Down the Lane: Because Olivia wants to know

Published 9:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2017

By Sue Staton

It seems impossible that my youngest grandchild, Olivia, is growing up so quickly.

She will not turn 10 until October. She lacks about two inches from being as tall as her Nana. The doctor has said she will probably reach a height of 5-foot-9 by the end of her growth period.

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She may be 9 years old but she has been blessed to do so much in life already. She has toured the U.S. States Capitol in Washington D.C. and sung on stage in Disneyland this summer. Just a few weeks ago she sang on stage on a cruise ship somewhere near the West Indies. Her mom recorded it for me and as usual I am enthralled by her talents.

It is hard to find things to entertain Olivia since she has done so much. She has sang and danced all over Louisville. When I am in Louisville, she usually reminds me I am not in “itty bitty Winchester any more” and I should just follow her lead. She told me this when she was 7 and I am still reminded of this when I go to Louisville.

This past week she came to visit me and, as usual, her questions are many and sometimes tiring. Her first question was, “What are we going to do?” My response was, “We are not going to do anything that requires a lot of money!” (To entertain a kid these days seem to cost an arm and a leg.)

The next day, I told her we were going to go eat with a friend for lunch. After we got back in the car her question was this, “Does everybody in Winchester know everybody else?” Living in Louisville, she found it odd that everywhere I went people were talking to me and I knew them. She thought it incredible how we all knew one another. I explained how nice I thought it was to live in a smaller town.

She was OK with that and I told her we may go to the pool later in the afternoon if the friend said it was OK with her. She loved that response. We did this and I had to play mermaids with her and toss colored rings in the pool for her to find. This seemed to appease her and I had already told her there was a time limit and when I said it was time to go, it was time to go.

We were no sooner in the car until she wanted to know what we were going to do next. It was then that I told her I was going to teach her to hang clothes on the clothesline. She sounded excited. All went well until she could not seem to grasp the hinge of the clothespin at first. Olivia thinks everything should come easy for her because she is smart. She was beginning to feel frustrated and I told her I had to learn too as a child.

Once she got the hang of it, and the next load of clothes was ready for the clothesline, I was informed she could handle it all by herself. I said OK and she grinned from ear to ear.

I looked outside and had to laugh. Olivia had taken a step stool out to the clothesline and was standing on it and hanging clothes. It was too cute and my husband had to take pictures. I ended up helping just a little to finish the job. She was, however, doing a pretty decent job. She enjoyed doing laundry this way and enjoyed taking down the clothes.

The next day, Olivia awakened and said she had just had the best dream. When I asked what it was, she told me she was in Hogwarts with Harry Potter and she was Hermione, the female friend of Harry’s. They were on an adventure and then I woke her up.

I had told her the previous day she and I were going to visit the Kentucky State Capitol. She had never been there and I thought it would make a great day for her to learn and enjoy our beautiful capitol. She wanted to go.

I told her to not bother me while I hurried to get ready so she stood and watched me get ready.

As I was applying my makeup, she said, “Nana, why do you put so much make up on?” I said because I feel like I need it since I have gotten older. She replied, “No, you don’t.” It was then I did a mental check of the old women I used to think wore too much makeup and made another mental note to go a little lighter on the rouge.

Lying close by was a back scratcher and as Olivia picked it up to examine it she asked, “Is this just for old people?” I explained it was a back scratcher and anyone could use it but it probably was used more by older people. I also had to explain the shoe horn on the bottom of the back scratcher.

We hurried and left for Frankfort and I think Olivia was very shocked to see our capitol is also beautiful.

I watched as she was taking picture after picture on her iPhone. I told her about rubbing Lincoln’s toe for good luck on the beginning of the tour and I was happy she listened intently to the tour guide as she told about each level.

While we were walking back to our car, I decided I wanted to show Olivia where the governor’s mansion was. As we were walking down a large clap of thunder hit and Olivia said, “Nana, it is OK. Don’t you know you are not supposed to be out in the open when it is thundering because lightning could strike you? Let’s just go!”

Just about that time, we heard footsteps behind us and it was Gov. Matt Bevin and an aide with a man and three small children from Mount Sterling.

The governor asked us if we would like to go inside the mansion and take a tour. Olivia and I forgot about the thunder and lightning and jumped at the chance. As we were walking in, Olivia reminded him she had seen him at the riverfront in Louisville the previous week where she sang and he said, “Yes, you did!”

Inside the mansion, the governor told us he had to have a meeting with the gentleman who came in with him but took pictures with us before he left to go upstairs.

The three kids with the man from Mount Sterling had picked up rocks and they wanted to get pictures with them.

Olivia said she had seen the rocks too, but was afraid to pick one up because she thought it would be stealing.

After we heard the story of the painted rocks and the intent to send good will to all who find them and to see how far they will go, we decided to paint our own rocks and put a quote on them. I will plant mine in Winchester and Olivia will put hers in Louisville.

We learned the person who finds the rock is to take it somewhere else to be found by another person. We decided we would paint our rocks and see how far they go. If you find our rocks we hope they bring you good will and you continue you on the good will.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active at First United Methodist Church.