Friday, August 11, 2006

After stopping briefly to visit Mother, I went to Nashville on Sunday to be a babysitter. This week Anne was in school but the kids were not.

I went by Ken's mother's house. They eat lunch there and visit every Sunday afternoon. Anne wanted to go shopping so Anne, Emma, and I left.

First Anne bought some clothes. Then we went to Penney's. Anne had been there on Saturday and bought some things for Emma, including a pair of pants that did not fit. She said the shopping on Sunday was much better than Saturday when it had been a madhouse. That weekend had been a tax holiday in Tennessee, when school supplies, computers, and clothing could be bought with no sales tax. That is quite a break since the tax is almost 10%.

Anne wound up returning the pants because they did not have the correct size. I think she needs a seven which they did not have. She also returned and then rebought some other things for Emma that were on sale on Sunday with a considerable reduction but had not been on sale on Saturday.

Back in Nolensville, we went out to eat. I read to the kids and then they went to bed. Emma slept with me and the other two slept on the floor.

Monday morning the kids came to get me at 8. They are good about waiting till then and by that time I am very happy to see them.

They have a set of old fashioned games that includes pick-up-sticks, jacks, and marbles. We played those games much of the time on this trip. Emma likes the sticks and jacks; the boys prefer marbles.

First they built a base on the carpet to play the games. When they were little babies, a relative of Ken's was at the dump when a kindergarten or something was going to throw away a set of blocks. Actually they are made from two by fours. The blocks are of various lengths and are sanded and finished. There are many, many of them. The kids have played with them for all their lives. This is the best toy I have ever seen. They would have been worth the cost if they had been paid for.

After a lunch of spaghetti, it was off to the pool. Emma has vastly improved her diving. She now does a running dive off the board. The boys are more interested in playing in the pool than in increasing their skills.

Once Emma was sitting on the side of the pool when a boy came over and stood there staring at her. She looked up at him for a few seconds and then stuck her tongue out at him. He left. Don't know what that was about.

Monday night I discovered that Anne has a copy of William Bennett's book on heroes. We read a story on Abe Lincoln's honesty and the Valley Forge patriots' fortitude. They loved the symbolism of the shoeless soldiers' leaving a trail of blood in the snow. Tuesday night I read about Jackie Robinson. All of us are enjoying this so I will read more next time I am up there.

Tuesday was generally a repeat of Monday except instead of going to the pool, we took Adam to get his allergy shot. He is going into a new series of shots, that are adult strength and will sometimes mean three shots. He was a little apprenhensive but he is a brave boy and marched right in there.

Wednesday I took the children to the Nolensville library where they have been going to a creative writing workshop. First we had the crisis of the missing folders. Emma had hers but the boys did not and we could not find them. Adam said he had given his to George for safekeeping. George felt bad about it but there was nothing to be done. For once, Emma was helpful telling them that since they had no homework it didn't matter.

I don't think it did matter at the library. The workshop was for two hours. The library was so cold so I froze for two hours. Occasionally I went outside in the 90 degree heat for a little relief. I could not think of anything I had in my suitcase that would help.

At twelve I dropped them off at Margie Rucker's. She will keep them for the rest of the week. And I came on home. i stopped four times on the way, the bargain bookstore at Bellevue, at Dickson for lunch, and at the two rest stops.

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