It’s a beautiful Saturday morning on the deck. The birds are singing, there is a gentle breeze rustling through the trees, and the sun is shining brightly. AND, I’ve decided to stay home and not fly to Seattle.
Sunday morning, October 2 – it’s fall. Fall means cooler nights, shorter days, pumpkins, apples, Halloween, and Friday Night Lights – high school football.
B and I have been going to high school football games since we were kids. We started taking W when he was young, then O came along. B and I would watch from the end zone along the fence and the kids would watch until they were old enough to hang out with their friends, then we ‘graduated’ to the stands when W reached high school. In ’14 and ’15, W was on the sidelines. He’d getting his playing time on Saturday, but he hung in there for four years as a high school football player. I admire him and have great respect for his stick-it-to-ed-ness. W graduated in May and is off testing his wings at the next step at the local community college, but we still go Friday night to watch and root on the Tigers.
Friday night, we were in the stands. It was the final home game of the season, and it was Homecoming. Tigers were winless in five starts. It’s been a tough couple of years for the Tigers – last year ended 2-7 after making it to the quarter-finals of the state playoffs in ’14.
— Clay Watkins (@makingdayscount) October 1, 2016
Watching the game brought back memories from when the kids were younger. I remembered back to ’09. W was in sixth grade, his first year at middle school, and O was in first grade. The Tigers had made the playoffs and the first game was Friday, October 31 – Halloween. Continue reading Nostalgia – a photo challenge
I was young, very young when Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali. And, I remember kids calling me Cassius, but I didn’t understand until later that it should have been taken as a compliment, even if that wasn’t the intent. Kids.
I began using the quote, “Don’t count the days, make the days count” long before I began blogging and even longer before I knew it is attributed to Muhammad Ali. It is likely that Ali is not the origin of the saying either, but Muhammad Ali is the one gets the credit. It doesn’t matter who, or when, or how, he was the Greatest.
I can imagine how he said it, though. It was days before a big fight, could’ve been Frazier, or Foreman, or a lesser known fighter and Ali was asked by a reporter if he was ready for the fight with only days away. His response was classic Ali,
“Only a fool counts days. I am the Greatest, I don’t count the days, I make the days count. And when I step into the ring the only countin’ that’s gonna be goin’ on is the referee counting to ten when I knock that sucker on his back. I am the Greatest.” Muhammad Ali
That’s how I’d like to believe that Muhammad Ali said that he made the days count. Continue reading The Greatest
Today’s Tuesday’s Tune post is a guest blogger – Eli Pacheco from Coach Daddy: fatherhood, futbol, and food. The blogging world is amazing. I ‘met’ Eli several years ago and have been following him ever since. Last year, I realized we were travelling in parallel universes – he in the Carolinas and me in the Midwest. We both have children -he has three and I have two – and the oldest is a senior in high school and both are competitive athletes – making the two of us sideline supporters. We are both very proud of our kids and it shows in our blogging. I am excited to have Eli here at Making the Days Count – because we are both making our way through life Making the Days Count.
When you make the days count – what does it look like?
I envision life brimming with abundance and adventure. Family, wall-to-wall. All-out experiences that shun fear and trepidation. We make the days count in so many ways – so much positive, so much forward-leaning. It’s where joy bumps into bliss and amusement builds to euphoria.
It took a text message from a dear friend today to remind me that Billy Joel’s River of Dreams held a significant spot on my life’s playlist. She’d just heard it, right after leaving Five Guys Burgers. If that isn’t a sign from above, I’m really not sure what goes on in heaven.
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
A youth pastor at UNC Charlotte brought this song to our weekly lunch discussion. Continue reading Tuesday’s Tune: River of Dreams
The 2015 high school football season started this weekend. It’s W’s last season of high school football and perhaps ever as a player. Friday night the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers began the season against their cross-town rival, Wheaton North. I watched from the North sidelines as part of the chain gang. I kept my mouth shut and my enthusiasm to myself. I kept my eye on the field and moved with the ball.
It was a good game and the Tigers came out on top, barely.
The game was scoreless at the half. 0-0.
