Category Archives: Columbus Clippers

Wedding Story Part 2

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I ended up wearing the first dress. It fit right in with the evening reception, along

with my youngest daughter’s insistence it was more ‘current’ than the other two!

I would love to share Nate and Holly’s love story with you, since it has been awhile

since I have shared a love story. If you have time, I have about 30 other ones in

my past writings! They cheer me up, as it is interesting to know how people met.

 

Nate and Holly knew each other since the fourth grade.   They say they  ‘went out’

or ‘were going together for about a minute!’ This was shared by the minister during

the ceremony. She said she was ‘charmed’ by how Nate told her that he ‘spent the

next eight years trying to win her back.’

 

About 6 years ago, they ran into each other in a local saloon, the Back Stretch, where

several of the Delaware High alums of 2004 were gathered. Nate really knew that this

might be one of his last chances to catch Holly. So while talking to her, he leaned over

and whispered, “That girl over there keeps hanging on me, could you pretend you are

my girlfriend and kiss me?” The minister chuckled, when she told the congregation

gathered, some like me, who did not know this fact. She even slyly added something

like what a great line and how wonderful that this worked.

When her sister was getting married, my daughter Felicia and Holly were bridesmaid

and Maid of Honor. Holly asked if she could bring Nate, even though he had only been

on a couple of dates with her. Megan said, “Sure, if he REALLY wants to get to know

us, this would be the perfect setting.”  Megan and Breck got married in a late summer

outdoor wedding, they had been high school sweethearts. They have a little one year

old boy who rode down the aisle after the flower girl with a boy who must have been

a three year old cousin, pulling him in a wagon.

Nate had mentioned to Megan at the wedding, something like, “What’s not to love

about your family? They like dancing and drinking and so do I. He fit right in, Megan

told us in her Matron of Honor speech.

Here are two of the beautiful speeches, almost poetic in their simple loving meaning.

The first was read by a good friend of Felicia, who was in her Confirmation class and

brought his very cordial wife.

Matt read:

His hello was the end of her endings,

Her laugh was their first step down the aisle,

His hand would be hers to hold forever,

His forever was as simple as her smile.

He said she was what he was missing,

She said instantly she knew,

She was a question to be answered,

And his answer was, “I do.”

(no author given)

 

This is the lovely passage at the end of the British cast  movie.  Felicia and I have

watched this for the past 13 years since 9/11/01. The meaning of love everywhere

entranced us, the Christmas Spirit is present throughout, and it has a little PG-13

action, so it isn’t one you would show anyone under that age. Colin Firth, Hugh

Grant, Liam Neeson and others are outstanding. As well as a sweet actress who is

played by Martine McCutcheon. She adds to the romantic tone of the movie, in

this international story, as the aide to the Prime Minister. Emma Thompson and

Alan Rickman have a different kind of love story in this movie, married with one

of them participating in a ‘dangerous’ flirtation. Their story has a really funny

element, where one of their children plays a ‘lobster’ in a feast. I love the song,

which creates a bittersweet tone in their stressful lives, sung by

Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now.” If you wish to listen to it, the 2000 version

shows an ‘older and wiser’ songstress singing about ‘not really knowing love

at all,’ with a grand orchestration. This newer version is more textured and

was chosen specifically for one of the scenes, where Emma’s character is

rather frustrated with her life. The Colin Firth story has a maid/housekeeper

who is not able to speak English, which creates comedic episodes, with clever

subtitles in it.

 

Felicia read:

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the gates at

Heathrow Airport. General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a

world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that.   It seems to me that love is

everywhere.   Often, it is not particularly dignified or newsworthy,  but it’s

always there- – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives,

boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the twin towers, as

far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages

of hate or revenge- – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a

sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

(Hugh Grant, playing the character of the Prime Minister, speaks these words

while you see people greeting, embracing and parting with hugs from all kinds

of international cultures, shown in their apparel.)

 

The reception was held in the second floor of the Clippers Stadium, so I do have

photos of Felicia and me, with the background behind us of the baseball diamond.

The place was cold, it is heated by radiant ceiling ‘pipe-like’ things. I got my popcorn

which the bag said, “It all started when he popped the question.   Holly and Nate,

October 4, 2014.” There is a dug-out café, also Tansky’s Grille and other interesting

parts of this location. When the sun went down and the lights of Columbus lit

up, it was simply the perfect, idyllic location for an Autumn wedding. The couples

came up the stairs from the first floor, while the DJ and announcer called out

first the couples where they were bridesmaids and groomsmen, then the Matron

of Honor, (sister of the bride, Megan) and the Best Man (brother of the groom.)

