We thoroughly enjoyed daughter Anita's family visit last week, but it's a bit of a relief when the little ones go home. We're not used to noisy toys and little ones bickering over minutia any more. It's a good thing that most little ones' parents are young! They are a genuine joy to play with and to watch as they learn and explore new adventures. Both Sierra and Bryce enjoyed picking up colorful leaves and stowing them in innumerable ways only kids would think of.
Grandson Bryce showed me a trick that I doubt many two-year-olds perform often. I don't like to brag, but I was impressed when he demonstrated his version of the ultimate tantrum. He got upset when sister Sierra got on the only swing I have before he could; he squalled, threw up his hands, bent down, did a forward somersault and laid on his back kicking his heels into the ground, all the while continuing to screech! Impressive display!
Another brother Rupert story: Our family was quite poor when my older siblings were growing up, so most of them learned to forage for some of the finer things in life: wild strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sugar pears and especially brook trout and white tailed deer. Rupert even shot a small bear on Albany Mountain when he and a couple brothers were blueberrying there. The interesting part is that he shot the bear with a single shot .22 rifle that had no front sight! He got close to the bear and shot it behind the ear while it was eating berries. I think he was 11 or 12 years old at that time.
As he grew older he supported the family by cutting wood, early on with an axe and bucksaw, and later with a chainsaw. He usually logged in one of the numerous woodlots somewhere in the Pleasant River valley in Mason and walked to the job. He almost always carried either a rifle or shotgun to and from work, summer, fall or winter. Any wild game sighted along the way usually became food on the table; a family of 11 required a lot of food, and our father, Eli, was not a very good provider. The harvesting of meat for the table provided grist for many entertaining tales as he related his successes, failures and humorous close calls along the way. I wish I could remember a lot more of his stories, but I will try to do justice to some of them that I do recall.