Single Grandparenting is a Joy . . . with a Little Help from my Friends

           Savannah, my nine-year-old granddaughter, visited me in Munds Park for ten days. She was unbelievably well-behaved. She’s bright, beautiful and curious.

           Steve came over with his hot rod and took Savannah for a spin around Munds Park. She and I went in my golf cart to the post office where she quickly learned how to open my mailbox. She was thrilled that I had ordered things from the internet and received packages.

           We went into Flagstaff to pick out some projects since most of the kids’ activities had been canceled, due to Covid-19. At Joann’s Fabrics, she picked out a “Make clothes for your Barbie doll” kit. At Michael’s she opted for some modeling clay. We went to Home Depot and chose perennials for my garden. (Of course we wore our masks and socially distanced from others in the store. We used hand sanitizer as soon as we got back in the car and washed our hands when we returned home.)

           Savannah attempted a silky evening dress for a Barbie. She kept pinning the material to the dress form. She got frustrated. She was going to make a pig from the clay, but decided it looked more like a cow.

           The next day we invited Steve and Elissa to our “garden” party to plant the flowers. Steve brought a spade, which was much easier than the trowel I usually use.

We went to Target and purchased a Barbie doll to ease the designing and sewing of outfits. She also wanted a pink plastic container for her doll form and all the sewing paraphernalia. I told her she could sew a dress for herself and one for Barbie so we went to Joann’s Fabrics again. She wanted only material that felt soft, so she picked pink flannel with hearts on it.

           I showed her how to make a pattern from newspaper. We traced her body and added the seam allowance. She did the same for Barbie. Savannah is quite adept in using a sewing machine and both projects were finished that day.

           Elissa, a friend from Phoenix, rented a place around the corner from my cabin. Savannah enjoyed gong between the two houses, as Elissa and Steve are part of my “pod” (like a family group.)

           Steve, Elissa, Savannah and I went to Trivia Night a Agee’s BBQ. Savannah ordered her usual chicken fingers. Steve paid for the dinners with our vouchers from coming in first place in Trivia the week before. We were pleased that the event was held outside and the tables were far apart. We didn’t win, but we enjoyed the evening. I thought Savannah would be bored, but she enjoyed the jokes made by the woman who is in charge of Trivia Night.

           On Thursday I had my book club, so Savannah stayed with Elissa, who gave her a watercolor painting lesson.

Savy, Steve, Elissa and I all went to the Pinewood Country Club for dinner. Savannah loved the chicken fingers, Pinewood Cookie and half of my chocolate lava cake. She had no trouble falling asleep.

           We went back to Joann’s the next day and she picked out another fabric. She wanted to sew a dress for herself and Barbie. The pattern books were no longer available, due to Covid 19. We had to look on Joann’s website, choose a pattern and find it in the drawer.

           She pinned the fabric to the pattern pieces. The directions for sewing the dress were so convoluted and complex that I ended up sewing the dress while she designed and sewed other matching outfits with the leftover material. She was quite inventive. She indicated she may want to be a designer when she grows up. We discussed how many designers started their businesses in their own homes.

This is the top Savvy made all by herself.

           Another day Steve, Savannah and I went to Montezuma’s Castle. She was fascinated by the idea that people lived in the dwellings so long ago.

           We went to Cliff Castle Casino and entered via the back door so we wouldn’t be exposed to the gambling floor. Of course we wore our masks. We had our temperatures taken before we could go in. We bowled two games. Savannah and Steve bet a dollar on each game and she lost. It was a teachable moment about gambling. He quizzed her about Montezuma’s Castle on the way back to the cabin and she earned her two dollars back.

           We ate at Steve’s house twice. The first time he invited us, he hadn’t prepared. He opened the freezer, which had whole chickens and thin pork chops. That’s when I learned that he couldn’t cook! I defrosted the chops and sautéed them in a frying pan. Savannah and I had baked beer bread to take over. The four of us (Elissa, Steve, Savannah and I) worked on the thousand piece puzzle on the dining room table before and after dinner. We made a bit of progress.

           Savannah didn’t watch much television, but when she did, it was “Grease.” We also watched a bit of the news. We discussed the issues of Black Lives Matter and Covid 19, but not President Trump. She was quite interested in current events.

           I got to tell her stories every night at bedtime. She never whined or cajoled to stay up later. She had chores to do:  watering the flowers every day, helping me walk the dogs, and taking her turn at washing the dishes.

           I wasn’t exhausted when she left because my friends were so involved with her.

I was sad to see her go.

 Check out my book, Sex and the Single Senior, available on, my

website at and my blog at

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