We had ‘ordered’ when we ‘R.S.V.P.’d’ our meal which mine was a grilled chicken

breast with a balsamic dressing, a tomato butter, freshly cooked green beans

and pasta in a garlic sauce.

 

I met some people I didn’t know at other tables, but knew the family of Doug

and Lisa, along with their children who are grown and out of college. They

each had a date, Lisa’s younger sister is planning a wedding next year and

her fiancé was encouraging her to ‘take notes,’ along with showing a little

excitement for the next wedding in their family.  I met and exchanged my

phone number with a woman in her fifties who likes country music, goes

to different activities and mentioned a reasonably priced concert coming

up in Columbus. I mentioned I love movies and going out locally, since I

tend to like to have one or two drinks and worry about sleepiness while

driving back from Columbus. Unless I could pre-arrange staying with my

youngest daughter in what is now called, “Olde Towne East.” We will see

if Pat calls me, since I was not as enthusiastic about a Thursday concert,

the one that is low cost.

I spent a lot of time with the bride’s grandmother, Ginny, who has been

a good friend for more years than the two children knew each other. She

and I met at a nursing home, where I was the activities director for over

four years. She was the home’s hairdresser, so we teamed up with her

bringing down people to the activities room, along with my assistant and

I, had coffee and donuts along with a weekly craft time. It made me feel

‘good’ for my own self, but not so much for the current residents, ones

who lived there after I was hired up at the preschool with the special

needs little ones. She told me that basically they didn’t collaborate or

work their schedules around her clients’ scheduled days (she works as

a part-time hairdresser, only twice a week.) Of course, it is a bittersweet

thought when she compliments me this way: “It never was the same

after you left! Lori, (my assistant) moved on to drive the disabilities van

and the city wide system bus.”

I got up and danced with the bridesmaids to a nice Chicago tune, then

pulled Ginny up to the dance floor for “Twist and Shout.” I ended up

leaving after ten o’clock, while the night was still ‘young’ and lively!

It had been a perfect day for a wedding, after all.

A little rain is supposed to bring you luck, along with the sun popping out,

when the couple came out of the church, bubbles floating around their heads.

The wedding party boarded a trolley car which whisked them somewhere

not divulged, to take photographs and begin their celebrating a marriage

I do believe will last.

It began at such an innocent age allowing time to grow, develop and

become true love.

 

 

 

 

“Pet Peeves”

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How aggravating!

How annoying!

Nuisances.

If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

I have some gripes to express. Hope you will tell me what your

main ‘beefs’ with other people are!

 

1. “Repetitive complainers.”

You give advice to help them.

You try a different piece of advice

the next time.

You feel like you are ‘spinning wheels.’

Finally, when none of the thoughtful

approaches you have given to these,

‘whiners,’ you give up.

You hope they find someone else to

listen to them:

“Just because I am nice, doesn’t mean I want

to listen to you!”

 

2. “Sloppy parkers.”

Everywhere you go, there are ones

who feel their prize possession requires

two spots. Why not add to our relief and

your longer life, by parking far out in

the boondocks? Walking is so good for you

and your ‘car is safe’ out there!

The other ones, who go hand in hand with

these special car owners, are the ones who

bump your car with their door.

“My car is ‘special’ to me, so please use your

manners!”

 

3. Potluck ‘no shows.’

When the list is passed around, they add their

choice of homemade dish or dishes. They are

sometimes able to give a very good excuse for

not following through, lack of participation.

But, there are a few who ‘slide’ into line, get

a plate and you absolutely know they could

not even bring $2 hot dog buns or $1 pop.

Everyone has one ‘free pass’ I feel at our work

potlucks, but I know of a few who have NEVER

brought something to share.

“Come on, don’t you feel a little guilty about

not bringing anything?”

 

Family potlucks are different, I like to bring

extras, to cover those who have run out of time

or are short on money. Again, it is okay to bring

crackers or fresh produce out of one’s garden. . .

“Love means not having to bring anything but

oneself.”

 

4. “Borrowers.”

I have several in my work and apt. buildings.

Sometimes, it is no big deal, a quarter for laundry,

an egg or a cup of sugar. A little something, over

and over again,  does add up, though.

