From a crisp ‘Nati, good morning all:

Wisdom of the Week:

“It must be an odd feeling to be thankful to nobody in particular. Christians in public institutions often see this odd thing happening on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone in the institution seems to be thankful ‘in general.’ It’s very strange. It’s a little like being married in general.” — Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. (my philosophy professor from decades ago)

This is the first morning in days where the smell of brewing coffee is pure. No longer is it mixed with those of baking turkey, honey baked ham, chocolate chip cookie dough, or CoolWhip lite—and it is wonderful.

This whole week the patter of little feet has been echoing in every nook and cranny of the house; and that was just the pet rabbit – Snickers Briones. Add a gross of kids and a just-beginning-to-walk baby and the whole way of getting about changes dramatically. I now know why the old folk from my memory all had a “widow’s hump” aka the “Dowager’s Hump”, it stems from the fact that morning noon and night you have to stare down at your feet for fear of treading on a little something.

And the energy of kids; from the moment they get up it goes non-stop until an eventual crash; which occurs hours after my normal bed time. Actually, I was bound and determined to prove that I could keep up.

It started with the sweetest and most innocuous request; “Opa, do you want to play soccer?” Since I had survived playing Corn Hole, where corn-filled bags were thrown every which-way just so they could watch me grunt as I retrieved them, what else could go wrong?

I even remembered some most excellent moves from my active playing days. One in particular where I could cut short a rolling ball and reverse direction while kicking it with my non-dominant foot (now both the right and the left). Little Marin kicked and as luck would have it the ball left the yard and rolled into the street. This was my golden moment to revive memories of yore and use this moment as a teaching event.

I caught up to the ball and whipped around kicking at the same time. I have no memory of the other foot ever being stuck to the ground, this occurrence, I realized, was a first. Three or four very awkward lunging steps trying to regain a bit of balance proved fruitless—a laid splayed out in the gutter smelling sewer gasses at a very close range. Marcia informed me that I was a bit old to nurse skinned knees and a sore shoulder.

Jason, Vince, and I took Derek and Marin to a local wall climbing facility. Watching these two six year old kids clamber up a 45 foot sheer wall was awesome. Later on, when Jason and Vince also did the climb they confirmed that the upper body gets one major workout. To answer their dads sore bicep discussion the little guys then picked a wall with a jutted surface and repeated the climb.

That evening I asked Marin if his forearms were still hurting from all the climbing efforts. He gave me a strange look and then without any hesitation fired back; “Opa, I only have two arms.” Don’t you just love it? Aren’t these the best moments?

Yesterday the dads received an early Christmas gift and went to see the nationally (5th) ranked University of Cincinnati Bearcats whoop Illinois at Nippert stadium. Since the game was broadcast nationally I joined the moms and kids and watched in the comfort of our home where as much hot chocolate and pumpkin pie as we wanted was available at halftime. The instant messages which streamed in from the dads made reference to it being chilly—the rest of us hadn’t noticed. We all had a great time.

“Hectic” is defined as intense activity or confusion on one hand and flushed on the other. This week, as all our local gang joined Vince, Kirstin, Derek, and Kellen who drove in from Florida, our place was about as hectic as it gets. I want you to know that Marcia and I needed every bit of it. Life is too short and our current lifestyle is a bit too quiet. Thanks kids for giving us such a wonderful Thanksgiving week.

Make it a great week everyone. To Sandy, we’re glad that your surgery went well. Now that all that is behind you I am certain that George will fix you a leftover Turkey sandwich.

Cheers,

Dirk

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