And so, with 1:15 remaining on the play clock, I plead, to no one in particular, “Please, please, please just let the Buckeyes get to the Final Four & that will be enough for me!”………………………………..wellllll……………..it will be enough for me……………………………until sometime this coming Saturday anyway….LOL!! And oh how I love, love, love Aaron Craft…….he makes me want to stand up & cheer which I had many occasions to do on Saturday night, right family???!!! I even resurrected an old Watterson cheer to inflict on my fellow Buckeye fans as Craft came to the free throw line………Sink it Aaron, sink it……..put it in, put it in, put……it……in!!!!!! (once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader:)!) I confess that I did do my share of booing also as the refs alternately seemed to see some fouls that were not there while missing many that were so obvious, even I saw them!!!! Anyway, I’m so happy I don’t even care that my bracket was busted after only the second round.
Once again, it was a fairly busy week as we all were outdoors taking advantage of the earliest spring weather I can ever remember. The temps have been in the 70’s & 80’s producing an abundance of daffodils & hyacinth & causing the early budding of the magnolia, cherry, crabapple & pear trees. Of course, being the standard bearer of the “glass half-empty” personalities, I do have to mention that the forsythia bushes have also, just this past week, come into their yellow bloom & if you are a member of the Clark family, you will remember Mom’s ever famous edict that there would be three more snows once the forsythia bloomed. And so it is quite possible that in a couple of weeks we just may be sporting stocking caps instead of Easter bonnets!!!
Meanwhile, some of the nieces who gathered with other family at Christine & Mike’s for St. Patrick’s Day challenged the “old” Aunt (or did I challenge them??) to a game of “Pig” on the basketball court & then dared to see how she could handle Mike pitching the wiffle ball to her! I did lose out on the BB court to those “pesky” nieces (Katie, Erin, Maddie, Chelsea, Leah…….you know I love you!!), but I did smack the old wiffle ball pretty darn hard (used that “political visualization” thing again LOL)!! Getting back to the subject of the weather, last Sunday evening just as I was pulling the lasagna out of the oven (and yes, as you can guess, it all began with that “pot of boiling water” !) the tornado siren began to wail, but given that the entire family was famished, we chose to eat first & listen for the freight train (that’s the sound they say you hear when a tornado is heading your way). Even Tommy & Maria who live in Hilliard (where the path of the storm was beginning its track) checked in to see if we had gone to our lower level (ok, ok, our “lower level” is a Clintonville basement & not a very pretty one at that!!……..another reason to wait for the sound of the freight train!). As I told the slightly worried grandkids……………………we will just turn the TV on to our local NBC meteorologists whose news station is 4 minutes away & directly west of our house to watch & see if they run for cover. Then, if we see them abandon their post, we know we still have time to head to the “dungeon”. Now just so you know, we did eventually go to the basement even though Jym (why does he spell his name that way?) Ganahl was still on the air so that the grandchildren would understand that we do take these warnings seriously. Fortunately, while we experienced torrential downpours for almost an hour, along with quite a bit of hail, the storm passed without further incident. Oh, except for the fact that after all of the family left, when the rain had stopped & all was once again quiet & calm & just as I had settled in to watch some March Madness……………………the electricity went out!!!! Funny thing about Clintonville………..you can have one street with power & the street right behind you has no power, or you can even have electricity at your house, but your next door neighbor loses his. Anyway I seem to be the only family member who lost power, but as it was already 9 PM I decided to just stay put as my laptop had an hours worth of battery left which gave me sufficient time to read up on some politics. Did you notice how I just dropped that “p” word right into this posting?????????
