Making memories

Published 8:43 am Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What began as an ordinary day in the life of an unsuspecting grandmother and her grandson soon transformed into an action-packed memory maker. That’s the way memories are usually made; they just naturally happen along the way. None of us can predict when that special unforgettable adventure may occur. If we take time out of our busy lives, those special times that we talk about for years to come will happen when we least expect them.

And so it is with this ordinary Gigi and grandson day. Cherrie, my lovely daughter-in-law, my grandson, Gauge, and I had plans to meet for lunch. My little brother, Max, joined us at Frostop, where we all visited and laughed our way through our burgers and fries. Gauge looked decidedly sleepy but managed to stay awake as we headed for our house to spend an afternoon of play.

Come to think of it I was probably ready for a cup of coffee to keep myself awake! But Gauge’s childish banter did the trick. Kids are so much fun, and this one in particular is about the smartest, funniest one I know. Just like all of yours, I’m sure.

Anyway, let’s just agree that we all have the smartest and funniest grandchildren or children around. Now that we have that settled, I’ll get on with the story.

We piled out of the car into the warm sunshine and decided to play outside in the backyard. Gauge retrieved his tricycle from the garage and whizzed up and down the back porch as I looked on. Next, we decided to listen to the turkey gobbling next door. We quietly walked closer to the woods that grow between our house and the next trying not to frighten the gobbling turkey.

“Stop, Gauge! Don’t take another step!”

“Why Gigi? What’s the matter?”

“Gauge, just walk backward away from where you are and get on the porch. Quickly now. There is a big snake by your swing set.”

Gauge obeyed as I kept a steely eye on the menacing creature. Although I am not a “gun person” I knew there was a loaded 38 special in the nightstand on Mike’s side of the bed. With Gauge safely on the porch I went inside and retrieved the loaded gun.

“Gauge, stay back and hold your ears. Gigi is going to kill that snake.”

“But Gigi, what if it’s a good snake?”

“I can’t tell if it’s good or not, so I’m just going to kill it.”

With trembling hands I held my breath and aimed. I squeezed the trigger, and the noise scared my little dachshund, Missy, almost out of her wits. Maybe I closed my eyes — I can’t be sure — but the snake wasn’t moving.

“Gauge, don’t go in the yard yet. Let’s make sure he is dead.”

Then the stick throwing began. After a few throws I felt sure the creature had met his demise. Then, all of a sudden the snake began to move. This same scenario was repeated over and over until there were no bullets left in my gun. Then the snake wriggled away into the sunset.

I think we made a memory. Years from now I can imagine Gauge grinning as he tells the story of his grandmother and the snake.

Jan Penton can be reached at