Coping with Margie Maybe



September 2016

Before the Great Flood of 2016 was the “Great Flood” it began as a warning of some serious storms that could cause flash flooding. For those of us who have lived here for a while we figured that meant those same old roads that hold water every time we have a heavy rain storm, would do it again, but possibly a bit more than usual. Absolutely, high water on a road is a dangerous situation that can be life threatening. Not to mention in all our past experiences with flash flooding, waiting for the flooding to go away doesn’t take that long. So why take a chance; stay home. But in less than a week meteorologist estimate that 6.9 trillion gallons of rain fell on the state. Home wasn’t a safe place to be anymore.

I write this to help anyone who wasn’t here and wonders how all of this could have caught us off guard. We were on guard. We weren’t on the flooded roads! But who could have predicted 31.39 inches of rain would fall in an otherwise ordinary day in Livingston Parish. (That was just one day, this thing stuck around for days.) It also didn’t rain in houses first and then filled our escape routes…No, it was the other way around. What’s more, for many of us, our flooded homes were what we woke up to in the early morning hours. Sleeping to the sounds of rain tapping on the roof is an experience normally enjoyed; even if it occasionally amps up to sound more like a pressure wash. In this case, that lull-inducing sound managed to cover the clinking of lighter weight objects as the silent flood waters crept in and began haplessly moving them around.  Then when rising at 6 AM you found shin-deep murky water around your bed and your car, at a lower level, had water up to the dash. Enter the Cajun Navy, God bless them and their impromptu boat tours. The water eventually receded so we’re all good, right? For starters, this wasn’t a clean scented bath. That water that fell from the sky managed to mingle with sludge and muck before it slinked into the fiber of all our possessions. Even if an object, cabinet, or wall, was only partially submerged, it was damaged. Add to the mix a lack of power (no AC), humid days on end, and you have an ideal incubator for spores of mold.

Those are all the things that will be calculated and measured. Certainly in the weeks, months, and years ahead we will have more news of the costs to repair, stats on criminal behavior at the expenses of victims, and hopefully, calculations on how to avoid a repeat of this devastation. But the larger numbers will be missing. The countless acts of kindness, bravery, strength, and love, that has and will continue to help us through this while we hold our heads high with pride in how we survived.


August 2016

The whole family went on our first international trip to visit my husband’s family in Çeşme, Turkey! I could go on about how beautiful it is there, how much fun we had touring historic places, and how we swam and played in various dreamy blue waters, but I won’t. Since Turkey is probably not on very many people’s short list of places to go to, I thought I would share the general things I learned that will hopefully help you on your international travels.
Traveling with kids and depending on their electronic gadgets to keep them occupied? Keep in mind, outlets are different in various countries. Airports often sell converters but of course the ones that do will seriously over charge you for them. Pack an outlet converter for all your chargers in your carry-on or your “down time” in an airport could become “downright whiney time” in an airport. Also, check with your mobile phone service provider about a plan that may cost you a chunk more for roaming, but in the long run, is cheaper than the per-use charges and less of a hassle than getting a new, temporary phone in the country you are visiting.
Speaking of things to have on you all the time: Band-aids! No, you are not prone to paper cuts while traveling. However, even though I packed one of those kits with every type of shoe rubbing comfort in it, it remained in my suitcase when we went on our first exploration. Halfway through that adventure I realized my new walking shoes had a small sticker in them that, though small, caused a good deal of pain. A band-aid saved me.
Digestive Aids are a must. Sadly, this was again my firsthand experience that taught me this. Bonus tip: Watch how the natives eat what they eat. In a restaurant, my mother-in-law put a teeny tiny dab of a mushy red stuff on her plate. I thought, well if she thinks it’s good it must be great so I put a huge glob in a piece of bread and ate it like I hadn’t eaten in days (practically all in one bite.) You know the pepper flakes you get in a jar at pizza places here? Well in Turkey, they grind them into a powder, add a bit of olive oil, and it looks like tomato paste on a plate. So back to the digestive aids. First, I had to ask my husband, as translator, to ask my mother-in-law if she had medicine for the embarrassing symptoms that were keeping me in a bathroom. She did not, which meant we needed to tell my brother-in-law all about it so he could drive off to a pharmacy (the pharmacies are not on every other corner like here either). My brother-in-law had to then tell a pharmacist about his sister-in-law’s woes while my husband explained to the rest of the whole family – who were waiting to go to the beach – what the hold-up was. I don’t even want to think about the hassle it would have been had we been in a country without native speaking loved ones around us. “How do you say in French “painfully explosive…???”

