Tag Archives: Nostalgia

Confessions of a Really Bad Sport

Are you a good sport?

I’m not. Never have been.

As a preschooler, I pitched horrendous hissy fits when I pinned the tail on the donkey’s nose.

Worse, I adopted questionable ways of winning. I recall playing jacks at age four with Meddy, a “big kid” of five. When Meddy dropped a jack or misbounced the ball, I loudly denounced her “misses.” My similar miscues, however, were “mistakes.” People who made mistakes deserved another chance. Several, in fact.

Meddy suggested a new game: Throw Rachael Off the Top of the Swing Set. She was good at that game. I wasn’t the best sport.

I graduated to towering rages while playing Monopoly — not my fault. My brother manufactured counterfeit five-hundred-dollar bills under his bunk bed. He spent every penny building vast empires around Park Place and Boardwalk. When his cash flow disappeared, I bought his lousy railroads and utilities with carefully hoarded cash. In turn, I believed he’d ignore my landing on his hotels.

Wrong. He nailed me. I, the prudent, generous developer, always lost.

Since his counterfeiting skills didn’t figure into playing Clue, I fared better. Still, I rejected the candlestick as a weapon. What respectable murderer knocked off people with candlesticks?

After ten losses in an afternoon, I smacked both my brother and my cousin with the playing board. Hey, it made more sense than using a candlestick.

I even extended my winning obsession to church. Boy vs. girl penny contests at Bible school inspired me. I emptied my piggy bank, dug under sofa cushions, and shook down neighbor kids so we angelic girls could beat those devilish boys to send money to missionaries. Somehow, I confused the bring-a-visitor-to-church competitions with TV cowboy westerns. We kids even sang songs urging us to “bring them in.” How was I to know “dead or alive” didn’t apply?

Eventually, I grew up. Fair play, teeth-gritting congratulations to those who bested me, and missionary giving sans mugging all became the norm.

Recently, I played Scrabble with our grown children. As I was an English major, this self-designed scenario should have resulted in another victory notch in my diploma.

But all the vowels had been called to jury duty. During game two, all consonants were outsourced overseas. I proposed new rules: If other players used an X, they lost five tiles. If I drew a Z, though, I received five bonus tiles.

My narrow-minded offspring nixed my innovations. Their proposal: If I drew a Q, all U’s found among my tiles were to be held in custody until 3012 or until peace prevails in the Middle East, whichever comes first.

Maybe we both just made mistakes?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you a good sport?

Cleaning Confrontation

Who wants to clean out a refrigerator and chest freezer?

Blown light bulbs conveniently have kept me in the dark about their sad state. I grabbed diet Pepsi or pizza, slamming doors before tentacles could yank me inside.

But now, with the garden producing, I can’t feed my veggies to whatever life forms lurk there.

Confrontation time.

I need hot water and disinfectant. Rubber gloves. Body armor. Samurai sword. Hey, past-expiration-by-a-decade cottage cheese gets testy when evicted.

I cover the body armor with an apron, à la June Cleaver. This secret weapon of all women in 1950s TV sitcoms empowered June to do housework while wearing high heels and pearls. It will grant me added protection.

Hubby’s grandma sewed this apron that gives me courage to clean out our refrigerator and freezer.

Besides, Hubby’s grandma sewed this apron. Though gentle, she fought a fierce, lifelong war against dirt and germs. Her spirit pokes me with a scrub brush and urges me to be strong.

Grabbing my sword, I crack the fridge’s door.

Nothing.

I throw it open.

Ack! Half-filled bottles of lavender salad dressing. Pudding that resembles petri dishes. Mashed potatoes that give a whole new meaning to “green vegetable.”

Did something move?

I slam it shut and venture into the garage, where the freezer resides. I open it. No tentacles.

I summon Golden Oldies to inspire me. A rhythmic tune dances me across the garage—

“Mission Impossible.”

So much for inspiration.

My Cold War almost morphs into peaceful coexistence, especially when the song changes to “One-Eyed, One-Horned, Flying, Purple People Eater.” Will Hubby find nothing left but my eyeglasses and piles of defrosted food? Will he weep more for losing me or pot roasts?

