Riley and I took Carter and Darryl with us when we went to pick up Allen from the boy's dormitory the next afternoon. The DCFS caseworker who greeted us called Mary on the phone and soon she appeared with a file on Allen for us to read and weekend custody papers for us to sign. The file was his medical records. There were reports that stated that Allen had undergone some counseling when his club foot had been amputated and that he had been fitted with his first "appliance" or prosthetic lower left leg and foot shortly after. The transformation was a success as he now would have a normal walk and he was pain-free enough to run with the appliance on. Putting on his artificial leg in the morning had become part of his waking up routine. He had checkups every 18 months to check for the fit of the appliance and to have adjustments made to compensate for the growth of his natural leg, the right one.
One of the reports stated that in the city environment the current leg was sufficient, but should Allen be placed in a more suburban or rural environment the staff at the Shriner's Hospital recommended that he also have a blade for running and sports, and if swimming was to be included they recommended a new appliance, a swimming foot, and leg. During our perusal of these documents, one of the staff members had brought Allen and his overnight bag to the reception area.
Carter and Darryl both knew the procedure and they rushed over to Allen and introduced themselves, informing Allen they were the ones he was coming to visit and boy did they have a lot to show him at home, they had a big old house with a gazillion rooms to explore, a barn full of horses and ponies, and two guys, one of which was a cousin, to teach them how to ride the ponies, they had a big swimming pool and a bunch of fruit trees and lots of fields to ride the ponies through, they knew they were going to have a bunch of fun together, and if it all worked out he could come to stay forever, just like they had, their dads were great, and he was going to love them just like they did.
Allen did seem to be a bit overwhelmed by the stereo commentary he had just received from our boys, but when Riley and I walked over to the three boys he seemed very pleased by the interruption. We introduced ourselves and we all sat at the table and had a discussion about where we lived, what it was like and of course, the ponies. Allen didn't seem to have much of an athletic side to him, but as we talked about the ponies and the swimming pool he did seem particularly interested, and he actually grinned when Riley and I assured him that we had done some research and we guaranteed him, it was possible for him to do both. It might be a bit intimidating for him at first, but with determination and patience he could be just as good at riding or swimming as Darryl was, but we were not going to push him into doing anything he didn't want to, except maybe his school work, because Riley was a math teacher, and I am a writer and we both feel numbers and letters are important. I nodded after saying that and so did Riley and Darryl and Carter, and Allen looked at the four of us and nodded his head, joining us as a family member right then and there.
We signed the paperwork and were given a booklet with contact numbers before we left the boys dorm, but next on the boys' minds was a snack to tide them over the drive back to our house, so a stop at the closest drive through was next and milkshakes all around would do for the fifteen-minute drive back to Granby.
Allen found the drive interesting and we found out he had never been out of the city, even his short stint with his former foster parents had been in an apartment in the city.
As I drove through the gate at the entrance to our drive from the street I could have sworn that Allen had reacted just like the rest of us had when we first came here, to our new home. It really is nice. But when we pulled up in front of the house itself he started giggling and asked if we really lived here, it was bigger than his school! Darryl laughed and said it was our home, and boy was it fun living here, wait until he met the ponies!
We all went in, curious to see which bedroom he would choose as his and we realized that Darryl had one particular one in mind as he gave Allen the tour of the upstairs. He had saved the one next to his for last and when he opened the door we could see he had placed several of his stuffed animal toys and a few little cars around the room, I suppose to give it some personality, or maybe it was a welcoming bribe, but whatever the reason, it worked, this would be Allen's room and the two youngest would be sharing the connecting bathroom to both their bedrooms for many, many, years to come, as well as having sleepovers in each other's bedrooms.
It was almost dinner time and we had fun trying to decide what to have until everyone agreed to Riley's suggestion for a cookout by the pool on the lower terrace, which was good because that is where he had set up the grill before we had left for Springfield to pick up Allen. Over burgers and salads, we talked and listened to Allen tell us his version of what had been his life up to now and over ice cream for dessert he asked more questions. After everyone had pitched in to clean up we strolled over to the barn and Allen finally got to meet the ponies and the horses.
I think he was growing to like us, but with the ponies, it was definitely love at first sight. It looked like the ponies felt the same way as they snuggled up to Allen and seemed to vie for his attention and petting. I couldn't figure out if it was his glee they were picking up on, or if like a lot of animals, they picked up on his aura as a "wounded" human, but they seemed really pleased to meet him.
