Hodgepodge: August 11, 2012

by Roy Hodge

Another Andrew update: For the un- initiated or those who don’t remember, Andrew is one of my youngest and busiest neighbors. Since the first summer he was walking, as soon as he spots me out in the garage, yard or garden Andrew is ready to “help.”

Andrew loves coming inside our house to check things out; one of his great joys this summer is walking unannounced in our back door, always enjoying the mock surprise that I offer.

He’s not as interested in touring the garden this year as he was the past two summers.  He doesn’t walk up the garden path and twirl the flying chicken (our name for the metal chicken that spins around with the wind in our garden).  Andrew insists that it is “The spinning chicken,” and, of course, he’s right.

He doesn’t pick up and check out all of the garden ornaments; he doesn’t even stop to greet Joe, our garden gnome, who Andrew named.  I haven’t seen him check out the bird bath, rinsing his fingers on a regular basis, and then rubbing the water on his face.

But don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that any of Andrew’s yard-checking procedures of past years are being neglected. Andrew is currently in the process of training his successor to take all of those duties over, and his almost one-and-a-half year old brother, Nathan, is catching on fast.

Nathan must have been watching Andrew regularly, or he has had some special coaching, because he seems to know exactly what is expected of him.  Since early summer, when he comes into our yard to visit, Nathan heads right for the bird bath. In go the fingers, and then it’s straight to the facial rubdown.

Andrew is growing up. He was four earlier this summer. However, he still likes visiting our house, and you know what, we still look forward to his visits, and are anxiously waiting for the days that Nathan will tag along.

One thing we have noticed this summer is Andrew’s fondness for – not sweets, but vegetables – from his mom’s garden. When I thought he was munching on a piece of candy a couple of days ago it turned out that it was a tomato from the garden. Used to regular sized tomatoes, he was fascinated by the small tomatoes that my wife grows next to our house. When I told him he could try one he savored it.

Earlier he brought over a zucchini from his mother’s garden. When he presented it to us there were two small bites missing from one end.

Last year Andrew’s mom made pickles using dill from our garden. In appreciation, Andrew was dispatched to bring us a jar.  He proudly showed off the jar of newly canned pickles, but it became obvious that he never really expected to part with them.

Note: From the first time Andrew called me anything, up until earlier this year, he was the first to pronounce the name I am commonly called with two syllables. I was “Ro-ee,” and he wanted to come over to “Ro-ee’s” yard, go in “Ro-ee’s” house, and make it up the stairs to “Ro-ee’s” toys.)

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