Christmas Greetings from Alabama!
The fields of glory are silent as the cheers fade into memory. Not so long ago Eli was a little boy playing in the dirt on the sidelines but this year he took center stage as the captain and QB of his high school football team. How was the season? Remind me again, is it winning or competing that is important? Eli has been immersed in football: spring training, weight workouts, and then the weekly prep to play on Friday nights. Our state is also passionately “caught up” in the game, so we too have rolled with the Tide. Eli made All-City and Alabama may add one more title this year. Peak football. It seems prudent to remove football from its pedestal, allow the tide to go out and foster a more decorous fandom. As citizens we could even pay attention to our flawed and troubled politics and give some guidance to our bought and paid for legislators.
Retirement. Surely retirement is at hand. Surely the Second Coming is at hand. Hardly are those words out when a vast image from an excel spreadsheet troubles my sight. Who knows where the time goes or what anything is worth? My knees are fine now but how much will a knee replacement cost when I’m 74? We are in a tuition “gap year” and have not gotten a read on Eli’s bill for enlightenment. College? It is a Rumsfeld unknown unknown buried in the low impulse control pre-frontal cortex of a teenager.
Which brings up Lindy, who graduated cum laude in Neuroscience from Furman in May. But she can’t tell us either. She should be fully conversant with the literature on adolescent decision-making but we would have to pay her for her professional opinion now that she has a degree. Lindy ground out a few “real job” interviews, was not selected, so refusing to be tied down, lit out for the western territories, planning to teach skiing for the winter to 3 year olds in Steamboat Springs, CO. I thought it was pretty impressive to land a skiing gig with 5 days of experience on her resume.
Hardy is still in Orlando—transitioning this year from church work to his post graduate work for a master’s degree in counseling. He must have told his professor he was paying for school himself because they assigned him a project to psycho-analyze family relationships which has the possibility of turning out badly if any of us read the report. He’s got a group he bikes with so I generously “gave” him my racing bike so I could buy a new one.
We are still hosting State Department visitors and exchange students but our attempts to show them how kind and generous Americans are seems to be undercut by larger policy decisions about regime change in Syria and Ukraine, drone attacks, and the endless task of training the Afghani and Iraqi army to fight their own countrymen. Visitors are down so I can only surmise that the war budget is crowding out the peace budget.
Lynne has finally been voted out of all money responsible positions except family Exchequer. She was football booster club Treasurer for 3 years keeping HHS amateurs in a world of paid (no teaching load) coaches. To compete requires ‘commitment’ and I don’t mean time in the weight room.
Our Spring baseball season was a long time ago because of course we play high school baseball in the winter. In March we went to the National High School Baseball Tournament in Raleigh, NC going 2-2 against the best teams in the country. We had a great underachieving team last year and are expecting to go further in the playoffs this year. Eli is as good as the other 28 kids on the team and might play.
Our summer vacation had a football theme as well. We took Eli to Princeton, Yale, and Harvard to do one day football camps and check out the schools. Perhaps doing a walking tour after a football camp is not conducive to kindling an interest in attending that school - he ended up “passing” on the Ivy League experience.
Lynne plays Bunco-(think neighborly conversation with dice in hand) while I play bridge ( think eat cheese and drink wine). We are spending more time on our superlight bikes and of course will be professional spectators for the next 6 months watching 40+ baseball games. We are pretty settled here and not inclined to change BUT it’s not inconceivable that when Eli hits the road to college, we will not be far behind. May your joys be merrier basking in the warmth of your family.
Drew, Lynne, Hardy, Lindy, & Eli