make a wish – then blow

granddaughter Ella clutches dandelion at Eudora Farms

No matter her new flower discovery at age 2 1/2 years was actually a weed whose fluffy top took flight when she followed her Aunt Kaka’s admonition to “Make a wish, then blow.” Ella blew enthusiastically as Aunt Kaka said she wished for many more days like this one, and I totally agreed.

Everyone was in high spirits as we began our road trip mid morning to the Wildlife Safari Park at Eudora Farms in Salley, South Carolina. Ella was taken with 4 year old Collins, the granddaughter of Kaka and Kitty; exactly one year before she and Collins made a memorable trip to Riverbanks Zoo together. Collins lives in the low country area of the state so they don’t have a chance to visit often. But whenever the girls get together with their grandmothers, it’s a memory maker.

Collins was the only person festively attired for the trip which officially marked the beginning of my birthday week – I was thrilled for her magic wand but a bit disappointed when she couldn’t make my position in the middle of the second row more easily accessible.

This trip was different in many ways from the zoo trip last year at Easter. Ella now had a 3 month old baby sister named Molly who sat in her car seat with Nana a/k/a Pretty on the third row of our new pre-owned GrannyMobile made necessary by the birth of our second granddaughter in January. Aunt Kaka drove with Aunt Kitty riding shotgun in the front seats – a term we used in Texas when I was growing up there but now seems oddly offensive. Mea culpa.

After two detours for potty breaks, french fries and exotic candy purchases, we saw our first exotic animals at the park. That is, Kaka and Kitty saw them up close and personal while the rest of our group kept our windows rolled up. The woman in the window suggested we purchase four buckets of carrots when we entered the gate – those disappeared too quickly.

Aunt Kitty attracted buffaloes and longhorns much to her chagrin

(I read the animal fact sheet during the encounters

– no one paid attention)

The little girls who sat in the second row were at once fascinated and fearful when the large heads poked through the open windows looking for the carrots – the grandmother who sat between them had the same reactions. The Park designers had cleverly provided a reward for every car that survived the winding road of our make believe safari: fast food that had State Fair flavors, a petting zoo of smaller animals, a parakeet cage with food available for the birds, an antiquated large tractor, and best of all a large corn box that closely resembled a sand box capable of holding a dozen small children who needed to be set free from car seats. The corn box was total genius. Trust me on that one.

Collins and Naynay loved the petting zoo with the goats and ponies

Ella and I fed the parakeets together – more our style

We all loved the tractor

Molly took everything in – but was more concerned about her food than the food for the animals

What a difference a year makes – too much sadness, too many tragedies everywhere far away and close to home – but I will pick a dandelion for my birthday, make a wish for more days like these, and blow with as much force as my 76 years can exert.

Thanks to Kaka, Kitty and Collins for not only the road trip but the pictures they shared. Please stay tuned. Remember Ukraine.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to make a wish – then blow

  1. cindy knoke says:

    What a lovely family. Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wayside Artist says:

    Yes, I can attest four buckets of carrots is never enough when visiting vegetarian animals!
    Blow safely away dandelion seeds. Our wishes for a better world go with each of you.
    Happy Birthday! Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so very much, Ann! I am thankful to see another year without knee surgeries!! One of my better decisions…with two granddaughters to keep up with.
      I’m not sure why that girl sold us only 4 buckets – unless she hoped we wouldn’t take up too much time on the safari ride…they wanted you to keep your car moving! Loads of fun.
      Happy Easter and Happy Spring to you, too…sending love and hugs from our heart to yours


  3. Glad the other kids enjoyed the day as much as you! Happy Birthday Sheila 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Luanne says:

    It appears that you have had the best birthday week!!! And happy birthday, dear Sheila!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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