Friday, August 24, 2007

Football Friday Night

Yes, I know it's Friday, so this should be named
"Football Thursday Night" but I'm reaching for a bit of consistency here, and regular season games are on Friday, so bear with me.

Last night was Brentwood's traditional last preseason game, the John Hancock Academy Fall Football Kickoff Classic. It's a basic jamboree-type series of ballgames over a three day period. Area teams play 4 ten minute quarters with no kicking game and coaches in the backfield watching.

This has been the first time Boy and his junior teammates have been able to play in the Kickoff- it's been rained out the past two years. Of course, when we could use a little monsoon rain, none appeared. So we played.

Of course, we like a tough match. None tougher than the Trinity Christian Academy of Dublin, the State AA champions. The Trojans are older and bigger than most of our guys, and their star running back is 6'4, weights 220 and runs a 4.5 "4o". He plowed through our line. Boy got a few licks on him, though--that was fun.

We finally got into gear in the 4th quarter. By
then, they had scored 4 times, but it was nice to see Boy run up the gut for 30 yards, then run a classic fullback sweep for a touchdown.


But Coach emails that he is pretty happy after looking at the films this morning. A tough workout is always nice before the true beginning of the season, and as Trinity is in another region, we won't come across them until playoff time.

Next week, John Hancock comes to play on our newly-resodded-with leftover-Super-Bowl-Sod field. Yes, Super Bowl sod. The grower, Phillip Jennings, is a friend of the school. He grows about 5 extra acres "just in case", and this year, he donated the extras to Brentwood. Eagle Field looks like a putting green. It's amazing. Pics next week.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


My friend Seth left for Iraq yesterday.

This time three years ago, he was beginning his senior year in high school. Starting quarterback and defacto leader of the football team. All in all, a great athlete at whatever sport in which he was participating.

We got to know him pretty well as he spent time at our house with other members of the varsity and junior varsity football teams. He housesat for us-and only once were the cops called for an over-the-top party.....He can tell that story, though--let's just say we got to know him well.

Outside of sport, though, he really didn't give too much of a damn about anything. A mediocre student (at best) he muddled through. Outside of class, he was a big goof, a clown, a showoff. Your basic small-town, truck-drivin', redneck jock.

After graduating from high school, he partied the summer away and went off to college, the beginnings of a beer gut already established. The parties were great, the girls were great, but the classes weren't. He was pretty aimless.

He announced one day that college wasn't for him. He wanted to go into the Marines.

Most everyone around these parts stood slack-jawed. Graduates of a prep school, even as small as Brentwood, go to college and get degrees. They don't go into the military. People 'round here raised their eyebrows, sighed deeply, shook their heads--"whatever was he thinking?"

My husband and I were among a small group that welcomed the idea. Grumpy Guy and I looked at each other when we "heard Seth's news"- and almost simultaneously said "what a fabulous idea." GG spent four years in the Army, repaying an ROTC college scholarship, so we knew the lifestyle that would be imposed on Seth if he made it through marine bootcamp. We both thought it's just what he needed.

The change in Seth in nine months as a Marine has been nothing short of miraculous. This big goof of a guy who thought life was full of beer drinking, parties, and clowning around has become a soft-spoken, sincere, quiet, reflective, determined man. He's stronger than ever, with a focus that I have never seen in him. He has a mission. He had a purpose in life. He has a path.

Seth was here last week, before he went to North Carolina to ship out. He spent alot of time up at school, talking to the football team, visiting his little brother's and sisters' classes, just visiting with everyone. He made a point to give me a bearhug, shake GG's hand and spend a few minutes alone with us, telling us all about his trip ahead and what he will be doing. Then he gave me one more hug, a little tighter this time, told me he loved us, and went off with his dad.

So my friend Seth is in Iraq.

Whatever your feelings on “global peacekeeping”, remember the men and women who are voluntarily going out to defend the way of everyday life we Americans so often take for granted- the ability to make choices for ourselves and for our children, to decide the course of our lives, to shape our lives and make them fulfilling as we see fit.

And to help make it possible for others to make those types of decisions for themselves and their families as well. To give others the freedoms that are so easy for us here.

The next time you are tired, hot, miserable, cranky, achy or just feeling blah-try to remember how lucky you are to be an American. To be free. To have someone like Seth willing to make sure you stay that way.

And, please, keep Seth and those like him in your prayers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What's On the Needles Wednesday

Or more importantly----What's OFF the needles!!

Numero Uno--a finished, albeit unblocked Baby Princess Blanket!

She hasn't been washed and blocked yet, which will make her stitches even and the lace even lacier, but la belle, c'est fini!!!!! As of 5:30pm yesterday.

