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Today marked the second weekly meeting of combatants of the Dodgeball season. Our church sponsors the event which has taken on a life of its own. The first week, only Lovely Daughter's team (The Flaming Jalapanos, a.k.a Fish in a Barrel) had bothered to accessorize with matching shirts, shorts and socks. This week, it seemed that every team had matching shirts--many with humorous nicknames of the players. Needless to say, it was another slaughter. The F.J.'s were pitted against the '05 Battalion, a fierce warlike nemesis. Their theme was, "No Mercy". They even resorted to kamikaze tactics where one player would kneel on all fours at the line and the kamikaze would run and jump off his back into Jalapano territory. While in the air, the kamikaze would hurl the dodgeball at the opposition. Of course, the kamikaze would be out for going over the line, but usually one or more Jalapanos would also be hit. The Battalion were loyal to their fellow warriors, however, and would brave hostile fire to drag their wounded off the field of play. And there were some injuries. In another match, one of our own, Mr. Clark, had to be medically evacuated--I think he may have stepped on a mine. Needless to say, all the combatants are nursing their wounds and preparing, both physically and mentally, for next week's battle.
BoyHead has reached one of the memorable milestones in life. I told him at the beginning of the school year, "Get good grades, get a job, and get a car. In that order". We'll he's getting excellent grades--All A's and B's with several advanced classes. Now, he has a job. He starts on Tuesday and will work about three or four days per week (including Saturday's) until school ends. Then, he'll work full-time over the summer. He'll be working at a nearby Country Club as a laborer: mowing lawns, weedeating, cleaning ball washers, moving/cleaning carts and the always dreaded "additional duties as assigned". It was so exciting to see the glee on BoyHead's face when he told my Mom. At a time when many of his contemporaries are flipping burgers and stuck in a greasy kitchen, I'm glad to know that he'll be rising early, working outside and making decent money. Now that BoyHead has attained two of his three goals for this year, the third one won't be far off. Look for a future installment entitled "BoyHead's New Ride" later this summer.
For many, today is a sad day. Tax Day. A day which stirs up anger and ire at the amount of money that the government confiscates from all of us. In our family, however, it is a day of celebration. Today is the birthday of my mother-in-law, the mother of my wife, the grandmother of our children, our beloved Marty. Many of the great qualities that my wife possesses, she acquired from Marty--not the least of which is her artistic abilities. For Marty's birthday, Lovely Wife created a masterpiece. Some might say, "she painted a picture of a bird". But it's much more than that. First, let's start with the frame. It started as a regular, ordinary, two-bit frame. Then, L.W. made it regal. She applied gold leaf and then antiqued it. The frame, by itself, is quite remarkable. Then there's the painting. The bird. But, not just an ordinary bird--a cardinal. You see, Marty and Wayne are avid birdwatchers and the cardinal is one of their favorite birds. This was truly a gift of love. When I remarked to someone that it was like a professional painting, they responded, "it is a professional painting". Bully!.
Spring, glorious spring. The time of rebirth, renewal and...Dodgeball. Yes, sportsfans it's time for the Western St. Charles County Dodgeball Classic. A fast-paced game of skill, cunning and agility. Unfortunately, Lovely Daughter's team has none of the foregoing attributes. But, they have cute. There they were all decked out in their matching shirts, shorts and socks. They were clearly the winners in the fashion department, unfortunately, there are no style points in Dodgeball. They were up against football players. Big, strong football players with good arms. The girls, alas, threw like girls. Their official name is "The Flaming Jalapanos", but I thought they should be renamed "Fish in a Barrel".
There comes a time in the life of each and every little seedling when he/she must leave the nest. They must be able to make it on their own, out from under the roof of Mom and Dad. For my young tomato plants, the time has finally come. Enough of the warmth and protection of their basement window. Enough safety from the ravages of blight, drought and rabbits. They must make their own way in the world. I only hope they reward me with numerous grandkids.
It's, by far, my favorite time of the year. The trees bloom so tremendously. The grass shoots up and turns a vivid green. The meteorology is fantastic this time of year too. Spring storms are very much fun to watch on RADAR and in person. [Here is a picture of a storm I took several years ago (June 12, 1998, to be exact). BoyHead and I decided to go chasing some supercells (basically, rotating thunderstorms) that were in the neighborhood. This particular one dropped a small tornado shortly after this picture]...but I digress. Spring is simply the lovliest time of the year here in the midwest. Nice crisp, cool days--sunny and dry. It's warm enough to go outside, but not so hot that you'll melt. Winter's over. Done. Abruptly kaput. No more frigid days or late night snows to worry about. Wish you all were here.
Pip pip, cheerio and all that sort of rubbish. The Ladies are having an elegant and perfectly proper English Tea--and a multigenerational one at that. Grandma had a (reportedly) lovely visit with Li'l Bro 'n Annie. We're lucky that we have such a loving and helpful family that we are able to do such nice things for each other. Many others don't have it so good, so count your lucky stars. Hey, thank God too--he had a hand in all this, you know.
It only comes, but once a year. Since this year was very special (my 42nd year) Sister Kim, Cap'n Nate and the tribe made their way from the prairie to attend the festivities. We feasted on ribeyes. I opened presents. I blew out candles and ate ice cream cake. All in all, it was a very special event. It was made even more special, however, with the arrival of "The Reluctant Moose". But the best part, really--no, really--was spending the weekend with my family whom I love very much.