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Joy in the Journey

July 18, 2013

by Linda Beerman
Grandparenting is one of those things that can bring many blessings! This week found both Dan and I investing time in both Iowa and Minnesota with different ages and stages of grandparenting.

It was great to get away and spend a few days with our three grandkids in West DesMoines, Iowa. Our main mission was to watch our oldest grandson, Taylor, play baseball in his last tournament of the season. We don't get this privilege very often as it is several hours from home, but it worked out that we could attend this time. He has played for several years, and it is fun to watch how much he has grown to love and find success in this sport. He has a good arm for pitching, and he also covers the first base position in many games. It was hot both of the days we were in the stands, but the boys kept up their energy through the final innings.

Taylor is heading into seventh grade this fall, and as we watched him relate with many of his teammates, it was gratifying to see the way they encouraged and cheered each other on.

Being young boys, there was a lot of good hearted fun going on at the same time. That not only was a pleasure to see and watch, but made us chuckle while we took it all in. There is just something about kids that energizes us! They ended up winning most of their games, and of course that just adds to the entertainment and excitement.

Both Alexis, age 9, and Abigail, 6, were also involved in daily swimming lessons. Dan and I took them one morning and got to watch the classes in action. We had to "stay under the big yellow umbrella" while we observed though. Only the instructors and their students could be near the water! I can understand that it probably makes teaching easier without the distraction of parents, grandparents, and little siblings too close by. Lots of splashing, laughing, and little bodies of all sizes going in and out of the water. More enjoyment for us to check out!

The last evening at the Elders' home we enjoyed playing in the backyard with the volleyball and sharing around the firepit. The girls had looked forward to S'mores all day, and they delighted in melting the marshmallows on the end of their stretched out clothes hangars until they were golden brown or even blackened. Smushed in between graham crackers and pieces of Hersey bars, they were pretty irresistible. Taylor had staked out a small tent for his sisters in the yard earlier, and they had fun giggling in there while we enjoyed the peacefulness of the fire.

Friday found us heading back to southwest Minnesota traveling up Interstate 35 and then west on Interstate 90. We couldn't help but feel badly about all of the unplanted fields we witnessed between Albert Lea and Blue Earth. Some farmers have just worked them to hold down the weeds, as it just got too late for seed this year. A large area of crop land laying dormant for this crop season! Some of the fields still have water sitting on top. We once again commented how we just have to count our blessings each day.

Friday evening we took part in a wedding rehearsal near Ellsworth, Minnesota, for our foster grandson, Jordan, and his bride to be, Krystal. We felt honored to sit with the family in the grandparents' spot. Jordan is the son of our foster daughter, Merrily, who lived with us for six years in the 1980's. We have been a part of his existence since he arrived, and so it was wonderful to be part of this special time in his life.

Saturday we returned to the big red barn near his home in Ellsworth for the wedding. It was a warm day, but the big fans in the barn sent a breeze through the air so we could be as comfortable as possible. The ceremony was simple, but sincere, and we were impressed with the young men and women that were attendants for the marriage vows. Their attitudes and smiles were infectious, even though the warmth of the day probably was a little uncomfortable in those long dresses and tuxes.

We finished the evening in Luverne at the Blue Mound Catering Center where we dined on a full course supper, and then danced the evening away with great music, crazy antics on the dance floor, and just plain fun and laughter. The energy of the younger crowd is just a joy to behold, and it spilled over giving some of us older ones a boost for this time of celebration. As we made our way home we felt so blessed to have been included in so many of the grandchildren's lives this week. From the younger ages to the adults moving on with their lives and dreams. We are so thankful that we are able to go and be a part of their lives and see what they accomplish from week to week. We do try to keep in touch by mail or phone calls, but being there is just the best! May you take every opportunity to share in the lives of those you love. You just never know where the next blessing will come from!

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