Friday, October 19, 2012

Buying Thyme

I needed some thyme. I had decided to make 40 Cloves of Garlic roasted chicken for dinner and the recipe said to lay fresh thyme over the chicken. Simple enough, the car was in the garage, it was early in the day, I'd just run to the grocery store get some thyme and while I was at it, I would go into Springfield to my favorite store for produce and load up on some fresh veggies.
On the way to the store, I had to stop for a "wide load" exiting the freeway. A huge (maybe 40 foot long and seriously more than one lane wide) beautiful boat was in tow. This was not a "let's go wakeboarding on Table Rock Lake boat." This was a "let's go to the ocean because I've never been to Bora Bora in October" boat. And it had taken the off ramp to Ozark which is 1,000 miles from the ocean.
I had to see where it was going, so I made a U-turn and fell in behind the trailing escort car. The leading pilot car cleared the road and I joined the caravan, meandering over back roads (NN for you locals) and back to the highway some miles later (Highway 60, eastbound). I gave up, its destination would remain a mystery.
But boats! The sight and thought of boats inspired a revery of good times we had on our boat. Outstanding in my memory was an autumn day when we all decided to play hooky from our daily routines. We kept the kids out of school, called in sick to work, and headed for the river. We traveled down the Sacramento River with the boys either on wakeboards or in tubes the whole way. It was a glorious day, just like the recent autumn day when I followed the boat in tow.
Autumn! I drifted back to the present and looked around at the glorious fall color. I wandered and wondered over more back roads taking in the splendor of it all and then headed for home.

And I forgot all about buying thyme.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Imprisoned or Liberated?

Captor or Emancipator?

It's Saturday. One might be inclined to think of Saturday as a kick-back kind of day; but not for Ben and Logan. Logan is participating in day two of the first Speech and Debate tournament of the season. Yesterday, day one, he had to forgo the varsity football game at Webb City (Ozark lost their first game of the season after a seven game winning streak, probably because JV team member #68 was not on the sidelines to spur them on), to participate until 11:00 PM in the S&D gig. This morning he left the house at 6:25 AM for the second day of the tourney. He is expected home around 8:00 PM. 

Ben left the house this morning at  9:45 AM, taking the car. He's going to a band competition at Reed Springs and is expected home around 12:45 AM. He took the car so I don't have to pick him up all bleary-eyed in the middle of the night. Also means I can have a glass of wine with dinner because I don't have to worry about driving kids around in the evening.

So, there you have it. I'm a free agent until Logan returns at 8:00. But, I don't have a car, so I'm a captive free agent. But, I can have a drink of wine, so I'm a libating captive free agent. 

BTW, the picture is of Ben in his concert dress outfit complete with scraggly beard, hair combed a la Ben, jacket sleeves way too short (one scrunched up even shorter) and mismatched blue suit trousers because the choir was unable to supply tux trousers for such a tall skinny kid. I think he's gorgeous.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Game Time

Grandpa Steve and Julia walk with Ben on his "Senior Walk" during the pre-game ceremony at tonight's football game. The announcer kind of stumbled over Ben's announcement: "Benjamin Maples, son of uh, grandson of Melody Moore and Steve Maples." No mention of Julia who was walking with him. I sat in the stands, freezing to death while trying to coax a reluctant camera to perform; I never did get the key moment shot. 

The star marimba player awaits the downbeat for the Star Spangled Banner. It was very cool, "the rockets' red glare" was accompanied by fireworks and a second blast occurred at the finale. That's pretty fancy for a small town.

Here's the certificate Ben received. I couldn't be prouder of him, but sometimes his school embarrasses me.  The wording on the certificate makes no sense, Ozark High School This certifies that Benjamin Maples Senior Night Award for the 2011-2012 School Year. Besides making no sense, the year is wrong -- we are in the 2012-2013 school year.

Here's the football Logan presented to my walker. Normally, I sit at the top of the stands in the handicapped area. But tonight, I left my walker in that spot and walked all the way down to the field level so I could take a picture of Ben and the Senior Walk. I had not returned to my walker when Logan came looking for me with this memento. In case you can't read my blurry photo, it says: "Ozark High School Tigers I dedicate this game to you. Dear Grandma, Thank you for all you do. Love, Logan P.S. Make me some cookies when I get home. I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a girlfriend else the football would have gone to her instead of me.

I lasted until the Ozark Tigers scored their first touchdown against Nixa and left when the score was 7-0. I just can't take the cold and 41 degrees is cold when it's damp and windy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Reunion Part 4

Colleen and Valery made it all happen. Colleen hosted at her home in El Dorado Hills and prepared fabulous food including a yummy ham and a barbecued turkey (I think husband Andy fixed it, whoever did it, it was the yummiest turkey I've ever had). Valery organized, invited the folks, and made more yummy food, including the standard Blair clam dip.
 Brother Rick and his bride, Kathy came down from Napa, abandoning their six goats and a goose for the day. They call their place Toad Ranch, but I wonder if it shouldn't be Goat Acres instead.
Antwan, the son of Maria who is the daughter of Mary Ann by her second husband. My brother was Mary Ann's first husband. Our family would be rather small if it weren't for our proclivity for sweeping in shirt-tail relations. I'm so grateful for that and so glad Antwan is a part of our family. And yes, Antwan is tall, and yes, he does play basketball (for Sierra College).

Three of my grandsons, Colleen's youngest three, Robby, Billy, and Danny.

The whole fan-damily (as my father would say). In the back row from the left: Brittany (Billy's girlfriend) Billy, Danny, Michael (son of Lynette, my brother Mickey's daughter) Antwan (son of Maria, the daughter of brother Mickey's ex-wife) Stephen (second son of Lynette). Front row from the left: Andy (Colleen's husband), Colleen, Stephanie (Michael's wife), Lynette holding her grandaughter Haley (Haley is the daughter of Stephen and Ashley in the red blouse. Behind Lynette is her sister Maria (Antwan's mom) next to Maria is Maria and Lynette's mom, Mary Ann (my brother was her first husband). I'm standing next to Ashley, Valery is in front of me holding Stephen and Ashley's son Jacob. Next to me is Joe Steiner, third husband of Mary Ann and a keeper). My sister-in-law Kathy Felch is next to my brother, Rick Blair. In front of them, the threesome holding hands are Kim, the wife of my nephew Jason (he is the son [adopted as a new-born] raised by Rick and his ex-wife). Jason is holding hands with his birth mother Dianne. Kneeling in the front, Robby Barton, Colleen's youngest son, holds his fat pug, Chomper. Next to Robby is a girl who's name I didn't catch. She is the daughter of Mike, a friend of Colleen's husband Andy. Mike took the photograph -- thanks Mike!
Jason and his birth mother Dianne. Jason was adopted at birth by my brother and his wife. Last year Jason began a search for his birth mother and scored when he found Dianne who was fifteen years old when Jason was born. She never had any other children. Finding each other was a fairy tale story beyond imagination. They can't look at each without shedding tears of joy and neither can anyone else. Can you see the resemblance? Particularly in the mouth and dimples. Brother Rick is so supportive of this reunion that it adds yet another dimension of joy.
My niece, Lynette, daughter of my brother (deceased) Mickey, and Mary Ann (now married to Joe Steiner) and her grandson Jacob (my great great nephew -- or is that great grand-nephew?). He was an amazing precocious, charming, and energetic little boy nearly four years old (October 11).