Now, you all know me, I cannot let this pass without some kind of comment & I always, always, always (as Crick would add) have something to say:). Don’t worry Jenn, Meg, Steph & Chris, this will be very benign. I just want to thank Cecilia for stepping out of her comfort zone to go with me to the Federal Building on Friday for the Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom, a non-partisan, ecumenical, family friendly event where hundreds gathered to show their opposition to the recent HHS mandate. While I do try my best to keep my political commentary light hearted, I am firmly convinced that our nation is at an extremely critical crossroad as we face two very diametrically opposing ideologies in the November election. I pray every day that God’s blessing will be upon us all & that “Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the United States of America, will protect our nation from all harm, physical & spiritual”. “Nuff ” said! Wwellllllll………………………not really, but as Archie Bunker once said to Edith, “Silence is golden, so stifle thy self!”. I will therefore, “stifle myself”! (Note to the younger generation……..google “All in the Family” television sitcom from the ’70)s.
I continue to struggle with technology………..aarrghh!!!……… and as Jessica & Christopher have generously offered to add me to their Verizon account & my phone was due for an upgrade, I acquired a touch screen phone with a full keyboard. Now, one would think that having the touch screen feature would lead to fewer user errors…………..right??? Sooooooooo, I told Jennifer that I would pick up her, Sam & Natalie on Friday evening to attend the St. Andrew Fish Fry (seems like over the past few years, more & more Catholic parishes are hosting Fish Fry’s during the Lenten season (do they not know about the infamous “pot of boiling of water”????…… meatless pasta is waaayyy better)………anyway, as it was raining when I pulled into their driveway, I decided to call her on my new cell phone to let her know I was waiting in the car. However, since her home number is not listed in my contacts, I used my “exciting” new touch screen to place my call. Sooooo, being the informal person that I am, as soon as I hear a voice on the other line I say, “Hey I’m sitting out here in your driveway!!!” and the voice on the other end replies, “Oooohhhhhhh noooooo you’re not……………………(lots of laughter on the other line!)………..& I believe you have a wrong number!” Apparently, I ” let my fingers do the walking” (remember the old Yellow Pages commercial?) & they walked onto the 6 instead of the 3. This scenario is a fairly familiar one for me………… I really should learn to be more cautious…………..years ago I wanted to invite Tommy over for dinner (he was single at the time & so I imagined him to be desperate for even one of my home-cooked meals :)). Once again, I picked up the phone & when I heard the voice on the other end, I said, “Hi………Tommy?” He replied, “Yes it’s Tommy.” I continue, “Hey, I’m having lasagna (did I ever mention that lasagna is the one meal at which I excel? Thank you Dawn for your recipe!), salad & garlic bread for dinner tonight & I thought maybe you would like to join us.” The response……..”Well, it sounds really great & I would love to come, just tell me who you are, where you live, what time & I’ll be there.” I say, somewhat confused, “Is this Tommy?” He says once again, laughing out loud, “Yeah, I’m Tommy, but I don’t think I’m the Tommy you are looking for, although I’m really hungry & I sure would like a home-cooked meal…………………keep me in mind if you don’t find the real Tommy !” Now who would ever think that by inadvertently dialing a wrong number, I would end up calling someone with the same name as my brother??????
You know, I really do not know how to “stifle”………….on the one hand, I feel as though much of what I write is so much insignificant chatter, but then, it proves the point of how much I am missing Crick. After all, he was my “sounding board” who either let it all “go in one ear & out the other” or provided a vehicle for an overdue “discussion” (reference once again the King’s Island Main Street incident). I think about him everyday & he occasionally “haunts” me in my dreams (LOL). And while at times, the missing of him can be so overwhelming in all of its finality, I can, for the most part, find comfort in focusing my memory on his happy-go-lucky, “just be glad you woke up & were able to put two feet on the floor” optimism & his love of all that was good in each of us & in the world. Knowing how he would want me to face every single day, seeing the “glass half-full”, energizes me to try to live gratefully in each moment. Several weeks ago while driving to work, I switched over from talk radio to music & I heard this song for the first time (having never before heard of Gary Allan). It seemed to mirror some of what I have been feeling the past several weeks and so, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you Crick for the beautiful ride:).
“In this life, the Lord allows His saints to enjoy many sweet blessings, but none are more precious than those which occur deep in the valleys of disappointment, pain and heartache, where He without fail draws near.” George Lauderdale
P.S. And please, please, please just let the Buckeyes & Aaron Craft make it to the championship game :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!