And not a moment too soon....the neighbors are packing their overnight bags as I type because daughter-in-law has gone into labor two weeks early. As of 5:30 this morning.

(12 hours??? Maybe I should advertise this to my expectant friends-I finish your blanket, you go into labor.)

Nothing else has changed, still twisted lace and Ballerina,and I am desperately fighting "start-itis", wanting to at least start a pair of socks. The new Rockin' Sock Club shipment is due out next week and I haven't even started the last pair.

I am destashing. For you non-knitters, a knitter's stash is yarn accumulated with no particular project in mind. Knitters have Stash Enhancement eXperiences, especially at wool and fiber festivals. Knitters with enormous stashes suffer from SABLE- Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. In a vain attempt to avoid the latter, I have gone through my stash, and am packing it off, half to a friend's daughter who has taken up crochet, and half to Interim House in Philadelphia.

Interim House is a drug rehab program for low-income women. I learned about the program through a knitting site. Everyone participating in the program has to learn to knit or crochet as part of the therapy....a way of working through problems, learning patience, learning the value of quiet and reflection, thinking through things, finishing tasks and seeing results.

I sent them a box full of stash last year- everything I knew I would never use- old needles, patterns, acrylic yarns bought at "Mr. Sam's Store"--stuff like that. The director took the trouble to track down my phone number and call me personally to thank me- really impressed me. It was really a kick to go to their website six months later and see some of my old stash knitted up into these women's projects...made me feel really great.

Check it out...

They do great work at Interim House, and have a much higher-than-average success rate. I like to think it's because of the needlesports.

Maybe it is the little things -from sending strangers yarn to finishing a present two weeks early- that make a difference after all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Football Mania

My son plays football.

No, not just plays. LIVES. Eats, sleeps, exercises football.

When he was born, he wasn't going to ever play football. I had worked too hard for too long on that brain. Besides, I had a football history. My brothers played football. I watched, standing next to my mother watching them play football. My mother was a possessed woman when my brothers were on the field. Standing, never sitting- she was way too into the game to stay seated. When she would get excited, she would grab my arm. And yank. And yank and yank and yank. My shoulder sockets have never recovered.

When he was little, we lived "at the north". Northerners play soccer. Good ol' tackle football doesn't really exist until boys are a little older.

We returned to Georgia when Boy was in fourth grade. All his classmates played football, so he wanted to as well. And an obsession was born.

He lifts weights all year. He eats right all year. He stays in shape all year. For football.

Doesn't hurt that he's good at it. He the starting fullback and one of the starting outside linebackers. If we could just get some weight on him- he's been stuck at 5'10' and 160# for a year now, and the coaches would like to see him nearer 200. And, oh, the bruises, hematomas, scrapes and gouges he comes home with. Broken thumbs, high ankle sprains, trips to the doctor, advil, x-rays, tape, padding, wraps, epsom salts, whirlpools. But it doesn't stop him.

The problem is that his playing football has created a monster. Me. I have become obsessed. I even went to Georgia's "Football 101 for Women" camp this summer. I played center, so I would get to know more about what Boy does, and how his teammates help him. It was the most fun I've had in years. And, yes, those Georgia linemen are the size of Sub-Zero refrigerators, and Coach Richt is just as nice in person as he seems. But that's another story- I just sent off my registration for next year's camp.

I stand. I don't sit. I'm way too into the game to stay seated. When I get excited, I grab Grumpy Guy's arm. And yank.

I have become my mother.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What Happened to the Weekend?

In all seriousness, I feel like I missed the past 54+ hours.

How can a well-educated, well-read, intelligent woman of my years have NOTHING to show for two and one-half days of her life??

It seems I spent all day Saturday in a vain attempt to pick up the house. It still looks the same.

I spent most of the day yesterday working on the baby blanket while watching the entire miniseries "The Way We Live Now" (thank you Netflix for having so many Masterpiece Theatre-type dvds). It still looks the same.

We did manage to take Girl and two friends to see "The Invasion" with Nicole Kidman. It was ok, but is the fourth remake of the book "The Body Snatchers"- so, basically, it still looks the same.

Guess the only thing around here that doesn't look the same is Boy's truck. Grumpy Guy, aka "wonder dad" did it while trying a little landscape removal. GG's truck, affectionately known as Babe, is recovering at WACO Collision Repair from taking on half a bradford pear during a windstorm. So he decided to use Boy's pride and joy.

Nice One, Dad.

To Boy's credit, his reaction was "it's okay-it's no big deal. It'll get fixed. Are you okay?"

Nice One, Boy.

Oh, yeh, I forgot to mention----

(Fullback in the black socks)-
More tomorrow.