After we all returned to the house we had a family night in front of the TV with popcorn and a movie that the boys all decided on, some sort of space ranger kind of thing. It was OK, but not really something Riley and I usually watched, but the three boys loved it and it earned a "Cool" rating from them. At bedtime we heard Darryl telling Allen, on their way upstairs, that we always tucked them in and kissed them good night and always told them to have sweet dreams, it was nice, he'd see. He told Allen that it always made him sleep better, and Carter said it always helped him to sleep better too.
We went up shortly after, intending to stop in Allen's room first, to help him get settled in for the night and we heard the two youngest in their bathroom, chattering as they washed, brushed their teeth, and used either the toilet or the urinal as they chatted. I pulled out Allen's crutches and found a spot for them right near the side of his double bed near the nightstand where if he needed them in the night he could grab them easily without having to hunt for them in a strange bedroom. While this was going on we could hear Darryl asking if he could watch when Allen took his leg off, because he had never seen that done before. Allen didn't seem fazed by it at all and told him to come on, he wanted to be in bed when we came up, so he could get his goodnight kiss.
They came into the room and saw us turning down his blanket and top sheet and they both scampered over to us. I asked Allen if I had chosen a good spot for his crutches and he told me that it was good for him, but that sometimes he just hopped on one foot, but the crutches did help a lot. We all got an education about how Allen's lower leg and foot came off and the ointment he rubbed on his stump at night. Darryl asked if he could do some and Allen showed him where to rub it on and then Darrel asked Allen if he could sleep over tonight in Allen's bed with him. We told him he didn't have to have company in his bed tonight, but Allen smiled and said he'd like to have company, so it was two little guys in underwear we tucked in one bed tonight and they both got kisses from us and we both told them to sleep tight and have only sweet dreams. We got kisses back and good nights from both of them as we left the room, the two of them snuggled in together under the covers before we even made it to Carter's room.
Allen got ready all by himself (with Darryl and Carter watching and handing him items of clothing when he was ready for them), and all three boys came downstairs for breakfast. Ted and Ryan had arrived for their morning meal, so Allen got to meet his pony instructors. When we told Ted and Ryan about Allen during the week Ted had offered to get another pony from the stable that was going out of business, just in case the twins were there to ride and then we'd have enough for each boy. The fifth pony was being delivered at noontime, about the time that the twins, Max and Bill, were coming over for a sleepover.
Beth and Ben drove their boys over and we visited for a while as their family got to meet Allen and the boys were soon off to meet the new pony which had just been dropped off, Ted and Ryan handling the arrangement with the stable delivery guy. The four of us adults wandered to the barn and we were entertained watching the boys being patient as their new friend, Allen, was put through the same instructions they had received about the different parts of a horse's tack and interspersing helpful hints along the way. When it was time to mount up Allen and Darryl were both helped up onto the backs of their chosen mounts and the three older boys divvied up the rest and soon the five of them were riding around the corral and giving Allen encouraging tips, although Ted had told us he really was doing very well.
Later that afternoon, after Beth and Ben had left for their home, we took the boys up to the house and the boys all changed into their swimsuits. Allan kept up with the other boys coming back down on his crutches. He proved he had mastered them to the point they really didn't hold him back from joining in with the pack of boys. Ted and Ryan joined us and acted as lifeguards for the three older boys as Riley and I concentrated on helping Darryl get comfortable in the water. We started him with simple floating exercises and then the proper breathing and stroking exercises and soon he was able to propel himself from one side to the other of the pool. We could see that the proposed swim fin appliance that the Hospital had mentioned in their report would be a valued addition. His next evaluation appointment was scheduled in a few weeks' time and we both thought it might be the perfect "permanent custody" gift for him after the required three weekend visits were completed.
Dinner that night was a family dinner at home with fried chicken, potato salad, a leafy green salad and cornbread that Riley baked while I was trusted to turn the chicken as it cooked. The boys regaled us with tales of their day, even if Riley, Ted, Ryan and I were all there for at least 90% of it! After dinner, the boys all took Allen on an extended tour of the house and soon the five of them were spread out in the family room with us adults as we all watched a show and then the boys all went up to bed for the night. When we followed a short time later, to do our tucking in routine, we found the two youngest in Darryl's bed tonight and we did our duties there and then went to Carter's room where we had three in a bed. We did our tucking in and gave our usual good nights, and feeling a bit tired ourselves, Riley and I retired to our own bedroom shortly after.
