Monday, September 25, 2006

Vinemont 22 Union Hill 8

Vinemont Middle School is officially now 3-1 on the season. They did lose in their preseason scrimmage with Danville, but they have done well since. David is new to playing organized football. He did get in the game for one play!

Big Spring Jam

I took the boys to the Big Spring Jam music festival in Huntsville on Friday night. We went straight to the WDRM country stage. We enjoyed listening to Jeff Cook, Blake Shelton, and Sugarland. The weather was a concern, as tornadoes were touching down in Marshall and Blount counties. By the time we arrived at the park, however, the weather was purely awesome! The temperstures were in the seventies with a brisk breeze out of the south. We enjoyed watching the low clouds speed by, the lightning in the distance, and cool music.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Good Hope 34 Vinemont 22, 9/21/06

Watermelon Harvest 2006

Thursday we harvested the two watermelons that survived the long, hot, and dry summer in our garden. All credit goes to the boys who faithfully delivered water from the tap to the watermelon vines all summer. The boys and I enjoyed two of the sweetest watermelons I've ever had while sitting on the on the front porch. Life doesn't get much better than that!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Catching Up...

I know it's trite, but I've been so busy living life that I haven't had time to blog about it much lately. I suppose it's time to catch up. Last Monday, 9/11/06, it was good to meet Matt and Joe for lunch at school. It did indeed bring back memories of eating with David and Joe on the same date in 2001.

Also last week was special because a teenager was welcomed to the family. Friends and co-workers have been warning me about the difficulties in raising teenagers for the past few years. I guess I am about to find out what they are talking about. I will be the parent of one or more teens during the next 13 years. David will be my only teen during the next two and one-half years. I will have two or more teens simultaneously for the following seven years. I will actually have three teens simultaneously for about one and two thirds years out of those seven years. Then I will be back to having one teenager three and two thirds years. Yes, as you can tell, sometimes I have to figure out way too many details!

Anyway, David seemed to have a great 13th birthday. I gave him his gifts, including a new digital camera, an autographed book by Winston Groom entitled "Illustrated History of the Crimson Tide”, numerous baseball cards, an autographed Greg Maddux card, an Alabama football media guides from 1984 and 2006, and a few DVD's that I made for him. We all had fun together that night.

Friday night we went to bed early. I would guess we all were asleep not too long after 8:00. It was a good thing. My alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. so that we could leave for Tuscaloosa by about 5:30. It was really easy traveling to an Alabama game that early in the morning. It was dark most of the way to Birmingham and the sun didn't actually rise until we were around Bessemer.

We parked across from Farrah Hall and "tailgated" in front of Moore Hall on the southeast side of the quad all day. We did visit the Bryant Museum. We also enjoyed watching the team arrive at the stadium at about 3:00. The boys played football with some other kids much of the day and I did all of the grilling. We left the game with about 5 remaining. Bama was winning 41-7. It was a great decision. we walked fast over to the car and beat most of the crowd out of Tuscaloosa around 9:00. We drove all the way to my parents' home in Huntsville and arrived there around 11:45 or so.

Sunday we hung out with my Mom and Dad. David organized his baseball cards and watched the Cubs game and I watched a lot of the Braves game with my Dad. David washed my Mom's car and Joe washed mine. Joe also mowed the front yard. We played a little football down at the park and enjoyed a wonderful meal that my Mom prepared. She made baked chicken, baked potatoes and green beans.

