Monday, June 13, 2011

Spontaneous Fun: Life Going 'Round

Josh and Alli came over on Saturday afternoon, an unexpected surprise. After a little lunch, we walked over to the Art Festival and toured the grounds of the "Sylvania Historical Village," just a few doors down from where I live. Afterwards we joined a jammin' session in progress on our front porch (there they are, right, with the hat of George the flutist barely visible).

This is the kind of spontaneous get-together that's made possible by my being here. It was different when I lived in DC, Florida, Ukraine, or
when I was working and traveling someplace. I made lots of trips to Toledo and flew the kids here and there, even to Mexico and London, made every effort to stay in touch. They loved

visiting me in DC and in Florida. Alli is in love with St. Pete. These were all great visits, with fantastic memories, the more so as the kids got older.

And now, well, this is great too, being close. It's great timing because the kids are at such great ages for growing, exploring and sharing together. We are coming around the circle of life.

Life gives us time for most everything, I'm learning, if we are healthy, hearty and lucky enough, and it gives us many second chances. Time is not only linear, it is circular, like the sacred and ancient Celtic, Native American, and Egyptian symbols. I feel like I have come full circle, or almost full circle, in my life's journey. And I'm still going 'round!

I see things with different eyes when I am going 'round with my grandchildren. I had been to the Art Festival and village grounds a few hours earlier, admiring the large paintings of poppies, the glass garden art, handmade soaps, repainted antique furniture, jewelry, books by a local author.

But it was different being with the kids. Alli and Josh preferred the photo and craft arts, and enjoyed the historic sites even more. Interesting, for an historian like their grandmother! They stopped in the Old School House, sat in the old desks, pretended they were students, noticed the books (the old McGuffy readers), the photo of George Washington, the flag with 23 stars. They climbed into the two historic trains housed in a grand "train barn" to preserve them. The old train depot and the trains date back to 1858 and they were in service until 1956. We went into the old barn and blacksmith shop, filled with old instruments and tools, which they found fascinating. Same with the old log cabin, discovered in the nearby Michigan countryside, in total disrepair, brought to the Village and restored to its original look and purpose.

The City of Sylvania supports Sylvania Historical Village along with the House Museum.
The grounds are lovely and expansive. It’s a good sign of a vital community with a responsive local government, concerned about preserving the past for today and future generations. The kids got the message!

On the way back, we ambled onto our front porch and joined neighbors for some old-fashion jamming: George on the flute, Jim and Bob on guitars and with a harmonica, Jim singing, and Elliot on drums. They gave guitars to Alli and Josh, showed them two or three basic chords, and told them to strum. And strum they did! It was great. Well, it wasn’t a great concert, but it was a lot of fun. Spontaneous front porch fun on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Life going 'round.

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