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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: California kids in Kansas

© Another Day in the Country

After 40 days and 40 nights in California, which at times seemed like Biblical proportions to my sister  here at home trying to keep my garden growing and the lawn green in desert-like conditions in Kansas, I came back with two boys, 11 and 12.

Having my grandson spend part of the summer here with me has been as dream of mine. I’ve been waiting until he was old enough, and willing, to come to Kansas without his mother.  Having a cousin with him smoothed the way for it to happen this summer.

In anticipation of two almost-teenagers in Ramona with time on their hands, I ordered two “urban” scooters so they could scoot around town and explore.  Since the energy that makes the scooters move is leg power, I thought that would be good exercise as well as a lot of fun.
The scooters were waiting for us in a big box in the hallway as we arrived with all of our suitcases.

The boys were staying in the “west wing” of the house where a king-sized bed awaits our guests who come to enjoy “The Prairie Schooner Cruise Line,” accommodations. Jess had everything ready and I must say that the house looked like one big welcome mat!

It was 10 o’clock at night Kansas time but still early evening — 8 o’clock California time — when we arrived, so the first order of business was opening up the boxes with the scooters.  You can just imagine the excitement of two kids with brand new scooters, comparing and exclaiming, trying to figure out the minimum assemblage with wrenches provided in the package.

“Who cares if it is dark outside?” my grandson said after scooting up and down the front hallway. “We need to try these things out.”

So, out the door they went on a brief tour of 5th St. which rarely gets any traffic to speak of.

I was prepared for entertaining two California kids in Kansas! Not only had I provided transportation for exploring, I had lists of menu ideas and activities that I wanted them to experience.  One of my ideas for familiarizing them with the town was to send them on “missions” around Ramona.  I even made them a map, but that went by the wayside in a hurry as my grandson got his bearings, remembering where certain things were.

Because the trains woke them up at night, trains were of immediate interest. They heard how we used to put pennies on the track for the trains to run over when we were kids. When they tried that out the first time, they put the money on the wrong set of tracks and the train whizzed right on by, leaving the money untouched on the siding.

Learning to drive the zero-turn lawnmowers was one of the first things on my list.

“No thanks,” my grandson said when I introduced the idea.

“Sorry,” I retorted, “This is an offer you can’t refuse.” 

Within five minutes they pretty much had it mastered.

“It’s like driving Mario cars,” said cousin Soren, the older of the two, to encourage Dagfinnr.

Once they’d gotten the basics, I said, “Here is today’s mission.  You are going to mow the lawn behind my house and also Tony’s house.  Jess saved that one for you to do.” 

I gave them a few instructions about lawn mowing but it was soon evident that they needed more.  These kids had never mowed a lawn, first of all, and, second, had never actually looked at grass.  To check where they had been with the mower and ascertain whether or not they’d gotten it all mowed evenly was a brand new concept, above and beyond running the equipment.

Needless to say, a week later when the lawn at my house needed another mowing, they’d gotten pretty good at getting close to the shrubbery without running over it and keeping the grass off the sidewalks and the road.

“What Baba is saying,” my grandson said to his cousin, “is that you aren’t supposed to put grass anywhere it doesn’t grow.”

It’s another day in the country and I’m going down my list and checking it twice for fun stuff to do in Ramona! Anyone up for a water fight?

Last modified Aug. 22, 2018

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