Fortunately in IdahoSpectators yelled “Way to go!” and applauded every player’s notable effort and no hostilities erupted
I am in Idaho visiting my nine-year-old granddaughter Annika and her parents. By the time you read this, I’ll be home, but for the moment, I am basking in her presence—I am a fortunate woman.
I flew from Seattle—a 50-minute flight to Spokane International Airport. It took ridiculously longer to drive to the airport, park and do all the airport “stuff” than it took to fly.
Anticipation made the whole endeavor well worth the time and trouble, of course.
I paid $50 extra for my Horizon Air ticket, in order to arrive on Friday rather than Saturday. Why? Because Annika had a basketball game at 9 a.m., Saturday. I was determined to attend.
I pointed out to my daughter-in-law Debbie that many people spend $50—or much more—on a theatre ticket, and I could assure her that they don’t enjoy the performance any more than I would enjoy watching my fourth-grader run back and forth on a basketball court. So I flew in Friday late afternoon.
Did I enjoy my $50 basketball game? I loved it. For one thing, the girls, third and fourth graders, played better than I anticipated.
Here’s what I liked most about the girls: They tried hard and enjoyed playing. Here’s what I liked about the coaches: They encouraged all the girls and stayed calm and positive. Here’s what I liked about the crowd: They applauded and cheered whenever either team made a basket and whenever any girl made a great effort.
I appreciated that there wasn’t one parent or grandparent who acted stupid or obnoxious. I’ve been to too many kids’ sports events to count, and I have heard plenty of obnoxious parents.
OK. I will admit that I once was ejected from a Little League park. Clearly, the referee found me obnoxious. (I was right, though, and he was wrong.)
I’m just saying, at Annika’s game on Saturday, spectators yelled “Way to go!” and applauded every player’s notable effort and no hostilities erupted. I hope that’s still the case when these girls are playing high school ball. (Annika has one more game while I’m here—another treat.)
What else have I done here in northern Idaho? I’ve helped trim a Christmas tree and walked in the pasture patting dirt-caked horses and stroked the feathers of Petunia, the pet white turkey.
I’ve visited the Speckled Sussex hens, thrown a wet tennis ball for Hansen, the adorable Border collie.
On a cold afternoon, under a threatening dark sky, I’ve helped spread the 30 x 40-foot plastic tarp base for the annual Peterson ice rink.
I’ve watched wholesome Hallmark Christmas movies with Annika and her mom while eating chocolate chunk ice cream. I’ve sat on the floor by the woodstove, playing with one of the kittens, while next to me, Annika murmured endlessly to her “Littlest Pet Shop” characters--still her favorite toy group after several years.
I’ve smiled a lot.
All things considered, I am not eager to go home.