Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winding down 2011.....Here comes 2012 part #2

The snow and rain took turns yesterday, but as I headed out to Convoy for a Girls game between the host Crestview team and Hicksville{yes Virginia there really is a town called "Hicksville, Ohio"....}most of the precipitation had ended....just a damp cold had settled in.  On the way home I thought about firing up a hand rolled cigar, but thought again, and decided not to stink up the van or my clothes....it's been at least two months since I had a cigar, which in a good way keeps my stock in the basement in full supply.  Don't smoke often in the winter months...just have not been one of those cold weather outdoor smokers.

Back at 2011____

After the February 5th wedding of Hal and Lisa, we returned home to Ohio to await the reception, which was slated for Dayton/Centerville some two weeks later.  As opposed to the wedding, which was just a family affair, with 15 total, counting bride and groom, in attendance, the reception at the local American Legion would see a "normal" sized crowd....I can't remember exactly how many, but somewhere between 150 and 200 is my guess, but I really wasn't counting.  Considering the bulk of Hal's friends were from Mercer County, it came as no surprise to me that we shut down the "free" part of the bar much earlier than anticipated....this Western Ohio County is well know for it's Catholic Beer Consumption tradition, and the guests did not disappoint.  It didn't matter, they boys from Hal's childhood quickly went into the pay as you go portion, without missing a beat, even the Legion bartenders were impressed.

As the reception put an end to the months of work for the bride and groom, and planning for them and parents, especially the mothers, it also marked the winding down of the long basketball season for me, and we could see the light at the end of the bitter cold and snow filled winter.  Baseball and moderating temperatures were just around the corner, as was the announcement that we would become first time grand parents by year's end. 

March and April came and went...despite much wet weather, I did manage to get most of my scheduled baseball games in...I remember some as bitter cold.  One in particular, at Defiance College, where Garry and I worked was as cold as I can remember in recent years working a game.  Early in the season, the day of the Reds traditional home opener to be exact, we worked the game in 35 degree temperatures, with a northeast wind...Garry was lucky, he was at the plate on this rotation, and got to wear the gear, making his day a bit more bearable than mine....even with the Underall winter clothes, I froze.  By the time I finished the Summer American Legion and ACME season, some cooler weather would have been appreciated.  Things warmed up considerably as the season progressed into June and July.  My spring season didn't see as many tournament games as usual, guess I didn't stroke enough egos of those making the decisions...aka Kiss Enough Ass...but if you know me, you know that will never happen.  

Summer ball, was a different story....working both multiple districts and the State Tournament here in Celina, at Montgomery Field, and also the District American Legion Tournament in Sidney....I stayed busy throughout the Spring and Summer Baseball Season.

Back to early Spring, where we usually have our Easter Dinner at sister Marty's place...{we do the same at Christmas}, it's a good place with enough room for all to move around, eat, and BS.  The newlyweds, Hal and Lisa were there, and at the end of the day, took us out to their car, and presented us with "Grandparent" gifts...announcing that they were expecting around Thanksgiving....on a Father's Day family get together, we found out the sex of the baby on a trip to Cincinnati and a Reds game...it would be a boy.  And as it turned out...Kasyn Timothy Houseworth would be born Thanksgiving evening....more on that later.  

In addition to the "Baby News",  back in March I turned 62, so I would receive a small stipend from Uncle Sam, called Social Security.  Working much of my adult life for the local and state governments{hard to believe with my political leans I know}, my small SS checks each month wouldn't do much, but it would be enough to make the payment with a bit left over for a new vehicle....so in April, Patricia and I purchased a Dodge Nitro for her.  I gave up the ghost and sold my old Jeep Wrangler to the neighbor kid, Derek, and took over Patricia's Mini Van....imagine me, drinking a "soccer mom" type vehicle...well, gotta admit, it is more comfortable than the Jeep.  Also Rick, Clint, and Rick's boys and I went on our annual Michigan Mushroom Hunt in mid May, for me it followed a two year hiatus....the mushroom pickings were slim, but I did manage to meet face to face with a Hog Nose Snake, thinking it was a Michigan Timber Rattler at first.  I got some good photos, before I dropped my camera in the stream, while reaching for a cold beer, from the bag of beers we had cooling....thus ruining it, but not the disk which included the snake photos.  The wet and mushroom-less weekend still was a good time, as it always has been.

We wound down the Summer with a trip to Wisconsin for another wedding, this one for Patricia's nephew...Hal and Lisa, would join us for this final fling of the Summer....more tomorrow as the summer turns into fall.

back later>>>>

Photos-The Mushroom Hunt in Michigan mid May, didn't yield many "rooms", but did give me a chance to get up close and personal with this Hog Nose Snake, which yielded one of my best photos in recent memory.  Turning 62 gave me a little pocket change via Social Security, enough to purchase Patricia a Dodge Nitro, to replace my Jeep and the Intrepid, the Jeep, as much as I hated to depart with it, was sold to Derek the neighbor{bottom photo}  I spent many summer morning at Grand Lake snapping photos of the glorious sunrise above our polluted lake...the lake stinks, but many photo were taken, and many came out excellent....baseball went from March until the end of July, here I am in July working the ACME District at Lima Central Catholic....and in Michigan, in addition to meeting up with the "Snake"...I finally got a chance to meet my cousin "Big Moe" Houseworth...we had talked via phone and e-mails for years, but we finally got to share a beer and a handshake.

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