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from A Grandpa's Notebook, Meyer Moldeven

Here's a simple letter-story that I mailed to my grandchild. Change it to one of your routine activities that you would like to share with Grandchild when next he or she visits. Add a bit of whimsy. When your story is read aloud to him or her at home, before the visit, it adds to the youngster's anticipation.

It is morning. I look out my window. The sun is shining. It's a good time to take a walk. I put on my sweater, leave the house and close the door behind me. Off I go on my walk, up one street and down another.

I come to a park. All about me are trees and shrubs and open fields. I start across the grass. A kite is high in the sky. The kite has red and white stripes, and looks like a bird with a wide tail.

'Who is flying this enormous kite?' I wonder.

I look about to see who is holding the string that stretches from the kite to the ground. What a surprise! It's a black and white spotted kitten. The kitten scampers back and forth with the kite's string gripped in its mouth.

After watching the kitten for a while, I go along on my walk. I reach the other side of the park and see a row of houses. One house has a window shade raised and a flowerpot on the windowsill. The pot has a plant with a single yellow flower growing straight up.

A boy and a girl are on the lawn in front of the house. The boy is pushing a wheelbarrow with a yellow shovel in it. The girl is holding a pink parasol, folded closed.

'What will you put in your wheelbarrow?' I ask the boy.

He lowers the wheelbarrow and points to a pile of sand in the driveway.

'I'm helping my Dad move that pile of sand to the back yard,' he says 'We're filling our sandbox.'

I turn to the girl.

'What will you do with your parasol?'

'When the sun is high,' she says, 'I will open my parasol. It will shade me.'

I nod, wave good-bye to the boy and girl, and continue walking. I come to a hill and climb to the top. In the sky is a small white cloud. In the distance is a rainbow.

I start for home. I pass the house with the boy and girl. The boy is pushing the wheelbarrow. It is filled with sand. He pushes it toward a walk leading to the back yard. His sister has her parasol open. It is shading her. She waves at me. I wave back.

The yellow flower on the windowsill makes the house look cheerful.

I come to the park. The black and white spotted kitten is still flying the kite. I stop to watch. It is a strange sight.

I keep walking. In a little while I am back home. I had a nice walk.

When you visit us, you and I will take a walk along those streets and across that same park. On the far side of the park we will look for the house with the flowerpot in the window, and for the boy and his wheelbarrow and the girl holding her parasol. We will climb the hill and look for a rainbow in the sky. If we are lucky, we might be surprised by a black and white spotted kitten-flying a kite.

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