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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


On another day, in another place and during another season, I was sitting at a dinette table in Bethel Park, Pa. watching the movement of the tree limbs in the breeze outside the glass sliding door. Many of the leaves had already fallen, but with each stiff gust of wind a shower of the remaining leaves were shaken loose and cascaded, spinning and tumbling, to the ground, or pavement, or deck floor, or the top of the vehicles.

We had arrived on 10-31-02 just in time to have a meal and take kids trick or treating. Joe and I, and two other Moms :o), herded five little girls around the entire neighborhood block, gathering large amounts of calorie containing snippets of pre-fatness.

After this expedition, Carolyn and I took Megan to a local church's harvest party to meet some of her friends. This was after eleven hours of driving, so we were very much physically wiped out at the end of the activities.

On Sunday afternoon, Megan and I were out playing in the yard and just had to walk up the street to get a better view of a tree gloriously arrayed in it's finest red leaves, probably an adolescent tree, because it was really showing off.

Fallen leaves were everywhere but we also found a bunch of maple seeds. These seeds have a small wing and when falling they spin like a tiny helicopter. Not seeing any of these still falling and desirous to show her this spinning action, we gathered up hands full of these and tossed them in the air to see their kinetic gyrations.

Of course our made up game of kick ball on the lawn would have been a great chance for a student of kinesiology to gather much subject material. Possibly more action came from the granddaughter than from the grandpa.

Our next escapade was a contest to find the yellowiest of yellow leaves and the reddest of red. The search took us to the bottom of the steep slope behind their house and of course she won the quest - where would be the delight in me winning?

This left us at the bottom of the hill with her not desirous of climbing back up and me very willing to carry her up on my back. I knew my weight lifting and walking at the track would come in handy one day. So piggy back up the hill we came, each of us holding something very precious to us, hers was a handful of brightly colored leaves and I think you've already guessed what mine was.

On another day, this grand one and I were at another contest with double barreled rubber band guns, created by uno who for the enjoyment of children - small and large, young and old. With our weapons we were desperately repelling invading enemy soldiers (paper cups) to keep them from entering our castle (large plastic storage container) . . . . I guess you had to be there.

Naturally she enjoyed this activity and I enjoyed her enjoyment thereof. Even now, I smile in enjoyment at my own enjoyment of her enjoyment. I'm not sure but I think she enjoyed my enjoyment of her enjoyment as well. Basically there was enjoyment going on.

Another study of kinetic energy would be the other "grand one" living in this same location - six month old E. J. While he is not self-mobile as yet, much energy is expended in arm flailing and leg kicking. This energy expenditure continues even during the effort of striving to feed him cereal. This results in the gooey stuff spread about on nearly every nearby surface and object, some spread on his skin surfaces to be taken in through osmosis and some actually entering his mouth.

The comedy of these actions was noticed, appreciated and enjoyed by this grandpa. Also appreciated by me is the God given capacity to derive joy even through the goo of these and other actions maybe not quite so pleasant. ec


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