Mr. Valentine was constantly amazed at all the drive-through conveniences in South Carolina. During their stay we visited the drive-through bank, cleaners, ice cream parlor and pharmacy. He exclaimed: “If this keeps happening Americans will forget how to walk.”
My seatmate part of the way to South Carolina was John Cessarich, chief meteorologist at WYFF Channel 4 in Greenville. Half the people on the plane greeted the popular man like an old friend. He enlightened me about local weather. The Greenville area averages 35 inches of rain a year, and the highest average summer temperature is 89 degrees. He failed to mention the humidity or the noisy hordes of cicadas in all the trees.
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My 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter, Kendall, had a terrible time the second day I was there. First she stubbed her big toe while standing barefoot behind a door that was quickly opened. Nursing her tender toe as she carefully made her way downstairs, the dog brushed against her. She went flying down the stairs like a rag doll. After she recovered from her mishaps, Debbie herded Kendall and her brothers into the car to run errands. Big brothers Bo and Ben like to help with Kendall. In their eagerness to secure her in her car seat, they pinched her chubby little thighs as they fastened her in.
When we finally got home Debbie told the kids to go upstairs and play, quietly. Occasionally she called to the boys to check on Kendall. Once Bo replied: “Kendall’s in your stuff!” That sent Debbie scurrying up the stairs. After checking her bathroom Debbie followed the trail into Kendall’s room. All Kendall’s dolls were laid out, naked, on the bed. Each was liberally covered with lipstick and powder and had lotion dripping off them. A spanking topped off Kendall’s day of misery.
After my stay in Greenville, Debbie and the kids and I flew to San Diego. There they had a wonderful visit with their cousins, Devon, Johnny and Eric, various aunts and uncles and assorted friends and relatives. Our days were filled with activities from morning to night. One day we took all the kids to Home Depot for a few items. I think 49,000 of the 50,000 items carried by the store were touched by at least one of the kids that day.
Once, after a full day at the zoo, we came back to a sweltering apartment. A member of our curious group had apparently played with the thermostat. It was a toasty 90 degrees when we stepped in the door.
When everyone went back home, and I had dropped off Debbie and her family at the airport, I had a hard time facing my now quiet abode. So I took in a couple of yard sales on my way back from the airport.
I can hardly wait until we are all together again. Nothing beats the sound of children’s laughter.