July 2016

Random thoughts from a woman with a summer cold…
I wonder what the next generation will think of our lives and how we lived. Considering how much is posted on social media, you would think they would have nothing to wonder about. But the pictures posted give such a controlled small glimpse of life. They are so focused, planned, and narrow in scope. It’s always extremes when it comes to videos. If it goes horribly wrong it goes viral, if it’s not perfect, reshoot. Of course this is probably the same limited scope we have of any time in history.
Could we treat our schools like the NFL? The teachers would be players and principals as coaches. Teachers wouldn’t be expected to play every position either. They would teach their specialties to kids from day one. Yep, a kindergartner, first and second grader, can handle having three different teachers throughout a day. Not only would you get three reviews instead of one on how your kid is doing, we would also be able to pinpoint school failings. If say the math section of a number of kids is bad you can trade that teacher out for a better one. The better math teacher would naturally get better pay to come to the school! Draft picks for newly graduated teachers would be awarded to schools who need the most help. Whole school not doing well? Then hire a new coach…but for more money! Oh and absolutely sell advertising on school uniforms. Just like the NFL there would be salary caps equally awarded per school but the advertising on uniforms could pay for better facilities and equipment.
Why don’t belly buttons heal/close over? We needed them in the womb for everything but beyond that, their usefulness can’t solely be for a piercing location. Sure, as such a vital part of our very existence it would be understandable if it left a scar but “innie” or “outie”?!? Seems a bit extreme! Ah, nothing beats a summer cold for encouraging long stretches of time on social media, nostalgia for school days (if not your own, then your kids’) and plain old envy of a husband and kids geared up for a dip in the pool on a sunny day…Too much cold medicine kicking in? Perhaps.


June 2016

Was having a shiny happy day the other day. It was the first anniversary of a tree landing on our house and I guess on this day, more than any other, I was acutely aware of how nice my current state of being is and I was very grateful for it. Since the trauma with the tree, our kids were doing well, my marriage was rock solid, my career was booming, and the roof over our heads was sound and in one piece. What’s more, I was juggling a ton of things, from work to personal life as well as the kids’ schedules, and keeping track of everything while feeling strong. Then came the phone call. I just had gone to my annual physical two days prior. They had found some signs of abnormal tissues in my mammogram and because of my mother’s death from breast cancer, they wanted to do more tests the next morning.
Thankfully, further tests revealed, I was fine. But in that moment, when the call came in, it felt as though I had stepped on the wrong end of a rake. It was like a hard shocking smack to the head. My focus on everything I was juggling gone. The joy and appreciation for what still remained wonderful in my life…gone. Of course the obvious take-away from this is to start and end each day grateful for what you have in your life – even if it is only your health. Studies have shown the mere act of trying to think of something to be grateful for can boost your brain’s ability to overcome anxiety and depression. However, the other less obvious take-away has given me a lesson that I can be grateful for as well.
It got me thinking of the other people that were in the same re-testing waiting room. There were five in one, 12 in another, and four in the final room. What were the odds of all of us receiving a clean bill of health? On a daily basis these rooms were filled with different people all nervously waiting to hear test results…they all got that call. They all suffered at least a brief moment of shock that knocked everything off balance. Maybe the next time I encounter someone being a bit off their game I could be a little less quick to judge them.

May 2016

A vacation frequently means that the family goes away for a rest, accompanied by a mother who sees that the others get it. –Marcelene Cox