I have given once a week 25 cents to someone at work,

in a month it is a dollar…

If I need to borrow, I always come back the next day

and return the money. Mainly, due to my age and

forgetfulness, I do this.

The next time I shop, returning the egg is at the top

of my list of ‘things to do,’ sometimes adding a couple

of cookies or whatever I have noted they like.

Those borrowers are~

“Nickel and diming my good nature away!”

Please give back!

 

5. “Ride Takers.”

I like to help out, I honestly do. But there is someone

who actually had me take them through the drive-thru

and did not offer to buy a pop or iced tea on a long, hot

day!

When I have sometimes chosen to slow down and roll

down the window, seeing someone I know walking, that

is my choice. But there are now 2 people who linger at

our lockers, waiting outside having a cigarette or just

standing by my car, to get their rides.

Recently I have developed a thicker skin and have said,

“I have somewhere else I have to go, after work, which is

going to take me a different direction.”

Offer something to repay kindnesses.

 

6. “People who don’t know how to whisper.”

If you ever see the Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James

Gandolfini, someone put this right into the script!

That movie, “Enough Said,” includes few of my little

‘pet peeves’ that others do, that get on my nerves.

In the movie, it is actually a date at a movie theater,

where James’ character is not able to whisper but

uses a normal talking voice. If I really liked (or loved)

someone who did this, knowing they were not able

to do the quiet voice, I would just have to watch DVD’s

and use the ‘pause’ button, often! I cannot stand it

when there are people talking loudly for more than

a minute or two, at the library. I try to not glower or

give them my ‘mother’ or ‘teacher’ stare.

Try to refrain talking, if you have been told you have

a loud whisper.

 

7. “Frequent Guests/Rare, if ever, Hosts.”

Now, I may be’ treading on thin ice’ on this subject.

I know that I tend to have people come over and I

do enjoy their company. I loved this much more

when I lived in a nice, big house!

There was a certain friend who had been to my apt. about

3-4 x monthly, which means at least 40 times in one year,

making the total of over 80 times in two years. She thinks

she is saving me from driving her direction, a few miles

away. Once she comes over, she is hard to get back out of

my place. Worse still, is sometimes when we have made plans

to go somewhere, I will try to meet her at the door. She had

started to come early, though. Then I have her sitting in my

apartment watching me put on my makeup.

I guess this sounds funny or petty. I have picked her up at her

mobile home, which I can see from my car, that she has a nice

place, pretty curtains and some landscaping. I have NEVER

been asked in, before or after our times out. I have hinted by

saying, “If you let me come over for coffee sometime, I will

have a better idea of what kind of gift I may buy for your

birthday or Christmas.”

By sitting in my apartment, I have given her a sandwich,

cookies, chips, coffee, tea, pop, a few glasses of wine and

even, accidentally her spying my Godiva bag of chocolates

on a shelf when I opened the cabinet to get something else

to give her, I have felt ‘forced’ to share my chocolates!

This is ‘horrible’ to admit, but I have started saying,

“Let’s drive separately, I will meet you at the movies (or

wherever we have determined we should go together.)”

Take turns with your friends.

 

8. “One’s Situation is Always Worse Than Yours.”

I don’t think that I dwell on my misfortunes, in fact it

is only when a circumstance resembling my own comes

out in a conversation, will I mention how I have handled

my personal challenges in life.

This example is more easily described as, “Debby Downers,”

or “My Life Sucks More Than Anything You Say Is Going On

With Yours.” My daughter calls them, “Negative Nancy’s.”

While in high school, my Mom noticed this about a good

friend of mine, she even felt that it was her place to tell this

teenager that she needed to be able to ‘rise’ above some of

her circumstances and really, try to find some kind of ‘silver

lining’ in her life. Mom also started a little bit of silly passive

aggressive behavior, I am sure it went unnoticed by my girl-

friend. When the friend would call, she always asked, “Is

Robin there?” My Mom would say, “Yes.” There would be

dead silence. My Mom would wait it out. My friend would

finally ask, “Can I talk to her?” Mom, (English and Spanish

high school teacher) would say, “I suppose.” Tick. Tick. Tick.

Finally she would say, “May I speak with Robin?”

As my Mom was generous, she would often ask this friend,

who really was sometimes annoying (even) to me, “Would you

like something to drink?” The answer, invariably was, “Yes.”

