Me, Calvin and Miss Wormwood

According to Dictionary.com, the meaning of “diary” is: A daily record, usually private, especially of the writer’s own experiences, observations, feelings, attitudes, etc.  I must therefore confess that the Diaryofanut blog has fallen quite a bit short of this definition.  Not only, is my diary not private, but it certainly has not been daily, and with increasing frequency, it has fallen from its monthly status!!  It not that I struggle to actually speak about my experiences, feelings, or attitudes (just ask a member of my family…….any member!),  it is just that it becomes difficult to put into print a coherent chronology of all that transpires in the life of a “nut”!  Perhaps this video which presents a comedic analysis of the female/male brain will sufficiently explain my plight!

You see……..”everything” in my mind is connected to “everything” and the longer I procrastinate about sorting it all out in order to write a somewhat coherent blog, the easier it becomes to put off writing until another day, and so on, and so on………and now, here I sit, two months later with a kabillion words connecting to a kabillion events and I have no idea where to begin.  “Calvin, can you hear me???  Do you know what I am talking about??  Help!!  Help!!!”

calvin & homework

I knew that I could count on Calvin……….I am not a machine…….I take pride in my work…..I value craftsmanship!!!  No wonder I procrastinate………brilliantly explained by a six-year old cartoon character!!  Two days or two months….Calvin and I apparently need lots of time to develop and perfect our respective “crafts”!  LOL

And now, without further ado, I present the result of two months worth of procrastination beginning with my favorite winter diversion – basketball.  First of all, let me just say that our Ohio State Buckeyes were as frustrating to watch as the Ohio winter weather!!  It was a down year in terms of producing the sort of excitement that us diehard fans are used to experiencing, I guess I have been spoiled by so many successes.  That being said, I was fortunate to have “friends” in high places  (thanks to my brother, Bobby) who had season tickets down close to the court which he very generously shared with all of the family.

MM, Jo, Tommy....center court.....it doesn't get any better than that!!
MM, Jo, Tommy….center court…..it doesn’t get any better than that!!
Brutus
Brutus “bowing” before the “dreamcrusher”!!!

At this particular game, Jo and I (for the second time this season) were privy to Bobby’s court side seats and as you can see, Brutus Buckeye paid our little VIP section a personal visit…..notice how he is even sort of bowing before us??   Okay, okay so he wasn’t even remotely aware that Jo and I existed..he  was actually leaning over to acknowledge one of the kids a few seats below us!  My youngest brother Tommy, (the sibling whom I swear was born with a silver spoon in his mouth!) sent us a text that he, being the beneficiary of a friend’s VIP tickets, was also at the game and was seated center court, directly above the student cheering section (see??…….I told you he is the “S.S.S”……silver spoon sibling!).  We decided to meet at half-time at which time we were graciously invited by Tommy and his friend to join their group for the remainder of the game.  And so it was, that Jo and I surrendered Bobby’s fabulous corner court-side seats for Tommy’s luxury front and center court-side seats.  Loved, loved, loved watching the Buckeyes up close and in person……….seeing D’Angelo Russell work his magic was especially awesome.  Hats off to the brothers!!!

Luke's periorbital hematoma, a.k.a. shiner,
Luke’s periorbital hematoma, a.k.a. shiner,
Sophia and teammates get last minute instructions from Chris and Meg
Sophia and teammates get last-minute instructions from Chris and Meg

Doesn’t Luke look a little bit like Harry Reid?? (for all of you non-political readers, you might want to google Harry Reid and his exercise bands “accident” LOL).  Poor Luke he was playing basketball for his 5th grade I.C. team when he was tripped up and fell flat on his face…..this picture was taken a couple of days later and shows the ugly aftermath.  That black eye stayed with him for a couple of weeks as it went from black and blue to a yellow, green and purple.  He won’t admit it, but I think he must have impressed a few 5th grade girls with his new “tough guy” look.  Of course, Luke wasn’t the only Schultheis playing some hoops…..Christopher and Megan doubled up as a coaching team for Sophia’s 4th grade I.C. team.  I believe that it took Chris and Megan several games to gradually lower what were initially some rather high expectations of their team, realizing that, even though many of the girls had played rec ball the year before, 4th grade is still pretty much a learning year:).  Over the course of several months, Sophia and her teammates gained increasing confidence as they improved their ball handling and shooting skills, I am not sure however, if they ever managed to grasp the significance of Christopher’s clipboard x’s and o’s!!! LOL

IMG_1003
State Champs! Nate is first row, first left.