When we saw Mary at church on Sunday morning after the boys had gone ahead to get us a pew, we told her we wanted Allen to stay with us, and we were pretty darn sure he wanted to stay and she told us he had already asked her if he could stay, but she had told him he should come back to the dorm for at least one more week, but maybe, just maybe, next weekend would be the weekend he could stay with us long term, but she wasn't making any promises. She and Helen were working on something, and that was all she would say on the matter.
After dinner that evening, everyone seemed to be eating really slow, I guess we were all avoiding the inevitable, taking Allen back to the shelter, the group home or dorm for the unplaced boys. It was really agonizing and the ride back into the city was hard on all of us. Darryl and Carter had him strapped into the middle seat between them in the back seat and both had their arms around him as he sniffled his thanks for a great weekend with us.
By the time we all walked him back to the desk in the lobby we all had tears in our eyes as we said our goodbyes for the week and we assured him we'd be back on Friday afternoon to pick him up again. When the person in charge that night came to the desk to sign Allen back in she motioned us over and asked Riley and me if there was something wrong, why were we bringing Allen back? She said according to her paperwork we had just spent our third weekend with Allen in our custody and he was now eligible to be placed in our care permanently! I moved off to the side and called Helen's private cell number and when she answered, all she said was, "What, are you going to argue with me?" I stuttered and told her that I was just calling to thank her, and she laughed and told me I was welcome and thanked me for making Allen happy, he hadn't been in a long time. Then she told me that now would be a good time to get Allen's possessions from his room at the dorm, so that is what we did, after signing a few papers for the grinning woman at the desk. So that is what we did, not all of us could go with him to collect his things, so I stayed downstairs with Darryl, and Carter helped Riley and Allen gather his meager possessions from upstairs in the dorm. It didn't take them long and soon we were all returning home, stopping for milkshakes on the way. When we entered the gate at the beginning of our drive, Allen made a big sniffing sound, inhaling the cooler fresh breeze wafting through the car from the opened windows and said there was something in the air out here in the country he liked, and the rest of us all chuckled and Darryl told him it was the smell of love, it was in the air.
We all accompanied Allen back up to his room where we soon had his belongings stowed where he wanted them and then Riley told us all to come to the kitchen, he had a snack for us all. He had baked cookies during the day and we now had cookies and ice cream for a celebratory snack, to lend some "specialness" to Allen being allowed to stay with us. He had a huge grin on his face even as he ate. It was still early enough for us to snuggle and watch a show on TV before the boys went up to bed, but when they did, Riley and I followed behind to do our tucking in routine with all three of them.
The next few days brought more new things Allen's way, like having a dad who worked at home in an office on the first floor, and another dad who spent part of everyday setting up his lesson plans for the coming school year. He also found out that Ted and Ryan didn't live in the barn, they lived in the house on the other side of the big yard beyond the pool area, and that they went to school even in the summer, but not for the whole day, and when they returned home and had a chance to eat their lunch, it was pony time! Yes, the afternoons were definitely the more active part of our boys' day and we often joined in to ride our horses along with the others, getting to know our trails and the rest of our property, mostly by horseback.
It turned out to be a relaxing and rewarding summer, being able to spend time with the whole family, and I knew there would be times in the fall that I would miss all the guys when school was in session again. As it turned out the boys all got their wishes as far as their class assignments went, Darryl and Allen were placed into the same first-grade class and Carter was placed in the same class as his cousins, Bill and Max.
Riley was happy he had been assigned an assortment of high school years to teach, not just upperclassmen or the lower grades of high school. He said it would certainly make the peer tutoring program a middle school teacher had started a few years ago easier to monitor, especially as the new teacher on staff, he had been asked to be this year's faculty monitor. He told me he had asked his principal if the school had a gay/straight alliance club or a sexual diversity group, and the principal chuckled and told him that just about 50% of the students in all the town's schools were from same-sex parent homes, and that at least 20 to 30% of the teachers were themselves in a same-sex marriage or relationship, there just wasn't a need for that kind of group in the town's schools any longer. We couldn't have landed in a better place to raise our family, and we had Riley's parents to thank for that.