My Mom would list a few choices, if it were the weekend, they

included juice, milk, iced tea or pop. This friend seriously

would say, “I don’t care.” My Mom would sit down and not

pursue the matter again, until the next time she came over.

I did not get to the point of giving her up, until we were in our

fifties. I was so understanding of her divorces, I was so helpful

with painting designs on her walls and her granddaughter’s

dresser. I understood that she has fibromyalgia, I volunteered

to weed armpit-high weeds, cleaning her basement and her

kitchen for her son’s high school graduation party. I served

the food, having brought two side dishes and a graduation card

with enclosure of money. Even when I worked two jobs, I was

able to spend time with her, since I did feel that she had few

people who cared about her. Her own sister would not invite

her to holidays. Her father would come down and take her out

to eat and then drive back to Cleveland. (Her mother passed

away when we were adults and parents of our own children.

I attended her mother’s funeral and she attended my Dad’s.)

Then, one holiday she showed up with her son and his girlfriend

uninvited for a Thanksgiving meal. I opened the door and then

closed it partway saying, “Maybe I should check with my parents,

this is possibly my Dad’s last holiday with his grandkids.”

I kept them waiting on the front doorstep. My Mom offered to go

and tell her, “No, this is beyond rude.” My oldest daughter said

she would go to the door and say, “Sorry this isn’t a good time.”

Finally, my ex-husband went to the door and I heard him say,

“Holidays are not times to show up unexpectedly. Thanks for the

kind thoughts about my father-in-law’s cancer. (She did not say

a word about him at this time.) Happy Thanksgiving.”

(Myex’s Christian upbringing came to the forefront, for which I am

ever grateful.)

When he came back to the living room, having heard his deep voice

carried into the living room, my Dad said, “Who was that woman?

Are solicitors allowed to come on holidays?” We all chuckled and let

the funny Cracker Barrel fish sing its silly tune, which we tended to

have for his last Christmas, too. (“Take me to the river…”)

 

9. Last but not least- –

“People Who Root for the Opposition.”

Those who have lived more than 20 years in a state,

who may have been avid fans of another state’s team,

note that sometimes you may have more fun, if you

decide to ‘switch alliances.’

I have a friend who lived in Michigan for all of three

years of her life. Karen will not wear any Ohio team

shirt days, she is always there with her blue and gold.

I totally understand people who were dislodged from

their homes or who grew up for years in a location but I

will say this, my parents grew up as Cincinnati Fans.

They both attended U. of C. liked Cincy Bengals and

Cincy. Reds, too.

They moved to Cleveland, immediately purchasing

all the Cleveland gear needed to support their new

home town. I am not sure whether anyone will find

this amusing, but I think that being in Ohio Wesleyan’s

back yard, I bought an OWU shirt, black and red. I

still wear my BGSU t-shirt and zip-up orange jacket. Just

while visiting Bowling Green or up in Cleveland.

While walking around Delaware, Ohio, I enjoy supporting

the university and being a ‘townie!’

I just have to wonder, when everyone at work is wearing

scarlet and gray, why not indulge in a purchase of an OSU

t-shirt? Why not wear the blue and maize at home, in front

of your television? But I don’t think this is a big pet peeve,

after all, we have lots of fun talking about Cleveland,

since you lived there, too. WE enjoy talking about the good

old Terminal Tower, Ghoulardi, The Ghoul, Big Chuck and

Houlihan… Why not get a Cleveland Browns’ shirt or a

Cleveland Indians’ t-shirt?

“Commit to your Home Town or Home State.”

Now, that I have taken too much of your time up in my list

of ‘pet peeves,’

What’s one of your ‘beefs?”

Who gets your ‘goat?’

Who gives you ‘grief?’

Come on now…

“Let’s Dish!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Warmth

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My visions of August include the perspiring faces of children running around

the yard. The shiny, excited faces of adults rooting for a team. I remember the

coolness of the evenings, where the windows would be pushed up, to capture

the cool and let out the heat.

 

Today, the United Nations celebrates its International Friendship day. It was

first initiated on July 30, 2011. I appreciate my friends of ‘far and wide,’ most

whom I have met here on wordpress.com. The idea of everyone being friends,

is one we start with our family and people in our neighborhood. We learn as

we grow older, especially ones who grew up in larger urban areas, that we

still must be ‘careful’ who we talk to. Children love to hug strangers, but we

need to discourage this action, since one never knows who is ‘dangerous.’

