I arrived in Charlottesville, VA on a Tuesday. My son and daughter in law flew to S. Africa on Wednesday giving me 14 days alone with my delightful bright and charming grandsons (Alex) 18 and (Corey) 15. Before I arrived, I worried about such matters as my stamina to handle the drive to and from Piedmont Virginia Community College 6 days a week, will my meals meet the boy’s expectations, as they are used to menus including meats and poultry? I am a veggie. My rule was if you want animal, defrost it, cook it and clean it up and I will provide the rest. They both decided not to have meat and have been content with the veggie meals and my methods of preparation. Some dishes of course, were enjoyed more than others, that is not so rare, but I was very creative and had a ball.
Eat they did, homework they did, and converse they did, big time, mostly in the car heading to school for the 27 minute ride each way. What a delight. Routines changed daily; I would drop them at school and do various errands or stay on campus all day hanging out in the library with full WiFi connection, enjoying the view from my chosen table by the window with a beautiful Mountain view and warm sun filtering through the glass. Libraries are a weakness of mine with the advent of the internet and eBooks, I don’t spend time in libraries, bookstores, used book departments and such any more. I joke that I spent a great time of my day stroking and petting books listed under, art, writing, literature, philosophy, psychology, history …! I even participated in Alex’s modern dance class and was able to keep up as best I could with a 75 year old bod. After all, I do hard workouts every day at home.
I branched out as time went by. The Wegman’s grocery was 8 minutes down the road, and not so far away, Whole Foods, Krogers for gas, picking up the order of raw milk, taking the boys to Dungeons and Dragons club meetings, going to movies, restaurants, attending a dance/dessert party: (armed with richly chocolate brownies) an activity as part of the family’s involvement in SCA or Society for Creative Anachronisms, Inc. at www.sca.org. They delve deeply into the realm of living in the medieval period, so the dances are period dances aptly taught by one of the members, an activity the whole family enjoys.
Dan is one of the instrumentalists and sorely missed that evening. What warm and welcoming people they are. They even found a costume that fit me and did not hover around my ankles threatening to trip me.
Alex participates in Larping tournaments. What is that, see for yourself watching this Utube video at; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fk91mNR2Y0. Generally, the members take on a personality and a name, make their own costumes and equipment and enjoy working and sharing with people on an international basis.
One of the highlights of the drive to school happened on day 3. Alex, an aspiring actor, singer and lover of drama, read to me from Shakespeare’s Act 111, scene 1 of Hamlet, Yes it includes the To Be or Not to Be soliloquy. In my somewhat knowledgeably opinion, he read it with the desired inflections, vocal nuances and proper deportment that some aspiring Shakespearean actors strive to obtain.
Corey reflected on his activities in the SCA mentioned above, the ups and downs in adjusting to college at age 15 in a program including home schooled students like himself. He is diligent in doing his homework, not just finishing it but making sure he is understands the work. His interests are varied and rich and he is aware that he has yet to form definite goals. Heck, some of us waver even in the upper ages. How very proud I am to be their grandparent and to be trusted to take over while the parents achieve one of their dreams, travel to S. Africa. I even revisited my ability to drive a shift Subaru not without some learning curve glitches. But it is a great car. I will do it again, but the grandsons (all 5) will grow beyond the need. I will savor this visit to Charlottesville, even easily enduring the 13F temperature, wind, some rain and a bit of snow; reliving my growing up in the lovely winters of the Northeast. Thanks for “listening.”
Ann Carol Goldberg 2/4/18