Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On This Date in 1999 (March 12)

Since I’m working on Sunday, I decided to take the afternoon. On the way home, I stopped at Pasqual’s and ordered a Fiesta Quesadilla to go, one of my favorite entrees. I planned to sit at the kitchen table and savor every mouthful while watching the NCAA matchup of Wisconsin vs. Southwest Missouri State. By the time I tuned in, the first half was already half over and the score was only 6-4, Wisconsin trailing. Things only got worse from this point. The Badgers must have left their offense in Madison. It took them most of the first half to score ten points. They made only 3 of 19 field goals, 0 of 9 three-point attempts. It was too painful to watch. I turned off the TV and started to tidy up the house, put a load of whites into the washer, cleaned the dirty dishes left over from breakfast, and made a mental list of what I need to do to clear the clutter off my desk.

The boys just returned home from school. Andy immediately tuned in the Badger game, even though I told him he wasn’t going to like what he saw. Eddie probably tuned in the Cartoon Network on the kitchen TV.

Andy and I had a conference with his teacher after school on Wednesday. He’s been slackin’ off, not writing down his homework in his assignment notebook, bringing home mediocre grades on tests – very similar to what happened last year at this time. His teacher is especially concerned because the last quarter of 5th grade focuses on getting her students ready for middle school, accepting responsibility, not always having to be told what to do. I see Andy starting to wander down the road I chose, where the destination is whatever you can get away with, not reaching your full potential. I’m not overly concerned, though. In spite of all the detours I took in my life, I’m very happy with where I am now. I certainly have taken it to the limit in Wisconsin as far as my career is concerned: Librarian of the Year, Wisconsin Library Association President, teaching as a second career. Of course, my accomplishments don’t even come close to what JoAnna has done. The main reason JoAnna was offered the position of Department of Justice Legislative Liaison was that the current Attorney General, Jim Doyle, plans to run for governor in 2002 and wants one of the state’s most astute political operatives on his staff.

Funny thing. After ten weekends of basketball, I was looking forward to this activity-free weekend. At least that’s what I thought. Now, believe it or not, I almost wish Andy was playing in another tournament. His game improved so much over the last few weeks of the season. It was so much fun to watch him play.

JoAnna and I attended the world premiere of the movie The Deep End of the Ocean on Tuesday evening. The author, Jacquelyn Mitchard is from Madison. The book was Oprah Winfrey’s first book club selection. The premiere was a benefit for the Dane County public libraries and probably raised more than $20,000. A reception and silent auction was held at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Unitarian Church from 5 to 7, followed by a showing of the movie at a nearby theater at 8. We gave the movie a thumbs-up. JoAnna had read the book and I had listened to the book on tape version. We both thought that the movie was very true to the book. No Hollywood liberties taken here. You might want to give the book a try, Mom. I can’t guarantee you’ll like it, though. The subject matter, three-year-old kidnapped son who is “rediscovered” nine years later, is not for readers who like their fiction light and easy to digest. 

[Letter not completed and sent as Dad died on Sunday, March 14th.]

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