Those musings got me thinking that we ought to invite them out here, maybe for Thanksgiving, I thought. I pondered doing this as a surprise for Riley, but thought better of it around Halloween as we prepared for the Halloween parties at the elementary school. Our three and their cousins, the twins, would be going to the parties the afternoon of the big day in the school's auditorium. Parents, like me, had been turning it into a "haunted house" for two days and the students were to pass through and receive treats handed out by adults in costumes. With spooky music tracks, we contended with teary little girls (we adults deemed our project a success) and little boys who peed themselves with excitement (another measure of our success) and dropped candy in the dark. There were other parental volunteers to handle the various messes created, thus leaving us costumed creatures available to terrorize the next group.
All went fairly smoothly until Darryl and Allen yelled out that their Dad was at school just after I had tried to scare them with what I thought was a scary, spooky voice. It was all I could do to hold myself upright as they slammed into my legs, trying to get an afternoon hug in. Riley told me after, when we were both home and he wanted to know how the haunted house had turned out, that he bet the boys were attuned to my smell, that that was in the air around here, my scent. I gave him a liberal dose of my scent just before the boys returned from the barn where Ted and Ryan had given them a chance to ride after they had returned home from school. Riley thanked me in a couple of ways for sharing my essence with him, but we still had to rush through our shower to be presentable for when their trail riding was done.
That was a Friday and our Saturday and Sunday went just as the others had gone, plenty of exercise for the boys and while I took the two 6-year-old boys shopping at the mall in Hadley for more winter weight clothing, Riley took Carter for the same type of shopping at the mall in Holyoke. It made for a nice Sunday afternoon shopping trip and we had a family ride after on a trail we hadn't really explored before. We would have gone swimming, but the new pool enclosure heating unit was not working right, and the contractor promised that that would be his first job on Monday. On Monday, Allen had his next appointment at the Shriner's Hospital for his evaluation and we hoped for a fitting for both the blade appliance and a swim fin. When I was called to remind me of the appointment I explained that we wanted to get him the additional legs as a present for when we did the formal adoption around the end of November and I was told that even if he had major size growth and needed the regular articulated leg and foot replaced, he'd have all three well before that.
The contractor appeared just as Allen and I were driving away, and we stopped to talk through the car windows, just letting him know we had a lengthy appointment in Springfield, and if there was any charge for the adjustment he had to make, please leave me a bill in the outside mailbox just outside the front gate. He assured me he would, but he thought it might just be a relay for the thermostat and if so there would be no charge. Allen knew, by name, the two guys who did his evaluation and they did make a few adjustments to his current leg and then began the fittings for the two new ones. With a new set of measurements taken and two new molds of his stump made, we were off. We had gotten a snack during our time there, but it was now 2 PM and close to when the other boys would be arriving home on their school bus so we made a run through the drive-thru again and with milkshakes in the car we drove home to possibly beat them, Riley would be home his regular time of 3:15. We made it, even having time to park the car in the garage and place the milkshakes in the kitchen fridge before Carter and Darryl burst through the back door.
There hadn't been a bill from the contractor in the mailbox, but among the other mail was a note from him telling us that he had been correct, the relay had blown and he had replaced it and the pool temperature was on the rise as he was writing the note before he had left. I went out to the glass door for the enclosure, which looked like a greenhouse over the pool, and most of the patio surrounding it, and looked inside and the thermometer on the door frame inside showed the temp was where we wanted it, so I went back in and grabbed some towels for all of us and put them by the patio door so I wouldn't forget them, and told the boys to go get their suits on and we could all get in the pool for a while before dinner.
That's where Riley found us when he got home, and after he got changed into his swimsuit, he joined us. After racing the length of the pool with a six-year-old each on our backs we were resting in the shallow end and I filled him in on the trip to the Shriner's Hospital and all that entailed. Riley told me he had gotten a call from Mary and she had told him we were on the court docket for the adoption hearing on the Tuesday afternoon before Thanksgiving, the last hearing before they shut down for the upcoming holiday. That gave us just under three weeks to find a local lawyer. When he had voiced this to Mary she had told him it was always a good idea to be represented at any function at the courts, but that the DCFS was not opposing the adoption, in fact, they were going on the record as being 100% behind us.
