We each have a story to tell
But does anyone want to hear
Does our face draw people to us,
Or does our countenance strike fear?

My husband and I have an understanding when we travel.  While he enjoys the golf course, I enjoy the patio at the clubhouse.  He gets to play, and I get to read and write.  It makes us both happy. 

This is the story of one such day…

I wonder if grandma’s have a vibe about them.  While reveling in the heat of the patio fire pit, that my sweet husband asked to be turned on just for me, I looked out over the beauty of the golf course.  I watched men and women; young and old, enjoying the day. 

Then I heard them.  Little voices, little feet running across the patio toward the bathroom, followed by their mother.  But as soon as they saw the fire pit – the dancing fingers of the flames swaying with the wind, they stopped.

“Mom, we want to sit by the fire.” was their new chorus, the bathroom having lost its appeal.  Mom acquiesced and she and the boys took the other three chairs – placed over big blue duct tape X’s – around the pit.  My chair had been facing away, so the heat was on my back.  But I didn’t want to appear rude, so I turned around to face them.  Two blonde haired cherubs.

“It’s nice and warm, isn’t it?” I said to the boys.

“Nice and warm.” they echoed.  Mom got a phone call and the boy’s full attention shifted to me.

“You look very familiar.” said the eldest, who might have been six…

“I do?”

“Yes.  Like someone from our church.  What’s your name?”


“My name is Zachariah.”  His younger brother let out a string of words that I assumed included his middle and last names, but I could only make out the first name; Jedidiah.

Zachariah stood right beside me and asked, “Can I sit on your lap?”

Being mindful of our uncertain times, I responded, “That’s up to your mother.”  We both glanced at mom who was still in the midst of her conversation.  With no adverse reaction from her, I picked up Zachariah, placed him on my lap, and our visit continued.  We talked about family; their new baby cousin, Levi and my 12 grandchildren.  He wanted to know why I had red spots on my arms and how old I was.  Then he noticed the American flag atop a nearby pole.  He put his hand over his heart and asked if I knew how to say the Pledge of Allegiance. 

A good for you parents, flashed across my mind before I answered, “I do! Shall we say it together?”

With almost a quiet reverence, he began and I joined in.  He didn’t miss a word. 

Mom finished her phone call, and I was relieved that her response to Zachariah on my lap was a pleasant one and not a get the heck away from my kids.  She echoed her son’s earlier statement.

“You look so familiar.”

We introduced our selves and chatted for a while.  Neither of us lived nearby – just visiting for the day.  She did say that she had some Zaninovich relatives in Bakersfield, and passed through town occasionally. 

At that moment, the urgency of the bathroom raised its hackles, and she and the boys started to leave.  On their way, I gave Karen (mom) one of my business cards so she wouldn’t think I was some kind of weirdo. 

As they recrossed the patio, and before heading to their car, Karen said, “I looked you up on Facebook.”  We chatted a few moments more, and then Zachariah said, “Next time I see you, can we play at your house?”

I smiled at Karen, and then looked to Zachariah.  “If you come to Bakersfield, you can come play at my house.”

I am reminded of Jesus and his disciple Mark.  Mark thought the cluster of children clamoring to visit Jesus was a bother, but Jesus reprimanded him saying, “Let the little children come to me…” Mark 10:14a NIV

I always want to be that approachable.