Skating taught me to set a goal

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Roller blades, also called in-line skates, are an increasingly popular summer activity for families. So I agreed to give them a try. “It’s a great way to get around and a fun way to exercise,” Ann said. “If I can do it, anybody can.” I wondered, would it be that easy to learn?

The cost and quality of in-line skates varies dramatically from store to store. You can get generic-looking skates for $30 to $60, while sports shops sell brand name rollerblades starting at $100 and up.

Basically, you get what you pay for. When you get the more expensive ones, you get a better grade of bearing, and it’s got a better grade of carriage underneath. Everything is better quality and lasts longer.

I was satisfied buying a discount pair. Fashion isn’t a main concern. I wear wrist, elbow and knee pads.

It’s Saturday afternoon: Ann and Nancee, two cousins, are skating around Northeast Elementary School in Greenwood. I will admit that I scooted around the parking lot until I gained confidence. At first the knees were shaky but my spirit soared.

Learning to control the brake was the most difficult part for me. I still don’t have the knack of speed and brake. It’s more like speed and spin to stop.

I did question what I would feel the first time I saw the pavement coming to meet me. Much to my surprise I got up faster than I thought I would. I was having too much fun not to.

Now I can say it. Roller blades are not for everyone, but yes if I can do it anyone can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Road Signs

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Have you noticed all the different signs around town? True, more than one sign is strictly advertisements — periodically they are interesting.

One can’t help but notice the flashing neon sign on Madison near the Greenwood Shopping Mall. More than a few letters are gone. It blinks “quor” instead of advertising the establishment sells Liquor.

Did you happen to see the portable marquee sign on Meridian? “Tina, I love you – please come back.”   I wonder what ever happened to Tina.

The canopy sign outside of Fazoli’s advertised: All you “care to eat for $2.99”. I took my nephews and couldn’t help but notice they took the sign down the next day.  

Within a few blocks of the Shopping Mall, there is a deer crossing sign. True, plenty of deer cross a highway causing more than one accident. But honestly, have you ever seen a deer cross at where the signs are?

More than a few banks have electronic signs giving the date, time and temperature.   However; when it is 93 degrees outside, who needs to read a sign to know it’s hot.

There is a stop sign on Main Street in Greenwood that obviously doesn’t mean stop. More often than not when the cars come up to the street they roll right through.   I got a ticket there once. Now I stop.

By far my favorite sign is the billboard on I-65. As you head south toward Columbus you can’t miss it.   “Tattoos While You Wait”   Well, I would certainly hope so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

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Mothers are very special people.  My mother, is a lovely and talented lady.  Among her many talents is her ability to sew.  It’s a talent neither my sisters nor I inherited  —  whether by choice or not, I don’t really know why.

Mom made all of our clothes and some of the neighbor’s when we were growing up.  My grandmother had a treadle sewing machine she would pump away at.  My mother had an electric one that had ‘attachments’ that she would keep in the bottom drawer of the machine.

It really wouldn’t matter which sewing machine my mother used, the results were way above average.  I remember once seeing a dress in the newspaper that I wanted so much and mother just studied it.  She drew out the pattern on newspaper, cut it out, adjusted it to fit me and she was ready to go.

Placing the home-made pattern on top the dress material, she started to cut.  The scissors made a special sound as she cut through the double thickness.  She would stop many times as she sewed to fit the dress to me, all the while pressing each seam so the finished product would look professional.

I stood on a table and slowly turned while mom measured so many inches up from the table top because the last thing of course was to put in the hem.  Then the final pressing, so I would ‘look nice” at school.

My mother no longer sews dresses for me or my sister.  Her grandchildren find the clothes they need at the local department store.  She no longer sews clothing, so she make quilts. Her quilts could stand inspection from “the best of them”.

Me?  My talent is with a hot glue gun.  I can fix any hem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Spring Showers !

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Last week the temperature was 62 degrees outside, today we are faced with rain.  Students have given up hopes of missed school days because of the weather. The best offered was getting to sleep in for two extra hours before going to school because of fog.    

On St. Patrick’s Day, one man in Colonial Springs was busy cooking supper on the outside grill.  Two streets over a man was out on his riding lawn mower. 

El Niño has been good to Indiana.

April showers can be expected soon.  Let’s hope we do NOT have a repeat of the April storm of a few years past.  The storm warnings came over the television then the icefalls were falling from the sky.  The hail hit with the force of angry rocks.  I kept waiting for my windows to shatter.  The hail bounced off the street, splashed in the back yard and batter my roof until I felt like I was inside a tin-can target at a shotgun practice. 

The bombardment stopped, moving on to a different city after fifteen minutes.  Neighbors came outdoors to talk and check on the damage.  The car hood looked pitted as though someone had taken a baseball bat to it.  The roof of the house would carry evidence of the storm that would be soon fixed by insurance leaving the pings imprinted by the hail just a memory.

My husband called from work in Columbus.  He was asking about his new garden tomatoes.  He heard we might be getting some rain with a bit of wind.  Well you can kiss those tomato plants goodbye.   

Today we have a slight rain shower but we can’t trust Mother Nature.   While the now famous weather phenomenon has brought an unusually pleasant winter to Indiana, we could still get two to four inches of snow.