We did talk to Beth and Ben later that evening and got two recommendations from them, both local lawyers who they had heard good things about at church and at social functions. After that call, before we followed the boys upstairs to bed, I asked Riley about maybe asking his parents out to our house for Thanksgiving. He asked if I really wanted them to visit, and I told him I had my own reservations, but by the time they had left after our wedding, I had kind of warmed up to them, even if they were stupid enough to pass up on this beautiful property, plus if it hadn't been for them we never would have moved back here and we would never have met Allen. So yes, I was willing to see, maybe even anxious to see, if they had grown as people since we had last seen them. To be honest with you, we had been in touch, mostly by email at least once a week, but visits back and forth were not discussed.
They knew that they now had grandchildren (with Allen's upcoming adoption it would make three), and Mrs. Spencer seemed ready to take on the grandmother role, but both Riley and I thought it would be better played out here, where no one knew her in her designer clothes. Here, as in Key West, she could drop the "refined" persona and let herself relax and morph, even temporarily, into a warm and caring individual, dragging her husband along for the ride. Riley made the phone call the next day, asking them to come to join us for the Thanksgiving holiday. He told his Mom they would need one dressy outfit, they were invited to come to a red carpet premiere for the new movie being released that week. The premier was being held in Boston, an arrangement made to distance the fans from where we lived, almost an hour and a half by turnpike away. This time there were no nude love scenes and the content was rated PG as this was a story about young children, with happy endings all around. The big night was the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving.
The result of the call was that Mr. and Mrs. Spencer would arrive on the Sunday of the holiday week and return to Denver the following Saturday evening. The week before Thanksgiving, Beth and Riley and I had many meetings at our house, primarily so she could go through the steps for a proper holiday meal with us, but it also gave the twins a chance to visit with Carter. Beth and Ben agreed to have their big meal of the day with us on Thursday.
On Sunday I drove to the airport to pick up Riley's parents. He wanted to be at home when they arrived, but I think he really wanted a few minutes to make sure the room we had chosen for them was just right and to make sure the roast he was cooking was perfection and ready when they had settled in from the plane ride and the drive to our area. I had warned the boys that Riley would probably ask them to shower after they rode their ponies that afternoon; it wasn't good to meet new grandparents smelling like the barn.
When I met them in the luggage pick up area I was greeted with hugs from both of them and I grabbed a handcart for their luggage, but Mr. Spencer told me we wouldn't need that, they had another bag each and they had put their good clothes in a shared garment bag, he thought between the two of us we could handle it all, including their two carry-ons. We did, easily, with Mrs. Spencer taking the garment bag. I had parked just at the end of the pick-up area and we just narrowly missed a meter maid before I was able to drive off. Our talk on the ride home was of the boys and their personalities and they both seemed to get into their new grandparent mode as I drove.
We entered through the gate and they both were impressed with the property and I realized they had only seen a few pictures 20 years ago and probably not that good a set of pictures at that. I drove them past the barn where the ponies and horses were still out in the corral and then right up to the front door, where Riley and the boys were waiting, all spruced up and awaiting our visitors.
There were a lot of introductions and hugs, handshakes and cheek kisses before we got everyone in the house and the luggage stowed in the room set aside for the visitors. The boys were in awe of the Spencers, none of them having had any grandparents before. The rest of Sunday went predictably, for the optimistic in our group. I wasn't prepared for the friendliness and the camaraderie they showed the boys, and after dinner, the two presented the boys with gift cards for shopping online, so their parents could help them spend the $100-dollar cards. Riley and I were so proud of the boys when they each, without prompting from us, thanked "Grandma and Grandpa" and hugged them for their gifts.
Monday was fun, as the boys still had classes until Wednesday noontime, and the house was a flurry of activity until the boys were all off to school and Riley had driven off to teach at the high school. I was left with the Spencers until the bus dropped the boys off after school and Riley returned from the high school after that. I took them on a walking tour of the property and they were very complimentary about the place and as we went into the barn they were really knowledgeable about the horses and ponies housed there. They were dressed in sneakers and jeans, as I was, and light jackets were necessary as it was only in the 60's.
After lunch, they had a chance to meet Ted and Ryan and the five of us sat and had coffee in the pool house, where we didn't need the jackets and the Spencers seemed very impressed with the nursing students. When the bus dropped the boys off at the top of our drive, they rushed to the house, keeping pace with Allen, who was having no real trouble, but he was super cautious not to hurt his leg as he hurried. They were in a rush to see their grandparents and tell us all about their day in school.
