May we never lose our sense of wonder

Connor Stone, Linda “MeeMee” Clark, Suzanne Stone and Jim “Gramps” Clark.

The Lee County Courier takes a lot out of me. There I said it.

But, most of the time, I love doing what I do. My family doesn’t always understand that. But they support me.

I will admit I really had a great time over the Easter holiday when my wife Linda and I loaded and took the six-hour drive to Pace, Florida.

That’s where our daughter Amy, son-in-law Scott, and those crazy grandkids, Connor and Suzanne live.

The only bad thing on Good Friday was driving through Malfunction Junction, the heavily traveled intersection of I-20/I-59 and I-65 located just to the northwest of the downtown Birmingham core.

We were held up four times between Birmingham and Montgomery due to wrecks.

That tested my “laid back” nature.

But all was good when our granddaughter Suzanne ran out to the car. Suzie Q, like me, is a semi-morning person so will text in our group-family-chat when I’m probably the only other one awake. When she doesn’t call me “Gramps” she calls me “Jimmy Boy” — either is OK with me.

She was the only one at the house. Oh, wait. I forgot. Their two dogs were there - Chester, a sweet little Westie, who is calm most of the time until his sister Biscuit, a Brittany Spaniel, bounds into the room like a Tasmanian Devil.

Connor, our 18-year-old grandson, was at his first real time job — driver for Domino’s. His first day he got a $10 tip and one day he got over $100 in tips.

Our daughter Amy, and son-in-law Scott had gone to one of their condos in Fort Walton for a plumbing problem — with guests coming the next day. Of course, part stores were either closed or hours away. All arrived shortly, we had pizza, spun yarns and got ready for bed.

All say Gramps snores, so I was placed upstairs in a guest room. Amy followed me up the stairs to get me settled. She confessed she rarely went up there (that’s where the kids rooms are too).

I feel like she took a glimpse into Connor’s room, who won’t get the “Cleanest Room” award this year.

I say that because later in our group chat he said “This is how dirty Suzanne’s room is” and posted a photo.

Saturday Linda and Suzanne went to the mall.

The guys just hung out, which was cool with me.

After lunch, I lumbered out to their pool. It was a beautiful day.

Scott was moving some big rocks from his rock pile to the firepit. A brief thought, on an angelic cloud, ran through my tattered mind saying “you should help him.”

Then that nasty old Devil, in miniature, rose up out of the flower bed, shook the dirt off himself and jumped up on my shoulder “Be slothful. You’re the guest. Lay there. Rest. Let your brain melt and run out your ears. This heat is nothing. I could show you real heat.”

Next thing I knew I was asleep. No one bothered me.

I sauntered back into the house. Amy was making twice-baked potatoes. Scott was going to grill steaks on his Green Egg. I pulled up a chair by the outside table, got a beverage, watched Scott cook and watched the sun start to fade.

Over the glorious meal we talked of life and all the good times we’ve had over the years.

And now the kids are making memories of their own. Another phase. Thank you God for the wonder of it all.

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