Thankfully, the music changes to the Star Wars theme. Retying my mighty apron, I plunge into the freezer’s alternative universe. I see furry-looking, amorphous packages, their age detectable only by carbon dating. Each evokes a question:

  • Why did I shred four dozen bags of zucchini? Hubby hates zucchini bread, and I probably shouldn’t eat 50 pounds.
  • Did this tuna casserole pre-exist with God in the beginning?
  • Do holiday turkeys grow exponential sets of giblets?

I toss out piles of mystery food, moving to “You’re No Good” and “Hit the Road, Jack.” I use endless elbow “Grease,” but eventually graduate to “Splish Splash,” reveling in unfamiliar spotlessness.

I saved the giblets for a game of H-O-R-S-E, shooting them into trash cans in the driveway.

Oops. I hit a garbage guy.

My apology had better be good. Given summer heat, I really, really want him to haul my melting mess away.

Fortunately, he doesn’t take my poor aim personally. He only wants to flee. So, cans are dumped in haste. The truck roars off to “Hey hey hey, goodbye. …”

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you make housework fun?

T.C. Steele, Mother Haines and Not-So-Partly Cloudy

Not long ago, while we were camping in southern Indiana, it rained. And rained.

So much for “partly cloudy.”

We had loitered in every restaurant within 50 miles. Where to now?

Artistic inspiration struck me. “Let’s visit the T.C. Steele historic site!”

Forty years before, Clara Haines, known at our church as “Mother Haines,” had recommended it. We college students had heard she dabbled in painting, but she obviously spent most of her time starching doilies.

One brief visit to her home opened our eyes and minds. Doilies adorned tables, but paintings covered the walls. Glowing colors pulled us into sun-dappled landscapes and stark snow scenes.

Our young jaws dropped. “You painted these?”

She nodded and said she’d learned to paint from T.C. Steele. She encouraged us to see his home and works.

Steve hiking in the Hoosier National Forest.

Four decades later, we did.

We’d never viewed Steele’s Rembrandt-like portraits. Wealthy Indianapolis patrons had been immortalized by his brush, some of whom now regarded us with lifelike interest.

But Steele’s Impressionist late-nineteenth/early-twentieth-century Hoosier landscapes nailed us to the floor. I stared until I needed extra eye drops. How Steele had loved his native state!

As do we.

While hardly luxurious, the Steeles’ “House of the Singing Winds,” with its Victorian rugs, player piano and stuffed peacock kept their bewildered neighbors’ tongues wagging.

Living in log cabins, the Brown County natives must have considered their new neighbors aliens. This man didn’t work — just painted pretty pictures. Whoever heard of a woman who couldn’t cook? Instead of raising food, she planted hundreds of flowers.

Though only 50 miles from their native Indianapolis, the Steeles must have felt likewise.

Yet, walking through her gardens between downpours, we saw that Selma loved her adopted home, remaining years after her husband died. Selma also moved an 1875 log cabin to her property. Knowing its history — the cabin’s owner had raised seven children there with one wife and 11 with another — perhaps Selma considered it a reminder that regardless of hard adjustments, they could have been worse!

Selma Steele’s formal gardens are designated a “Historic Iris Preservation Society Display Garden.” Visitors to the T.C. Steele State Historic Site can walk the gardens, tour the home and visit Steele’s studio. https://tcsteele.org/visit/

We bought a print of one of Steele’s winter scenes because it reminded us of Mother Haines’ similar landscapes and her comment: “Painting snow sounds easy. But I used 23 colors in that snowbank.”

As Hubby and I sat in the Steeles’ porch swing, we envisioned the Steeles entertaining other painters and students like Clara Haines, then a young mother who braved muddy, treacherous roads in a Model T to learn from the master artist.

Time and effort so well spent. Thank you, T.C. Steele and Mother Haines, for gracing our lives with beauty 40 years later on this not-so-partly-cloudy day.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What artist resonates with your state or area?

Our Normal Vacation

Summer trips with stops at Stuckey’s and Storybook Land. Sleeping in genuine teepees at the Woocheekoochee Warpath Motel — with a swimming pool!

A normal vacation for many kids during the 1960s.

But nobody ever accused my family of normalcy.

Any July morning, Dad might casually inform my mother he planned a family departure to visit his parents in Louisiana. At 8:00 p.m. that day.

