Thursday, November 12, 2009
No one... that's who.
I am looking forward to the next several days, nearly giddy with anticipation because...
1.) Tonight is possibly just the greatest night for television. The Office, 30 Rock and Grey's Anatomy. Bliss.
2.) I get to go to Indianapolis tomorrow and spend belated birthday time with Shipley. For years, I have made it down to the big city in October to celebrate her birthday. Oh, yes. We whoop it up big time. Usually a nice dinner or lunch somewhere, followed by a trip to Target. Or Kohl's. Or both. To us, this constitutes a great time. I mean, just hanging out and schlepping around with your best friend of 20+ years? What isn't to like?
3.) We are expecting relatives from Illinois on Saturday for Festivus. Yes, we stole that from Frank Costanza on "Seinfeld." But last year we were desperate to get everyone together for the holidays, and schedules weren't jiving with traditional dates. So we picked a weekend that worked for everyone and had "Festivus for the Rest of Us." It was great fun: the exploding pot-o-spaghetti (and the Chicago deep-dish pizza that was promptly ordered afterward), a very special visit from The Unibomber during the guys' poker game, a day at Brookfield Zoo and having the place to ourselves, a lovely window-shopping stroll through Crystal Lake with Stacy and Jenny... just having family together to visit, laugh, chat, laugh, drink good coffee and laugh. Oh, did I mention the laughter? We are a quirky, funny bunch.
4.) Getting the Christmas decorations out Sunday and getting them organized. We have designated the Sunday before Thanksgiving as our chief decorating day. All the kids will be home, and I foresee a big hot pot of something extra-good for dinner that night while we put up the tree. The following week, Tyler and Kate travel out east with the marching band while we are perhaps road tripping to NY for the holiday. How nice it will be to all return home to our beautifully decorated home, ready for Christmas!
All of these things are well worth anticipating. And photos will follow.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Random person: "Hi! Nice to meet you. What do you do?"
Me: "I'm a thinker."
Random person: ????
At any given moment, I am thinking about how I would write something. Driving the kids to school, cooking dinner, folding laundry... chances are I am mulling over something that has happened or is on my mind and having an internal dialogue on how I would write it -- if I were sitting at the computer. Several years ago I received an AlphaSmart for Christmas. If you know not of what I speak, it's a small, portable keyboard that is powered by a handful of AA batteries. It holds about eight files, and the files can hold an impressive number of words. It is truly a writer's best friend -- unfortunately, mine is currently hiding in a pile of importance somewhere. Yesterday, I spent 90 minutes in the waiting room of a medical building. How lovely it would have been to have whipped out the AlphaSmart and tip-tap-typed my way to writer's bliss! As it stood, I watched Jack read (and finish) a book and Charlie begin (and finish) all of his homework. Sam and I occupied our time by smooshing our green-colored gum up against our teeth, then taking pictures of ourselves with my phone, smiling with "green teeth." (Some might argue where the intellectuals are in the family after that comment, but I say laughter makes time fly a lot faster! Now THAT'S smart!)
Long story short, I am unearthing my trusty AlphaSmart today. I will dust it off, replace batteries and pledge to carry it with me and MAKE myself a writer, damn it. For real.
Monday, November 9, 2009
This past Sunday we attended Jack and Charlie's football banquet. When awards and trophies were presented, the green squad was up first. I was aware the boys would receive a trophy for JV-North Division Champions--which was very nice.
What I wasn't aware of, was that these boys... the boys who regularly arrived at practice 15 minutes early to run down pass after pass from the coaches, who ran warm-ups and sprints with every ounce of energy they had, who threw themselves heart, soul and spirit into every play of every game this season to the point of tears when they lost their bid for the city championship... these boys were awarded for their effort. Jack was named JV-Green Defensive Back of the Year and Charlie was named JV-Green Offensive Back of the Year.
And, once again, I was a proud Mama Duck. :)
Seeing them awarded and recognized for their efforts went far beyond "hey-you-did-a-great-job-this-season." For me, watching my sons receive the awards from their coach made me realize all their work so far--both on and off the playing field--is coming full circle. For years I've watched them "play football." Now, Jack and Charlie are football players... and I cannot wait for next year. They won't be part of the "new kids" anymore. They will be well-versed in the warm-ups, drills and plays and I hope they will grow into leadership roles for the incoming green squad boys.
Congratulations, Jack and Charlie. You continue to make your family proud! :)
Jack (gray coat) and Charlie (red sweatshirt) on the sidelines as the game gets underway.
And the grassy, uh... muddy field. Charlie on the sidelines later in the game. Where is Jack you wonder? He would be in the locker room... throwing up. We now know that when Jack is mildly hypothermic (a.k.a., really, really, really cold) his body will react by vomiting. Good to know. And that day? The boys were really, really, really cold. Soaking wet and muddy after warm-ups. Yes, I see the irony there. Do you?
In the end, the Raiders couldn't match the Packer's lone touchdown, and they lost 7-0. Again. For Jack and Charlie, this was now two tough losses -- yet they still love the game and play hard no matter what. The only consolation for me was sitting in the stands with Packer fans around us cheering--because some lady next to us constantly yelling "GO PACKERS!" ended up sounding like she was saying "GO PECKERS!" Oh, come on... you would laugh too. And she was borderline obnoxious, so it made it much more funny.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Their goal? Make it to state and play at Lucas Oil stadium. They narrowly missed going last year. Their fate would be determined on October 24 at semi-state competition in Indianapolis. The top 10 bands would advance to state competition on October 31. The weather in Fort Wayne that morning was less than desirable--cold, rainy, gross. As luck would have it, everything cleared and the kids had a sunny (albeit brisk) afternoon to perform in Indy. They brought it -- and brought it big time.
Kate during performance... she's in the center.
And here is Tyler's solo...