Marilyn Gardner Woods
Like the bay...
Updated: Oct 5, 2021
Her name is Chesapeake.
Named for the Chesapeake Bay where her parents fell in love.
She is the adorable red head, the fifth of my five adorable granddaughters.
The long-legged thirteen-year-old broke my heart recently when she and her family moved across the country to Nags Head, North Carolina close to the Chesapeake Bay.
As my sadness heightened, I moved the self portraits she and her younger brother, Cash (named after the Man in Black) had created as little guys in Art Smart Camp from upstairs to my kitchen. At least I can see their youthful images multiple times each day.
When she lived much closer in Prescott Valley, Chesapeake and I texted, face-timed, and zoomed often; daily when we decorated her bedroom in her new house there.
Pom Pom decor.
She's been 3000 miles away for two and a half months now and too busy sight-seeing, house hunting, romping in the Atlantic Ocean, and adjusting to life in the Outer Banks to spend much time with her grandmother.
Little by little, thankfully, Chesapeake is returning to our regular correspondences. Her first in this cross-country series not long ago:
Neeny, I think we should zoom once a month when I start school so you can learn about everything i'm doing. let's promise.
She's a little smarty pants who has gotten exceptional grades from the beginning. A voracious reader early-on, outside of school she devoured the fantasy novel series, Harry Potter and Twilight, captivated by the werewolves and vampires that intertwined with the characters and the romance of it all.
We share this love of reading, although I never joined her in these flight-of-fancy journeys. I did send her my book club's recent selection, Steinbeck's The Pearl and I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn recently. She read my first book in what seemed like a split second.
We also share the love of writing and we interact most about one or the other - what we are or have read or what we are or have written.
Her last series of texts, however, a bit disconcerting...
Hi Neeny. I really miss you. Am reading a fantastic book and I think you would love it. It's written beautifully, just you like you do. Like poetry. About a girl who time travels. i think you'll like it as much as I do - The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
Like many grandmothers, I jumped at the chance to relate and despite the "best science and fantasy" accolades, I couldn't hit the Place Order button on Amazon Prime fast enough. I let Chesapeake know we would be reading the book together; I got the thumbs up emoji in response.
At my front door the next day:
Yes, I struggled. But I was nothing if not determined to share this summertime reading experience with my youngest faraway granddaughter. This reading would broaden my mind. If all else failed, I knew I could google a study guide to the award-winning book by V. E. Schwab.
However, before I finished Chapter two, a text ding signaling another text message from Chesapeake:
I’m having trouble getting through the book because it’s kind of boring for me but maybe you could finish it and let me know if it’s worth it!
The writing is beautiful but it’s almost like a classic if that makes sense
I'm thinking this means the ball's back in my court...
How darling is this article! I loved it.
Your writing always moves me. Sometimes I can relate, while other times I just enjoy reading your words. I fervently wish I could relate to this one but instead I am just envious because my 13 year old grandie, Laurel, does not like to read. And I was an English teacher and a huge lover of books! I try so hard but I continue to fail. Last week I asked her, "Lo, I'm cleaning out some books and thought of you. Would you like to try your Aunt Courtney's set of Sweet Valley High? She answered, "Oh, Nana, thanks, bu you know I don't like to read." Kills me.??? CJ
My youngest grandchild just turned twenty-one yesterday, and he is currently fighting fires in the western part of USA. This is a boy who only ever wanted to go deep sea fishing in his youth. After one year of college, COVID put a stop to that. Then he enrolled in clearing forest trails with hand tools in Idaho for the national forestry service. Of course I am very proud and extremely concerned for his welfare. M. Mueller
How adorable! Love this girl and you sharing with us! 😇SE
Not surprising how I can see you in the smiling face of Chesapeake. What you two have is magical so do keep it nurtured (I'm envious, in a good way). ❤❤ RS
From Chesapeake not long after my post:
Neeny, One of my friends read the book and she said it was hard to start but got into it! So I think I’m going to try reading it again! Then we can make our own little book club!!
Neeny- along with our monthly zoom maybe we could read a book a month together. And since I chose Addie for september you can choose one! We could do classics and new books!
Charming memory capture...
Number one son and I are discovering a mutual interest in history-based nonfiction books and have had some lengthy conversations as a result. Stimulating stuff.
Love reading your posts.
Hi M - I just wanted to let you know I really loved your lated post "Reading and writing"......outside of the 100% "adorableness", (if that's even a real word), of your and Ches's relationship, your writing as so often is the case really connected with me! Having family so far away I too struggle to find common interests with parents, siblings, neices and nephews that can somehow be used as the catalyst to employ modern technology to not just maintain but also grow those relationships from afar!! You are an inspiration in the way you look for those opportunities to connect with those dearest to you and I hope to be as good at it as you are!! Zman