“Grandpa, Grandpa!” Mikey raced down the weathered wooden planks, his little tennis-shoed feet coming to a slap of a stop just as the old man turned to greet him. “The big maple...” he cried, nearly out of breath. “I saw some yellow leaves on it.” He gave a huff and his head drooped down as if his neck had melted in the midday heat. “That means summer’s gonna be OVER, Grandpa. What am I gonna do? I can’t let summer end without doing somethin’ super!”
That big smile Grandpa always wore when all was right with the world broke across his face, and he put a hand on Mikey’s shoulder. “You know, Mikey, when I stepped out to feed the chickens this morning, there was a bit of nip in the air. And the sun, well, he must be getting tired of doing summer, because he wasn’t even up yet. That surely means that in the next week or two those trees will be a collage of reds and oranges and yellows, and all the shadows will start their autumn stretch. The next thing you know...” he winks, “...you’ll be carvin’ up a Halloween Jack-O-Lantern.”
He gave his head a shake and turned back for a long gaze across the pond. There wasn’t a stitch of wind, and the sun seemed to have a twin sitting right out in the middle.
“So, I thought I’d better do something real special.”
Mikey’s eyes popped wide. “You did? What’cha doin’?”
Grandpa tapped his little cooler. “Well, Grandma made a couple of egg salad sandwiches—“
“I LOVE egg salad sandwiches!”
“—and filled a couple of Mason jars with lemonade.”
“But, best of all, she baked some chocolate chip cookies.”
“Oh, WOW...” He sniffed the air, as if the oven was right there on the dock. “So, what ARE you doing, Grandpa?”
Grandpa’s smile seemed to grow, and he took another quick gander across the still water.
“Nothin’? What?” Mikey’s shoulders dropped, yet he just couldn’t keep his eyes off the Igloo. And maaan, he could almost taste that egg salad sandwich.
Grandpa, catching Mikey’s gaze, gave his chin a rub as if off in deep thought. “You know, there’s an awful lot of nothin’ to be done today. I sure could use some help.”
Mikey felt his face light up. “I bet I could help. I’m REAL good at doing nothin’.”
Grandpa patted the dock. “That’s my boy. Have a seat. Let’s get busy.”