Bob Mitchell: A good, busy week with the great-grands
This past week has been an experience of a lifetime for the Mitchell house in Chinquapin Woods, as the Grebenik family from Colorado Springs arrived for a weeklong visit.
This was the first time for the six-member group to be with us here in the Ozarks. If you don't think this was an experience of a lifetime, perhaps you should try it sometime.
Lindsley, Dole and their four children -- Braeden 10, Ellery 6, Holland, 4, and Grey, 2 -- re-taught us many things about a young family -- the things they want to do and the things they should not do. The latter is occasionally just what they want to do and end up doing.
For this group, ordinary toys don't mean a whole lot, but fortunately, we had a couple that kept them occupied for much of the visit. Among these was the swimming pool, which had warmed considerably with the higher temperatures during the nighttime, which was a blessing from a few weeks ago when Dr. Parsons and family were here for a few days.
Braeden was a good swimmer and frequently provided some entertainment with his flips off the diving board. The two girls, Ellery and Holland, did well with swimmies on their arms and were not much of a problem. Grey was constantly wanting to do what the older kids were doing and provided some entertainment with his requests and facial expressions.
We might experience an unusually high water bill for this visit, since there was a replenishment necessary a couple of times during the four-day visit. The pool was a real blessing in keeping this group entertained for the most part of a day as there were morning and afternoon sessions of splashing, and those kind of activities were necessarily supervised by daddy Dole.
Next in line for a time-consuming entertainment event was Table Rock Lake and the Monarch FS that hadn't been in the water yet this year. With some fresh gasoline added to what was in the tank, the nearly 27-year-old Johnson 115 started on the second turnover and ran like a top for most of the day.
The Big M area provided the launching ramp and shade area for those not choosing to make a ride up and down the lake between the Eagle Rock area and nearly to Shell Knob.
Most important for the youngsters was taking turns helping with the steering. If you haven't had a great-granddaughter or great-grandson sitting on your lap with wet shorts from playing in the water, then you have missed a real experience. The smiles on their faces as they assisted with guiding the boat up and down the lake were reward enough for the effort.
There were some brief experiences of fishing, mostly in the Owl Creek arm of the lake, where the kids were amazed at the depth finder and the shallow water we were motoring through. Those on this particular trip had fixed eyes on the electronic equipment as we headed toward the bank of the creek.
There were not even any small fish that could be attracted to a small Luck E Strike firetail worm or a small Perch top water offered in an old road crossing or rock fence in this particular location on the lake.
This was the first day of a cool-down for this part of the country, and a particularly ideal time to spend some time on the reservoir.
When it came time to leave, the youngsters all piled into their van, since it took two vehicles for this travel, each of them had to be in their safety seats.
This family is always good company, since feeding this many hungry mouths three times a day was made much easier with Dole practicing his cooking skills, and Lindsley is always helping with cleaning the kitchen when this always-hungry group is fed.
In addition, since kids are kids anywhere, picking up their toys and keeping a resemblance of order around the house seems to be important for this particular family.
Perhaps they can attribute their organization to the fact that dad is an engineer with Colorado Highway Department and mom, a college graduate, naturally has her hands full in the homestead.
After driving straight through from Colorado to Cassville to get here, their return will include a stopover in Overland Park, Kan., and a visit with Lindsley's aunt Shelley and uncle Dennis for a couple of days before heading back west.
We consider it a real blessing to have the "toys" mentioned for hosting grand and great-grandchildren. There are seven of the greats in our family. Now six of them have been here for this summer's contact, and we're hoping the seventh will make here before school is back in session.
Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.