Mom would have scorned comparison to that Wonder Woman hussy in bustier and tights, but she herself represented a true marvel. By 8:00 p.m. she had washed and packed clothes. She had canned every ripe tomato and pickle within 20 miles. Pets were exported and schedules rearranged with the decisiveness of a Fortune 500 CEO. Why Mom also cleaned our car remains a mystery. One root beer stand stop, and the station wagon again was infested with French fries, seats freshly graffitied with ketchup.

Her most amazing feat: Mom never hired a hit man to bump off Dad.

Arriving home, he flattened station wagon seats, loaded suitcases and cooler, then stacked us on top.

Dad loved all-night driving because he endured few dollar-eating, time-consuming restaurant stops. No tinkle breaks every two miles. Nothing to interrupt his love song of the open road — after children nodded off.

I often awakened with a sibling’s foot in my ear or an arm strangling me in a half nelson.

Sometimes, I awoke to discover Dad catching a few winks along an unknown highway. Waking siblings — especially the baby — was a capital crime. So, I watched in mingled hope and terror as headlights approached: hope because they lit the darkness; terror because the Hatchet Murderers of America were traveling tonight, too.

Mornings, we played tag under cedars at a Tennessee rest stop while Mom cooked bacon and eggs over a campfire. The smells alone made the all-night drive worth it.

After crossing the Mississippi River, we soon stopped outside Monroe, Louisiana. Mom extracted The Washcloth from its plastic bag to scrub us, making us smell as if we’d spent the night in a dumpster. Still, it ranked above spit and shine with The Kleenex, Mom’s substitute if she forgot The Washcloth.

Dad called Grandma from a phone booth. We all knew this dialogue by heart.

“Mama, we’re in Louisiana.”

“No, you’re not.” She’d fallen too many times for his fibs. “You ain’t left Indiana.”

“Mama! We’re just outside Monroe.”

Grandma Oglesbee, wearing the wary expression she usually did when my dad fibbed to tease her.

She didn’t buy it.

Finally, Dad admitted what Grandma had suspected all along: “The car broke down. We haven’t left home.”

“I knew it! Ya’ll think I’m soft in the head.”

His favorite part of “normal” vacation: 30 minutes later, when we pulled into Grandma’s driveway.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What vacation memory can’t you forget?

I’m Not a Scientist

Sometimes I wish I were a scientist, a brainiac whose findings are held sacred.

Writers are not so privileged. If I believed aliens control all printers — especially mine — my family would hide the tinfoil.

Contrariwise, if researchers declared aliens manipulate our printers, the government would offer them millions to also investigate intergalactic control of garage door openers.

Image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay.

Being a scientist would be nice.

But I’ve never displayed much aptitude. As a child, I wrote poetry about tigers instead of studying their messy hunting habits. Glittering rocks weren’t geological specimens. In my mind, they morphed into jewels from Ali Baba’s cave. The TV weatherman, with mysterious, loopy drawings, was a wizard wearing a suit. Unlike Jesus, he couldn’t stop storms. But he sure knew how to stir them up.

My world intrigued me — my mother’s roses, summer evenings lit by firefly lanterns, the moon glimmering like the Pearl of Great Price.

However, science teachers wanted me to get up close and personal with germs, gutted frogs and pickled baby pigs.

Planning a college music major, I rejoiced when I’d fulfilled my science requirement. No more icky labs!

However, advanced science and math classes at my school were given extra points. Stuck with a good but downgraded GPA, I considered chemistry and physics, both of which sounded like endless-math disasters. Physics also involved objects striking each other. I already knew too much about that, having totaled Dad’s car. So, I took advanced biology. A bonus: my boyfriend and I became lab partners!

Unlike several in this high school yearbook photo of the
Top Ten students in our graduating class, I was not a
science whiz.

However, he expected me to read the labs before class — what nerve! I discovered we were studying fruit fly (blush!) reproduction. Subconscious sympathy for the insects’ eventual euthanasia made me forget to replace lids on their jars. …

The fruit flies survived longer than our relationship.

My ex-boyfriend/lab partner rejoiced when schedule changes sent me to a different biology class. A tall, math-science type with a cute smile sat across from me. Fortunately, we didn’t become lab partners. Eventually, we dated and attended college together.

When he, a superstar chemistry major, tutored me in unavoidable College Chemistry 100, I always read the material beforehand. With his help, I passed.

