Monday, 21 October 2013

My Dad, the guest blogger!

Almost a year ago, my Dad wrote about our weekend together, here.  Since we had another wonderful weekend, here's his story...
Friday afternoon as the mailman came with a package around 3.20 p.m. and as we were talking, I could see a little kid (feet only) coming up from below the rockery alongside as Dave turned to look - it was Nathan followed by Astrid obscured by the evergreen bushes. Astrid had parked by the gate and climbed up the hill by the pool and then came across; I was flabbergasted - which doesn't happen often, whereupon, Ulrike suddenly had the two of them standing outside her parlour window waving! What a delightful afternoon it has turned out to be.
The kids were off school but the boys had practise until four o'clock, whereupon, Astrid decided it would be just her and Nathan as half of the day would be lost waiting for them. This way she came up part of the way on the old scenic road enjoying a very relaxed drive.
The first thing Nathan requested was a fire outside and so his wish was granted. Albeit a small one, as the fire pit was crammed with thorn bush clippings and some pine cones it was enough for smores and toasted marshmallows. We needed kindling wood and with the pine logs above the garage and the oak logs down below the garden shed, I was not about to risk life and limb to look in the dark with a torch. Also, one never knows what may be lurking in the woods!

 However, the young master was happy and as usual bedded down in my study with the pull-out trundle bed where loves watching television with me, but swear that kid would enjoy a televised debate from the Palace of Westminster just to have the television on!!!
Saturday morning after 0ma had returned from chapel, I headed down to Cumberland with Astrid and Nathan but forwent the flea market as it would have taken too long, inasmuch, Astrid put the pot roast in the slow cooker at 7.00 a.m. for to eat upon our return. The Cumberland mall was really choc-a-block full of people with Breast Cancer Awareness walkers along the railway track trail, whereas, the downtown mall was jam packed with a pet awareness Halloween celebration and dogs everywhere!
 Also, lots of kittens up for adoption. All manner of activities for kids and Nathan received a beautiful hard bound book with removable jacket on dogs completely free. Nathan's day was complete when Mountain Thunder rumbled into action across the tracks down from the mall, billowing steam and smoke! Prince Charles would have had a fit seeing all the pollution!!
Nathan and Dad
Thence to the Antique Emporium and toy store with some imported sets of a type of Ken and Barbie complete with a Morris Minor!! By this time I was lagging as we were there for at least fifteen minutes and whilst Astrid and Nathan went to see various activities on the mall, I headed to the book store and crashed out in a lovely wing backed chair awaiting their arrival. Quite happy to stay there all afternoon and I even had a book on old LaVale to read and pass the time until they arrived and spent another fifteen minutes until Nathan found a book. The Animal Welfare thrift shop was open and we headed there next where Astrid found a cross stitch booklet and they were offering free hot cider and cookies. Back up to the shopping mall to SAVE-MORE and thence to Astrid's car and we were home by 1.15 p.m. - thank you Lord!!! An enjoyable time out BUT would that my daughter might slow down as she charges around like a bat out of hell and takes no prisoners, so to speak, and 'tis hard going for an old chap to keep up!
Dinner was delicious and the pot roast melted in your mouth, so to speak and what a treat for a Saturday as we usually have pizza! Must confess it was a lovely break having Astrid prepare the meal and do the driving.
Spent twenty minutes outside with Nathan hauling tree limbs from alongside the drive to the fire pit until the rain started and we had to beat a hasty temporary. There is so much wood cut up behind the garage we could have fires every night for a week! When the skies cleared, we hauled up some oak logs and suffice to say I have had a very busy day and my years are catching up on me, but on reflection think I have been bypassed!!!
Came in for a much needed cup of tea and later I went out again, as did Ulrike with Nathan, who was supposed to hold her coming down the steps, but some how kept the dog's leash. We went to the fire pit from where I could see a herd of deer running up the hill and shouted to Nathan to keep the leash around his wrist - he just had it between his fingers and as I yelled, Tenny tore off up the hill like a bolt from a gun!! Raced up after her with Nathan in hot pursuit and thought I was having a seizure upon reaching the top, but then it was level going for about half a mile, with us yelling and shouting like lunatics. Way down below in the valley I saw a glimpse of white and then Tenny came into view but then decided it was more interesting down there. We descended rapidly down a steep drop hanging from tree to tree to keep a balance and then the little minx decided to go further afield but I knew she was tired, whereas, Nathan was still raring to go and chased her, jumping on the end of the leash!!! That dog will be the death of me, and don't ask how I got back up to the trail again as the closer to the house, the steeper the incline and in the far distance we could see 0ma's red coat before anything else. Ye gods, did I have exercise today.
Mom with naughty Tenny!
However, we had promised Nathan a real fire and a promise is a promise, and so he went with his 0ma to collect pine cones. Luckily, we had a few bars of "fire starter" and with twigs and newspaper got that to burn as in between it was raining! By 4.30 p.m. the fire was truly ablaze and needed just the occasional oak log; pine is excellent to start a fire but oak is what maintains it.
During all this excitement, Astrid was shopping at 0llie's and Gabriels as she needed a "serious shop" without any distractions. Lucky her, and think I would have switched places in a heart beat!! I swear during her visits to our local shops, their share prices rocket!! Suffice to say I am well and truly knackered and if I don't sleep tonight there truly ain't any justice!! That's it and I need to "chill out" - advice from my youngest grandchild - and who am I to argue with a soon to be seven year old!! You should have seen me coming down the hill with arms outstretched holding onto trees to slow my rapid descent - I would have been a natural for the crowd scene in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - looked and felt like a bloody zombie!!
All too soon Sunday noon arrived and it was time to bid adieu until Thanksgiving to our nearest and dearest but not before Astrid prevailed upon me to take photographs and record the moment, which I did so with reluctance!! Thus is recorded an a surprise visit to the mountains of western Maryland by two of the C Family.
Off he goes after saying goodbye to us at the gate, until next time!


cucki said...

Wow so much fun..
Big hugs x

Julie said...

The love of a family shines through this post, what a wonderful way to spend some quality family time. It's so special for grandparents to spend time with their grandchildren. Mountain Thunder is spectacular, imagine that at the bottom of the street, wouldn't happen here!

Linda said...

What a great post Astrid. Sounds like a fun time.


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Sounds like the perfect weekend. I bet both grandparents slept soundly the next week!
Dad is a great writer, how lovely to see some traditional English words like "forwent" too. Looking forward to his next guest post. Maybe Grandma could do one too?