How to “pack it all in” seems to be my subtitle for a vacation. Of course my idea of a vacation is skewed as my husband and I have not taken a vacation to anywhere other than my sister’s or parents’ since…Hmm, since we had children–coincidence? I think not. It started out as a way to drive ourselves to free babysitting…er, be by family that would enjoy the sounds and noises babies make. Every trip became a tactical event plan that would rival many a major concert tour. Beyond the diaper bag we had to have a small bag for the hotel stay on the way, a bag with spare clothes for mishaps along the way, a massive bag holding clothes for our arrival, and then all the other containers of storage that held virtually a mini version of our home life. The loading and unloading of our car alone was enough to require a nap. Thinking we might have been better off had we rented an RV I realized I would probably have had to pack another bag of kitchen cleaning supplies!
As our daughters have gotten older their list of “must haves” has gotten much shorter. Still, due to enrolling them in private school, our destinations have remained the same. Budget friendly…er, loving family. (In truth we have been incredibly blessed that my wonderful sister lives in a gorgeous touristy spot in Florida.) Packing has lightened up for many reasons. Hand-held electronic gadget, ear buds and a pillow, and the girls are good to go. (They manage it themselves too!) Smaller portable electronic gadgets have also made it much easier for my husband to load his portion of our home as well. Probably the best thing I have come to realize: we can do laundry while on vacation (pack less) and in the event we forget something, there is shopping at my final destination too (stress less!)
This year it will be massively different. We are going to another country!!! Now we need secret storage containers. (Belts with hidden pockets to hold money, passports etc.) Although technically that is the end of the major differences. We are going to budget friendly…er, loving family. We’re off to see my husband’s family in Turkey. Our kids’ requirements are the same, husband’s electronics check again, laundry available at my mother-in-law’s too. But considering the shopping will be different I fully intend to forget a lot of stuff!

April 2016

My 8th grade class trip was to Chicago. Sounds super adventurous if you think we went there from where I live now, in Louisiana, but back then I was in Wisconsin. Our tiny 8th grade class of 13 were able to pile into a yellow bus and we were off. We left 30 minutes earlier than the usual start of school to make the three-hour drive to arrive in time for a quick tour of a museum, a bag lunch, and then off to a real professional theatrical show. I still remember the name of the show, “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” Couldn’t really tell you much else, my guess is we enjoyed it. The more lasting memory for me was all the walking we did on the busy streets of the big city. We returned home after school but in time for dinner. I have no recollection of my mother even batting an eye.
Fast forward to my daughter’s class trip: They are FLYING to Washington DC for four days of museum tours, dining at various restaurants, and visits to the Capitol as well as the grounds in and around the White House. As a minor American history buff who can name every president, I envy those kids and am completely thrilled for their opportunity. As a parent I can hardly think about it without breaking out into a cold sweat or developing an upset stomach. My oldest child is not the best with navigation and even keeping track of her possessions is not an ability she has mastered. On top of that there are all the many things that could go wrong just getting to and from her destination. I can’t even bring myself to type further about it as I fear I may barf on the keyboard at the very thought! I’m not alone with this stress. This time of year, class trips to all sorts of distant places are happening. I’m seeing a fairly steady stream of stressed out moms posting on Facebook.
It makes me wonder if our moms were more calm or better actresses? I never noticed my mom stressing about my class trip. Of course it could have been because the duration wasn’t that long, the distance that far, or that, as I was her 5th child to reach this rite of passage, she may have become used to it. Of course it could have been that the lack of social media made it hard for moms to find a place to express their concerns without raining on their kids’ excitement. They just gritted their teeth and smiled at their keyed-up child. So far I’ve managed to keep my anxiety from my daughter and by the time this is printed she will be safely home full of stories from her first big adventure. Note to my younger daughter: This one trip will not make me any less stressed by your eventual trip. But I will try to keep in mind that I know that this is a common worry for parents in effort to strengthen my appearance of absolute joy when you announce your planned adventures…at the rate things are going I should expect to have your passport handy…I’m feeling a tad woozy.

March 2016

Cornering on two wheels we came squealing into the test site Saturday morning. Best laid plans…sigh. In truth we came in at a turtle’s pace squinting through the dense fog in order to read the little placards set up to tell us where we were supposed to be going at this unfamiliar school in an unfamiliar city. Fortunately, a kind fellow parent guessed what our intensions were and waved us over to the correct one of four buildings and explained they had already begun seating children for the test so we should run.
With only minutes to spare and at a heighten jog, we slid up to the registration table. I handed over every document I was able to print regarding this test, and it was a stack of eight or ten sheets. The first little snarling gatekeeper informed me the documents I had looked nothing like anything she had seen and it was doubtful they could let us in. It was then I knew I had no ability to shoot flames with my eyes as every facet of my brain was contemplating that action. Luckily, the more Disney-like gargoyle to her right looked through my paper work and announced, “we just need one that has the child’s name on it so I can compare it with our list of enrolled test takers.” Before I could master lasers coming from my finger tips or utter any of the rant I had in my head about their having a list, and that my ID that showed I shared the same last name as the child on the list should be more than enough, I heard her say, “here, this paper has her name and she is on our list too. But she better get-a-moving, they will be closing the doors in minutes.” Yeah, yeah, enough with the panic lady, my kid is here let the child go test.
This was yet another example of my pet peeve: why put up extra hurdles for a task no one would want to do if they didn’t have to do it. We should have been able to simply state our child’s name, figurehead number two should have checked to see if our name was on the list, and then Princess Less Than Charming could have extended a claw to direct us where to go! If we were trying to get into a movie or amusement park, I get the checks and double checks for a desirable place to be. But this was a follow-up test to another test that you had to register and pay to take. It was not widely publicized so it wasn’t as if some random kid could show up in my child’s place to experience the joy of testing. Not to mention the test results would only be released to my child’s school in another city weeks later. They couldn’t benefit from trying to take the test as someone else. Now if I were to be squirrely enough that I would try to get a ringer in to take the test for my child, the ridiculous nuisance barricades they set up would do nothing to stop me. These testing kids are twelve, no passport ID was required. Grrr, two more hours until the testing is complete…considering my rant it may be safe to say I should probably spend the rest of the time looking for some caffeine and a quiet place to cool off my flaming eyes and laser fingers.