Yesterday I got to take David and Joe to the Cullman County Fair. I had fun watching them on the rides. We also enjoyed looking at the animals and prize vegetables. The weather was perfect for a fair. The air was dry and cool. Someone either threw or dropped a plastic bag with water and a goldfish from the top of the ferris wheel. It missed us by about a foot. That would have been bad! This has been one of those rather boring narrative chronological entries that I submitted mainly to supplement our memories. Someday I hope the boys and I will look back fondly at these times.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Monday was 9/11/2006. I sure do wish that was just another "plain old, regular day" on the calendar like most other dates. Unfortunately, as you know, it is not. The events of 9/11/2001 profoundly changed the way most Americans look at the world around us. When I was growing up during the Cold War, there was always the threat of nuclear attack in the back of my mind. I had always heard that the town in which I was born and raised was one of the Soviets' highest priority targets in the event of a military confrontation. Despite all of this, however, the reality was that there were never were Soviet attacks on America during this time. Between 1979 and 2001 there were incidents involving terrorism against Americans, but the vast majority of those were against military personnel stationed overseas. That all radically changed on 9/11/01. In a series of attacks, 2948 innocent people were murdered here on American soil. I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I was on leave from work that day from 7:30-11:45. I was at my home in Good Hope and was listening to the Rick and Bubba radio show out of Birmingham. When I turned on the radio, they were beginning to describe the first attack. In a matter of minutes I realized something had gone terribly wrong. My first reaction was that it was just a really bad plane wreck. As details began to emerge, it was apparent we were under attack. We had no idea of the scope, but a wave of fear and dismay seemed to roll across the country. Both of the twin towers were attacked by terrorists who hijacked airplanes, as was the Pentagon, and another plane crashed near Shanksville, PA. Was it going to end? I felt an impulsive desire to be near my children. I drove to the school and ate lunch with them. The teachers and parents were all talking with disbelief about what was happening. David was old enough to understand the basics of what was going on. I don't think Joe understood very deeply what was happening. It helped me to be there to reassure my children that they would be ok. I remember the uneasy feeling I had, wondering if there was an extensive network of other attacks that would be happening that same day, even close to where I live. I remember that my sister had to evacuate the office building that she worked at in Chicago because it was next to the Sears Tower, which was also threatened. One of the images that sticks with me the most that day was of President Bush. He was speaking at a school in Florida when he was interrupted by an aide that whispered something about it into his ear. It seemed that just like the rest of us, it was impossible for him to fully process immediately the scope of what was happening. I remember the feeling of unity and spiritual bond that seemingly all Americans shared during that time. I remember the Wednesday night church service at Seventh Street following the attack. David was drawing something on the bulletin and prayer list. Toward the end of the service he showed me what it was. He had sketched a picture of an airplane crashing into a skyscraper. I still have that sketch. On 9/11/2006, I ate lunch at school with my boys and reminded them of that day. I asked them if their teachers had mentioned it in class, and they had. Flags all over the country flew at half-mast in remembrance and memorial. It seemed like that for one day at least, most Americans paused and took a few moments to remember what happened on 9/11/01. Ever since that fateful day Americans have had a renewed sense of the dangers of living in America in the 21st century. Thank God that we have not been attacked again. I pray in the name of Jesus that we will never be attacked again. We should never forget those who lost their lives. We should never forget the heroes such as the New York firefighters and the passengers of the plane that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. We should remain vigilant to protect our country. We should stay on the offensive against the groups that continue to vow to attack us and kill us. To do any less would dishonor the memory of our fellow citizens who perished that day.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Vinemont 44 Cold Springs 6

David played in his first football game ever last night as his team won big. I was so proud of him!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

We went to bed early Friday so that we could drive to Tuscaloosa early in the morning for the Alabama-Hawaii game. Even though we didn't get up as early as planned, we still got a good start and we arrived in T-Town around 8. I made the mistake of parking in the parking deck behind the Ferguson Center. It was nearly impossible to get out of there after the game. I think that next time we will park on Hacberry and set up on the SE end of the quad. Anyway, we set up our canopy, chairs, and grill. A real nice guy helped us set up our canopy. We were near the northwest corner of the quad, directly behind Barnard Hall.

The boys made some new friends playing football on the mound on the quad. I grilled hamburgers, polish sausage, and hot dogs. For breakfast the four of us scarfed down a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We also had mandarin orange cups, chocolate chip cookies, and A&W Root Beer. I bought a program and we read that and other football material. I finished reading the book, Tales of the Tide. We also walked around and saw the sights around the quad.

A friend of mine, Tee, along with a friend of his, Ralph, came and sat under our canopy and chatted awhile. WTTO, Channel 21 out of Birmingham filmed the boys and I cheering, "Roll Tide" and the lady in charge said that we would be on the air next Saturday after the Auburn game. We watched and listened to the trombone section warm up on the mound before the game.

The game was fun for the boys and I. We met the season ticket holders who sit in front of us. One guy was named Paul and the lady was named Jessica. Paul was really getting into the cheering. He was urging my boys to keep cheering louder throughout much of the game. The decibel level must have been very high in Bryant-Denny that night. Bama won the game 25-17. I posted links to the stories about the game and photos of our gameday experience on my 2006 Alabama Crimson Tide Blog.

Sunday night and Monday we spent visiting my Mom and Dad. My dad taped the game for me and the boys and I watched it. David, my Dad, and I watched the Cubs lose another game on Monday afternoon. David and Joe mowed the lawn and the boys and I washed my vehicle. After I made supper, we went home Monday night.

It was a great family weekend!