Thursday, January 30, 2014

On This Date in 1999 (January 30)

We stayed out until 11:30. JoAnna and I came out even playing cards. She won $10; I lost $10, $4 in one hand. Double on the bump, as they say in sheepshead lingo, which I’m not about to explain to you. Just let me say that the great hand I thought I had wasn’t good enough.

The boys were still up when we returned home, still handling the controls of the Playstation game. They are really into this electronic toy. I probably should have paid it for babysitting.

Andy’s basketball game (the real, live version) went into overtime. The first quarter didn’t seem to promise this kind of excitement, Middleton scoring only one basket and trailing 8-2 after the first 7 minutes of play. They showed a little bit of improvement in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents 9-8, but still behind 16-11. Our guys kept chipping away at the lead so by the fourth quarter each of the team’s best guns, Johnny Strnad for Middleton, and no. 21 for Madison West, scored baskets at will. Middleton was down 34-32 with a 9 seconds left when Andy Frasier drove in for a lay-up to tie the score. In the 3-minute overtime period, Middleton nailed down a victory by holding their opponents scoreless. Final score 40-34. The fans on both sides of the bleachers were on their feet at the end of the game. It was a well-played and well-coached game, a gratifying win for Middleton, a tough loss for Madison.

Super Bowl Sunday, and I’m sitting in the family room, alone, in front of the computer, with the TV off. Shouldn’t I be arrested or something? Eddie’s in the kitchen watching the Sylvester and Tweety Bowl on the Cartoon Network. Now there’s an inspired example of counter-programming. JoAnna’s taking a nap, the TV in the bedroom tuned to American Movie Classics. Andy’s the only member of the family who’s getting into the spirit of this special day in sports. He and some other friends were invited to watch the game at Tim’s house, Tim’s weekend house, that is, where he lives with the mom and stepdad in Verona, about a 15-minute drive from here. The group gathered there will watch the game on a big-screen TV.

We’ve enjoyed an almost spring-like weekend with lots of sunshine and temperature approaching the 40-degree mark. In spite of this thaw, we still have at least a 4-inch cover of snow on the ground, as I look out the sliding-glass doors to my left and inspect the back yard. JoAnna and I never did complete the task of organizing the garage that was on our to-do list yesterday. I couldn’t think of a compelling reason to jump the gun on spring cleaning. I preferred to stretch out on the couch and get back into the book I’m currently reading. Saving Grace, by Lee Smith, tells the story of a charismatic backwoods preachers in North Carolina who specializes in serpent-handling during his “performances”. The story is told from the point of view of his daughter. I think you might enjoy this book, Mom. The author very effectively recreates the crackling atmosphere of a rural revival service, as well as the struggles of an itinerant family living on the cusp of poverty. Smith has written about 8 novels. The only other one of hers I’ve read is The Devil’s Dream, somewhat of a fictionalized biography of the country singer Patsy Cline, at least that’s how it impressed me.

Andy’s team won another nail-biter this afternoon against Mount Horeb, 45-41. Middleton is turning into quite a scrappy team. Today they were down 12-5 after the first quarter but fought their way back to take a 1-point lead at the half. They have become a never-say-die team.

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