Every morning I have coffee with my daughter. We chat and laugh and discuss buying groceries more than two sane women should. I report I took a walk around my neighborhood. She tells me they put up their tent in the backyard.
Although we live two miles apart, our coffee klatches are done via FaceTime for obvious reasons. Nonetheless they brighten my days and give them structure.
We usually begin with her iPad propped up on one side of the kitchen table so I can watch my 8-year-old granddaughter and 4-year-old grandson eat breakfast, and they make it look so delicious that I immediately crave cereal or whatever they are eating. Now I know why commercials use kids.
Sometimes they have something exciting to show me, like an art project. One morning, the boy declared after less than a minute: "Let's turn Grandma off."
"Don't you dare!" I replied, with exaggerated shock.
I thought it might be fun to surprise them some time by playing a musical instrument although my talent is sadly lacking. My husband played piano and guitar, and in an effort in the '70s to bring out my inner musician, he bought two recorders, alto and soprano, and we learned a Mozart duet.
When I downsized a few years ago, our piano went to my daughter, and my son took possession of the guitar. The recorders stayed in the guest room nightstand drawer where they had been for decades.
So last week, I went to the guest room to pull out the music and relearn the Mozart. The drawer contained the sheet music and a long recorder brush for cleaning, but no recorders. I vaguely recalled something about them when my son had visited in January with his 3-year-old twins.
I texted him: "I am looking for the recorders. Did you take them back to Berlin with you?"
He replied that the twins had discovered them, so he had tucked them away somewhere safe. "Look up high," he advised. I looked – and looked. Which led to cleaning out many top closet shelves but not finding any recorders.
So! On to my next lone pursuit.
Since the grandkids like mail, I send them cards for every holiday and tuck in stickers and crisp dollar bills. My aunt used to send me $1 bills when I was a child so I know maybe I should adjust for inflation. But the kids seem happy, so I stick with $1, calling it a family tradition.
I went into solitary confinement before buying Easter cards, so I decided to access my inner artist and make some. An online search yielded dozens of clever ideas for creating cute cards replete with chicks, bunnies and three-dimensional eggs.
First, since I would need envelopes, I went to the garage to retrieve boxes of Christmas cards I'd tucked in with the decorations. I was pleased to find new cards with multiple cheery Santas on the front and the message inside, "Happy Holidays!"
I gathered construction paper, markers, scissors and glue when it hit me: I am not an artsy/Etsy-type person, so why couldn't these friendly Santas deliver my message? Inside two of the cards, I crossed out the word "holidays" and wrote in "Easter," and drew bunny ears on one of the Santas. I enclosed stickers and the $1 bills and put them in the mail.
The cards should arrive soon, and I will learn the reaction, which might be, "How funny Grandma is!" But there is an equal chance of the response, "Grandma is losing it" or "Grandma got lazy."
We are discovering so many inner me's these days. When friends on social media began to dig out their old jigsaw puzzles, I decided to harness my inner puzzler.
Someone had just sent me a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle picturing historic figures who helped achieve women's suffrage, thinking I might enjoy doing it with my granddaughter. That isn't going to happen any time soon, so I worked alone on the suffragettes this week on my dining room table.
All of which brings me to my latest existential question: What does one do with a completed jigsaw puzzle? I will discuss it with my daughter tomorrow morning over coffee.