Monthly Archives: October 2012

~ Day-Glo Orange ~

Critter chose his backpack all by himself for school this year….it had to be a CERTAIN orange.  Not just orange.  And on the wild, wacky, wonderful world of internet shopping, we found HIGH-VISIBILITY (Holy-crap-it’s-in-your-face!) ORANGE backpacks on a motorcycle site.

For $35.00, I’m sold, man!

He has loved his backpack dearly.  And, much to my pleasure around traffic, he is, indeed, highly visible!

But this backpack has had a repeat failing…the shoulder straps tear off at the top seam.

This is an issue.

Grandma Jane has fixed the bag once.  But yesterday it failed again.  And we couldn’t get the bag to Grandma on time tonight.

I was preparing to put all of Critter’s 4th grade essentials into my plain old rusty orange day hike pack, a plan with which he was most assuredly NOT on board, when My Captain came through the kitchen, plucked up his heavy-duty sewing kit he made for the firehouse, and grabbed Critter’s bag.

I said, “Aw!” and went about my merry way getting munchkins to bed.

An hour later, when all wee-ones were asleep, I came upon this:

A full hour later!  This was a man intent on his mission.

A manly man.  A firefighter.  A Commander and Captain, a Paramedic, a Collapse Rescue Technician.  An Ad Hoc Softball Coach.  A greasy knuckled automobile brake changer.  An axe wielding firewood splitter.  A Chevy truck-driving, snow-plowing, tractor-steering MAN.

Sewing a 9-year-old boy’s backpack strap, because it’s the certain special orange that boy loves.

There is no punch line here.  There is no smarmy remark to finish off this post.  No pithy saying to sum it up.

It’s just the love of my life sewing my only son’s backpack.

That’s all it is.

And it’s enough.

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~ Heart-throb ~

Last night I attended the Poolesville Basketball Association’s Start-of-the-Season-Address.  This was the meeting where the leaders welcomed and explained to all the newer parents and athletes the expectations, rules, and potential consequences the season would bring.

For instance, we were informed that if a parent gets ejected from a game by the referee, the coach is automatically suspended for two games!  And they really wanted that to not happen to our coaches.  Which meant they were asking all of us parents to, essentially, BEHAVE.

It meant that we, the parents, were expected to be appropriate role models for our children.

It also meant that we would be held accountable for any, er, ‘bad choices’ we might make behaviorally during the season.

I couldn’t help but feel everyone was looking at me. But that’s just because I have issues, not because I’ve ever been ejected from a game.  (….yet.)

I can identify with the parent who goes through the roof when they see their kid fouled repeatedly and not get relief.  I keenly empathize with a parent who gets frustrated with a coach who might not share their game play philosophy.  I  well understand mass mentality when it comes to game excitement.

What I can’t do, is promise that I’m not that parent.  (See issues, above.)

I may not understand the game of basketball fully, or be an expert in the rules or strategies of play, but that never stopped me from helping vociferously and loudly from the sidelines.

How my Varmint can stand to be in public with her complete embarrassment of a mother is beyond me.  Maybe it’s my amazing Zombie killing skills that allow me to stay within her circle. Who knows.

So here was the best part of the evening:

It was time to introduce the coaches.  It was done very casually:  This coach’s name is “______”  and then Mr. “______” would raise his hand.  And when this happened, everyone looked and nodded, but there wasn’t any cheering or clapping or anything.  We were all still reeling from being told to behave.

We’re a fun town, a small town, a fairly tightly-knit town.  Telling us to behave when we are used to jovial, rambunctious camaraderie tends to knock us back on our heels.

Or maybe that was just me.  (see issues, above.)

And then….

They announced the Coach for the 8th grade girls’ team.  And the crowd went WILD.  More specifically, the bunch of 8th grade girls up at the top of the bleachers went wild.  Loudly.  Joyously.  Excitedly.

And for the Coach, embarrassingly.

His ears turned a beet red.  His grin was sheepish, humble, and surprised.  He was not expecting to be called out as THE heart-throb coach.

And the parents laughed….we laughed at the girls’ enthusiastic display of affection for their coach.  We laughed at his humble embarrassment in the receiving of it.  And we laughed because it felt GOOD.  It felt good to see our children so happy.   To see them come together as a team before the season had even started.

When it comes right down to it, that really is what it is all about.  Doesn’t matter what the sport specifically is.  When you put your child on a team like that, it isn’t just to learn the sport.

Good sportsmanship.  Perserverance.  Compassion.  Humility.  Self-Confidence.  Self-Sacrifice. These are the backbone of any community based sports association.  They are the POINT.  They are not just the punchline, or the sound-bite.