At least here, we writers, poets, artists, musicians, photographers, cooks

and everyday ‘folks’ can come together, trying to unite a fractured world.

 

Summer’s coming to a close. Sadness for those children who wish for the days

to linger longer with little to do. Books to read, places to go, activities and some

restful, lazy moments, too.

 

Hurrah for School! (I can hear my daughter-in-law shouting! With hers and my

son’s crew of four children, all going for the first time to school. The ‘baby’ goes to

preschool this Fall. My son married a wonderful and special woman, with her two

children from a previous marriage that made her a ‘packaged deal’ for him! They

had a ‘built in’ flower girl and ring bearer, married 7 years ago!)

 

Here is my monthly calendar, with some historical dates, some activities and

holidays included. I always try to make this a well-rounded ‘treat’ for you to

browse!

Please feel free, in the Comments, to add any sporting or musical events, holidays,

festivals, special cultural celebrations or religious dates for us to know about.

I truly treasure all of my international connections!

 

AUGUST

 

~Birthstone: Peridot

~Flower: Gladiolus

 

1-  Colorado Day.

Let’s hear about what goes on there!

Anyone know someone out there in Colorado?

 

4-  Civic Holiday for Canada.

“National Bargain Hunting Week” starts today, too.  Incorporating ways to save and to

shop thriftily go hand in hand. (Right up my ‘alley!’)

 

5-  Quarter Moon.

Also, the book, “Top Secret,” found on many popular books’ lists, will be released today.

Written by W. E. B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth, a military and espionage thriller.

 

7-  Fifty years ago, today on 8/7/1964:

Encounters between two U.S. Destroyers and North Vietnamese patrol boats.

This leads and results in Congress passing the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” on

August 10, 1964. This paves the way for escalation of U.S. involvement in Viet Nam.

 

8-  A meaningful and ‘my kind of movie’ release:

“The Hundred Foot Journey,” has had a lot of ‘hype’ due to its star is beautiful Helen Mirren,

who plays an owner of a special ‘elite’ or ‘posh’ restaurant located in Southern France. Her

restaurant’s competition is one that is a family-owned Indian restaurant. It promises the

interaction, connection and understanding between the cook who is from India and the cook

who is from England.

Lasse Hallstrom directs this. His previous movies include, “The Cider House Rules,” “Chocolat,”

and “The Shipping News.”

 

9-  “Jeff’s Jam” (Delaware, Ohio. It is a musical festival where one block of our downtown is

cordoned off, with one big stage for local musicians to perform. It was started by the death

of a local guitarist, named Jeff. Every year, someone gest honored to be added to a plaque,

given scholarships and money from donations. It is a great big party, right in front of my

apartment building!)

 

10- Full Sturgeon Moon,

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2014.

Also known as the Full Corn Moon, the Full Red Moon and more.

On this date, in Delaware, Ohio, my youngest daughter’s friend will sing with a young man

from my church, Andrew Shaw. They will gather at the Bicentennial Park Gazebo behind the

Fire house. There will be people with lawn chairs, blankets and some sit in the grass. There are

sidewalks and places where dogs may sit, too. Be there by 6:30 to get a great location due to the

limited spaces, concerts all summer on Sunday evenings start at 7:00 p.m.

 

14-  V.J. Day- Victory in Japan. “Fly your flag proudly and show honor to our Veterans!”

Also, the Columbus Clippers celebrate people over 50! AARP Day at the ball park!

 

15-  3/4 Moon.

The moon is waning, I believe.

 

17-  The last quarter Moon.

 

19-  National Aviation Day.

Also, Discovery Day,

Yukon territory, Canada. This is held on the third Monday in August.

 

20-  45th Anniversary Celebration of Woodstock.

The iconic symbol of the poster for Woodstock, has a hand with its fingers wrapped

around the guitar bridge, with a dove, symbol of Peace. It was called an “Aquarian

Exposition.’

It was originally a man named Max Yasgur’s farm land that allowed the tents and

concert stages to be constructed on, with people in masses to attend.

The poster announces that it was held in White Lake, N. Y.

It turned into one of the most notable concerts that went on for days.

The  Love, Peace and Musical Event of the Century.

This being its historical impact on our culture.

A fact that I did not know about this place is that on this property, a

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts was built. It holds concerts and the

ones performing on its schedule for August include Keith Urban and

Kings of Leon.

