Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘friends

Sports Binge

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I went on a day-long TV spectator sports binge yesterday, in large part because, well… I could. At home, the only television signal we have is our antenna for free broadcasts from the Twin Cities. At Cyndie’s parents’ house, there were satellite channels for more sports than I could count.

This allowed me to catch the Golden Gophers college football game and the men’s US Open tennis final that wouldn’t have been available to me at home. Luckily, Fred was wise enough to record the Gopher game, as they were playing at Fresno State on the west coast and the game didn’t start until late Saturday night.

That meant we didn’t watch it until yesterday morning. I had peeked at the result already, so I knew the game was worth seeing. What a fantastic finish with the highlight-reel catch in the deepest possible corner of the endzone on 4th and 13 to tie the game with less than a minute left, and then the surprising interception in the second overtime to claim the win.

We followed that excitement with the NFL Vikings strong win over the Falcons in the opening game of the season. I’ll take it.

Next, there was a quick check of the MLB Twins to find they were trailing Cleveland. That game was usurped by the championship tennis match on ESPN.

Rafael Nadal outlasted a strong challenge from Daniil Medvedev in an epic four-hour-fifty-one-minute 5-set match. Those guys battled for almost five hours, one on one, no substitutions. No wonder Rafa collapsed after the final point.

I was ready to collapse. By the end of the day, I had watched so many athletes exhaust themselves, it wore me out.

Bingeing (I had to check that spelling) is not as easy as one might assume.

It will be good for me to get back home later today after work and return to my (almost) usual routine. This week will be another one spent without Cyndie at home. She is flying to Florida this morning to spend time with Dunia, who will be visiting from Guatemala.

I’ll go back to reading about sports outcomes in the paper, a day after they happen, for my fix of athletic adventures.

It’s kind of a “slow binge” on spectator sports, don’tcha know.

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Written by johnwhays

September 9, 2019 at 6:00 am

Friendly Fun

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Yesterday, we joined our friends, Mike and Barb for a range of adventures around town, highlighted by a stop to see their grandchildren play the classic little kids “magnet ball” soccer.

After lining up and doing some individual drills, the teams took the field for a 4v4 game that ends up looking like the ball is magnetic and pulls all eight players into a tight group around it. I remember those days with our kids, but that was a long time ago.

Between matches for the two kids, we had time to stroll the main drag of Excelsior and grab a sandwich for lunch. That brought back memories of the year I worked in an office there with my friend David Keiski to publish “City’s TONE” monthly magazine.

Our walk extended to the municipal pier from the opposite end of town and back again.

The latter part of the afternoon found us strolling again, this time in Edina, exploring the “Fall into the Arts Festival” at their Centennial Lakes Park.

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The art was gorgeous but exceeded my financial resources. We fulfilled my fix for fried cheese curds while we were there, though, so now I don’t feel bad at all that I didn’t go to the state fair this year.

Our day was loads of fun with friends that filled a particularly fall-ish day with very fashionable frivolity.

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Written by johnwhays

September 8, 2019 at 8:47 am

Making Plans

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We are not going to the lake this weekend, but we do have Anna coming to stay at our house to take care of Delilah, Pequenita, and the chickens for a few days. Our plans are more along the lines of the stay-cation in the cities with family and friends variety. That involved a fair amount of pre-planning for my little brain last night.

We will be staying at Cyndie’s parents’ house, which facilitates my heading there directly from work this afternoon and remaining there through Sunday night to go back to work again on Monday morning. That was a lot of days to think through in advance. Makes it feel a little more like a vacation, so that’s fun.

Too bad I don’t enjoy packing for vacations. Somehow, I find a way to get over it.

I’m feeling fussy over other plans we are concurrently trying to form, having to do with needed upkeep of the logs of our home, the consideration of quotes arriving for re-doing our deck, and now our need for some assistance with wild animal control services.

Early returns indicate the costs of each are running in the neighborhood of 2-3 times the price of our desired budget. One, or more, will likely have to wait, and logic tells me it won’t be the animal control.

I’m thinking I may end up honing my [lack of] carpentry abilities and replace the deck boards myself. The logs will likely wait until next year, and we could very well end up applying the recommended two coats of wood protection ourselves to avoid the huge expense quoted yesterday.

For a person who doesn’t like making plans or even decisions, for that matter, these issues coming up all at once are a dreary burden of responsibility. It makes me long to be 5 or 6 years old again.

Those were blissful days…

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Written by johnwhays

September 5, 2019 at 6:00 am

Double Visits

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Yesterday, we had a precious opportunity to visit our horses because we were invited to lunch with friends on the lakeshore at Gary Larson’s home, and the two destinations are in close proximity to each other. Our double accomplishment came at a cost of limited time at each location, but the blessing of any amount of time with a treasured group of really great friends and a hands-on visit with our horses fills our hearts and energizes our souls.

After a luscious lunch (Thank you, Gary!) and a quick dip in Christmas Lake, I switched into long pants and boots and Cyndie and I drove a little further west to spend a few minutes with Dezirea, Cayenne, Hunter, and their old (re-newed) herd-mates.

When we arrived, the horses were out of sight, down the hill from our point of entrance. A short walk in and we spotted them before they sensed us. It was calls of alert overhead from ospreys nesting on a platform by the car that caused the horses to take notice of someone inside the fence.

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They all moved to the base of the incline and peered up at us with great interest, but came no closer. We slowly walked down to meet them.

The interactions with the large herd are a little complicated by us having a close relationship with three of the horses but barely familiar with the others. It was difficult at first to have focused time with our horses while surrounded by the heightened curiosity from the others over the strangers in their midst.