A few years later, my tutor became my husband. As he went to medical school, I continued brushes with icky science. Hubby wore the smell of formaldehyde more than aftershave. I laundered lab coats and surgery shoes with mysterious smears. Though he’s now retired, a relative still may approach us while eating out, concerned about Aunt Pearlie Mae’s hemorrhoids.

I am not and never will be gifted with objectivity or a strong stomach.

Being a scientist is a privilege I can live without.

Image by Herney Gómez from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Would you like to be a scientist?

Senior Wannabes

Do you know any senior wannabes?

Underclassmen — especially freshmen — have always envied these advanced aristocrats.

As a lowly 15-year-old with a learner’s permit, I drove with Mom beside me. Seniors, on the other hand, often drove in their own cars, the ultimate in coolness.

While we freshmen sweated Algebra I and basic biology, seniors studied calculus and genetics. They were the star quarterbacks, the strutters on the musical stage, the academic superstars. They wore their steadies’ class rings wound with angora. Their slips didn’t show, their shoestrings didn’t trip them, and when they laughed in the cafeteria, chocolate milk never squirted out their noses.

At our school, they owned the Senior Circle, etched into the floor. Underclassmen caught touching it scrubbed the Circle with toothbrushes while the entire school watched.

Even when a senior, I stepped into the Circle only once — ready to hit the floor if attacked by toothbrushes.

For me, the Senior Circle didn’t live up to its billing.

Neither did the fabled senior year. I still didn’t understand algebra. The starring role in the musical went to somebody else. I achieved my driver’s license, only to have two accidents. I gained the boyfriend, then had to give back the class ring. Graduation was bittersweet, with many goodbyes.

Strangely, reverting to freshman status recharged my batteries. I explored a fascinating, new world: college.

Decades later, I’ve achieved senior status again. Not many wannabes stand in line to join me.

Who signed me up for this senior club when I wasn’t looking? I still don’t know algebra. I hear not-so-distant rumbles about taking drivers’ tests again. (Noooooo!) Starring roles go to younger people.

Where’s the Senior Circle in all this?

Image by Erika Wittlieb from Pixabay.

For many of us, grandchildren light it up like a movie marquee. No angora adorns our rings, but they’ve worn sweet grooves into our fingers and our hearts. Longtime friends, belly-laugh memories, and watch-TV dinners in which we don’t have to be good examples fill our days. Quiet wisdom gained only by those who have walked the road, won and lost — all these and more make our Senior Circle special.

Best of all, the God who drafted 80-year-old Moses to lead a national exodus still inhabits the Senior Circle. He inspired Caleb, a geriatric commando, to conquer a mountain inhabited by giants. He told 87-year-old Anna a secret few knew: the newborn she blessed at the temple was Jesus, the Savior of the world — including seniors.

God urges us to live, grow and achieve, and to look forward to graduation. Yes, it will be bittersweet with many goodbyes.

But we can become heavenly freshmen, exploring the infinite, fascinating world we will inhabit forever with Jesus.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What do you think of growing older?

Adventures with Dad

In honor of Father’s Day, I’m celebrating my dad’s independent spirit. Until a few months before his death at 91, he never ceased seeking new adventure — and scaring his kids spitless.

Mom and Dad on their front porch in 2007.

Visiting my parents lapses me into Louisiana slow-mo. Lounging on their front porch, eating Mom’s peach cobbler, we watch mercury in the ancient thermometer soar. A hound dog snores in the road.

This Mayberry moment feels timeless. But it will disappear faster than my cobbler.

Why?

In a word, Dad.

My 82-year-old father, rocking away, looks harmless. But this man has given his guardian angel a permanent tic.

Dad regales me with his latest exploits. Although my parents rent Great-granddaddy’s homestead from my cousin, Dad claims responsibility for it. One morning, he scaled the heights — “No dizziness a’ tall when I take my pills” — and cleaned gutters.

When I choked and asked why he hadn’t called my cousin, he said, “Why bother her? I got time.”

However, 96-year-old Great-aunt Footsie spotted Dad on the roof. She told him he hadn’t gained a lick of sense over the years. A polite Southern boy, he agreed. Yes, ma’am, he shoulda called a young ’un to do that. No, ma’am, he wouldn’t climb up on the roof again.

Instead, Dad hauled his buzzing chainsaw up a ladder to trim trees. Suddenly, the ladder lurched, and he tumbled. Lying dazed, his life passed before him. Then, enough of that. Dad stood, revved his chain saw, and finished the job.

