Grandaddy and Grandson's First Trip to the Hardware Store

Poppy and Timothy decided to go to the hardware store recently...Poppy is pricing the supplies for a very special project for be revealed in due time.

Said project has the potential to be very interesting, having to do with our ongoing dabbling in urban homesteading! But it might be a 2012 kind of thing, instead of this year - simply because of our schedule between now and the end of the year. We don't have a lot of breathing room. This project will take some research, then the building of it, then the ongoing maintenence. More time for all that next spring, perhaps?

The gist is this: we are developing a clearer and clearer vision for the sort of life we want, in this brand new season called "Grandparenting". After a lot of wisdom-seeking, we are seeing that we will, Lord willing, grandparent babies and young ones for even more years than we parented babies and young ones.

Grandparenting will be vastly different than parenting - we have no desire to hold the place of mom and dad in the hearts of our grandchildren. We don't even plan on being always the default babysitters - our children will have each other for that. We fully plan on having our own good thing going on, just us two. But at the same time, Biblically, we still bear a large measure of joyful responsibility to grandchildren, our present one, and all future arrivals.

We think there will be a wagon load of 'em. Each one, as celebrated as the first.

So we are going to spend and invest a few years(and it will take some time, even though our plans are simple, our time is limited) designing the sort of lifestyle we want to have with them, in hopes that the payoff will last for years, through the childhood of each grandson or granddaughter. It is a big and blissful job, this creating the back-ground against which all their future memories with us will be made.

Our vision is for our grandchildren to one day, when they think of us, to immediately think of church, of church family, of picnics and tire swings, of our cul-de-sac (if we are still here) of tree forts, and maybe three or four urban chickens and one nanny goat, all in storybook cute enclosures, of course. I would have it no other way! We want them, even after we are in heaven, which is not a morbid thought at all, to be able to conjure images of Mimi's flower and vegetable gardens, and her Engldoodle (my next dog - my dream doggie - expensive as all get-out, but I am allowed to dream!)...

(my next dog...huge!)

...of Poppy and his pond, and of his "Tracker Rides" - getting to ride with him in his Barbie jeep to drop the canoe-boat into the lake and go fishin'!
(This is a replica of Poppy's Barbie Jeep - tiny! post-edit: Both the canoe and the Barbie Jeep are no more. We are on the look-out for another one of each. We aren't in a hurry, but if we find a crazy good deal....)

When his present Tracker gives up the ghost, as it certainly will eventually, he will get another - at least that is the plan. But believe it or not, these little cars are becoming collectible, and sometimes it is hard to come by a good one!

And then....inside this home, music always being played by hand, all of us singing for our supper, a supper made of garden fresh beans, potatoes, squash, and crusty loaves of homemade artisan bread. There will be small to medium projects always having to be laid aside for supper...shelves or cubbies inside the house, and out in the garage,with each grandchild's name on it, for storing each little one's project until the next visit, where it can be resumed with fresh eyes and energies. ...we want these tiny little "flesh of our flesh" humans to have a solid sense of all that is simple and fun and hard work but good, here at Mimi and Poppy's.

Once again, as we already have, (and according to the premise this blog was begun on!) we shall prove that no one has to live the rural-McMansion-agenda, to have it all. (I wrote a book on the unsung joys of suburbia in 2004 - this has been a theme of mine for many years...)

We'll have a nanny goat, maybe, and berry bushes, we already have a teeny tiny "catch and release" pond, plus we have more time to enjoy it, and people who are actually always here, who truly visit. We have a very detailed plan (a conglomeration of several books I've read on the subject of suburban/urban gardening) that will allow us to do as much as we want, right here with our 3/4ths of an acre, oddly shaped plot of suburban homestead.

Vision. We set out with a vision when our children were being born. We are satisfied with the results of it - things didn't turn out perfectly. Perfection visits no one, so it is quite a good thing to simply be fully satisfied, so far.

We gave our children a beautiful childhood, replete with read aloud books, music, uncounted nights spent around our outside firepit, woodworking, crafts, and time with mom and dad. And we did it on very little income, at the time. We did it right here, in quintessential suburbia.

Now, we set out with a new vision for the "grands"....those ones we will assist in raising up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but only to the precise point their parents ask for our assistance. Mostly, we'll be here, ready to make a childhood memory, which is what raisin' children or grandchildren is all about.

Our kids are, and will be great parents, so we don't anticipate doing a whole lot of  raisin' - maybe a summer or two, or a weekend, here or there, from time to time. But we want to be ready.

Ninety-plus percent of living is doing the mundane work that prepares the way for mere moments of glory. We want, when our job as grandparent is done, for the suitcase that is in each little heart, to be stuffed brim-ful with quirky, hilarious, serious, moving, and musical memories.

This means we must continue to be vigilant about living this life we've dreamed, being unafraid to tweak it and change it until it looks just like the life we further imagine. What we imagine is so sweet.

Proven fact: people grounded in the doctrines of grace have the ability to project themselves into the future ("For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord!"), and come back with a happy set of blueprints for today, and the optimism to always be working hard - building towards the freedom and joy they see in all their tomorrows.
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