not been easy for the parents (too personal to go into here), but they have persevered and all four parents just ROCK.

One daughter told me in leaving: “You’re the best mom and the best grandma—surprise surprise.”

Aw. I wouldn’t win any prizes but it was a nice thing to say.

A great way to start off this month of November when we all are reminded to be a little more grateful no matter what our circumstances. I love seeing the “Day of gratefulness” posts friends are sharing on Facebook etc. even though I have not done that publicly myself.

I’m reading Psalms right now and the Psalms rocket between “gloom, despair, and agony on me” and over-the-top gratefulness. On the grateful side there’s this:

O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for God’s steadfast love endures forever. Psalms 136:1

I want to be mindful of all these special blessings, each and every day. Thanks Sam, James, Michelle, Tanya and Doreen and spouses!


How do you work at connecting with grandchildren if they live at a distance?

What are positive things they’ve picked up from you? What are thing you hope they don’t pick up?

You can also read my weekly Another Way Newspaper Column here or subscribe.


From → Faith, Family Life

  1. I very fortunate as I live close to my grandchildren; one lives next door and the other two are only twenty minutes away. Yet, I still don’t wipe away the precious smudges off the windows for awhile. I love seeing them there as they remind me of the small ones I love. God bless you as you both miss them and remember the fun.

    • I thought of you as I wrote this and all your wonderful “small boy” stories. 🙂 Yes you are fortunate & nice that you don’t wipe away the smudges right away. 🙂

  2. Elaine Buckwalter Ritter permalink

    I remember not wiping those smudges away, too! (what is it with us grandmas :)) Those same toddlers are now not far from their teen years. Oh, how time passes so quickly.

    • I like this “not wiping the smudges thread.” Now that you mention it, I think my mom used to do the same thing. I’ll have to ask her! Thanks for the comment, Elaine.

  3. We made frequent trips to Chicago to see the G-kids when they were very small. They reciprocated sometimes but considering the distance between Illinois and Florida, very expensive. I believe my connections to grandchildren would be the same, just less often, wherever they live, right now close to us fortunately.

    Positive things they’ve picked up from me/us? Well, I keep harping on the attitude of gratitude, the topic of my very first blog post in February 2013. Each of the four has a gratitude book that they write and draw in. In fact, I am working on a post “At Home with Grand-kids” scheduled for later this month, including indoor games they play and a gratitude book session.

    I notice our topics often mesh, being in similar phases of life, I suppose. Great post, Melodie.

    • So you began your blog about a month after me? I had never figured that out. It is interesting to ponder whether the connections are the same, just less often. I do think it takes effort, for sure. I’d love to sneak a peek in their gratitude books.

  4. Here’s a look inside my first post;

    Then last May another post gave a peek to different pages:

    Soon (November 15) just in time for Thanksgiving there’s an update coming. With all of the writers and artists among your grandkids, you’d have super-duper gratitude pages to create and cherish.

    • Loved looking at the comments from your grandkids and greatly anticipating when ours start talking. They’re mostly still babbling and vocalizing! I love that the youngest one began his gratitude journal in pictures. Very cool. A great idea for sure.

  5. I came by way of Marian Beaman and I’m so glad I did!

    • Sorry I couldn’t respond until now! Thanks for checking in –I’ve seen your photo/name before at Marian’s blog and it reminds me how much I need to get back to yoga. 🙂 After a busy company weekend and a day of illness catching up, I’m out of it! A new puppy, who thinks if I’m on the floor, it’s pounce time, doesn’t help either. But I need it!

      • Melodie – Ohhhhhhh, a new puppy! How wonderful. We have two large dogs and are very familiar with the puppy stage. Enjoy it while it lasts 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to stop by for a visit 🙂

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