Now he sniffs the steamy air. “Something smells bad. Smelled it the other day, too.”   

I gag. “Whew. What is it?”

“Don’t know. Thought the cats dragged something dead under the house. Then I wondered if the sewer was leaking. So I—”

Image by Ana Meister from Pixabay.

“You didn’t.”

He did, though deep in these pine woods, rattlesnakes consider a crawl space the ultimate in creature comfort. Still, Dad slithered through under-the-house muck himself.

No snakes.

No plumbing problems.

Now, he inhales again. His eyes widen. “That’s gas. Better check it out.”

Not with a lantern, I hope. Thank God, he calls the propane company, who sends an inspector. The man’s eyes bulge like a frog’s. “Ya’ll got a prob-lem.”

Years before, someone removed a gas heater from the fireplace. He kind of forgot to cap the gas line.

Escaping gas. In the fireplace, where, for three winters, Dad has built his famous infernos.

When my cousin discovers the current excitement, she calls me. “No more home maintenance, y’ hear? Tell him to take up a different hobby.”

As if Dad listens to me.

At least, he permits the repairman to fix this. And because of his alertness, we escape a trial by fire.

Dad ages me with his antics (my true biological age is 213), but he also has played the hero many times.

I’m grateful.

But will I be up for the next visit?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Does your dad age you, too?

Screen Education Then and Now

With the rise of online coursework because of COVID-19, many assume screen education was invented only recently.

Wrong.

Long before the Internet, there were (drumroll, please) classroom movies. Projectors with reels of film shone images onto tipsy screens.

We students sometimes questioned the claim they were educational. Sex ed films we viewed were created in 1920, before sex was invented.

I did enjoy science films. What wasn’t to love about tap-dancing chromosomes?

Movies also promoted catching up on sleep. Sometimes the most exciting part involved counting backward with screen numbers at the beginning and hearing the film’s flap-flap-flap at the end. Or if our instructor wanted to fill the final five minutes of class, he’d bid the AV boy to hit “reverse.” Then, we could watch chromosomes tap dance backward.

During that era, I learned two facts about AV assistants: a) they had to be boys and b) some teachers should have allowed them to also run overheads. Adult attempts often blurred images beyond recognition. Half the time they were upside-down. This new technological advancement really messed with my already math-challenged mind. How did mutant polynomials improve on blackboards and chalk?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Later, as an adjunct professor, I fought with plastic overheads stuck together like Glad® Wrap. At course’s end, my students excelled in one area: I’d taught them to write upside-down.

Screen education during the dark ages. Yay.

Given the current pandemic, we can be thankful modern screen education encompasses all subjects and ages. But even before COVID-19, it was touted as more flexible, more productive, and less expensive than traditional methods.

Screen education provides other unique advantages, e.g., an online student can spend her entire life wearing jammies. When he grows tired of a teacher or subject, he can, with one click, banish the annoyance — until a parent checks his online report card.

My teachers could only fantasize about making me disappear. On difficult days in 2020, those teaching online must be sorely tempted to dispense with an entire class: “Oops. Hit the wrong button.”

However, computers will never take the place of my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Baker, who read stories every day. Or Mr. Carpenter, my band teacher, who encouraged me in music and writing.

They weren’t saints. We students weren’t, either. We pressed each other’s buttons, but we couldn’t click each other off. We dealt with real human beings. Every. Day.

And learned to get along.

During this pandemic, screen learning, originally touted as superior, has generated many tough days for teachers and students alike. Most can’t wait until (drumroll, please) they can resume face-to-face education. Rediscover the joys of the human touch …

More than ever before.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How would you grade screen learning?

Tomato Tales

Image by Renee Gaudet from Pixabay.

I appreciate dedicated farmers and truckers who continue to bring us produce during this challenging time.

Still, grocery-store tomatoes provide fresh gardening inspiration. They also inspired my tomato-loving dad. One February day long ago, he filled egg cartons with dirt. In our mother’s clean kitchen.

Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay.

My siblings and I awaited her fiery, fly-swatter judgment.

Instead, Mom said, “I can almost taste the tomatoes now.”

Dad explained he was planting seeds that would grow into tomato seedlings, which we’d later plant in our garden. Unfortunately, only a few lived.

