Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lesson 89: A Star is Born

Yesterday, which was Labor Day here in the US, is the unofficial end of summer. The real fall comes in on September 23rd this year.  Ellen is thrilled that she will be celebrating her birthday on the last day of summer this year.  I am working on a nice collection of my summer pictures from 2011 for you, coming on the next blog post, so stay tuned.

But alas, the end of summer as we know it is Labor Day.  Theme parks close down.  Kids head back to school.  There is a sadness for many when we say goodbye to summer, but for Eloise I am sad for but a minute because I always look forward to something else---my boys of fall---my football players.  And man, do I love them all!  From my NFL quarterbacks, the speedy college running backs, right down to the beefy lineman on the local high school football team.   Going to a football game and feeling that energy is about the only time I ever wish I had been a boy.

My true love is high school football and I've been a fan of my orange and black since my first game I attended in 1971 when I was six months old.  My hubby loves the Big Ten and looks like a smurf until December because all he wears is navy blue and white clothing.  My parents are life long Steelers fans, so I am kept up to date on the NFL as well.  Weekends are about game day soup and chili and hard rolls and beer.  It is a fun time of year and the perfect remedy to the Summers End Blues.

Eloise is a fan, and I never got my chance to play, but God did give me one thing---he gave me a son.  And it just so happens that I have a Little Gridders field in my backyard with a nice goal post I can see out of my kitchen window.  I like to take Sam down there and see if he can kick the ball through the uprights.  He's almost there.  He's a strong lefty and always wants to kick the ball with his bare foot.  I never told him to do that and I often think how bad that must hurt his little foot, but he never complains.

One of the last nice weekends of the summer a few weeks back, I took my family down to the high school stadium for a little exercise.  The girls were running the track and I hoofed it up and down the 677 steps of Paul J Weitz Stadium---twice!  I made Hubby bring a football and toss Sam some passes.  By luck we had the stadium completely to ourselves.  Shhhhh.  The girls think that I got it as a reward for an outstanding work record, since I work for the school district.  Children learn best from modeling, so what they don't know won't hurt them.

This is Sam out on the field.  I laugh at how tiny he looks out there.  The funny part is that Hubby would do that one-two-three-hike thing and want Sam to go out for a pass.  Every time my husband dropped back to throw a pass (he was once the Glory Boy for the neighboring Fighting Grape Pickers-----and yes, Slovenians, that is really their school mascot), instead of going deep into the end zone, Sam ran up and tackled my husband.  YES!!  I got me a workhorse Lineman!  A nice feisty one who likes to hit just for the fun of it.  The gritty ones are always my favorite.

So I posted the above video for all my boys of fall, from my little one all the way up to you big ones who love the game.  Watch this one the whole way through if you can.  You'll see some greats, from Joe Paterno to Peyton Manning (love that guy).  Tim McGraw is my man, but I have to give to Kenny for this song and this video.  Enjoy.

Hopefully, I'll have a football star someday, even if he only plays for the orange and black and nothing beyond.  Sam will forever be my hero.  But another star was born today.  I gave birth to my labor of love on Labor Day weekend---my book, my novel, my heart and soul project I've thrown myself into for the last six months.  I made the last adjustments after midnight, so her official birth is today, September 6th, and for a special reason, of course.

I have honestly and openly admitted I am terrible at math and don't understand numbers.  Some of you readers struggle to write a sentence, with the pencil hovering over the blank page for an eternity before you can get a word down.  I'm like that with math.  I can't see it and it doesn't make sense.  I'm a good student, so I memorized it and practiced it and I'd be fine if all the problems were exactly the same, but throw a negative number in the equation and all hell breaks loose in my brain.  Despite of my lack of ability in the mathematical realm, I do enjoy numbers and they fascinate me.  Sometimes they even haunt me and in those instances I call myself Hurley--you LOST fans will understand.

Unlike my children, I got to pick my book's birthday, and I couldn't think of a better day than 9-6.  No matter how you work it, the numbers match with my own birthday of 3-3.  You can multiply them, add them, or put all four of them together and get all kinds of cool combinations.  My book's birthday is important to me, so I couldn't have it on just some random day.  September 6th it is, and I'm making a cake tonight.  A pink one with sprinkles and I am even having some.

So what's it about, Eloise, you ask?  The book is titled The Key, has some nice numbers worked into the story line.  It is an easy to read novel about my daughter Ellen and some discoveries she makes during the fall of the year.  There is good learning, humor, and Christian themes, all of which are important to me.  Ellen has been my first proof reader and she's hung with me chapter by chapter.  I judge how the writing process is going by watching her reaction.  So far, it's been a hit.

I wrote the end this weekend and she has not heard it yet.  Ellen asks me every day if it is done.  I just can't give it to her to read on some random day, of course.  She has to wait, because waiting and patience bring about good things.  Last weekend I was in a teasing mood and I left her with a cliff hanger chapter for her bedtime story.  Ellen, my usual late sleeper was up at the crack of dawn the next morning, asking me if I wrote further through the night (she knows me well, of course I did).  "Read it to me!" she demanded, "I can't stand it any more!  I have to know what happens!"  I told her at that point that I quit the book.  I got tired of writing it and I was going to stop.  Ellen paused, and squinted her eyes up at me and said, "Mom, you never quit anything.  I'll wait forever for it if I have to."  She's a chip off the old block.  I had my fun for another minute or two and then read her some more.

So what day will Eloise choose to give the first copy of an unrevised, unedited draft?  Why the last day of summer, of course, September 22nd, Ellen's 11th birthday.  I think that would be a nice way to officially to bid farewell to our favorite season, don't you.

And if you LOST fans want to see an even cooler way my numbers work together, consider this:  Oceanic flight 815 crashed on the island on September 22nd, 2004, birthing my favorite TV show of all time.  I remember watching the pilot episode while cleaning up the clutter of birthday wrappings and ice cream cake from Ellen's fourth birthday.  How about this one, too---look at the time length of the Kenny Chesney video posted above--8:15 in length.  You just can't make stuff up this good.  I think it is written in the stars that this novel is going to be a big hit.   Eloise knows, a star was born today.

Happy birthday to The Key,

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