Always something to hope for

jingle bells

“The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

— George Washington Burnap

In just a few days, my firstborn grandchild will celebrate with three candles on his birthday cake. What a ride this has been, for him and for those of us who welcomed him into the world just the blink of an eye ago.

It is incredible what transpires in a little life from birth to that third birthday. I am so lucky to live close enough to live this experience once again.

Chatting with Brooks

Brooks talked early and often. Chatting with him has been the best part of my days. He is drawn to the great outdoors, learning early that some neighbors drive past on red tractors while others drive green. He recognized the difference in their trucks, correcting us if we didn’t seem to grasp it all quite right.

I realized not long ago that Brooks has gone from answering our questions and following our prompts to actually carrying on real conversation. “Where do I go to get a livestock truck?” he asked yesterday.

I said what any wise grandmother says. “There is probably a big store that makes livestock trucks, but I have never been there. Let’s try to picture what it might look like.”

Asking Santa

“Never mind,” he said with a sigh. “I bet Santa knows. If I get to see him again, I’ll ask Santa!”

His parents had just taken him on the magical train ride to the North Pole, The Polar Express. I stayed home with his baby sister, and couldn’t wait to hear all about it. It was late when they returned home, but the pure joy was still sparkling as he rushed in the door to tell me all about it.

“There were lots of other kids — we all wore our jammies!” He explained the train took them to where Santa is busy making stuff and Mrs. Claus was there too. “I lined up with other kids I didn’t even know and I was brave and it was fun and Santa gave me a bell off of his sleigh!” he told me with such excitement he was almost breathless.

This little farmer-in-training asked Santa for three things, all to help him get jobs done on his miniature farm.

I held him close, telling our little fellow how happy I am that he got to go on such an amazing adventure. I told him he is so lucky, adding that I have never taken a train ride. He looked at me, sweetly touching my cheek with his little hand. “Aw, maybe someday you’ll get to go, Gigi, but you have to be good!”

It is something to hope for!


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.



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