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The Summer of a Picnic

Chloe at Lake Havasu, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Andrew had come over from San Diego, bringing Chloe with him, so on Friday when Jerry and Andrew had to go to Phoenix for a meeting, Chloe and I “hung out” together. She is now 12 years old–a young twelve–who brought with her a stuffed blue pig. She will be tall and slim as is her mother (and her father, actually); her legs and arms are long and thin–and…well…she’s beautiful. (You’ll have to indulge me. I’m a grandmother, you know.)

I needed to wash a load of clothes, the laundry room is near the rec room where we have internet service, so first thing after the men left, we grabbed up the two laptap computers, and set them up–Chloe using her Pappy’s. She plans to be a chef and loves to watch cooking shows on the internet. I left her working her business and traipsed to the laundry room, tossed my grubby clothes in the washer, fed it six quarters, noted I had 38 minutes until the last cycle would be finished, and went back to my own computer. Chloe and I sat side by side a couple of hours doing our computer things, although my time was interrupted by the need to take clothes from the washer to the dryer to the folding table.

At the motor home, I put away the clothes, then we two prepared a picnic lunch. Knowing she loves flaming hot Cheetos, I had the day before bought her a big bag, and when she saw it in the cupboard, she placed it squarely on the table for picnic inclusion. We tucked in a few Oreo cookies, a wedge of cheese, and she made peanut butter/cracker sandwiches. A bag of grapes completed our feast.

Our first stop, though, was the library, where we spent another couple of hours. I had my computer with me, but I couldn’t stay on the internet for more than a few minutes at a time–keep getting kicked off. Chloe prowled the children’s section, and within a few minutes was back at my table with a stack of books. I had told her she could check out a couple on my card, and when we were ready to go, she said, “Granny, I read really fast. May I take all these?” She had a stack of five, we checked them out, picked up a few magazines at the free magazine rack, and headed off to the lake.

Can you believe I have lived in this beautiful place since February and had not spent any time sitting on the banks of Lake Havasu? I had seen an interesting looking place, though, off London Bridge Road, so we drove there, and it turned out to be a wonderful spot. The air temperature was probably 115 or so, but we found this shady spot, where we deposited our things and staked our claim.


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The lake water is sparkling clear as you can see, and at this point is very shallow. We waded out quite far, then finally, Chloe took the plunge–“watch, Granny”–fell back straight, and disappeared under the water. At one point in the distance, we saw a number of canoes paddling by. It was a wonderful afternoon.

We savored our tasty lunch, swigged icy water and cranberry juice from plastic bottles, read magazines, explored a stand of rushes, and Chloe collected shells and stunning rocks.

Once when Chloe stood up after eating, she gasped, leaned over into the sand and picked up something. Startled, she stared at me as she asked, “How did that get there?” Seems she had taken out her retainer, put it on her lap, forgot about it, and when she took a step, saw it lying on the ground. (In the evening, as we ate in a restaurant and recited this story, Andrew picked up the tiny twist of pink and silver. “A thousand dollars, Mom. This cost a thousand dollars!”)

Well, although I didn’t at the time know the retainer was quite that expensive, I was worried about losing it as Chloe and I indulged in our picnic on the banks of Lake Havasu. “Give it to me, Chloe. I’m placing it in this bag of grapes.”…and there among the sweet, red grapes, for the duration of the dining, resided the precious dental apparatus.



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By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

10 replies on “The Summer of a Picnic”

No! I just burned! Must be that German blood in the girls from their dad. His whole family tans easily. My blood is 1/4 French. πŸ™‚


Tena, Chloe must get her love of the water from both sides of the family. Jerry and I were remembering not long ago the first time we took Rebecca to the ocean. She was a tiny thing–not more than two years old–and we had a life-jacket strapped on her. She waded out, laughing and squealing until the water was deep enough that it flipped her on her back. She was totally unafraid.

Tena, were you a Brownie, too?


Sis. Buxton, Chloe is a fishy just like her mommy. Growing up, we always had a pool in our back yard. First it was a few dough-boys and then a built-in. My sisters, Jenny and Shawnee (their names when they were little :)) were in the pool all summer long. They would get so tanned, Dad would call them “Brownies”.


Rebecca, Chloe and I had a wonderful time, but, once as we were wading out together, I wished for the rest of the young grandkids. But it was nice being alone with Chloe, too.

She adores the water–reminds me so much of you when you were young. When she and Andrew were over at Mike’s I think she practically lived in the pool. First night they arrived, she swam until ll:00 o’clock.

Love you.


Mom you are the best Granny. Chloe looks like you had a great time. You can come over any time and make Nate and I dinner.


Brother Clark, you are so right about us taking the time to enjoy our children and grandchildren. That’s one thing I don’t like about being in Lake Havasu–I don’t see my grandchildren as much as before.


Oh grandmother, enjoy the little ones.

My boys have told me more than one time, that the best memories they have are the times sitting on a pier or a rock. Those times we were out in the temple of the Lord enjoying the boys and His beauty and the quite. Some of the things that teenage or preteen boys want to talk about, you need to be ready to do nothing but just listen.

Now these boys are fathers and grandfathers, but the times they have told me about doing the same with their children. MY, MY, it almost makes an old man want to weep and shout all at once. Enjoy your children without regard to which generation you are blessed to be with.

As I type this I am thinking of a time about two years ago. We had our front room full of kids and grandkids watching some slides of their dads. The slides were taken when the dads were about the same age as those watching. The laughs and comments that flew around the room is what make memories that everyone will carry for many years.



Tena, thank you for the kind comments…and don’t worry about it…you will be a good grandma. How do I know? Because you are a good mom.

Carol, I’ve had experience with lost retainers too. When Rebecca was a child, she once took out a retainer, wrapped it up in a Kleenex and placed on the tank of the toilet. I, cleaning up, tossed it, and flushed it! It was an expensive, frustrating ordeal.


I enjoyed reading about your quality time with Chloe. If the Lord tarries and continues to grant me life on this earth, I would love to be a grandma too. Glad Chloe didn’t lose her retainer. I lost mine twice when I was a teenager, and after the second time I never got another one. I think I’ve grown a little bit more responsible since that time. πŸ™‚


Oh, what a wonderful grandma you are. I hope I can be just like you when I have grandkids. πŸ™‚ Such wonderful memories you are making with my adorable little niece, Chloe! I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks!


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