Having just hosted a pair of grandsons, their spouses and three great grandchildren we would heartily recommend anyone undertaking this sort of visitation have access to a swimming pool.
One of the greats, Talon, a 5-year-old from Colorado Springs took to the water like a veteran, going off the board with a noodle floater so many times each day that it actually tired us out just watching the process.
The second great, Henry, a 4-year-old from Maryland, was more reserved, and for his entertainment we were thankful for water gun devices. They kept him busy for a couple of days as the boys bonded to become "best friends."
Great number three was Kate (full given name Kathryn after my mother) who was just walking good and was easy to entertain. Just turn her loose on a set of stairs, and she would scamper up or down them laughing all the way.
Providing entertainment through water shooting devices was really simple and completely on the economical side. The most popular of the water guns came from an Air Force base exchange in Colorado Springs and was out of the $l barrel.
The rest of the floatation devices were holdovers from past visits and equipment that had been purchased for some other occasion.
Highest price of the visit preparation was opening the pool, which included pumping out the old water, cleaning and then refilling on Cassville's present water rates.
One problem encountered with this group was logistics whenever there was a trip involved. With the youngsters requiring proper seating, we had to take a couple of vehicles on an outing to Eureka Springs that permitted the gals to shop some, something neither had done previously. The train yard there proved a definite interest for the five-year-old.
The requirements of transporting youngsters of this age are completely understandable and very convenient for Sean's family from Colorado, as their Volvo has built-in safety seats. Andy's vehicle that came from near D.C. had the first mileage for the VW van.
Having access to hamburgers on the grill or cooked in the kitchen seems to always please the younger set. A hearty batch of baked veggies can round out most hearty meals that can be good for the kids. Baby food was satisfying for the little girl.
The parents were no problem so far as the menu was concerned.
Learned one lesson a summer ago concerning beds for youngsters while we had Sean's family in from California. At their age a sofa chair and chaise lounge put together serves very well and most generally they will sleep the night through with these accommodations.
Otherwise one of them slept with Shelley for one night with neither getting through the entire night in full sleep.
There was a sleeping bag in the equipment unloaded upon arrival but actually never put to use.
In case you haven't been outside much lately, being a week into summer brought 90 degree temperatures on a recent jaunt into Arkansas with these readings supposedly to stay with us for a while. All this points toward next week's arrival of July 4, which this year comes around on Thursday.
For those fortunate enough to wangle being off Friday, this produces a four-day holiday to observe the nation's independence.
It's also that time of the year when we once expected to be picking tomatoes off our vines. That's several years ago when we grew them, but after three years failing to out battle the squirrels and other problems, we have been fortunate to have some green-thumb friends.
Summer and tomatoes reminds of the history of canning the county crop by Rush Co. whose facility was located near Flat Creek where the present north ball fields are located in Cassville City Park. Tons of tomatoes were cooked, peeled by hand and then canned, most of the crop going to the military.
Before the season started, three of us, Charles Chumbley, Trolinger Wilson and myself, somehow had an annual job of washing buckets for the factory. These were enamel- lined buckets that were used by the those peeling tomatoes. Our job, sitting on concrete from an old bridge on East Eighth at the creek, was to wash dirt out of them right out of storage. They were later further cleaned in scalding water at the factory before put to use. My memory fails me how much, but we were paid by the bucket, probably making a dollar at day. But, it was enough to see a couple of movies at the Ozark Theater.