The third quarter began and The Falcons quickly scored a touchdown to lead by seven. The Tigers answered with a touchdown of their own and the game was tied at seven all. It stayed tied until the end. Then, the game moved to overtime.
Overtime rules are different. Each team gets the ball on the ten yard line and gets four downs (plays\tries) to score. The team that scores the most points wins. Simple.
Both teams failed to score in the first overtime and the teams switched ends and started over. In the second overtime, the Tigers failed to score on three downs, then, kicked a field goal to lead for the first time in the game. Then it was the Falcons turn. They ran three plays and failed to score, then lined up for a field goal, too. Continue reading Failure is expected….
My parents divorced in 1975. I was in seventh grade and twelve years old. After the divorce, my dad moved to Saudi Arabia, remarried, and started over. My dad had visitation rights each weekend and half the summer – 45 days. The weekends were a moot point – a weekend commute of almost 8,000 miles one-way was not practical. Especially in 1975. My communication with dad was limited: letters took weeks to traverse back and forth with a reply. I have most of the letters saved in a box in the basement. Phone calls were too expensive and the connection was shaky, too.
Forty years later a much has changed, but a weekly commute still is not practical. There is the internet with e-mail, blogs, Skype, and more. Even a phone call is made easier, too.
That first summer, my dad got us for 45 days, the summer of ’75. I think it was more my mom sent us to dad. All three of us, at the same time. I have memories, my passport, getting shots, a few slide pictures from the trip, but not much else. Memories come back in bits and pieces, jogged by an anniversary or a probing conversation with my brothers or mom. Sometimes those conversations are painful and the memories are not there and have been lost. Continue reading 40 years ago, today
The last couple of days began with reminders from my students – one present, and the other a former student.
Friday morning started with the quote above and it was a wonderful way to begin the day. It is getting close to the end of the year and tests err, I mean assessments, are on the menu. My advanced chemistry students were finishing their two-day quest and my regular science classes were getting reviewing for their environmental science test on Monday. And, in US History, it was VE Day, and the WWII assessment. Giving assessments also means grading – and homework for me, too.
The end of the year brings closure and squirrely behavior, too. I’ll admit I am looking forward to summer, but not like, I was when I started writing MakingtheDaysCount.org. With 20 days remaining in the year – not counting weekends or Memorial Day – I am constantly reminding my charges that summer goes much more quickly than time in school. Especially for me.
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
I missed writing last weekend. Truly. We went away for the weekend – we went north to the cottage. I had a lot to say, or so I thought. Somehow, time got away from me and I didn’t write. In fact, I didn’t even open my laptop. I existed solely on my iPad and phone; and did precious little on them. It was time to restore – a time to rest and relax.
It was our last long weekend of winter and we wanted to head up north for one last snowy weekend. The kids could ski, snowboard, and play in the snow. I know we had a lot of snow here, but it is different up north. B and I could relax and just breathe. We did all that, but the kids didn’t ski or snowboard: they did play in the snow and had fun outside, even Ivy got into the mix playing in the snow. We had a fire Saturday night and I cooked. Just as dinner was ready, we sat down to play cards. Then, some of our lake friends joined us; and we played a very spirited card game. The rules are somewhat confusing, but it is a favorite of our friends and we’ve enjoyed playing it at their cottage. I am not sure what it is called, it probably has several names, but it is a lot of fun. The card game involves a separate deck for each player but there is a place to play on everyone’s hand. Each player plays on their hand but the goal is to get rid of your cards and play them in the middle on the group’s cards. You get points for playing in the middle and the winner is declared when they have cleared their own cards. The game moves quickly and players have to be paying attention. Regardless, it was a lot of fun and when it was over, and we had a winner, we sat down to dinner and the Winter Olympics.
I have enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics. I have always enjoyed the Olympics. Continue reading Priorities
I blinked and my week was over. It seems like I was up North yesterday pulling the dock out, cleaning the garage, and tidying things up for the long winter or maybe the day before, but that isn’t possible, it was a week ago and a week has passed in blink of an eye.
I must have the best job in the world; no, I have the best job in the world. Continue reading Blink