My granddaughters were here for a couple of days. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision resulting from a tropical storm that left most of their state without power. Connecticut’s power company didn’t win any fans in this test of its service.
Their parents, after two nights in a hotel, took me up on my offer of shelter. Two little girls under three years old, two adults, and one small hotel room can get old fast.
“Gaga, your house is so big!” Little Miss Sunshine exclaimed when they arrived. She ran from room to room, refamiliarizing herself with a place she’d been to a lifetime ago. It’s been at least a month.
After a hotel room, I’m sure it looked gigantic. A kitchen, a dining room, a living room, even a family room. And three whole bedrooms! No matter that none of them are very big. When you’re not more than three feet tall, everything is big.
The yard, which I see as a lovely garden and gardens-to-be, became a playground. The hill behind the studio was North Mountain, where Sunshine would run to be alone. If you know anything about Frozen, you’ll understand.}
The paths I’ve mowed in the meadow, hoping it would be fun and safe for little girls, was a huge success again. It’s become the grandgirls’ personal running course, and they demand everyone join them. It’s a fine workout.
The long run of bluestone steps and paths from just behind the picket fence to the house became an obstacle for Sunshine and her little sister, the Deep Thinker, to climb. Over and over and over.
The ridiculous ceramic goose left by the prior owners, who we named Frank and left to guard the front door, got more attention, more kisses, than he’d ever could have dreamed of. The Deep Thinker, in particular, liked to plant smacky little baby kisses on the edge of his yellow painted beak.
The pebble stones that connect the side patio and the path to the studio were the biggest hit of all. Sunshine and the Thinker plopped down on the stones, and happily picked up handfuls of rocks, let them fall through their fingers, or swept them into piles. After Mama and Daddy made it clear that throwing them was not an option, that is.
The hammock, the porch swing? Big fun. Two giggling little girls lying on top of each other is fun for everybody involved.
Eating outside is the best. Walks to see the cows? Again, please. Tumbling down a hill “to you!” never gets old, no matter how wet the grass is. And hiding in the tall grass, playing peek a boo, is a game that can go on for a long time.
Everyone left last night. The power was back. This big, big house feels very quiet this morning. Violet, the dog, is exhausted. And I have a little girls’-eye view of this place with memories to keep forever.
Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.