February 2016

Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

While on a recent vacation with one of my sisters, we were lamenting how horrible it was to get old. We were cautioning my daughters about how gravity would make for a noticeable impact on appearance and youthful stupidity would take its toll too. Between our scars and body sagging, that for their sake was only eluded to, we gave fine examples of why they should be in no hurry to get older. As with most conversations I have with my sisters the topic gave way to laughter. We started imagining ourselves 20 years into the future, “Remember when we used to whine about our boobs hanging around our elbows? Those were the days. Now they’re at our hips!” I think that remark made my girls a tad squeamish but they giggled along with us.
It was that conversation that got me thinking about how at any given moment we are as young as we will ever be. I think I took it a bit too much to heart when I thought it would be a fine idea to take a turn on my kid’s scooter. It wasn’t as though I wasn’t given a subtle hint that this would not end well. Just while trying to get the clunky metal thing out to the sidewalk, I got clipped right across my calf near my Achilles tendon. Squatting to rub my stinging leg the thought, “that’s going to leave a mark” popped in my head. Ah, but that was but a tender touch compared to what was yet to come. Apparently in my youthful zeal, stupidity returned with gusto and my next idea was, “our dog could use some exercise too.” Holding on to our three-year-old Schnauzer/Pointer mix, I took a few joyful glides on the scooter when a squirrel bolted by… I’m not exactly certain what happened next aside from my dog demonstrating that she had “jet speed.” However, within a blink there was a brief full-body airborne moment followed by the most painful slam to the ground I can remember. I believed my elbow took the brunt of the fall since my hand was totally numb. It was after I limped into the house and picked out the bits of gravel imbedded in it before the searing pain settled in. This left several marks.
On the bright side, my daughter witnessed the whole incident. I’m pretty sure she won’t soon forget how quickly things can go from an inspired idea of harmless fun to a painful mess. She does not need to be told to wear a helmet anymore either. Perhaps I need to focus as much on the first part of Ms. Eleanor’s quote as the last. Then in the future I won’t reminisce about the good old days when I would only misplace my reading glasses and not my cane too!
January 2016

“These days, the number of foods I can eat are easier to keep track of than the ones I can’t.” —My Grandma Irene
In my teens my grandma said those words and I thought, “Oh Grandma and her odd sense of humor.” But alas, I too am at an age where I begin to ponder if it would be easier to just keep a list of what agrees with me rather than what doesn’t.
That was until I started looking into diets. Here is another chipper thought about aging: Ask anyone over 42 (yep, at 40 there is an odd pop in vitality) how hard it is to lose/keep weight off. When you start seriously looking at diets, a number of them will tell you about the same things: Eat naturally; no processed food. This means none of the fun stuff that usually gives you problems anyway. Could it be that gaining weight is the first sign your body gives you to let you know something is not agreeing with it? Sure there are medicines and home remedies (raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar has done wonders) but how long before our body rejects those too? To add insult to injury, I have read a number of studies where researchers are tracing the difference between body sizes down to the bacteria inside our digestive tract! Too much of one could lead you to be too thin while too much of another makes you too heavy. Have my balanced bacteria died of old age?
There is some good news. Scientists have been able to transfer the bacteria of one thin mouse into an overweight mouse and the overweight mouse lost weight. They believe this is the first step in being able to customize bacteria in order to create balance for every individual. However, the human studies won’t start for at least a decade. So I’m wondering, would any of my thin children take me seriously if I started asking them to lick my spoon before I used it? “Oh that mom of mine, her dry sense of humor strikes again.” Or maybe I’ve started a new trend. Enjoy your next visit to see your grandma kiddies!


