Things are slowly getting back to normal.

The rains of the past few days are turning the grass from gold to green. The tomatoes are blooming but have yet to set fruit. The green onions are growing. The peppers are hopeless due to the squirrels or whatever that have made a hobby of pulling out the plants.

The beans are also in flower. I have no idea what kind they are as the package was labeled as beans without specifying what kind of beans they are. They seem to be about a foot high. They are about the right height for the deer to dine on. None of them exhibit magical tendencies so I am spared the process of finding someone named Jack to climb one of the plants in order to see if there really is a golden goose or a giant living above the clouds. Somehow I doubt it. I wonder how these fables get started.

I am back to receiving pictures of the grandchildren. The last photograph I have of 16-year-old Emma is of her with her ankles on the armrest of a chair. The tops of her legs are on the other chair arm, the rest of her is on a different chair and her head is cocked to the side. She appears to be reading. Her body is straight and would make for a good magician's assistant. The caption is, “She can’t possibly be comfortable.”

The girl surprises me sometimes. When I was in Texas, Emma had a jujitsu class to attend. Since she needed practice driving she drove us to the place. She clutched the steering wheel tightly the whole time she was driving. Just like her mom, she found a perfect parking place.

I waited in the waiting room while she and her friends practiced the moves. There were two little girls in the waiting area with me. They were as cute as could be. I had forgotten how much little girls could talk. They were babbling the entire time.

Afterwards we went to the grocery store to get Beth a birthday present. Emma said she hoped her mom didn’t show up.

We were still in the process of picking out orchids when her mom appeared. It seems that Emma has a tracker on her phone that lets Beth know her whereabouts. At first I thought it was Beth being over protective. I thought some more and realized that these days a girl alone could use the extra protection.

How sad that in this day and age a girl still needs protection against those who would harm her.

In the last picture I saw of Emma’s brother, Jacob, he was holding a snake. A big snake. Supposedly it is harmless. Jacob told us all about the creature. I sure am glad that he didn’t find one while I was there. I don’t care if it is harmless and good for the environment. It is a snake and I don’t do snakes. Just the thought of them gives me the willies.

Snakes or no snakes, I miss being around people who chase each other around the kitchen island while one was preparing supper and the other was unloading and reloading the dishwasher.

I even miss my daughter giving me the evil eye because the elephant ear plants that Nicholas and I drug home from the creek several years ago have taken over the other bedding plants. Nicholas gets upset when she tries to thin them out.

Things are different here. For one thing, it is quieter. Nobody chases anybody, and if one of us spots a snake we have the decency not to mention it.

Each world has its place and one is not better than another. Beth and her Texas family have a life that is the opposite of ours. What is that old saying, it’s a good place to visit but I don’t want to live there.

I am hoping that it doesn’t take another two years before we can visit again.