The coaches and staff of the Poolesville Basketball Association are keenly aware that they have a greater responsibility and commitment than most parents or children can fathom.

And it has little to do with that orange leather ball.

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~ Is Something Burning? ~

We were at our new friend’s house tonight.  They had bought a wonderful hundred-year-old farm-house on a few acres, complete with a big red barn worthy of any children’s book.  (Go find The Big Red Barn if you have never read it.  Then come back to this post and go “AH!”)

It was a cool, crisp, clear night…one that was supposed to be full of shooting stars due to a rare meteor shower.   All of us had lifted our eyes to the stars, sipping Hot Cider that Jackie and Dave had ever-so-kindly warmed for us in a Dutch Oven over the bonfire.  The dogs were out running around the barnyard with Critter and Jeremy and Jesse.  Varmint and her friend Julia cuddled near and were, like us, searching the night sky.

The crickets chirped and sang.

Wood smoke wafted through the air.

And then…

“AUGH!!!”  Varmint rocked back too far in her campchair trying to better see the sky, and fell (as my Dad would say) ‘ass-over-teakettle’.  All we could see were her feet flailing wildly in the air as we gasped and laughed.

And then…


In her descent, Varmint’s chair had caught the camp table behind her…… the table that held the hot dogs and condiments and cider.  And it was all slowly dumping on top of her!

My Captain rushed over to help her.  Jackie and David rushed over to help her.  Even the dogs rushed over to….well, I think they were in truth looking for the fallen hot dogs….but me, I sat where I had been, laughing so loudly and forcefully, it caused my rump to sing.  (That’s polite-talk for ‘fart’.)

Which made me laugh harder. … because I’m immature and love potty-humor.

Don’t judge.

They got her up, brushed her off, and got all the furniture set to rights.  Varmint was, as always, a good sport and I was very proud of her behavior!

But something didn’t smell right.

At first, of course, I figured it was me.  I mean, I was the one who had just had the singing-butt.

But the smell didn’t dissipate.

In fact, the fart stench started to smell like a burnt fart stench.

I glanced down at the fire.  There, in the middle of the blaze, was one of Dave’s fireproof gloves.  It had evidently gotten tossed into the fire in the fray and frenzy of Varmint’s upending.

And, er, it turns out that, well……

They ain’t so fireproof.

They had burned.  Everyone started saying things like, “I WONDERED what that smell was!”  and I was relieved no one actually pointed at me.

Now, what I want to know is this: What in tarnation is in those fire-RETARDANT (because fire-proof they surely are not,) gloves to make them smell like the fart of a middle-aged soccer mom?  Or, conversely, what is in my rectum that makes my fluffies smell like burning fire-retardant-treated leather?

Someone figure it out and get back to me, please.

Thank you.

Categories: Fire and Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

~ His Good Looks and My…… ~

I don’t even remember what started the conversation.  My Varmint and Critter were in the back seat of the Equinox, watching Marvels’ “The Avengers” while I was driving us home from Grandma Jane’s Orchard tonight, when some inane subject of conversation came up and as a result of it, I said, “It’s a good thing you guys are cute.  And you get that from your Dad.   Yup, you got your Dad’s good looks, and my……and my…..”

And I drew a blank.

So I waited for them to fill it in.

But was met with silence.

So I said a little louder, “Yup, you got your Dad’s good looks, and my….and my……and my…..”

Nothing.  Crickets chirping.

“HEY!” I barked!  “Is anyone listening to me?”  And I gave them my best ‘stink-eye’ from the rear-view mirror.

“Yeah, Mom,” Varmint said, without moving her eyes from the screen.  “But we’re trying to watch a movie here.”


Well, I don’t rightly know what they got from me, but it’s a damn good thing they’re cute.

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~ The Wii ~

Don’t you feel sorry for children who don’t have access to modern-day electronics?  Don’t you just wish every kid could have a Wii and a Kindle and an Ipod and all those fancy high-fallootin’ gadgets that no one over the age of 40 has any idea has to operate, let alone program?

Just think of all of those poor inner-city children, or those unfortunate Third World kids who have absolutely no idea what excitements are available on the World Wide Web.

Then again….

Who needs a Wii?

This message has been brought to you by Critter, who has been grounded from all things electronic until he is 40 years old.

And Lymes-Disease-Carrying Deer Ticks, one of whom attached himself to Critter during this particular day and caused him to have to take over a month of the biggest horse-pill-sized antibiotics I have ever seen.

(When he balked I explained we could do this the hard way, or the easy way.  The easy way was orally.  The hard way, well….wasn’t…..)

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