After everyone got caught up on what everyone did during their day, we (the boys and I) took them for a ride on one of our better trails. Ted and Ryan were doing their chores early as they wanted to go into the city to see a movie so they were going to leave after the barn had been cleaned and the feed and water put out for the night. Everyone in our riding group helped put the horses and ponies up for the night and we all trooped up to see what Riley was up to.
Riley was getting supper ready, thank God. We all pitched in to help and we were all seated at the table not too long after. The next day was Allen's big day, his adoption hearing would be held at 3 PM and about 1:30 I was ready to take his suit to his school, so he could get dressed for his hearing. I thought I was going alone, but when I came down in my suit, carrying his suit and a clean shirt, the Spencers were at the door dressed in nice clothes, ready to go with me. All Mrs. Spencer said was that they wouldn't miss this for the world, getting Allen made an official member of the family, I couldn't agree more.
Allen was waiting and as soon as he was changed we all drove off to meet Riley and our lawyer at the courthouse. As expected the judge spoke privately with Allen before starting the official proceedings and everything went just as expected, and in less than an hour, Allen was the newest Spencer Hampshire, his grandparents proudly taking plenty of photos to mark the occasion. He was so happy, but he seemed confused when we drove to the Shriner's Hospital after. Riley had asked his parents to drive his car back to the house to wait for us, and I think they had the job of picking up the cake we had ordered for tonight.
When we got to the hospital the fitting team was ready for us and Allen was fitted with each of his new appliances, a blade for running and playing sports, and his new swim fin. He was totally jazzed about both and he paid real close attention to the verbal instructions about how to put them on and the things he'd be able to do, or what not to do, with them on. The team was really good about this and even took him out to their test yard to get him used to the blade and had him in a small pool to show him the intricacies of the swim fin. We were given a lot of instruction and information as well, but we didn't have to keep changing clothes like Allen did, he was so excited he probably would have done everything in his undershorts if we hadn't had changes of clothing for him.
We arrived home to a party in the making, a party planned for Allen as he didn't want to go out to eat like the other boys had. He wanted to spend time with his new permanent family. We had invited Bern and Beth and the twins, and Ted and Riley were there. The Spencers had indeed picked up the custom-made cake, one shaped and colored just like his favorite pony. If the cake didn't thrill him enough, then being able to swim after dinner with his favorite people, and getting to use the swim prosthetic for the first time, did. You wouldn't believe the grin on that kid's face when he was able to swim the whole length of the pool in one go, he was so thrilled I thought I could see tears in his eyes as he hugged me and then Riley, thanking us for bringing him home with us, and for showing him what a loving family was. Pretty smart for a 6-year-old, going on 30.
The Thanksgiving break for our students and our teacher started at noon on Wednesday, but that was when Riley and I began to prepare our holiday feast. Thankfully we didn't have to worry about pies, as Beth was in charge of those, and Ted and Ryan were baking dinner rolls from scratch. That left us with the veggies, the salad, the baked potatoes, the stuffing, and the turkey. Mrs. Spencer wanted to make her family cranberry sauce, so she had done that in the morning, leaving us a spotless kitchen to visually destroy as the afternoon rolled on. The grandparents took the three boys riding after they came home from school, and then swimming after. Riley and I discussed them while they were out riding, and he told me that his parents seemed like they had when he was a boy, caring, loving, and involved in what was going on around them. He said it was a joy to see and several times, as I was washing the skins of dozens of baking potatoes and sweet potatoes, or peeling the skin off carrots, or snapping the ends off green beans, he would stop what he was doing (preparing the French Meat Dressing he had heard about and had gotten the recipe from a teacher at the middle school) and reach up and kissed me. The cynical part of me thought that if it wasn't bad enough that the air on our property was infused with love, now we were preparing our first big Holiday meal and infusing love into it too.
The horny parts of me relished those kisses, as it meant I was going to get lucky tonight and get to play Thanksgiving with the love of my life, Riley would play the part of the turkey, and you can guess what that perfect turkey would be stuffed with!
The Spencers had a wonderful visit, and there were hugs and kisses exchanged before they left for the airport, opting this time to take the shuttle bus, they thought our goodbyes were best done in private, Mrs. Spencer told us she couldn't remember a better time than she had with her grandsons, and us.
I love to hear from my readers and what they think of my stories Art West