Lefties, Autobots and Marble Run

By Bill Barrows

While many of you who traveled south in the past 10 days or so went to various parts of the Sunshine State and sent back social media pictures of you basking in the sun on a tropical beach, I chose a different route. My journey took me to my favorite spot in North Carolina where I could play with my younger two grandkids while watching my daughter and her husband turn their attention to yard work and bike riding.

My son-in-law shakes his head every time he watches me work with his son hitting off a batting tee. He cannot understand why the boy is hitting left handed. He is a right-hander. Cameron walked up to the tee last spring left handed, I showed him how to place his feet and how to line up his knuckles (which he was proud to show me that he had not forgotten) and proceeded to swing. Left handed hitting, right handed throwing players are few and far between.

Cameron taught me all about Autobot and Decepticon Transformers and their value to our universe. After all, they are the ones truly defending Earth from evil. Well, Autobots do; Decepticons are their mortal enemies. Cameron and Emmy, my granddaughter, were enamored by a simple toy called Marble Run. For those of a certain age, it is very similar to Marble Race, a set up from the late ‘60s. For those of you who can’t understand it, Google it, that’s what your generation does. Anyway, I loved it when the marbles hit the bottom after falling through the holes and traps we assembled, just to hear her cackle like 3-year-olds do.

Poppa got to defend her and her wide-eyed kitty named Muffin from bumble bees and dead bugs all week long, while she chased giant bubbles and rode her bike. I skilled both of them on the proper way to lick a Tootsie Pop and how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center. It’s three, by the way, as the wise old owl of yesteryear taught us. (Again, look it up Millennials!) They showed me the pure pleasure of being their grandfather and seeing life through their bright, little eyes whether it was at the zoo or just watching them on a local playground.

One of our little traditions is to go downtown, have lunch at a quaint, popular little diner and then go down the street to a local bakery and get a cake pop. To our dismay, the bakery was closed while they moved from one store front to another, so we had to settle for the best strawberry shortcake snow cone ever assembled. It was awesome!

But all good things come to an end and the worst part was having to tell them goodbye. I watched a movie with them the night before I journeyed back home. I read Cameron a bedtime story about Optimus Prime (how many times do I have to tell you, look it up!) and the Autobots. I could hardly make it through the story for the tears in my eyes as he hugged me.

Early the next morning, I headed back to these parts to find Grandma here with our older grandson, Jackson, and his stories of his adventures at Deerfield Village, the Ford Museum and his namesake restaurant in the Detroit area with his mom and dad. He even got to use his coding skills working with Ozobots. (That one I am going to have to look up.)

Posted on 2018 Apr 10