CROOKSVILLE – A country singer has a song where he croons “there’s no such thing as too much fun.” Obviously he does not have a clue about what is involved keeping pace with twin nine year old boys like my grandsons, Casey and Cody. After six days with the lads, I have an all new appreciation for TV’s Teen Titans and America’s Ninja Warriors. Those shows provided my only respite for the week.
Fishing dominated our week with daily runs to my pond. The boys ran the quarter mile downhill slope. I waddled briskly. A safe estimate of the their fishing success is the 78 percent of the pond’s bluegills now sporting lips ripped beyond botox repair. Using the top half of a two-piece cane pole, the twins landed a bluegill every time worm hit water. It was an assembly line experience for me. Bait hook, unhook fish, repeat, until all bait had been sent on missions of no return.
Once the bluegill challenge wore thin, the lads wanted a rematch with the pond’s big catfish. Last time they visited for a week, a mouse that couldn’t resist peanut butter was used for bait. We set the pole at dusk and found a big catfish on the line the next morning. Had to be the first time a catfish was landed by three guys in pajamas. No way the twins were going to burn any daylight before checking that line.
This week’s bait de jour was a three inch bluegill, and it didn’t take all night for Mr. Whiskers to respond. Ten minutes after the bluegill hit the danger zone, our bobber sank like a brick. The boys dragged in a catfish that must have weighed five or six pounds on my baitcaster rig and immediately went to work catching another sacrificial bluegill.
“If it works once, Papaw, it’s bound to work again!” Cody proclaimed. His logic proved to be correct, but this time we had a five pound bass hooked. The bass had taken the hooked bluegill deep so we had to perform a bassectomy to save the lunker.
“Go to the house and get a bottle of Mt. Dew. NOW!” With that forceful command, the twins ran to the house and returned with the theraputic soft drink in Olympic time for the 800 meter run. After the hook had been removed and a swig of Mt. Dew dumped down its maw, the big bass was successfully released. As I watched it slowly swim away, Casey and Cody polished off the Mt. Dew. And no, there wasn’t enough for me.
We also made two trips to Buckeye Lake, the first with my bass boat. A spring visit to idle only Burr Oak Lake had left the boys with a negative opinion of Ohio boating laws.
“This is stupid!” sugarcoating obviously not one of Casey’s traits. At wide open Buckeye Lake, we blasted along at 65 miles per hour. Whenever a fishing spot would fail, the boys would request the full speed deal. As a doting grandparent, I felt obligated to fulfill their wishes.
Our last day on the water was a trip into Morgan County to visit Brad Bond and fish his pond. His pond is a lake compared to my pond. The boys landed bluegills, bass, and had a big catfish show them the folly of six pound test line.
On Saturday morning, their father, Rudy, picked up the boys for the drive home. Prior to Rudy’s arrival, I picked up shirts, socks, shorts, underwear, pop cans, food wrappers, dishes, paper towels, half eaten pop tarts, and anything else that came into contact with my grandsons. Seems they do not compete with gravity because everything hits the floor wherever its usefulness ends.
Cooking to match their mother’s meals was hopeless so the Golden Arches and Wendy’s saw plenty of duty until the final day. That’s when they wanted Ziti noodles and spaghetti “like Mom makes.” A call to Stace helped me solve the pasta problem with flying honors.
The house has returned to its usual quiet now. Peace has been restored after two broken glasses, once busted flower vase, a marinara covered Ziti dish dumped on the living room carpet, spilled milk-Mt. Dew-sweet tea, and the tragic loss of my favorite shampoo on bath night.
“You can use this stuff for soap, Papaw, you ought to try it,” offered Cody.
The last time the twins stayed here for a week, they had two grandparents. When the doctor gave Peggy the no hope prognosis, we were led to a room and given 15 minutes to cope with an uncopable situation. “I won’t be able to watch the kids grow up,” was the closest Peggy came to complaining before she made me promise to remain in the picture for our grandchildren.
I have fulfilled that promise, but nobody told me how painful the silence would be.