Though Dad doubted the scrawny survivors would produce, he planted them. One he named Methuselah, after the biblical character who lived 969 years, almost filled our family’s pantry by itself.

Methuselah grew as tall as I and spread out as if king of the tomato patch. Dad often counted more than 70 big, juicy tomatoes on Methuselah’s branches. We hauled bushel basketfuls from the garden until Mom locked us out. After canning for weeks in 90-degree weather, she considered the bumper crop a for-real attack of killer tomatoes.

Decades later, my husband and I relived that abundance when we bought a house with a garden full of tomato plants, heavy with fruit. We would enjoy fresh-tomato goodness — with almost zero work!

I thought.

Eventually, I understood why Mom ran screaming from the patch when new blossoms appeared. Way too many tomatoes! Lacking canning equipment or a freezer, we put dozens outside with a “free” sign.

Still, that tomato-y summer ruined us forever. The following spring, we could hardly wait to raise our own. Where to buy seedlings?

Hubby’s barber shop, the source of all small-town wisdom, supplied the answer. The local Future Farmers of America raised and sold seedlings every May.

Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay.

Since then, we’ve grown tomatoes every year. Red sunshine not only tickles our taste buds during summer, but during winter in homemade spaghetti sauce, chili and stews.

This year, however, the Future Farmers cannot grow seedlings. When Covid-19 first struck, I feared a run on gardening supplies.

Hubby gave me a you’re-so-paranoid look. “It’s not even Easter.”

With a few more gentle (Ahem!) reminders, he tried to order seeds online. Garden websites sang a unanimous song: sold out.

Would a similar run gobble up all seedlings? Would we be condemned to store-bought tomatoes forever?

Having learned his lesson (Always listen to your paranoid wife.), Hubby tracked down and planted tomato seeds. The seedlings will mature too late to plant at the usual time. But we’ll repot and keep them indoors. We’ll share them with others, spoiling them forever for tomatoes that taste like red sunshine — one small way to sweeten this pandemic.

Methuselah would be proud.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite fresh veggie?

I Was a Soccer Mom

Before the quarantine, I beheld a newspaper story that made my body temperature plummet into the single digits. Soccer had invaded our area. Again.

“Calm down.” I took 10 deep breaths. “Your children have flown the nest. And the therapy helped. Really.”

Nevertheless, eight years of soccer mom madness left their mark. My normal (spring?) spectator attire consisted of a ratty sleeping bag guaranteed to repel water, ice and lightning bolts.

Photo by Ollebolle123 from Pixabay.

Even my deceased minivan, God rest its crankshaft, never recovered. Saturday mornings required more gasoline — and strategy — than the Normandy invasion. Because this is the First Commandment of Soccer: Never schedule family members to play in the same hemisphere.

There are other reasons why I still occasionally run screaming from children wearing knee socks.

I’ve never understood the rules. Take “offside,” for example. Does it have something to do with flying? My two children, whose combined weights equaled that of a soccer ball, flew more than they ran.

Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay.

I tended to get upset.

Just a little.

All right, I confess to a deep, dark secret that will forever taint the family name. A referee once had to tell me to shut up.

Actually, he said, “Ma’am, you sit and watch the game. I’ll make the calls.”

To my credit, I feared for the children’s lives. Especially my kid’s!

The referee did not see that big, husky kid boot the smaller kid into the air instead of the ball. Neither, apparently, did other players. Even the wounded rose from the dead and stared at me.

My son stared at me.

I sat down and shut up.

Along with ER trips, I hated soccer dirt— gicky-sticky mud. Another Commandment of Soccer: fields must contain a minimum of 31 deep puddles, with the two largest placed at goals.

Player identification problems are bound to ensue. I once bought 73 sundaes to console my son’s team for a loss, only to realize after the last burp that I had fed their opponents.

Still, I must be fair and celebrate positives:

  • First, I love to watch other people exercise.
  • Second, I will forever cherish the memory of games on beautiful blue-sky days. Both of them.

In closing, I ask others to take compassion on soccer moms. Send them cards, give them hugs and chocolate, pay for their psychiatric stays.

I also want to ask all soccer moms, past and present, to join me in a credo that will seal our recoveries. Say it with me. We can do this.

“We were wr‒wr‒[gasp!] wrong. The referee is rrrr . . . [choke!] The referee is rrrr. …”

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What is your favorite soccer mom memory?