I answered the phone and could not make out the voice because I had a bad case of the common cold, which was limited to sore throat, coughing, sneezing and stuffy, runny nose. My doctor advised me to delay my flu shot because of my common cold.

At least I would not worry of flu related health problems like pneumonia, bacterial infection or hospitalization. Too much information, maybe, but that voice on the cell telephone sounded familiar. It did not help that the cell telephone connection was not the best.

After listening intently to the speaker, I realized it was our granddaughter, whose residence is no longer a quick drive away. This four year old does not yet understand the concept of long travel distance.

I could tell Cadence was sad and wanted to come spend the night. Grandma had been having problems with her cell telephone, so it was up to me to provide the grand comforting words.

If Cadence only knew how sad we really were because we are not able to just take that quick drive to see them.

However, those were not the words that this child needed.

So I blurted: "Shivers misses you. And you know what he said? 'Wowrr aur yaurr, ruff, ruff, ruff.' I think Shivers misses you too."

Of course I had to translate what Shivers, formerly their dog, was trying to say: "Where are you? Ruff. Ruff. Rough."

I could hear Cadence's delightful laughing at my futile attempt to make a humorous moment for us.

"Grandpa, you're funny. I miss you," she said.

"Soon, sweetheart, very soon we will come for a visit. We will have a great time," I replied.

We are extremely excited about visiting and cannot wait until we spend some time together again. I really was nervous during this cell telephone conversation and was hoping Grandma would walk in through the front door and help me make better conversation.

Cadence was a bit more reassured and also said she looked forward to seeing us on our visit. I also told Cadence that we were going to have a garage sale and Shivers was going to be a big help keeping us company.

"Can you bring him, Grandpa?" she asked.

"Oh, no, sweetie, Shivers had met some new dog friends. They seem to be getting along really well and will spend time together too while we visit you," I replied.

She said: "Grandpa, Shivers doesn't have any dog friends."

Well, I kept talking by saying that these were friendly dogs from the neighborhood. I told her that they really liked each other and got along by running and playing together.

"Have you met any new friends?" I asked her.

She answered: "Yes, Grandpa, I can't remember her name, but we played a lot yesterday."

Suddenly, I remembered Grandma had sent a Halloween Care Package. I asked: "Have you received the goodies package that Grandma sent you guys for Halloween?"

They had not received the package yet. This distraction of something in the mail was enough to remove the sadness from Cadence's voice. She sounded her happy self again.

I talked to big sister briefly. It still amazed me how grown up and responsible big sister had grown up to be.

Joe-Santos Medina is a resident of Robstown. Readers may contact him via email at joesantosm@hotmail.com.