Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"yook! it's a monkey!"

i have spent time in Illinois every year for at least 35 years... :) we head to a very small town called fairmount (population: 800 :)) and stay with my grandma every year. it's a special place for holds a lot of wonderful memories. :) it's not "the same" without my grandpa around, but it's holding new special memories when we're there visiting my grandma :)
my grandma is approaching her 90th birthday...she's an amazing woman. she lives in a huge house, which is also the funeral home that she and my grandpa ran for many, many years. she lives there, alone, manages the stairs and cooking simple meals...and doing her own laundry...she is 90! she has had a series of strokes that have taken her ability to read (she can see the letters but cannot "process" what the letters spell) and see well, but she's pretty incredible... :)
of course, when i became a momma, i couldn't wait to bring Katherine, and now, Hannah, to this little town... there's not much to do there...ok...there is nothing to do there...but that's kind of what makes it special. :) you have to find joy in simple going for a walk, watching the trains pass by, and seeing who is walking down the street... :)
this year, it was very, very hot when we were in Illinois, and unfortunately, the 100+ degree temperatures kept us inside for much of the time.
one afternoon we were sitting on the front porch (enclosed) just watching the trees move in the slight breeze... Katherine exclaims, "Yoooook!!! It's a monkey!!!"
i started laughing because i was wondering if she was starting to imagine things because she was so deliriously bored... :)
so we look out the huge window, and sure enough, walking along the power line was NOT a monkey, but a squirrel. :)
we praised her for her great eyesight but let her know that the little fella' she was watchin' along the wire wasn't a monkey, but it was a little squirrel...
to her defense, squirrels in VA are grey... but in Illinois, the squirrels are this pretty chestnut brown color... :) that might be why she was confused about the species :)

so we watched the "skerls" (as K calls them :)) in Illinois... my mom makes it a point to have the feeders full, so the little squirrels all congregate at my grandma's for the week :) there's a feeder, surrounded by 2 beautiful butterfly bushes, that we can see from the living was placed in front of the huge picture window when my grandpa was sick with cancer. he forever loved to watch the birds and butterflies float around the property. so my mom and uncle made sure that he could still find this simple joy as he was losing his fight at home in his hospital bed...

and ten years later, the feeder remains :)

on the day we left to head back east, this little guy was snacking at the feeder, and sweet Katherine spent some time in the living room watching...


Marc, Sarah, and Luke said...

Very cute...AND, when you visit us in KS someday (HINT), Katherine will also see brown (or chestnut) squirrels. Gray squirrels aren't in KS either :)