It's grand daughter week here--a repeat of our inaugural week last year. Except that it's not a repeat at all. The girl is a year older and a mile taller. And it's so very different now that the great-grandmother is living here. An 11-year-old's top vacation picks probably do not include shuttling to a neurologist to discuss memory problems and dementia, nor a trip to the podiatrist to consider the ravages of bad circulation and the clipping of a well-weathered set of toenails, but these are among the things we've done. I've held to my own fitness and sanity maintenance schedule as well, so the girl has accompanied me to the gym for yoga and line dancing. Yet to come, she will see a session of t'ai chi chih where she will hear all about the chi--kind of an amazing thing for someone who is 11. If I had heard the word chi at 11 when I was growing up in a town of 3000 people in Iowa, I might have thought it to be a nickname for a cartoon animal from far-away Mexico.
Of course, we've done other things, too. The girl is a devoted beach walker, and the beach glass harvest has been plentiful with the added bonus of dolphins leaping in and out of the water when we raise our eyes from the sand to the sea.
We've added to my collection of heart rocks and lugged home other found treasure.
Part of the delight in bring home these treasures is the reaction from my mother. An inveterate trash picker when she was able to walk the streets of Baltimore to seize gold watches, amethyst rings, fine china, original art, boxes of clothes, and countless other useful things, she exclaims on anything we bring home as if it's the wonder of wonders.
There's also been swimming in the ocean.
That tiny speck of a head is the girl.
And there's been swimming at the yacht club (which I can no longer afford to be a member of....but a contract is a contract, alas.) And in any event, the sky looked like this.
One of the generations here in Margaritaville is here only nominally. M has a canvassing job this summer and works ridiculous hours with an insane commute. We miss her. Her absence and the girl's constant presence point out to me the similarities in their demeanors--sunny, talkative, anything but shy. I would not describe myself as such. The girl's father needs solitary time, as I do, and as my other daughter, C, does. We're fun. We're funny. We can party, but we don't seem to possess the same ease. When I told C that M was canvassing this summer and had to accost strangers on the street and ask them for money, she told me how she had once volunteered to clean up bright orange vomit rather than stand on the dock and call out to passersby that there were still tickets available for the boat's next cruise. Yeah. Totally phobic about bodily functions, I would have elected to simply jump off the dock.
So here I am again. With history repeating itself and my own little extrovert at my side. Sometimes life is incredibly kind.
Where do you, dear readers, fall on the extrovert/introvert scale? Clean up vomit? Ask strangers for money? What would you choose?