This is a very special day for Janie, for she just celebrated her third birthday. Janie is going to visit the most special, most wonderful man in the whole world. Today Janie can talk as much as she wishes because today she is going to see her Grand parents on her Mom's side of the family.
Janie is very excited because she received her first pair of shoes that had never been worn by her older sister. They were white with a strap and buckle. The nine mile ride seemed like a hundred. Finally they arrived. She didn't have to walk like a lady today, Janie skipped all the way to the front porch, hopped up the steps and peeked through the screen door to see if Grand Dad was in his rocking chair by the door.
Yes, he was; he looked like a giant sitting there waiting for Janie to arrive. Janie slipped through the door and with a giggle showed Grand Dad her special shoes. He told her they were the prettiest shoes he had ever seen, he would like to wear them himself. Janie was so tickled by this statement,and up she went into his arms. She wrapped her tiny arms around his neck as he told her "Happy Birthday". Janie loved Grand Dad, with his snow white wavy hair, shoulders as broad as
Lunch with Grand Dad was always fun for he ate dessert first, that way he knew he would enjoy and have room for his dessert. Now Janie was watching ever so closely to see if she could discover how he made the peas stay on the knife when he ate the peas. She tried, and the peas failed to stay on the knife. Grand Dad's jovial laughter echoed through out their home. Janie really knew that today was special because she was then given a knife with sticky stuff on it. Grand Dad dipped the knife into the peas and gave it to Janie. Sure enough, not a single pea fell off. The sticky stuff was so sweet and Janie learned it was honey.
It was soon time to take a walk down the lane. Janie chattered away asking Grand Dad questions about everything they passed. A hop toad, a turtle and many birds all different colors and sizes. They were nearing the railroad tracks and Janie listened intently to see if she could hear the "choo-choo-train" first. She knew it was near because Grand Dad lifted her up in his arms so she could see the train as it rounded the bend near a large stand of trees. Oh what great fun to wave at the train. They blew the great big whistle, clanged the bell .
And big white puffy clouds came out of it, too. Then at the end was the red caboose and someone always stood on the back and waved to them. They knew Grand Dad for he worked on the train during the depression.
As they strolled back toward the house they took a detour toward the garden. They had to check for potato bugs on the plants. Janie was hoping with all her heart that the "Skeeter-Skater" would come to help. He was the neatest, best helper. A great giant mosquito that wore ice skates and helped Grand Dad with all the chores. Janie sneaked through the plants and tall grasses hoping to see the "Skeeter-Skater". She couldn't find him, but Grand Dad knew right where to find him. He took Janie by the hand to the front porch, then Janie bent down and looked through the tiny holes in the lattice work. Quietly they went back inside to their favorite spot, Grand Dad's rocking chair. Grand Dad told Janie that the "Skeeter-Skater" needed to get some sleep because he had helped chop at least three cords of wood. Grand Dad had also worked as a lumber jack during the lean times. They then loaded the huge sled with wood and the "Skeeter-Skater" would glide across the pond very rapidly. Grand Dad was so lucky to have a friend like the "Skeeter-Skater". Maybe some day Janie could have a pair of skates and help too.
Grand Dad left when Janie was only eight years old, but the "Skeeter-Skater" was always sleeping when Janie came to visit her Grandma. Many years later and Janie has children of her own, she and the children along with Janie's Mom drove down to see Grand Dad's home. Janie noticed that the lattice work was practically down. She stopped the car, walked to the porch, bent down; Janie knew then, at age 33 that her beloved Grand Dad and "Skeeter-Skater" were both having a grand time in Heaven.
Janie drove slowly back towards the highway, tears streaming down her cheeks. She then was brought back to reality when she heard her son ask his Grand Mom, why mommy was sad. Grand Mom answered,
"Janie isn't sad, she only had to say good-bye to a very special friend".
Yes, Janie did get a pair of skates, and every winter as she glided across the lake she would smile and remember Grand Dad and his "Skeeter-Skater".