December 2015

Who would think one little kid could cause such a commotion? Not sure what compelled me, but I actually volunteered to look after one of my daughter’s classmates one day a week at our house. I’m sure this is no biggie for most people but considering in the last couple of years I’ve invited/entertained ZERO people into our home, this was huge. Entertaining guests has always been a dreaded event that has only gotten worse as I have gotten older.
Earlier this year, a tree fell on our place only to magnify the repulsion I have to opening up my home. Since the crash we went from living in one temporary place to another and yet another. No complaints as every place has been more than adequate to meet our needs and we were fortunate to have these options. However, since we are still not in our permanent dwelling, I had not been motivated to put up artwork. As in not one thing on any wall in our entire rented place. I had all our art pieces – from things my kids made to local artists’ paintings – stacked neatly with a sheet draped over it in one corner of my bedroom. But then there was that kid coming…I put the whole family on high alert. My daughters were placed on cleaning duty while I ran around with hammer, nails, stud finder, etc. I didn’t think it was going to have such an impact. My goal was only to make the place presentable for company. But when my daughters came out from cleaning their rooms my youngest exclaimed, “wow, now this place looks like a home!”
The “kid” no longer needs to come to our house but the art remains on the walls and I could not be happier. It is a subtle reminder that “home” truly is where you make it. What’s more, it has given me a new perspective on Christmas decorating. This year I’m focusing more on the joy that comes into my home as we prepare ourselves for the arrival of a rather special Child, and less on dreading the commotion that goes into getting the place ready.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


November 2015

“Gratitude is an emotion, expressing appreciation for what one has, as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.”~ Psychology Today
I started a new tradition that couldn’t have timed out better with Thanksgiving coming up. I read time and time again the benefits of gratitude. At some point in every day, or when you are feeling down, you should take time to think of five things you are grateful for in your life. They say even at your lowest, the mere act of trying to think of something to be grateful for can improve your disposition. It seemed too simple a task to actually do any good but at the same time it seemed too simple a task to do any harm. So I tried it.
Trying this in a low point of my life made it a bit more challenging then I expected. (It wasn’t any one thing that had placed me in this low point. More of a series of jabs that alone would not have hardly phased me. Together they were beating me down.) At first coming up with my five took a bit. Seems hard to believe that a healthy, married, mom, living in this country, would have any difficulty coming up with five things to be grateful for; I named four right there and I have housebroken pets, too! However, whether it’s a bout of depression or a series of life’s slights that bring a person down, and when the internal settings for joy gets turned down it can be hard to remember how to turn it back up. Beyond prayer, volunteering has always been my best go-to for getting out of my own head. But somehow, despite recent rewarding volunteering experiences, I still didn’t have it in me. Perhaps it was because the “jabs” had not relented. Feeling as though I had nothing to lose I gave the Gratitude Five a try.
I would love to say my days are now sunny from morning to night but they are not. Yet the breaths between jabs have become easier to take. I’ve added a twist on Fridays by encouraging my daughters to participate in naming the Five on the ride to school. Interestingly, I have noticed our quiet, calm, easy going daughter is more comfortable with this task. It is as though she always keeps her gratitude ever present and that has given her a sense of peace. As I have noticed at least a mild improvement in myself in the relatively short time I’ve been doing this, I look forward to using Thanksgiving as a bench mark to measure my progress in the years ahead. If nothing else, it won’t do any harm to my daughters. It more than likely it will do some good.
I do know that I am always grateful to you, the people who read my columns and I hope that we are all “coping” with whatever challenges, big or small that come our way. May this Thanksgiving find you with much to be grateful for and many loved ones near you to appreciate.

