"I'm five years old, it's getting cold, I've got my big coat on
I hear your laugh and look up smiling at you, I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides, look now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home
I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today....." Taylor Swift
My second grandchild, Zachary Michael Johnson is a quarter century old today. I used some lyrics by Taylor Swift because I know she is one of Zach's favorites. When she was just starting her career and was an opening act for another performer, Zachary got to meet her, get her autograph, have a picture taken with her and was able to chat with her for about fifteen minutes before other fans arrived on the scene. (Lucky him!)
The lyrics also remind me of some of my times with Zach through his growing up years. Specifically a trip to the pumpkin patch near Adel and a weekend he and Katrina were at our house in West Des Moines. It was a nice day, but cold. He did have his big coat on, but didn't have mittens with him. I told him to put his hands in his coat pockets which he did. A short time later, as we walked around the house, he tripped on the uneven cement walk and fell. With his hands stuck in his pockets, he couldn't catch himself and landed right on his face and pushed his front teeth back. I felt so badly for him and so responsible for his pain. At least his teeth weren't knocked out.
Even as a baby, Zach enjoyed the pool with his daddy (above). It would be a few more years before he discovered swimming as a passion, however.
Zach's 10th birthday party. He pulled the candles out of the cake before I got a picture. Is that one of the Power Rangers?
Between his 10th and 11th birthdays, we moved back to the farm. We didn't see the kids as often as when we lived in WDM, but being at Great-Grandma Ruth's made for some of his happiest memories. In this picture, left-to-right, Zachary, his brother, Brock, cousin, Ian Lynam, and sisters, Katrina and Alyssa. It was 4th of July weekend and the kids were lighting bottle rockets. Ian was always so good about bringing fireworks with him from Missouri. Later that evening, after dark, it was show time - time for the color displays.
The first few years after we moved back, we had our own miniature golf course in our back yard. I think we had as much fun as the kids. Zach is getting ready to tee off in this photo.
During his teen years, his birthday celebration with his dad, Doug, and his Grandpa, Bud, was a day of golf somewhere - usually between Corning and Stuart - no women allowed!
Bud, Doug and Zach at Zach & Katrina's high school graduation party in Newton. Zach's football jersey's hanging on the garage door - which it looks like he is holding up. Too bad Newton's colors weren't black and gold like his favorite Iowa Hawkeyes.
In addition to playing sports, Zachary covered sports for the school paper - writing and photographing boys and girls sports. He hoped to get a swimming scholarship to attend Loras College. He and I had a fun weekend when I took him to Dubuque for his interview.
"And now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
For staying back and watching me shine
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm takin' this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today...." (TS)
Happy silver birthday, Zach!
(P.S. Go Cyclones!)