Bob Mitchell: A flock of grandchildren
Those who haven't experienced a flock of grandchildren visiting for about a week just haven't lived a full life.
We were honored last week by having six great-grandchildren and five adults arrive in Chinquapin Woods almost in one fell swoop.
They came from Creve Coir, Md.; Colorado Springs, Colo., and Overland Park, Kan., using their vacation and Navy leave time to enjoy the Barry County Ozarks. There wasn't much that got done outside of the swimming pool patio, but they certainly enjoyed that facility.
It just so happened that in opening the pool, one of the drain plugs was damaged beyond repair and the entire system wasn't going to function, regardless of our efforts. We discovered that a neighbor, who also has a pool, had a spare plug. He even came down to make the installation.
Once Spiz's extra plug was in place at the bottom of a collection basket, the system started functioning and we were in business for the entire time.
The pool required some drainage due to the recent rains, but once it filled to the brim, it would have overflowed had the flush function of the controls not worked.
None of the six youngsters feared the water, since all had been in one phase or another of swimming lessons.
They did advance well into the phase of swimming or diving during their twice-daily sessions. Of special interest was the oldest boy who was an accomplished swimmer, who didn't want to learn to dive. Once his stubborn streak gave in, it was virtually impossible to keep him off the board.
Once some of the younger ones, with life jackets buckled, started jumping off the board, there was often a line of kids waiting their turn to jump into the water, screaming at the top of the lungs all the way into the water.
Cooperating weather was just right for the daily sessions, with only one afternoon spent in Eureka Springs taking a train ride -- another experience for all the youngsters.
Our granddaughter, Lindsley, a very resourceful individual, knowing of the crowd that was going to be here, was very well prepared with inflatable beds that put the youngsters down for naps or at night. She and her husband, Dole, even had a double bed they had borrowed from a friend in Colorado Springs.
This freed up a couple of bedrooms for Shelley and her grandchildren and the Navy doctor and his family.
With no need to take the beds down, conditions seemed ideal for their length of stay.
As hosts, our assignments were few and far between as the three girls and one husband were accomplished cooks and took the jobs to heart.
A couple of notations about the use of the Hillbilly Hilton, one large and one small trash can were full to requiring tamping to get the lids shut and the arrival of the next couple of water bills might resemble the national debt. Filling the pool and showers for that bunch each day could have put the wells of Cassville humming last week.
Washing and drying towels might have helped Barry Electric's coffers if there was any need for additional power use on the system.
Leaving last Wednesday at about 9 a.m., the families went their separate ways with their vans loaded to the maximum and everyone with seat belts and youth seats in place.
Andy and Janna were headed to Indianapolis as their first night's stop. Lindsey and Dole made it to K.C. to visit his grandfather and spend the night with Shelley.
Apparently, the youngsters were content with the availability of the pool, since they all departed with the promise of returning next year. We now have to plan to reopen the pool before the 2016 swimming season.
Off the spike
Danged if it might not be nice to return to the days of telephone service when an operator would ask for the number you wished to call. Back in those days of Frankie Hankins and Thelma Holden at the switchboard, located on West Street, there weren't all the interruptive calls like those that are received these days. It makes you wonder what ever happened to the no-call lists that were supposed to be out there. It looks like current-day technology could detect those calls, coming from wherever, and cast them aside. But many of those received some days are from the phone company themselves.
The best we've seen lately was the announcement from some source that chocolate was good for you and could often eliminate or make less severe any stroke damage a person might have. Then, two days later, there was an announcement that the price of cocoa was going up.
Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat.