This week brought my two granddaughters to South Fork. Up until they got here, I mistakenly thought that elk hunting was hard work.
They arrived from Texas because well, where else do people come from that visit here? It was a long day for them and 14 hours in the car was about more than any sane person could handle with two small children. I guess that's why people have kids when they are young and dumb. If they were sane when they decided to have children, this world would be an empty place.
As soon as they hit the driveway my oldest granddaughter, Precious #1 who is almost three, took Grandpa Dutch on a whirlwind tour of the facilities and it was nonstop from then on. Walking Cooper is her favorite activity. He, being the perfect dog, always looks back checking on her so he doesn't go too fast or pull too hard on the rope.
Now I had walked a lot of miles hunting the high country over the last three weeks and thought I was in pretty good shape but those short little three-year-old legs ran me ragged and wore poor Cooper's legs off to a stub. I may start calling him “Shorty” after this week.
The other granddaughter, Precious #2, was born on Ol' Dutch’s birthday and is three months old. She is a great little baby and these two parents live in a fantasyland as neither child cries or fusses that much. What kind of justice is that when I remember my son Kody crying nonstop? Something about having colic was mentioned back then but we didn't even have a Lassie dog so I have no idea what they were talking about.
Sunday took us to church and Precious #1 went with me to choir practice standing so stoic with in the choir while we sang away. So at the time for us to actually sing during the service, she wanted to go up with Grandpa and since she had been so good, I let her come along. My mom is the director and my dad was preaching the sermon so why not let the star great-grandchild be seen by all?
Her stoic act from the practice session turned into quite a show during the song but everyone had a laugh and the Bible says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” and Lord knows there are plenty of dry bones there already.
So once again Ol' Dutch provided necessary mirth to make everyone's life more enjoyable. No thanks is necessary but gifts would be appreciated for my contribution to your soul's prosperity.
And, the best thing is that the ladies at the church finally had to admit that my grandkids are the absolute cutest they have ever seen once again proving Dutch right.
Back to the kids visiting. We went fishing and got to throw rocks and, of course, walk Cooper some more. Precious #2 did her job by sleeping, her mom, Holly, got to chill and my son, Kody, got to fish a little by himself.
Fishing alone is a luxury that is rare for a dad when the kids are so young. For 20 years I didn't have a clue what it would feel like to actually be able to do something by myself. And, then, when it happened I found out I didn't like it.
Suddenly I was lonely for the first time in my life. And could not figure out what to do with myself without the kids around to entertain and chase. I had watched other people who became grandparents and how they suddenly became babbling idiots and totally nuts over newly arrived bawling babies and swore I would never let that happen to me. After all they are babies, right?
Watching me with the grandkids, Kody pulled Trixie aside and, pointing to me, asked, “who is this guy? When I was growing up he was a complete bear.” Translated that means that I made them mind and expected the very best from them which I got.
My daughter, too, wonders about those early years seeing me in action now. She thought I was tough and strict with her and just now is seeing it was all a bluff. I love poker.
All in all it’s been a good life and I got what I wanted: two good kids with good spouses and no major problems. If you need some help in that area Ol' Dutch is available for counseling or even hands on training of a wayward child. My fees are reasonable but rising as I age as my ability to fake it is harder to manage.