Staying at the Y means “family.” We rented a Christmas cabin in 2006, a mountain homecoming Christmas experience for our son who has lived and worked in southern Africa since his initial Peace Corps experience. We have photos of wide-eyed grandchildren with Santa. We have a tradition of lunch with the “hummers” and reading comments from those who shared experiences at our adopted Pueblo cabin.
Especially, I/we eternally will be grateful for the summer weeks with our “Colorado grandchildren”, beginning when Rachel was 2 (just out of diapers) and Riley was an enthusiastic 5-year-old. God spoke to me that first summer. “Put the kids in day camp.” So wise. Jim and I had our mornings; the kids came home even more energized (!) for afternoon “experiences!” Sixteen years later, we all can sing those camp songs (with appropriate motions!).
I remember Riley’s over-night as a mid-high camper. He wanted us to loan him playing cards so they could play poker. We suggested that he take time to see the stars. He came home to Pueblo enthused and exhausted. “We didn’t sleep! We just laid and talked and watched the stars. Grandma, Grandpa– they were incredible!”
Rachie still talks about the time we walked up to the porch to watch the bird banding. Typically, for a 10-year-old, she came home and taunted her brother. “I got to hold a hummingbird!” “You didn’t!” “Did!” So Riley stood steadily on Pueblo’s porch rail with his hand next to our hummer feeder. For half an hour. Magically, a hummer settled on his out-stretched palm.
We played more miniature golf than Jim and I thought possible, though the last year I was the sole grandparent participant. But Jim loved the “replay” and the kids, still competitive, could take a loss more gracefully.