Family Stories

Grandchildren – Such An Important Part of Genealogy!

Walking through our ‘enchanted forest’ with the grandchildren.

What gifts from God are grandchildren!  I had almost given up hope of being a Nana until Julian was born in 2015 – I was 58.  My younger sister was 40 when she first became a grandmother.  But as they say, good things come to those who wait!  And now, with the birth of Persephone in 2018, Ritchey and I have a grandson and a granddaughter.

Julian serving brownies he helped make.

Julian is a precocious child, with a deep love of learning and a fascination about everything.  His love of drawing has inspired me to try myself.  He is fearless in his art – there is a continual story coming out of his mouth as he pursues the picture he has in mind – he draws as fast as he talks.  There is never a ruler used or measuring calculated.  Julian’s drawings are free hand, and I have learned that is best.  Most of his subjects are Minecraft, Mario or other game characters, but he puts his own spin on their castles, ships, mountains, etc., that are very detailed.  He also loves to cook!

Persephone lives the message on her shirt!

Two-year-old Miss Perse is rambunctious, with no fear whatsoever.  Because of her the backyard pond provides consternation, but she lives life with such zeal and zest it is hard to hold her back.  She is, however, carefully watched – and has been fished out after slipping in a couple of times.  Julian fell in once.  She loves laying on the dock splashing her hands or feet in the water.  Percy loves frogs, too, always anxious to find her favorites.  Sometimes Todd, their dad, will catch frogs to let the children see them up close.  It is always a source of amusement when he tries to hand the frog off to Julian – the poor frog jumps out of his hand, trying to get back home.  They may accept a touch now and then, but out of water the frogs ‘freak out’ as Julian says!

The ecosystem of our small pond is teeming with life.  Water bugs skim the surface.  Dragonflies and damselflies flit here and there – chomping the mosquitoes near them.  Numerous birds flit by, some, such as our Mallard Ducks and ducklings, and Canadian Geese and goslings, stopping by often to swim and choose a tasty bug to eat.  Larger birds, including a Grey Heron and American Bittern, come to the pond for lunch – feasting on the many frogs and tadpoles – they eat them with gusto.  Julian is not upset about this, but understands this is nature’s way.  Pussy willow and other bushes make a good shade for the north pond.  A huge maple tree is on the western side – and the resulting mirror image in the pond is quite beautiful.  The south has beautiful pink and yellow flowering bushes – all natural, wildflowers, none that we’ve planted.  A Mullein plant is beside the dock – about two feet taller than my 5’9” frame – which has grown up since this photo was taken.

Julian is so familiar with the pond he has named not only individual frogs, but the habitats in which they are found.

Julian touching Touch.

Julian and I take our daily walk to the pond to see which frogs and tadpoles we can see.  Touch is the favorite – if you haven’t guessed, he was named such because he allows both children to touch him.  He lives at the edge of the Rocky Coast, next to Frog Hideout!

Then there’s Gribbet, who loves nothing more than to sit just out of reach on the right side of the pond, emitting gut thundering croaks that can be heard from inside the house.  If it’s proper weather for the windows to be open we are seriously serenaded by the frogs and Sand Hill Cranes.

Hop is close to the white bench where we sit and discuss life, the world around us and anything else that happens to come up.  He lives in what is known as Green Green Castle.  To the left of this area is the beginning of the area known as the Rocky Coast.  It is the biggest area around the pond, stretching from the right side of the white bench past the dock and around the south side to Frog Hideout.  The Rocky Coast is so named because of the huge stones that keep the pond liner in place.  There is also Hoppy and Boss Boss who are usually found in Frog Hideout.  They are close to the blue drain that sends extra water to the nearby creek.

Just in front of the drain are the Babies – small frogs, some fully formed, some still in the later tadpole stage with tails in addition to four feet.

And last, but not least, is Froggy Froggy, who lives near Picnic Road.  This area is across from the dock and in front of the huge maple tree.  Corn is served here for the birds and raccoons, hence the name.

The last section of the pond is Tadpole Ranch – on the north side.  There are hundred of tadpoles, in various stages of development.

Having Kate, Todd and the grandchildren here is reminiscent of the several generations of families who lived together during our ancestor’s days.  We moved from Kentucky to Michigan together due to the rise of Covid-19.  The original plan was we would move and they would follow in a month or so, living with us until they found a house in Sault Sainte Marie, ON, Canada.  The pandemic has closed the Canadian border.  Once the border is open they will move across the St. Mary River to Canada to pursue their dreams.  They will be only 30 minutes away – closer than when we lived in Harrodsburg and they lived in Lexington.  But we will always have this time of memories to look back on, a time that should have been difficult to live through with Covid-19.  But for us, a time of discovery, learning and wonder.  Always look for the silver lining.

After writing this post last week we have started home school.  I first started teaching 43 years ago – never thought I would have to write another lesson plan!  It is fascinating watching Julian and Persophone learn  – but it does take time.  I teach Language Arts and Mathematics.  Kate and Ritchey teach Social Studies and Science (Kate is also taking online classes through Canada’s Algoma Univervsity).  Please bear with me since I may not have as much time to write posts.  I’m sure you understand the importance of giving them a good education, even in midst of a pandemic.

9 replies »

  1. Loved your blog on the Grandkids and frogs. My kids (in their 60s now) have never outgrown their love of exploring nature. Although it is okay with me if they leave nature outside where they belong – especially the snakes.

  2. I loved reading your post and seeing all the pictures!  What a great way to spend time during this pandemic!  Take care and be safe! Pat Flanagan Mikels

    • Thanks, Pat! We love our new home – and having family with us. Our son hopes to visit next month – he lives in Seattle. He will drive and camp overnight, thus trying to avoid Covid-19 as much as possible. We stay in and do pick-up at stores for our groceries. This is a wonderful place to be quarantined! Best and safe wishes for you and your family!

  3. I can truly see why you moved!! Awesome decision!!! Thank you for all of your wonderful work!! I look forward each day for your new postings!! Thank you MO cuz Joy Sweigart Sent from my iPhone

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  4. You brought back so many memories. That frog incident reminded me so much of a time when our son Brian (who was 8 or 9 at the time) brought a huge frog into our house and put him in the bath tub. I heard a sound coming from the bathroom. When I opened the door and peered inside the tub, a huge bull frog greeted me: “Rive-et!!” I was out on the back porch yelling for Brian, who informed me that he (the frog) “wants to stay in the house!” We went around and around about that one. And Brian scooped up the frog and carried him past me toward the back door. For the frog’s part, he could only say “Rive-et!” Almost five years ago, I told that story at Brian’s memorial service in 2016.He passed away from the effects of esophageal cancer at the age of 47. It was the only part of Brian’s story I could tell without choking up. I recounted that story in the service, but I said that I had yelled, “BRIAN BEALL! YOU GET INSIDE THIS HOUSE AND GET THAT FROG OUT OF MY BATH TUB!” His response: “Oh no, Mom. You Didn’t call me Brian Beall. You called me Brian SCOTT Beall, and when I heard my middle name, I had better do something about it or I was going to be in big trouble!” We lived in the woods of Missouri when our children were small. They had a lot of adventures in the woods.

  5. Your post reminded me of when my kids (now in their 30s and 40s) would come in from our woods with creatures of all kinds, all of which had to be returned to where they were found, unless they escaped in the house. (I once found a garter snake loose in our basement.) Years later, my daughter’s family lived with us for a while and I got to enjoy my little grandsons every day. You’re in a beautiful place! Enjoy your kids and grandkids. What a wonderful way to spend the pandemic closure. I look forward to your occasional posts.

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