There was a time in my life when I was a nighttime creature. Thirty years ago this past summer, I met a girl and I was attending summer school full-time, working full-time, spending the weekend nights with her and her friends – up all night, and sleeping part-time. I could do it then, but not now.
the end of game discussion – the South end of the field
Thirty years later, that girl is my wife and next week – in seven days – we will celebrate 23 years of marriage.
Thirty years later, my eyelids are heavier than they once were and I can’t hang out too late, but on Friday nights in the fall – there is Friday Night Lights. I have been a high school football fan for a long time and I enjoy watching the games. It’s even more fun because W is out there this year – hanging on the sidelines. He has yet to play Friday night, but he’s there for film, weights, conditioning, and practice working and waiting for the moment when the Tigers will need him. Every Tiger player was there once, too. It’s the way things are. Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge – Nighttime→
This is the best part of the day. It is the time when everyone is still asleep, the sun is rising and the day is just beginning; it is the time when I can catch up on writing and reading. Being a blogger causes me guilt – the guilt of wanting to write more often than I am able and I taking time to enjoy reading what other bloggers are writing. However, for right now, this moment I can really only write weekly. There was a time when I wrote daily. It was that first summer when I wrote a daily post about what happened during the day and the ways the day counted. There was the trip to take my dad’s cremains to France and there were the three summer camps I wrote reporting the day’s events to anxious scout parents back home. I had time, I made time, but other things didn’t get done at my blogging’s expense.
It does not exactly have the same ring as the classic line from William Shakespeare’s play, “The Life and Death of Julius Caesar” warning Julius Caesar of his impending doom; “Beware the ides of March.” I don’t have a soothsayer to remind me, I don’t need one, because I know the Ides of November – the middle of November – is a tough part of the calendar for me, it always has been.
Last Sunday was my birthday, I rolled over one more year, and I feel great. My birthday was a great time. W treated me to the Bears vs. Lions at Soldier Field. We had a great time. We took the train – the ‘8:15 into the city’ (“Takin’ Care of Business” – Bachman-Turner-Overdrive). Actually, it was the 8:53 and we arrived without fanfare just before ten. W read his book for English class and I read a book, too. Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick was just beginning to get good when we pulled into the train station. We caught the express bus to the stadium and we were inside watching the teams warm up before eleven. It was W’s first professional game. Even though he’s seen countless high school football games and a couple of Division III College games, the NFL experience is something to experience. It was my first time at Soldier Field for anything. I was impressed. I grew up on games inside in the Astrodome in Houston. They don’t play pro games there anymore, and I have heard they are thinking of tearing it down. Sad. The stadium is right along the Lake Michigan shoreline, America’s great inland sea. It was an absolutely beautiful day – clear skies, cool and sunny. The temperatures stayed in the forties and we were comfortable the entire day. It was Veterans Day weekend and the game was one of the games the NFL selected to be “Salute to Service” games where the league recognizes America’s soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen. American military and national pride was prominently on display. Continue reading Beware, the ides of November→
The Tigers lost their playoff game Friday night and their season is over. I am sad. My son played his last game a couple of weeks ago when the regular season ended and is now waiting for wrestling season to begin this coming Monday. It will keep him busy and fully exercised during those lean months of little sunshine and bitter cold. It’ll give me and B something to do on Friday evening and Saturday. He wrestled last year and had a good freshman season.
If you have been following MtDC over the past several years or high school football seasons or however you want to count it, you know I am a passionate high school football fan – especially the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers. Even before W got into high school, we were there on Friday nights. It was our Friday evening entertainment. B grew up in a small town in southwestern Ohio where her Tigers were legendary in the small school section of Ohio high school football in the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s. She played in the marching band in high school and marched Friday night in the late seventies before graduating and going off to college. Her dad played for the high school team in the forties and later at Miami University after his navy service at the end of WWII. When W was a little kid we went to watch my nephew play for the Ohio State Football Championship in Paul Brown Stadium in Massillon, Ohio. They won 26-0 and it was a good game, and it was worth every minute of the four-hour drive there and the four-hour dive home.
