Monday, April 16, 2012

Ode To Aunts

I have many aunts and uncles.  Some I see a lot, some not so much.  Some I like, some...when let's not go there.  That's another story.  I'd like to talk about two of them.  One story happy, one not so much.

Aunt Esther.  She's my dad's brother's wife.  They live in the same town as my folks, just down a couple of blocks.  Aunt Esther and Uncle Herbie have felt more like a second set of grandparents versus aunt/uncle.
And neither of them have aged.  They look now just as they did 20 years ago.  Maybe a hip replacement or broken ankle, but just as vibrant and spunky as ever. 

April 6th was Aunt Esther's 80th birthday.  Saturday was her grand party.  I attended with my folks and sister.  Saw many familiar faces and many that I haven't seen in years.  Probably not since my high school graduation. 

I remember a party for her long ago.  It must have been her 60th??  So that made me around the age of 9.  Now you'll have to understand that I went to a private Catholic K-8 and we didn't get sex education until 5th or 6th grade.  Well, she opened up one of her gifts and it was a gag gift.  It was a plastic see-through/clear bikini.  I didn't know where she was going to wear that.  Turns out....there are plenty of places!!!!

Her mother lived well into her 90's, maybe even hit 100.  Hope she's around for many more years to come!

Debbie.  I think of her as an almost-aunt.  Technically she isn't but technically she might.
She has been my mom's brother's girlfriend for many years.  She might even preempt me!  She and Uncle Ronnie were engaged for a while but called it off and never got married.  They might be considered having a common-law marriage.

She was always the fun, crazy one.  Born to be a hippie and never stopped.  Brown fringe vest, baggie blouses, baggie pants, yellow round sunglasses (think John Lennon), long! straight hair.   She liked to talk about politics...."why can't we all just get along man".  And I adored how she called my 3 aunts "sis".  "Oh, let me get that for you, sis."  "You did a great job cooking, sis."  And she was a hugger.  Hugs to say hello.  Hugs to say good-bye.  Hugs for anything.

Well, she's had back problems on and off for years, but something made her go to the doctor this past February/March.   She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.   With treatment, she could live maybe 5 months.  She decided to not have chemo or radiation and live out her last days at home surrounded by her family.  She has two grown sons and they both have families. 

This afternoon she passed away at the age of 55.  She's now in a better place where there's no more suffering.  She will most definitely be missed.  OOHugsOO.

Chico's Bail Bonds Softball Team

It's that time of year again that I look forward to.....softball season.

My league starts next week.  Same place, same people.  Different night.
The last two years I played with "Chico's Bail Bonds" we did bi-weekly Sunday night double-headers.
This year will be weekly Tuesday nights.
Still the same amount of games though.

The fields are still down by the airport so that's a 40 minute drive one-way but this year I will be carpooling with Nicole and Jackie from work.  So at least it won't all be my gas and mileage.

Hopefully this weekend I can get out and get some swings in.  There's been talk of getting together to pitch/throw some balls around but I know I'm going to need to hit the batting cages.

In the past, I've played with many different types of groups.  Church leagues, bar leagues, community leagues.  This has been the best group of people that I've had the opportunity to play with.  They've made me feel like one of the team and not an outsider filling a spot.

Church leagues (as a kid)....more emphasis on fun.
Bar leagues (as adult)...more mean people.  Because they're drunk.  And way too competitive for me.
Community (as kid and adult)....very much clique-y.

Chico's central people consist of Nicole and a couple of her high school friends from Melrose.  Each has brought their own set of friends along for the ride.  Beside myself, Nicole has brought friends from college and another girl we work with, Jackie.  We all get along.  We all are able to joke around.  We have fun and look good while doing it.  And we're not all that bad.  I think in the last two years, we've only lost 2 or 3 games.  We Rock!!!!

If you wanna catch us in action, let me know!!!  The fields aren't that far away from The Grand Ole Creamery!!!  I'll take you out for ice cream.