My house is cozy and warm though. And I've already mixed up a batch of sourdough bread, which makes me feel all accomplished and Ma Ingalls-ish. Isaac now has his license, so off the children went to school by themselves! Maybe that's part of the prairie woman feeling because that leaves me stranded here without a vehicle. Not that I usually go anywhere during the day but, you know, when you don't have it you're sure you'll need it.
So here I sit, drinking my coffee and looking around every few seconds at Charles' "Mom, mom! Look!" And trying to decide what I should say this morning. Should I dip into the murky waters of joy and grief? Should I talk about living with uncertainty; the questions of what God wants from me - from us - at this stage in life? Or should I tell you about nights at the park and the discovery of Pickleball?
I hope you're not too disappointed if I go with the easy one.
You should know by now that we're a fairly flexible bunch around here. We're not the sort who has our days planned to a tee and if we do, those plans are more likely to get changed up than not.
Jasmine and I clean the tire shop Chris manages. We try to get it done once a week but the day and time varies (see above) and sometimes we suddenly decide at 4:00 on a Thursday night to all go in to the shop to clean and eat the pizza that dad will order. Just as typically, the pizza might never get ordered because of a customer at closing time, so the shop might get cleaned and we might end up with pizza from Little Caesar's at a park we haven't been to before.
It was a lovely evening and the children were soon done with pizza and off to try out swings and slides. There was a basketball court being kept busy by some energetic boys and beyond them, more courts where people appeared to be playing tennis. I didn't pay too much attention to the activities and was actually chafing to go home when I realized that Isaac had joined the players and that the sport was actually called Pickleball.
The sign says -- "This court is reserved for Pickleball only. Open to public - beginners welcome. Instructions and equipment provided." Beneath that are listed days and times for playing.
Apparently most of those interested are in the 50-60-ish age range, or so it appeared from the crowd gathered that night. Isaac was the only one of us wearing tennis shoes, which is a requirement, and they welcomed him in and taught him the rules. They quickly decided that he had too much energy and wondered what court he had played on before? ☺
We went again last night, equipped with tennis shoes this time, and the three oldest and Chris all tried their hand at the game.
It is apparent that a lot of them playing are regulars and that the games are purely for fun and exercise. They are some of the kindest people I've seen, welcoming my crew warmly and appearing to enjoy a game that included a newbie 10 year old as much as one with their seasoned cronies.
It's too bad we discovered this at the end of summer rather than the beginning. But you can bet our children will be wanting to make the most of every chance we have left! I guess this proves again that flexibility often provides you with gifts in the most unexpected places.
What about you -- have you ever heard of Pickleball?