 

22-  “Be an Angel” Day.

Time to do a ‘random act of kindness,’ a small act of service, or Pay Forward.

 

25- Summer Bank Holiday (UK)

Also, 8/25/1964 was the first United States Tennis match, known as the U.S.

Open.

This tennis championship  runs from August 25 until September 8th, held

in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, N. Y.

 

26- Women’s Equality Day.

 

27- New Moon.

 

So, get your ice cold lemonade, beer, ice cream, popsicles, sweet tea

or icy concoctions here!

Memories of ‘soda fountains’ fill my mind where some examples of iced

drinks could be found there.

You may still find them: Frappes, Black Cows, Fruit Smoothies, Malts

and Milk Shakes.

Moisture condensing, dripping off glass bottles or cups. . .

Water is a natural way (and the ‘best’ way) to quench your thirst in one

of the hottest months (in our part of the world.)

This month of August, have a seed spitting contest with children around

you, while indulging in the sweet, pink watermelon fresh from a garden.

 

Try to keep calm and stay “Chilled” in August!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Ball Fever

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Baseball field walls have been adorned with catchy slogans and

advertising posters, practically since they started building them.

With the bigger stadiums, local news and television stations, major

automobile and other products have been featured and promoting,

along with paying money for the advertising. It is nice to be reminded

of Indianapolis’ being one of the first stadiums to display naturally

growing ivy at Perry Field. It sure would ‘cushion’ someone jumping

into the wall, to catch a long distance ball!

The Perry Field ivy is what inspired William Wrigley to decide to

decorate his new Wrigley Field, reaching its 100th anniversary this

year. A great book, written by George F. Will, better known for his

essays on politics was published in March, 2014. Its title is:

“A Nice Little Place on the North Side.” (Crown Archetype, a division

of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.)

The background story about Wrigley Field was they invested an extra

$200,000 to help make the bleachers reflect nature, along with the

idea of having the ivy walls. At the onset of building, they inserted

big cement tree boxes at the ends of the rows, where plans were made

to plant trees in each of these. Once they completed the stadium,

thy tried this, which sounded like a gorgeous natural setting,

with possible shade for some spectators, too. Unfortunately, the

trees were not able to survive. Gusts of wind off Lake Michigan,

repeatedly stripped the bark and leaves off the trees.

In the book, this simple description also shows Cubs’ owner,

William Wrigley’s frustration at the devastation:

“A week after we were finished, the bleachers looked like the

Russian Steppes during a hard, cold winter. Nothing but cement

and bark.”

George F. Will’s explanation:

“The forestation of the Wrigley Field bleachers was abandoned.”

The Boston Ivy was supposed to be planted and growing, when a call

was made to the ones in charge of this duty. They were only given

one day, so once agriculturalists were consulted, they chose to

plant a fast growing plant named, “Bittersweet.” It grew quickly

with lights strung along the wall. The ‘effect’ of green was able

to satisfy visiting guests to view the sight. Later, they inserted

into the bittersweet the Boston Ivy, since the original ‘quick fix’

for the presentation, still needed a more solid and denser growing

plant for the long haul. It took longer but is a magnificent wall

of flourishing ivy.

I have fond memories of going to the old cement stadium in Cleveland

to see both the Indians and Browns play. When they tore it down, to

build what was first named, “Jacob’s Field” I thought I would miss

the old one. It is a beautiful structure and ‘there isn’t a bad seat

in the house.’ I have never personally been to the Indianapolis Perry

Field or Chicago, Illinois Wrigley Field, but enjoyed seeing the

photos and reading about the history of the latter’s field.

Happy 100th Anniversary, Wrigley Field!

Congratulations for making it to one hundred years!

Since I know that Columbus Clippers is having a whole weekend of

playing against Toledo Mud Hens, I will say I am ‘rooting’ for my

home team of the Clippers!

I can hear the old song, “Take me out to the ball game,” and imagine

the old Cracker Jacks and peanut shells falling onto the ground…

Have a wonderful weekend and I am now off to Mom’s…

(We only worked a half day today, due to a lot of overtime this

week… Also, my eyes are doing much better, less pressure than

in the Fall and Winter months! Hip hip hurray!)

Sochi and Mom Visit

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Mom, my two brothers, one sister in law and I headed

out for dinner over by Crocker Park, in Westlake, Ohio.

