better than a spa

It is two days ago. I’m lying on a straw mat on the grass under a mosquito-netted child-sized cabana. My feet are sticking out from under the net, but the rest of me is in the shade. I’m watching the grass grow between my fingers. My grandson sits in the corner, his big-flapped sunhat askew, explaining the workings of the model construction trucks lined up between us. In the background the voices of my daughter and son-in-law merge with all of the muted sounds around me. They are putting in a fire pit, hauling huge rocks from the woods behind their house and working up the sweat that I’m avoiding.
This morning, even before I was out of my pajamas, Lex (that’s my grandson) had me decked out in a fireman’s hat and water goggles, marching around the house playing a toy clarinet. I wanted the flute, which I sort of can play, but he said the sounds I make hurt his ears. Later on, he wants to check out my car engine. I open the hood. “Where’s the dip stick?” he asks. “I don’t know,” I reply, because I dont; I always have my oil changed every three thousand miles, so I never bother to check my oil. “There is it,” he says, pointing to the dip stick. He’ll be four years old in July.
We play catch and chase each other, and I take lots and lots of video clips and photos. I sleep soundly and wake up early.
On the way back to the mountain, I listen to the three disks of 1950-60s music that one of my college class members sent me from which to choose a batch to play at our reunion next weekend. I didn’t really know many of the people who will be there; we ran in different circles at the time. But I’m getting to know them now, via email and the private weblog I set up for us to plan and share and get to know each other for the first time.
I loved my college years. I’m looking forward to reliving them, for one night, anyway. Endings are just new beginnings.

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