Remember this is Indiana.  The bad weather isn’t over until AFTER the boys high school basketball tourneys. 

 

 

 

Return of the Snowbirds

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imagesMy Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven should return to Greenwood soon.  They are the family snowbirds. Just like our feathered friends, with the first signs of spring, they return.

“Snowbirds,” just like many actual birds, leave Indiana for the winter, but come back home in the spring.

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven have spent the winter in Lake Havasu, Arizona.  They have made friends in Arizona yet they always return to Indiana in the spring.

My husband never fails to mention them when he is out shoveling snow or scraping the ice on the car windows.  Uncle Steven also manages to call late night when it is bitter cold here – just to mention that he has his windows open and is enjoying the evening air.

Some people call them lucky.  These individuals who can migrate away from the cold.  They never have to put their summer clothes away, or purchase a new winter coat.  They never have to worry about which boots to wear just to go to the mailbox.  They spend the winter working on their tan.

By spending the winters in the warmer climate, snowbirds don’t have to deal with icy roads, shoveling their walks, falling on the ice and all of the other winter hazards.

They have a good reason for coming back – it’s home!  If they had to call any one place in the world home, Indiana would be it.  They have their home here and their family.

The neighbors and family watch the house for them.  Snowbirds aren’t just sunny day friends.  They do miss Indiana, but not quite enough to brave the cold and snow.

Basically,  they  escape from  the  hard cold  during the winter  and  it is beautiful  in Arizona.

Within a few weeks you can see the snowbirds flying (or driving) back to Indiana.  You can be sure winter is out of view.  Gone but not forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

A Time To Vote !

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November, the  month  of  elections  and  turkeys.      A  likely  combination  if you ask me.

Another election is right around the corner and I must admit politicians can be some of my favorite people.  They are, and have been, some of the most colorful people ever placed on this earth.

Campaigners won’t let us forget that it is election time.  Political ads, and yard signs are everywhere.  Political signs sprout in the fall like dandelions in spring.

I enjoy seeing them.  It reminds me that people are actually supporting the electoral process.  True, voter turn out might not be as heavy as we would want it to be, but citizens should know who is running for elected office.

Here in Greenwood, signs particularly for local elections line the streets.  You can’t miss them.  There is no reason for anyone not to vote.  Citizens are aware of the election weeks in advance.

True, it may be trivial and unsightly when we see the candidate’s signs in someone’s yard or at stop lights.  Yet, these signs become a vital part of our lives and experiences.

Will you vote?  I hope so.  If you don’t vote . . . then don’t complain.  Take a stand, decide on what side of the fence you are, make yourself believe in something and vote!  

Driving to the newspaper office this morning I couldn’t help but see signs for a new coroner.  The brightly colored signs remind that a certain person has a wide variety of backgrounds and work experience.  But, that is one office I cannot get excited about.

Touchdown . . . . ??

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My nephew is getting ready for his first big game.  He is a football player now.  When he first brought home his uniform, he wore it for most of the day. 

My little nephew  Doug,  came over and showed us  his football gear.    He looked so tiny in his football uniform.   I could almost cry when I saw how  the  mammoth equipment engulfed him.   His bright  red  jersey should intimidate any opposition team. 

He showed me his helmet.  He took special note of the face guard, chin strap and soft padding inside.  I was glad to see a plastic mouthpiece attached, leaving no emergency trip to the dentist.

Doug proudly shows a big number seven on the front and back of his jersey. He has shoulder pads under his shirt that adds a good six inches to his width.  With the hip, knee, and thigh pads in place he resembles a roly-poly about to tip over.  He waddles as he walks.  Only once did he step on my toes with his cleats.

I watched as my husband went out and showed him the right way to hold the football.  His little fingers barely covered the lacing.  When he brought up the ball so that it was just behind his ear to toss, it looked about the size of his head. 

His first lesson was to take the snap of the ball.  The football held high ready to throw then he lets his arm swing down in front.  He drops the ball more than a few times.  I yell that he should take the snap from his wrist.  One more try and then the ball sailed across the grass.

They decided to throw the football in the front yard. The little guy’s first few passes were wobbly.  I yell that my husband should move in closer.  Soon he was throwing the ball straight to his uncle.

Keeping his eyes on the ball, my nephew is ready to catch the ball with both hands.  More than once he missed it so I yell to my husband to move to the right.  Soon, the little guy caught it nearly each time.

They practiced passing the ball for a while and then started to punt it.  The instructions were simple:   Take a short step with your kicking foot, drop the ball as you step forward with the other foot, and then kick the ball with the outside of your foot.   Pow!  The nephew fell flat.   I yell that he needs to kick it before it touches the ground.    Two more attempts and my nephew kicked the football  into the air.

I was glad to be out in the front yard helping.  Each time I yell my husband rolls his eyes.  He suggests that I do NOT attend any of my nephews football practice sessions.  I wouldn’t want to embarrass him would I ?  He says it’s a “guy thing”.

Little Doug’s first football game was this week. Sitting on the bleachers I watched him play football and I did not yell.  Perhaps it was the way my husband grabbed my arm each time I tried to stand. 

They won the football game and he knows he has to practice hard for years and years to become a professional player. 

I wouldn’t save a place on the mantle for the Heisman Trophy just yet.