The family also had a chance to cheer on my nephew, Nate and his team, the Racers, as they battled their way through many hard-fought games to reach the finals of the State Division III Special Olympics Basketball Championship. They pulled out a victory and no one, absolutely no one, could have been more happy than Nate. That Nate….he never fails to amaze us with his self-assured confidence as he plows through guys taller and heavier, fighting for every stray ball, driving to the hoop for a lay-up or sinking a three pointer!!  What we all really love about Nate is that he always, always, always says exactly what is on his mind (Mmmmm…could that be an “aunt” inherited trait???)  For instance, right after the championship game, with his Dad standing well within hearing range, Nate walked up to his coach and told him that he was a better coach than his Dad (who had been the team’s coach for several years prior)!  Nate calls ’em as he sees ’em!!  In Nate’s world, even Lebron’s innate ability on the court can not measure up to his own……Nate assures us all that he could go one on one with Lebron and beat him……every….. single….. time!!

My new favorite
My new favorite “loser” casino machine!!
This was my mantra of the day!!
This was my mantra of the day!!

Basketball was not the only winter diversion……the Schultheis sisters graciously invited two of us “outlaws”, Rayne and myself, to meet up with them at The Hollywood Casino (a.k.a. Columbus’ local gambling establishment) a few weeks ago for an afternoon of literally hundreds of games of chance. “Games” and “chance” are two words that never translate into “fortune” and “victory” for me and this particular afternoon was no different.  Interestingly, Warren Buffet once said about gambling that, in general, it is a “tax on stupidity”,  thankfully, I did not remain “stupid” for long, although I certainly did pay a “tax” LOL!!  Finally, an hour before we were to leave, I discovered a real treasure………the roulette machine.  Way more fun for me than the coin eating slots.  I put $20 in and an hour later I was only down $10!!!!   That is how victory in a casino is measured for us Clarks…..not by how much $ we have won, but how little $ we have lost!!  Mom always claimed that she was waiting for her ship to come in…..it was just too bad that it happened to be the Titanic!  And Dad once famously told Bobby one year, that he should not worry about his employment situation….there was, after all, a light at the end of the tunnel….it was just too bad for Bobby that it was a train!!!!  And everyone wonders where my “glass half-empty” had its origins!!

The gallery above reflects a morning at the bookstore with the “dynamic duo”.  After Mayce and Josh had scoured through the rows and rows of books, they spied the stuffed animal display and began to move the animals from their shelves and gradually became lost in a world of make-believe!  I had been browsing in another aisle, and when I looked over I saw this strange alignment of stuffed dogs faced as though they were actually reading what was in front of them.  I asked what the dogs were doing on the floor and it was explained that the dogs had become sick and so Mayce and Josh had taken them to the vet and had placed the dogs in the “waiting room”.  LOL  Eventually, the “dynamic duo” retrieved the “healed” dogs and then ventured to remove practically every small stuffed animal from its respective shelf and proceeded to create a special “zoo” for them.  I have to say, that it does not take a very innovative individual to entertain these two……..they both have very elaborate imaginations and being around them makes me smile and reminds me to appreciate the simple joys of living!

I see that I am running over my self-imposed allotment of 1200 words/per post, but a lot happens in the life of a “nut”…….I am thinking that I need a Miss Wormwood (Calvin’s teacher) to keep me on track!!  There is still so much more that I want to document and share, and so I will try to condense the rest into a slideshow:

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Before I hit “publish” I would like to share an incident which Christopher encountered when he was leaving the adoration chapel a few weeks ago.  We have at Immaculate Conception a Eucharistic devotion (ours is a Perpetual Adoration, meaning twenty-four hours, seven days a week) whereby parishioners commit to taking a specific hour to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.  The gentleman who takes the hour following Christopher’s is the father of a one of Chris’ former I.C. classmates.  We are casual acquaintances, but he is familiar with our family situation and knows Crick’s journey of four years ago.  Anyway, as Christopher was opening the door to the chapel to leave, this person, uncharacteristically, asked Chris, “Talking to your Dad, were you?”  When Christopher shared this with me, he told me that the really curious thing that got to him, was that he actually had been talking to Crick that night.  Peace and comfort come to each of us in many ways when we have endured the loss of a loved one……I have encountered many such incidents in the past few years, and each time my faith in a loving, compassionate, just and merciful God has grown deeper and stronger.  I read this a few days ago…it seems appropriate:

Heaven is both present and future.  As you walk along your life-path holding My hand, you are already in touch with the essence of heaven:  nearness to Me.  You can also find many hints of heaven along your pathway, because the earth is radiantly alive with My Presence.  Shimmering sunshine awakens your heart, gently reminding you of My brilliant Light.  Birds and flowers, trees and skies evoke praises to My holy Name.  Keep your eyes and ears fully open as you journey with Me.

At the end of your life-path is an entrance to heaven.  Only I know when you will reach that destination, but I am preparing you for it each step of the way.  The absolute certainty of your heavenly home gives you Peace and Joy, to help you along your journey.  You know that you will reach your home in My perfect timing; not one moment too soon or too late.  Let the hope of heaven encourage you, as you walk along the path of Life with Me.                                    Jesus Calling  

Just as all die in Adam, so in Christ all will be brought to life; but all of them in their proper order:  Christ the first-fruits, and next, at His coming, those who belong to Him.                                  1 Corinthians 15:22-23

That. Really. Is. All.

TNT

TGW