I was allowed to have a brief connection with Dezirea before her new gang of worshippers interrupted, probably trying to figure out what she was getting that they might be missing.

Eventually, we had a chance to spend quality time with each of our three horses. Cyndie pictured with Cayenne above, me with Hunter below.

Hunter appears to have adjusted well in his return to the old herd that formerly held him toward the bottom of the pecking order. At one point, when I was standing with Cayenne and him, I heard one of the other horses in the vicinity give a little shout and the group of three who had strayed a little too close suddenly hustled away. I didn’t see what he did, but Hunter clearly claimed our space and the others definitely got the message to leave us alone.

All too soon we needed to start the drive back to tend to Delilah at home alone all day. Cayenne and Hunter insisted on a long Minnesota goodbye and stepped after us as we tried to break contact to leave.

When we looked back from the top of the hill, those two were still alone together in the spot where we left them, as if lingering in the in-between of time with us and returning to the herd.

In the car on the drive home, Cyndie and I smelled like horses. The rest of the day we lingered in the in-between of time with them and returning to the rest of our real world.

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Written by johnwhays

August 25, 2019 at 6:00 am

Precious Memories

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We had another company looking at our deck yesterday to quote replacing the boards. While I was waiting for the appointment, I took another shot at pulling up boards to expose more of the joists. The previous person who looked at it suggested getting rid of everything and starting from scratch. Yesterday’s suggestion was much more to my liking. We can just add a board between each of the 24″-spaced joists and put down a new surface, leaving the railings in place.

I like that plan. The handy-man neighbor that was first to look at our project was ready to slap on whatever new boards we wanted to buy, never a worry about the too-wide joist spacing.

Since we are going to keep the railings, I spent some time preparing them for refinishing, while yesterday’s guy took measurements. I’m hoping he got the numbers right because we also chatted the whole time. He used to own racehorses in the early days of the Canterbury Downs track in Shakopee. He understood what it is like to no longer have horses.

As I talked, I was unscrewing the multitude of clips that our friend, Marco Morales, had meticulously placed for a flexible LED light wire Cyndie wanted along the deck railing for a special party while the Morales family was visiting four years ago. Remember these, Marco?

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The clips didn’t hold up well against the abuse our winter weather dishes out and the tube had become almost black as the plastic aged, but it looked great that night!

As I unscrewed each clip, I enjoyed remembering the times we had during that visit. It seems like longer than just four years ago to me.

It is hard for me to imagine we might have an opportunity to make new memories from a future event that will match the peak we reached those days in August of 2015.

Honestly, I don’t know if we are fixing up the deck so we can enjoy it for years to come or to improve the appeal for someone who might want to buy the place, but it doesn’t matter.

I will always have the precious memories of living here.

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Written by johnwhays

August 24, 2019 at 9:09 am

Documents Signed

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In the middle of a week that has been blurred by activity, much of it at the day-job that has been intensified by a voluminous flood of orders, Cyndie and I inserted a moment of great import. Yesterday, our children joined us downtown in Minneapolis to sign wills, health care directives, and a variety of miscellaneous legal documents to assure all our affairs are in order, in case we become incapable of making decisions for ourselves or our lives come to an end.

It’s weird to have the thought that we are now ready to die. I suppose this is why so many people tend to neglect this task.

I, for one, am very happy to have taken care of this aspect of adulting. Maybe these documents will never be needed, but if someday they are, the legal definitions of our wishes have been signed and dated.

It only cost me $20 to park in a ramp for the meeting. Luckily, at the end of the day, when meeting Cyndie and our friends, Barb and Mike in St. Paul for dinner, the parking lot pay station was broken and we didn’t have to pay anything.

Twenty dollars seems like an outrageous amount of money for parking a car for an hour-and-a-half, but there was a convenience factor involved and I only pay for parking a few times a year, so I mentally amortize the rare expense across the large expanse of many months and it doesn’t seem as burdensome as it should to me.

We had dinner at the Keg and Case Market, visiting a variety of the merchants for treats after sandwiches at Revival Smoked Meats. I had my first taste of halva, the Middle Eastern sweet confection made from sesame paste. Cyndie chose cotton candy.

Those opposite dessert choices emphatically represent one of our many personal differences!

Just as we were heading for the cars at the end of the night, we received a message from our kids that they were out together at a brewery for a fundraising event for MacPhail Center for Music where Elysa works, and they ran into Barb and Mike’s son, Ryan.

What fun synchronicity!

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Fresh Start

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Here goes nothin’. It’s a new week and we get a fresh start to face the challenges that lie ahead. Even though the weekend ended kinda rough, there were a few high points that I am dwelling on to provide some positive momentum for the next few days of work, particularly the unfinished business from last week that I failed to address.

The best part of the weekend was the serendipity of meeting Catherine, a new out-of-town friend from the Pacific Northwest who was visiting Wildwood while we were there. We share the understanding of being on a journey to discover our best selves.

Another treat was catching a glance of one fledgling eagle making a brief circle of flight out of the nest.

We learned from one Wildwood community member that one of the young eagles was down on the ground shortly after the nest had fallen apart. It is unknown whether they came down together, nor how the fledgling had made its way back up again.

Seeing at least one of them take flight gives us hope they will both succeed in the next phases of development.

We received feedback around dinnertime last night, on the status of the lake neighbor’s bitten dog. The injuries were deemed “non-critical” and she was eating, drinking, and walking. Pending one last assessment by their main veterinarian today, we are hoping for the best possible diagnosis for a speedy return to full health.

I would like to embrace that thought on this quest to head into the work-week with a “fresh start” perspective.

Let’s imagine that the best could happen!

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Written by johnwhays

August 12, 2019 at 6:00 am