FIRST PUBLISHED OCT. 22, 2014
It’s funny how things work out in ways you never dreamed they would.
The summer before last we had planned a vacation with the girls in New England, primarily to meet their baby cousin in Massachusetts. We did the Boston touristy things with their aunt and uncle, but the most fun the girls had was making their little cousin laugh. We also visited Grampy’s family in Connecticut and drove to the shore to see Gillette Castle and eat at the famous Mystic Pizza. Lots of fun!
Back in North Carolina toward the end of their summer with us, we took them to Asheville and stopped at Tom’s Creek Falls on the way home. BY FAR, this FREE hike on a very short nature trail was one of the highlights of their summer, discovering mica (this magical, shiny mineral apparently doesn’t exist in southern California) and splashing in the water where it pooled at the bottom of the falls. Who knew? All that traveling and touring and their favorite things that year — playing with the baby and going on a magical hike — were free. Just goes to show you don’t have to spend a lot of money and effort to have fun with your grands.
This past summer, two events topped their favorite activity list. Avid Buckeye fans (yes, we have effectively brainwashed them!), we promised them a trip to Ohio for a two-fold purpose: 1) to see the places their mama and grandma grew up and 2) to visit THE Ohio State University campus with their cousin, which, by their admission, was AWESOME, and has them both yearning to attend that college!
The second, month-long activity they absolutely loved was born of my sister’s idea to paint a peace pole for her yard, and it quickly became a family endeavor. A peace pole is a four-sided, decorated pole that people erect in the yards of their homes or businesses. Traditionally, it has a message stating “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in a different language on each side. We decided to use that message, as well as a saying with which each grandchild identified. Jain chose a one-line poem she created four years ago at the age of eight with my poetry magnets: “I Am the Dawn of Possible.” Sofia, our free-spirited grandchild, chose “Let Your Spirit Be Free” and Great-Grandpa wrote his favorite, “Just Be.” We then proceeded to paint birds, butterflies, hearts, and pussy willows on the pole and topped it with a cap painted with the words LOVE, FAITH, HOPE and PEACE. This project took time, as one side had to be finished before working on another side. But in the end, it was a gorgeous, handmade, from-the-heart piece of art that will live on in their memories forever. It stands proudly in my sister’s backyard where we can all see it as we gaze out the windows of their porch.
You might want to try painting a peace pole with your own grandchildren one day. Here are some photos of ours for you to enjoy.
And as always,