I guess that’s why I am so agitated this morning and was even more agitated last night. The Tigers began the season rated in the top twenty and knocked off the defending 7A state champion in the first game. In the second game, they defeated another state power. In the third game, the Tigers were up against the crosstown rival Wheaton North. In a hard fought game, the Tigers dominated the Falcons in every way. The Tigers had a bump in the road mid-season and lost a game to a team they should have defeated and were soundly defeated in the second to the last game of the year to last year’s 8A state championship runner up and possibly this year’s 8A state champion. Who knows? Regardless the Tigers finished 7-2 and qualified for the playoffs. They won last weekend and moved on to the second round.
It’s Movember, the first Saturday in November. There is a chill in the air and after a couple of days of gentle rain to soak the ground, it looks like the skies will clear and it will be a sunny day. I can only hope.
Last week at the time, I was just waking up. Friday night I watched W play his last football game of the season and then driven north to the cottage for fall cleanup and a couple of last season chores. Saturday morning I was alone. The phone was ringing and I needed to answer it. I must have sounded horrible because my mom asked if I was okay. I was okay, just exhausted and spent. But, it was a good thing, I told her I would call her back and I crawled out of bed. I brushed my teeth, started the coffee, and began the day. I was still sleepy as I looked out onto the lake, shrouded in grey with the windows splattered with rain. It was a dreary day. It was windy, cold, and wet; perfect weather for a day spent in the yard raking and doing fall cleanup. I sipped my coffee and stared out onto the lake. The lake has power, even a grey cloudy rainy day lake. It has the power to relax, the power to heal, and the power to rejuvenate. I needed the lake and the cottage needed me. I called my mom back, sipped my coffee, and gazed out at the lake as we talked. Continue reading Movember→
It is another Sunday morning and the sun is up, the air is cool and crisp, and leaves litter the front lawn. I slept late this morning, or at least later than I should have although I have reasonable excuse – I stayed up too late last night, past eleven – almost to midnight.
I remember (often) the days of my youth when after midnight was truly after midnight, well after midnight. Eric Clapton’s song says it all about what I was doing:
After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down. After midnight, we’re gonna chug-a-lug and shout. We’re gonna stimulate some action; We’re gonna get some satisfaction. We’re gonna find out what it is all about. After midnight, we’re gonna let it all hang down. Eric Clapton – “After Midnight”
These days, I can’t hang much after ten, maybe it’s because I have aged or I have gotten wiser, or just that I realize that have to get moving and accomplish something before noon. Continue reading After Midnight→
It’s Thanksgiving morning and the turkey is in the oven. There are yams cooking on the stove and it’s pretty quiet. Ivy’s been out a couple of times and she had a treat to start her day. I mixed chicken broth, warm chicken broth, with her dog food this morning and she enjoyed it. Actually, she’s in the doghouse with B, because Ivy woke us up just as the sun was peaking over the horizon. She had slept at the top of the stairs just outside our room and let out a yelp and short bark to let me know it was time to go out. I felt the warm spot on the carpet when I went downstairs to let her out and start the day. Unfortunately, B’s sleep was collateral damage and she followed me downstairs.
It’s my job to cook the turkey and it’s in the oven. The smells are just now wafting through the house and before long; the aroma of Thanksgiving Continue reading The turkey….→
It’s great when I can sleep until the sun rises, usually I am on my way to school, and dropping W off on the way as the sun peaks over the horizon and new day begins. I would have missed it, but I set my alarm to get up early this morning, but I let it snooze and slept in. I needed it. I really needed to get a good night’s rest.
It was a treat to see the pinky-orange sky reveal a lightly frosted landscape this morning. It’ll burn off and I’ll get out, rake up the last few pockets of leaves, cover the lawn furniture, Continue reading Saturday morning sunrise→
STRESS CITY. It is that time of the year, November and the push at school, home, and everywhere else. This past week was full: parent conferences at school – two full days, parent conferences for O, the election, and the kid’s activities – sports and scouts. I am grateful for B who handled scouts this week; otherwise, I might have burst. And, this week ends with my birthday. Yep, I am officially one year older today – Happy Birthday to me. Continue reading 6th grade, all over again→
The sign says it all, ‘The quiet room.’ My kids tried to avoid it at all costs; I guess I would have, too, at their age. But, I’d sure like to go there for the next couple of days. Continue reading The quiet room→