Sunday, March 06, 2011

Chilly Weekend in Southern Illinois

Two pairs of stockings. Two pair of slacks. Two tops covered with corduroy jacket. Warm snuggly gloves, Warm hat down over my ears and to the top of my glasses. And a winter coat over it all. That’s how I dressed yesterday to go to Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s first home softball game.

We awoke to a very rainy Saturday and learned Erin and others were hard at work with the squeegee trying to get the field ready for their home tournament. Although I was ready to jump in the car and make it to the stadium if they played at 12 as originally scheduled, Gerald and I did not think that was going to happen as the light rain kept coming off and on. So I fixed our lunch and learned the noon game was cancelled, two teams were playing at 2, and SIUC would be playing the Kentucky Wildcats at 4.

Our car showed the temperature as 40 degrees when we parked it, and I felt smug that I knew how to dress for cold weather as we walked to the stadium. Inside we were able to find plastic seats with backs as opposed to the aluminum benches that are tortuous on cold days. Obviously not too many people were willing to brave this chill after it finally quit raining. Immediately I realized I had forgotten the most important thing for cold weather softball: bring a blanket to cover up with. I thought longingly of all the wasted blankets at home, but I also noticed others with less warm gear than us. I decided not to whine. The Kentucky team had a young but fine pitcher, and after six straight wins away from home, our Salukis lost 9-6.

It was still 40 degrees when we got back to the car. When Erin met us afterwards at Fazoli’s for supper, we knew we had made the right choice. The bread sticks came to us almost too hot to hold, but they sure felt good to winter-cold hands,

Georgia’s tournament games were cancelled yesterday, and we figured Gerry was wishing he could have gone with Vickie, Geri Ann, and Gma Shirley to his third grandson’s first birthday party. We would have liked to have been there for that also, but it was just too much of a trip and we had other obligations.

Usually I only assist my young friend Kim Barger with the preschoolers in our Sunday School class, but she was away taking her mother on a long dreamed of cruise. Despite her mother’s health problems, Kim had permission from her doctor after explaining a cruise was on her mother’s bucket list. With all three of her daughters, her brother and wife, and some grandkids on the cruise, I am feeling confident that Joan will come home very happy even if exhausted from the trip. I am eager to hear about it.

That left me and Deana Starnes responsible for our preschoolers. Since we were studying Genesis 1 about God making the light and the dark, our activities focused on that. We had some cards with pictures on both sides to illustrate night and day and with punched holes for the kids to lace through with yarn. I am not sure this group had ever done that before, and they enjoyed it and immediately decided to take the cards home for their mothers.

Last week, they had been using some toy plastic saws during their free play, and I did not like their trying to saw on the little red rocker because I was pretty sure it was going to be scratched. Kim brought some short pieces of lumber for children to hammer nails into when we talked once about building a couple of years ago. But those were no longer available. So Gerald made us short blocks to saw on out of some of the scraps of lumber in his shop. The kids appreciated that.

SIUC was playing today at 1 and 4; and although Gerald was tempted to go back over to see them play, today the temperature was 30 degrees, so he chose to stay home and listen to Georgia’s game. They won, and SIUC split their games today.

I went in to see Katherine, and she and I watched Robert Duvall in the 1983 movie Tender Mercies, which won him an Academy Award for Best Actor. I so rarely watch movies that I knew nothing about the movie. We both liked the understated way the film showed time lapses with no attempt to bridge the scenes together letting us do that in our own minds. I loved the set with a realistic house so like many homes I have seen. Katherine commented that the brown and white afghan on the living room couch was just like one in their closet passed down from David’s grandmother

Gerald and I met up this evening to hear his friend Wendell Garrison’s sermon. Katherine was not quite up to getting ready in time to go, but she wanted to free up David to go and pick up Sam who would be there after his youth meeting. I wanted to stay with her, but she wanted me to go be with Gerald. She also wanted some alone time and this was her opportunity. During the afternoon, she had enjoyed the yummy brownies that Mary had sent home with David for her this morning. Mary says she loves to cook, and sending homemade food is her ministry. I was able to tell her how much Katherine enjoyed them as I bet the whole family did after evening church. We’ve made plans to go to lunch with Wendell and Mary soon and are looking forward to the opportunity to visit a little longer.

Gerald suggested going for a sandwich before driving to the farm; and since I had nothing at home to feed him except what I had fed us at lunch, that seemed a good idea.

After coming home tonight, I discovered that Tender Mercies was directed by Australian Bruce Beresford who did Driving Miss Daisy and another of my all-time favorites Breaker Morant. Somehow finding that out gave me a pleasant ending to the day.

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