Monday, September 28, 2009

We Finally Won One…

Beccano mallets away at the competition. Aren’t their new uniforms great?

…and didn’t win another one.

The one we won (I’m getting too wrapped up in this homophone, right?) was the football game Friday night. McNeil usually wins all of the out-of-
district games and loses most of the in-district games. This year we started out the opposite way. One of the kids in the stand prophesied that this trend would continue.

I don’t really care. I’m there for the band.

And that brings us to the one we didn’t win. Saturday was the first marching contest of the season—and the only one I’m likely to see. McNeil sounded really good and look pretty good. I thought they had a serious chance, but the judges thought otherwise.

McNeil was the only band that we saw who performed their whole show. That should have counted for something. The other bands had worked on adding flash, but just stood in place for their third movement. We marched the whole damned thing! And sounded good doing it. But apparently flash is more important than knowing your show, and McNeil placed sixth out of a number that resembles a nine but is of lesser value.


Granted, the last three places were determined by only a few hundredths of a point. But still…

So this week, I am grateful to get to hang out with so many dedicated kids who work really hard to put on a show each Friday night. They deserve better than they got.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Trip Home

Dad reassures Suna that the AC in his tractor works.

As I mentioned yesterday, we stopped off at Dad’s on the way home. We couldn’t stay as long as I would have liked, but we got to see him and eat some ice cream at DQ.

My favorite part was when he showed off his new tractor to Suna. He gave her a really good tour of the cab. He even started it and let her pretend to drive.

Suna and Beccano enjoyed riding around on the Mule that Chris loaned him. That gave Dad and I a little chance to talk—mostly about nothing. And that is just fine.

This week, I’m grateful to be able to talk to Dad about nothing in particular.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Port Aransas Retreat

Beccano and Suna Act Touristy

Suna, Beccano, and I took our first “vacation” since we went to North Carolina a couple of years ago. OK. “Vacation” may be a strong word for a weekend retreat to Port Aransas with a group of people from church.

We hadn’t planned on going, but there some kind of harmonic convergence that allowed us to. It started at the game Friday night when we learned that we had a by-week. Then Sunday at church, Janet mentioned that one of the rooms handn’t been taken. Those two things combined with a need to get away and destressify ourselves and then we were on our way.

Suna and I both worked extra hours so that we could take off
early on Friday. We decided to take the interstate to Corpus and the causeway to Port A. We made it to the condo shortly before sunset.

We spent most of Saturday wandering around the area. We started with a couple of walks on the beach taking numerous pictures of the local wildlife. At one point we saw a seabird feeding frenzy. The birds on the horizon we thick enough to be confused for smoke.

Just because it’s pretty. I don’t know what kind of flower it is.

Then we took the ferry to the mainland and wandered around looking at the sites. We got eaten alive by the mosquitoes at the estuary and headed back to the condo and the beach.

Saturday evening was taken up with a pot luck dinner. I improvised a sausage dish with pan fried Kielbasa in sauce of red wine and cheap mustard. It turned out to be delicious, and almost all of it disappeared.

This guy looks serious. You can what I mean by clicking on the image.

Then we went out to the beach again to play with tiny jelly fish that fluoresced when rubbed. These tiny blobs don’t sting, so you can pick them up in your hands. The hardest part was convincing our fellow beachcombers to turn off their flash lights. It seemed counterintuitive that you needed almost complete darkness to see very faint bioluminescence.

A walk this morning, packing our dirty clothes and then we hit the road for home. We saw another instance of the seabird feeding frenzy, this time up close.