We had decided that Max and Erma’s was going to be our

destination. Fun times, consoling and warm thoughts, along

with our being able to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony,

in Sochi, Russia were all reasons for our choice.

Max and Erma’s is a busy, pleasant restaurant which features

good food, friendly atmosphere and television screens.

One of the first topics, our little ’roundtable’ tackled

was the subject of my AWOL post. We talked about losing

someone special and the way our hectic, frantic lives and

sometimes just the winter season pressing down on us can

push us over the ledge. Susan, a professor at Baldwin Wallace,

mentioned several times in her college teaching years where

the subject of depression and suicide has been on her students’

minds. Students feel pressure, besides everyone’s outside view

of college being just for parties…

Rich mentioned how he has encountered this in his teaching

both elementary school (parents and family members being

the main ones who were overcoming challenges in his twenty

years of inner city teaching, special education.)

Randy and I talked about former classmates at our high

school, one a part of set of twins and another man who was

a brilliant genius, along with being a gentle and humorous

man. Andy C. had been on my list of ones to remember and

commemorate. His Science Club participation in recycling,

along with the way he chose a project in the 70’s to put

solar panels up on the top of the high school to ‘warm the

water’ were part of our memories. His sister, Alice, had

been in my class and Andy in Randy’s class. His death in

his fifties surprised and upset us both.

Mom told us of someone, in her family, who came back from

Viet Nam changed by his experience. Nowadays, she said,

they would consider it post traumatic stress. Her cousin,

Johnny, was an artist and a sensitive member of a set of

twins, too. He did not ever fully emotionally recover from

his war times, but did not kill himself. Family members had

wrapped him up, deciding to insulate him, and offer him

some security. His father had funded several business

opportunities and Johnny continued living ‘hand to mouth’

by creating art pieces. Some reflected depth and darkness

and others were of the Rockport seaside town he lived in.

We chose food that sustained us, but the ‘food for thought’

was what I needed and nourished on more. My brother asked

me about that ‘matchmaking deal’ that Felicia had done

with the political analyst. He wanted to know more of the

details than my blog had shared and wondered why I did not

get up and leave immediately.

First, I did feel that the man, Bill, needed to see what

he had done, realize after he spoke with me, that he had

made too quick of judgments on my family and other subjects.

I reasoned with him, filling him in on my background, which

I am never bragging about, really just proud of my parents

and brothers. I have succeeded in a few things, myself, I

wished to share. I didn’t want to let Bill ‘off the hook.’

Susan asked me why I didn’t throw a cup of Panera coffee

at him, regarding his remark about my children’s kids. I

told her, I responded back, “Well, for a Democrat you seem

to be not following the party line. Would you rather my son

not have married a single woman with 2 kids?”

We laughed about some other subjects, we grew pensive and

appreciative over our family unit that has a lot of good

qualities within it. I felt comforted and lifted up by

their presence in my life. My Mom was very witty, at times,

saying funny comments about men and women’s relationships

and politics. She also said she hoped we would stay out

long enough to see the Olympics. She expressed a wise

and simple thought, “Being the daughter of two immigrants

makes me especially proud to be an American!”

The lighting of the Olympic torch, with the ones who

were chosen to run with their own torches, moved us all.

The grand entrance with the Olympics’ theme music (or

Official Olympics’ Anthem) playing caught the table next

to ours, that had two little boys’attention, with bibs on,

eating a very late dinner!

We enjoyed the Swan Lake spectacle, the spinning dancers

with the beautiful music playing. We were very excited

when we saw the huge gathering and parade of U.S. Olympic

team members, with our flag waving. We thought the U.S.

(we don’t know what her name was but we called her this)

“Ice Angel” leading with her appearance of being a living

Statue of Liberty was very nice part of the group.

Mom and I got up early on Saturday, to get her grocery

shopping at Giant Eagle (also located at Crocker Park)

completed. The regular list always includes a certain

amount of chocolate, which had to be ‘amped up’ due to

her making bags for all the servers, mostly teens, in

the dining room. (There are about 25 different teens,

some who start with the breakfast serving and others

who run the café or dinner serving.) All have been part

of my Mom’s “emotional and well being therapy.” It is

about two full years of being at the senior living apts.

