You might judge this to be a very long post, with far too many pictures, but consider that I am fitting a whole summer of grandparently, uncle-y love into seven fun-filled days.
So many animals, so little time. At home, it’s easy for George to make sure all are accounted for. Here, there were long lines of questioning that ended by starting over again: “Where Miss Kitty go? Where Kitty Bob? Where Walter go? Where Jimmy? What horses doing? Where baby deer?”
Here he is almost certainly saying, “Where Kitty Bob?”
My favorite thing to do in Huntsville: Walk down the driveway and turn left.
George was a good helper at feeding time, much like we remember Uncle Paul being at that age.
Steve is also a good helper at feeding time.
Uncle Paul went biking on a mountain trail with Uncle Don…then had to ride it all over again in the dark when he couldn’t find his car key. Found it!
As well as this spider of the night.
Much like his gangster neck tattoo.
Although shy and particular, George quickly formed a tight bond with Bappa Mike.
Della and George were excited to see Nanny June…Della especially so because she was allowed to wear her Easter dress for the first time since Easter.
This dress is her obsession.
Later that same week…a very hot fire. We all melted a little bit.
My caption for this one is not fit to print.
Check out the hotdog in the background…
…also known as Jimmy, dog of Paul. Here he is, taking a beer nap.
We, the parents, were granted a 24-hour leave to Park City, where we had more fun that two monkeys let loose from their cage. We rode the alpine slides and the new coaster thing before moving on to adult activities.
In the window of a fur shop, we saw an advertisement for Furkinis. We thought it would be a product for women.
Meanwhile, the Droubays entertained the young children with a course in fence building.
Plus they did fun things like eat popsicles and watch fairies. George seemed to mostly believe Nanny, who said that the fairies, if touched, would fly away.
Della said her favorite part of the trip was eating breakfast with Uncle Paul.
She also came to like French toast, which she has never enjoyed here at home. After a French toast breakfast, she asked nanny for a lunch consisting of “something Frenchy, something with syrup on it.”
When we returned that morning, the kids barely remembered us, and we barely remembered what had transpired the night before.
Paul by contrast takes quite a different approach to these Utah holidays. He rode his bike to the top of Snow Basin. A normal person might take the gondola to the top and ride down. But not spider Paul.
Nanny Rose is much better at engaging Della in crafts than I am. Maybe because George doesn’t interfere. Here they are, fixing a tragically busted Minnie necklace:
Look at those pinecone shingles!
My mom works very, very hard to make all this magic happen.
There was still time for a couple of viewings of Cinderella in laundry baskets.
And camping in the back yard.
That’s funny, Daddy…
…but see also Bappa’s hair.
Tractors, tractors, tractors.
Pineview is a manmade reservoir but also a little divine.
This is the rope Nanny Rose brought in case we wanted to tie the kids to a tree and forget about them.
Eating pumpkin seeds off the floor.
No matter where in the world we are, George wants to sit next to Della while they eat their popsicles.
When he can remember to, George takes a half-nap in his crib, followed by a half-nap in my lap.
Digging the ditch.
Most of the time I wore this disguise and hid in the bushes and surprised people by leaping out and taking their picture.
This is when my dad drove a pick-up truck with headlights off and front doors open in the light of the blue moon to the songs of Townes Van Zandt, and the pick-up truck bed held lawn chairs full of onlookers, who were looking on toward the night picnickers seated at the picnic table fastened to the two-wheel trailer that trailed behind.
Much love to Utah and our intrepid Western Family, a long plane ride away but close to our hearts.