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Monday, February 14, 2011

It's A Jungle Out Back!

This photo was taken from my deck several years ago. I love to go out to see what I have of my backyard:  Some level parts and then a deep ravine that goes down the hill. The trees are covered with grapevines and I will never forget my now almost sixteen year old grandson, when he was three and saw the grapevines. He said, "Is that a jungle?" I had to tell him no and that jungles were not in West Virginia or anywhere in the United States. Made no difference to him whatsoever for he believed from the age of three till he was about seven that I had a jungle behind my house.

Three years later, my granddaughter was born. And I had both of them here at my house. Favorite place? The deck of course for there was a jungle out there--he swore it was true to her!
They tried with all of their might to see monkeys or pythons but thank heavens they were not there. No way could they have been anyway but they thought so. It was about this time that both of them coerced me into buying those big bags of glittery confetti. Why? So they could throw it off the deck, of course.

And then after they did that, I would look down and say, "What bad kids threw that awful stuff down there?" And they would laugh and scream for  they thought that I didn't know it was them. Still both were searching with those cheap binoculars to see if there were any jungle animals roaming around. And to their disdain, they saw not a single one. They did see raccoons and deer off and on and some squirrels.

Two and a half years later, I had another grandson. When he reached the age of two or so, I would take him out on the deck just as I had done with his brother and sister. First words out of his mouth? "Jungle!" I knew that he had heard that from his older brother and sister. And no way could I explain that to a two year old and so, I let it go.

As the years went by, my deck and backyard were covered with glittery confetti. And when my grandchildren were here, I'd ask, "Who threw that stuff off the deck?" And they would giggle with glee for they were at the age that they knew I knew they were the culprits.
Now that two of my grandchildren are teenagers and the younger one is eleven, they know full-well that I don't have a jungle behind my house! Looks like it though. And as for the glittery confetti? My thirteen year old granddaughter was here spending the night last month: The deck was covered with ice and snow. What did she want to do? You guessed it: She wanted me to go with her out there so she could throw a huge bag of that glittery confetti off the deck. [I keep bags of that stuff--have to!] I opened the door to the deck and out both of us went trudging through the ice and snow to commit that act. After she finished throwing and covering not only the snow-covered ground below but also the deck railings, she hesitated and I knew she was waiting for me to ask that question: "Who threw that stuff off the deck?" But I didn't.

Right before we came inside, we both took one more look at the deck and the snow-covered trees and then she said, "You know, that could be a jungle out there after all because I can see the grapevines," She was kidding of course.

Such wonderful memories of their childhood spent with me. The deck held wonder for them as did the "jungle grapevines." And yes, the glittery confetti is still on the deck rails and the ground below. And every time I go out on the deck, I think of my grandchildren, the jungle and the wonderment. They could have convinced anyone that it was a jungle out back!

Sherry Hill

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