Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Play ball!

Our lake was bright green this morning with gentle waves heading south. Yesterday took care of the last of the ice patches. At mid-morning, the south end of the lake with the sun beating down, the surface was a mass of glistening dancing silver. Except the many with the flu, people were out and about yesterday to enjoy the warm sunshine. With Erin in Houston this past weekend for Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s first softball tournament, and Gerald and our nephew DuWayne attending the tournament at University of Georgia’s stadium, spring seemed to have arrived.

Tara and her three boys had not been able to resist going down for this special weekend to take part in celebrating her sister Geri Ann’s 17th birthday. In fact, Aidan told her, “Mom, we have to go. I’ll help you.” I am not sure if he felt that way because of the opening of softball season, Aunt G’s birthday, or because he was lonesome for Grandma Vickie and Grandpa Gerry. Probably all three. Since the Georgia Dawgs won their five games, it was a successful weekend down there. (SIUC won two out of three.)

The two Illinois cars traveled back here in tandem until Gerald and DuWayne turned to drop off DuWayne. So Tara beat Gerald to Woodsong shortly after midnight and carried in three sleeping boys one at a time. I had gone downstairs to greet them when they arrived, and I took Payton from his car seat and held him briefly after he started crying when his mother left him to bring in sleeping Maddux from his car seat. It did not help since I was not the one Payton was crying for.

By then, Maddux was slightly awake and also crying, but Tara soon had him soothed and back to sleep in the portable crib waiting for him. (He needs to sleep in a room away from the others, so Payton gets the baby bed that we borrowed from Mary Ellen many years ago.) Last Tara carried in Aidan, who quickly kicked off his shoes and put himself to bed. Only when Tara took Payton again, did he stop crying, and she soon had all three children asleep in a very brief time.

I was in my pajamas and went back upstairs and crawled in our bed and was already asleep before Gerald arrived shortly later. We both were hoping to get a glimpse of Tara and the little ones this morning, but we knew it would be best if we did not because they had to leave at six to get Aidan home for his preschool Valentine party that was very important to him. Maddux had a hard time understanding why Gerald could not take him for a ride on the little tractor smoothing out the ball field at the stadium, and since he did not have a valentine party awaiting him, he would have probably never understood why Gerald couldn’t give him a ride here at the farm. As it turned out, even though Gerald went down at 6:15, they were already gone and on their way north. When he connected with them by cell phone later, they had gone through the drive-in for breakfast several towns above us. I bet Aidan made his party.

I enjoyed the weekend and especially seeing Sam play on his church league basketball team Saturday afternoon. I’d heard how good he had gotten and had not been in to see him in his night games. Dave, Katherine, and I went out to eat afterwards, but Sam had been invited to his buddy Josh’s house to partake of some special cookies awaiting there. He felt a little deprived when he learned we’d gone out to eat, but we took him home some chicken and dumplings that he especially likes from Cracker Barrel.

The women at our village church who always plan a Valentine party for the kids had decided the most efficient way for families was to simply stay after the morning service yesterday. The fellowship hall was beautifully decorated for the occasion and we all enjoyed barbecues along with carried-in covered dishes and desserts. While adults visited after the meal, there were special activities for the kids with the teens helping them. We were glad for many visitors since some of our kids were home sick. I had left-over chocolate cake to share with Eddy and to take in to the Cedars.

So when the festivities were over, I drove in to Katherine and David’s house and enjoyed an afternoon visit with them. Dave had to get his car serviced for a special trip he and Sam are taking tomorrow, so I got to drive Sam to his afternoon Bible study. I have been occasionally driving him and buddies to and from places since pre-K days, and I am only too aware that in two years he will definitely not want me to drive him anywhere. But if I am lucky, he may drive me occasionally. He knows I am counting on that. Katherine was not feeling well after a rough morning, so she and I watched television on the big screen while her men folks were away at their evening church service. I came home to check softball scores on the computer and finish reading the Sunday paper and other diversions until Tara arrived.

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