Bob Mitchell: Thank goodness for the pool
Those who have never gone through the experience of having four great-grandchildren, ages 3 to 15, for a week just plain haven’t lived a full life. That’s an opinion after what we’ve just experienced when our oldest granddaughter brought her family to Chinquapin Woods after an absence of two years.
They were only in Cassville for a couple of days before we settled at Branson for the latter part of the trip where they could see the bright lights of the well-advertised area. Having access to our condo in the tourism center helped a lot.
Another good shot was that their father, a civil engineer with CODOT, is an accomplished hand in the kitchen. Except for a very few meals out, he did most of the cooking, preparing well-balanced meals for their hosts and his family. Dole and Lindsley have done a commendable job with their well-behaved youngsters.
Pool was open
Probably without their scheduled visit, the pool would not have been opened this year. Jennifer’s Pool Service did a good job getting the water ready for the onslaught—And that’s about what it was on their arrival.
Arriving after a 750-mile, straight-through drive from their home in Colorado Springs, almost immediately after pulling into our drive, they were in swimming attire, turning on the light in the pool and hitting the water.
They continued from Sunday evening through Tuesday afternoon splashing their way to their kind of enjoyment, always under the watchful eyes of at least one parent or the older brother.
Good to watch
It was refreshing to watch four youngsters get along so well. There were a few instances of pushing others into the water, perhaps when they might have chosen to be in the dry, but other than those isolated instances, things went exceptionally well.
Weather cooperation helped a lot as warm nights and the filter off had warmed the water above tap temperatures and remained so during their splash times.
Their experiences, for the three younger ones, included learning to dive, a more sophisticated method of entering the water than always feet first. Flips off the board were doing well before their departure.
Difficult without the pool
Just as stated above, “Thank goodness for the swimming pool” because it would have been difficult for grandmother and “Pop” to keep up with the youngsters for three days.
All these years of having the pool available has been a learning experience when young folks are around as they seem to be drawn to water as if there was a magnet pulling them that way.
I can’t say enough about how the well-behaved nature of these youngsters contributed as much as anything to a visit that couldn’t have been more enjoyable.
A couple of things standout that the Colorado kids enjoyed... the Ozark Hills are quite different from their elevations in the Rockies, the canopies of green provided by trees lining roads that provided tunnels to drive through. A typical comment was “our trees have pine needles, and most have no leaves.” The Ozarks’ crooked roads to the destination didn’t seem to bother anyone.
The availability of six beds in the condo did a lot to make the three-day stay more enjoyable. Four showers and a couple of hot tubs added to the comfort of the group.
Then, there was Silver Dollar City, which was a hit that was enjoyed by young and old alike (excluding the old folks who stayed in condo). This might be an advertisement, but so be it. And, the girls and parents were overwhelming with their appreciation for the opportunity to spend nine hours in the park.
A special one-day availability for the six-member family was provided financially, with some help from their grandmother.
On their return trip they avoided crooked roads by accessing I-44 and then I-49 to Overland Park, Kan., for a luncheon and short visit with family, Shelley and Dennis, and their arrival back in Colorado Springs was just about dark.
Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.