We also had to buy some Sangria, sharp cheddar cheese

and wheat crackers. We lingered around the Valentine’s

Day decorations and she was very happy that I had chosen

a singing dog, which is white with red spots that pops

out of a pink Valentine’s Day box, to be on her decorative

shelf outside her door. I asked her if she wanted a wreath

but we finally decided that the red berry decorated one

that has vines and she had stuck a President’s Day flag

in it, was adequate decorating for her simple door and

shelf. We each purchased a box of the childrens’ valentines,

mine being wacky cats and dogs and hers being Mickey Mouse

themed.

While watching the exciting and exhilarating snowboarding

later in the afternoon, we were busily writing notes to

my grandchildren (her great’s, of course) along with some

for her neighbors. She was not up to the task of bagging

candy in huge amounts but said she had almost a week to

go, and not to worry about her getting it done. We held

our breath when Sage Kotsenburg did his fantastic and very

artistic snowboarding run down the manmade slopes at Sochi.

We knew he had made it to Gold, before the scoreboard told

us, since his 4 1/2 rotations and magnificent flips were

just ‘mind blowing!’ Congratulations of the first Gold

medal for the U.S. team!

Later, after dinner, I think it was, we sat and watched,

Meryl Davis and Charlie White in their team ice dance

performance. It was part of the short dance skating

competition. Canada had a wonderful presentation, along

with France and Russia. We missed the others, having gone

to pick up our dinners “to go” from the dining room. It

consisted of chicken stir fry, mashed potatoes and

cheesecake. I liked the mushrooms, celery and carrots

in the stir fry and added more sweet and sour sauce from

Mom’s fridge.

My favorite part of the Meryl Davis and Charlie White part

was their loose and carefree style. It held tight turns,

precise movements but a commentator noticed this and called

their mood, “joie to vivre.” Their energy and passion shone.

Mom liked the fact they ‘danced/skated’ to “My Fair Lady.”

The two songs, “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “I’m

Getting Married in the Morning” were woven into their

poetic performance. I also thought that Meryl’s pink

high necked fluffy, floating short gown was beautiful

and Charlie’s longer styled blonde hair and tuxedo

clad clothing was excellently chosen, as did Mom. We

did like the all black on another couple and the way

all the teams danced/skated so well. So far, Meryl

and Charlie have ‘won’ the first part of the competition

and hope that their great ease and graceful fluidity will

earn them an Olympic Gold medal also.

There is an upcoming part of the Olympics I am looking

forward to, which includes a young woman with roots in Ohio.

She has spunk, grit, shockingly bright red hair and an

indomitable spirit!

This would be Katie Uhlaender, a member of the U.S. team of

“skeleton athletes.” They slide head first on a track built

for bobsleds! Talk about taking your life into your hands!

Her father was Ted Uhlaender, who died on Feb. 12, 2009.

He played for and coached the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati

Reds. He was also the Columbus Clippers coach and manager.

When Katie was only 15 years old, she developed a crush on

the player named, Jim Thome. I heard about this man often during

the period of the early 2000’s. Katie was born in 1984, while

my youngest daughter, who was an Indians’ fan was born in 1985.

I remember my brothers saying Thome was a great player, but my

daughter called him, “hot.”

This memory comes to me, since I look at Katie’s bright red,

short styled hair and think that she is cool looking. She has

been through a lot, including the loss of her father. The many

obstacles include a 2009 snowmobiling accident that shattered

her kneecap. She also had to have hip corrective surgery in

2011. In last October, 2013, Katie suffered a concussion while

practicing her extremely difficult Olympics’ skill. She gave

a verbal explanation that was rather poetic, saying she has

made a ‘mosaic’ of putting shattered pieces together. Katie

has come in 6th and 8th in this years’ two training runs. She

had placed in 2006, before her father had passed away of a

heart attack, after a difficult time with cancer, #6 in the

World Olympics. In 2010, only one year after her Dad’s death,

she placed at the Olympics, 11th place overall. In 2012, she

won the World Championship of skeleton sledding. She has the

Silver and Bronze medals and now, is “Going for the Gold!”

On her person, during every competition, she wears a combination

of her father’s baseball card, his 1972 National Championship

ring, (when he played for Cincy. Reds’ baseball team) and a

bit of his ashes held in a small, silver baseball.

Katie says her father was a great supportive person in her

life, “He would give me this undeniable sense of purpose.

That’s what gives me the drive of a warrior.”

Look up on Thursday and Friday, (Feb. 13th and 14th) Olympics’

schedules to watch this motivated and courageous U.S. athlete

in her Skeleton Run Competition and hope she wins the Gold!