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As we were visiting six of our grandchildren in Texas, we also had the privilege of visiting their parents -- our daughter, Rebecca, and her husband, Timothy.

These are wonderful grandkids, and I have my own names for them: Hannah is Kitten, Kayla is Lamb, Serena is Bunny, Joshua is Puppy, Karen is Fawn, and baby Savanna is my Dove.

Some folks don't like it when I call these grandkids by animal names; but that's okay because they call me the Old Goat, so we're even. We have a lot of fun.

These kids have an exciting life even without the Old Goat visiting them. They have rabbits, a cat, a hedgehog, birds, and several garden reptiles; each of them has his/her own private garden spot; they have trees to climb; and they have their own private playground, as well as a public playground a block from their house.

The kids enjoy it when we visit them because I tell them stories -- about animals, of course. Sometimes we get a little rowdy and Grandma has to settle us down -- especially when Savanna is sleeping. Most of the main characters in the stories are young and bi-lingual. That is, they can talk their native (animal) tongue and talk English. Kitten keeps a list of all the talking animals, and I think she has listed over 30 so far. We call the talking animals in the stories "talkers."

All the talkers have names. For example, the monkey is Monnie, the giraffe is Jerry, the panther is Pan, the elephant is Ellie, and so forth. The newest member of our animal cast is a 10-foot tall gorilla named Gory. He protects his friends from mean animals and from hunters.

Did I mention that each of my animals have an individual garden spot? Good. The day before we left, my Lamb came bounding up to me.

"Look! I picked three okra pods so far. What do you think?"

"Good job, Kayla! After you grow about 30 more, you can cook them for a meal."

"Okay, kids; time for the next event. Who wants to help with the corn?" Rebecca, had bought a bushel of corn and was going to cook some for dinner.

"I do!" not quite 2-year-old Karen squealed as she ran for the back door.

All but 7-week-old Savanna hurried outside to help prepare the meal.

Rebecca asked in her Texas drawl, "Do y'all like doing this?"

Four-year-old Joshua said, "Yeah."

"What do you like about it"

As he began shucking another ear, "I like finding the edges and pulling the stuff off."

Hannah and Kayla were inspecting each ear for creepy-crawlies to make sure they didn't add any extraneous protein substance to the pot. Serena methodically plugged right along, and shucked about as many as her older sisters did while Rebecca and I were documenting this historic event with cameras.

Little Karen really got into this project. After she pulled the first few leaves away from the tip of her first ear, she giggled and looked up mischievously. Smiling, she put the ear up to her mouth, and said, "I eat." Her giggles and gleaming eyes revealed she knew it was not ready yet, but she was having fun.

As she reached for her second ear, she dropped it and it rolled on the ground. "Woopy, Mama." That's her version of Oops, Momma. After she laboriously finished shucking that one, she said, "I more!" When Rebecca told her, "I'm sorry, sweetheart; there aren't anymore. They're all done." Karen said with disappointment, "Awe..."

"What are you thinking, Dad?"

"Ruby (my name for Rebecca since babyhood) this is one of the best memories of our two-week visit, and I'm glad we came!"

"We're gonna have more corn next week, you wanna stay another week?"

"Aw, shucks, Ruby...." But I didn't get any further because Rebecca broke out in a gale of laughter.

"That fits the occasion, Dad."

I finally continued, "We have responsibilities back home that are calling us."

The kids heard their momma and the Old Goat laughing, and they came around to see what was happening.

"You have to stay longer to tell us more stories."

"Little Lamb, I'll tell more when I see you in Pagosa Springs."

"You might not have time because you're going to be fishing."

"I'll be fishing, Kitten, but we'll have time for at least one new story."

"What does aw shucks mean, Momma?"

Laughing, "I'll tell you at the table, Serena."

-- Gene Linzey is a speaker, author and mentor. Send comments and questions to Visit his website at The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Religion on 08/07/2019

Print Headline: Aw, shucks

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