October 2015

I am experiencing quite possibly the scariest Halloween EVER! For the first time in over a decade my own child has asked to HAND OUT candy rather than go trick-or-treating! WHAAA! This can’t be my child? She looks just like me but where is her love of candy!?! What about the joy of dressing up? She offered, “Or maybe we could just help our friends walk their little girls around the neighborhood.” Who is this child? Is this even a kid? She claims to be 11 but I’m no longer certain of that…
Some of my fondest memories involve Halloween. I trick-or-treated until I was 13. When I was a kid even the prep work leading up to the big-treat stroll was a delight. To collect the candy we colored masterpieces of Halloween scenes on brown paper bags from the grocery store. That was until we got big enough to be able to walk long enough to require the sturdier, larger pillowcase. As we got older my neighborhood friends and I took great pride in calculating the best route to take that would assure finding the most homes with their porch lights on. Oh, but all that paled in comparison to costume designing! Nothing store bought. My folks had way too many kids for that, besides, my mom was a dress-up fan too. She would pick up fancy dresses at garage sales throughout the year for me and my friends to play in. We went from being princesses, to well-dressed witches, and of course blood dripped vampire prom whatevers! Hmm, maybe that’s it. Costumes and candy sacs are store bought, where is the creativity? It’s become a commercialized candy coated march…Who am I kidding, candy is still the reward.
As the realization that my real fear this Halloween could just be the thought that my kids are growing up, my older daughter spoke up. “Um, I would still like to go trick-or-treating. I haven’t figured out exactly what my costume will be but I have a few ideas.” Woo-hoo! There is still a dreamy child in my care and, judging from what my maturing daughter wants to do…I may have a thoughtful and caring future grown-up in the making too!


September 2015

Hi how are you? Love my mom 😀 Hi
~End Message~

That is a precious example of my child’s new enjoyment of texting…text hacking is probably more accurate. She is the only one in our little family that does not have a phone, yet, she probably texts more than the rest of us. Her specialty is swooping in and typing a line or two anonymously. The line above happened, complete with ~End Message~ when I began this column on my laptop before deciding to load the dishwasher. From our kitchen you can see all of the living room and I could have sworn she never left the loveseat but a return to my computer showed me I missed her in action yet again.
For the most part her text/note/hacks are cheerful and humorous but when she has a chance to mess with her older sister’s phone and friends, “mischievous” is the kind word for it. Recently, the text hacker got a hold of her sister’s phone between text messages to a male class mate about a homework assignment. She nonchalantly started a topic about the male student potentially being a boyfriend. Poor thing, he was caught off guard and his response radiated complete flustered confusion. Luckily, the phone was snatched up again by its rightful owner before anything too terribly embarrassing could be texted.
I kept a straight face while lecturing my daughter on personal privacy rules and not touching other people’s things. But secretly I have been appreciative of the intel my youngest has been giving me on my eldest daughter. Not to mention that I have a bit of empathy since, as the youngest of five, had cell phones been around when I was growing up; I would have done the same thing.

(Editor’s Note: A correction regarding last month’s Coping. It is with great appreciation to Hall of Fame Football Player, Mr. Jim Taylor, and his wife, Ms. Helen Taylor, that we learned the Vince Lombardi’ Packers did not play scrimmage with college football teams and it was Curly Lambeau that died across the street from Margie Maybe’s Grandparents.)

August 2015

Though I’ve never played the game and couldn’t tell you exactly all the rules, football has been a consistent part of my life. As a kid growing up in Wisconsin, I remember every so often my mom would take us to mass at a different church than we normally attended. It didn’t take me long to figure out why when one Sunday the priest from this other church gave the shortest homily I have ever heard, “As the Packers have an early play-off game today, I will keep this short. Lord knows there will be a lot of praying happening this afternoon.”
My mom and her family had a long history of being Packer Backers. Coach Vince Lombardi had his team practice by playing scrimmage games against my uncle’s college team, and the great coach even died across the street from my grandparents’ home. To this day my cousins still have great seats to every home game. Meanwhile, my dad grew up in Chicago…Yep, at our house, when the Packers played the Bears, it was more important than the Super Bowl. When we moved to other states we happily rooted for that state’s team providing they weren’t playing the Packers. Every Sunday morning before church my folks would make their picks of who would win the day’s games. After church I’d get a call, here in Louisiana, to give my picks. It was fun to be a part of my mom’s game. My mom made watching football an event. That’s why since she’s passed away, for me and my dad, football as lost its charm.
Gradually, its charm is coming back to me and I don’t think it’s just because “time” has healing powers. I think a lot of it has to do with where I live. Here in Baton Rouge our college football team is so well celebrated that it has an incredible joyful atmosphere beyond the field. The enthusiasm starts well before the game and you can almost feel it in the air. Whether it is at a pregame party on the grounds of the stadium or with the crowd you find in the chip isle of every grocery store, there is that simple but contagious happiness. It is this happy energy that I will try to tap into regardless of whether I attend a game or not, and while my knowledge of the finer points of the game may never improve, I will be among the many praying for a long and successful post-season!