2013-01-16 / Columns

Heart Treasures

We May Have Started Something...
by Joanne J. Hannon

My sister was here for a whole month, and Hubby and I have been reflecting on the many things that happened during that time, some planned, many not.

I’ve known from the times I’ve visited her up in Wisconsin that she’s not wild about sports, in fact, has little tolerance for it when folks get together and one of the group just has to watch a particular game. (Such as me, an avid Colts fan)

When Patty arrived, the Colts still had one regular season game left, so she found things to do; playing solitaire, working a jigsaw puzzle, or playing solitaire on the computer. She knew the game was important to us, so was most gracious. Well, didn’t we make it to the playoffs, requiring her to busy herself again while we watched (not quietly) another game. Yes, she is a Wisconsin girl, with no interest in the Packers.

Then an interesting thing happened, basketball fans! Our daughter-in-law arranged for the whole family, including Aunt Patty, to go to a Pacers game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where we filled a row. “ Hmmm…, I wondered, how is she going to take to that?” Besides her not being a huge (even a tiny) sports fan, will she find this fun? Always willing to go along with anything we offered, (what trust) I knew that getting to the arena from the parking lot might be the big problem, because she has trouble walking due to a back/hip condition. That was solved by good ol’ Hubby letting us off at the door; then we only had to walk through the arena, and wait for a long time to get past the ropes. Well, didn’t we spot an elevator not in use, but as we walked up to it a woman said, “That’s only for those who are going to eat.” The rest of the family was eating somewhere else, and we intended to get hot dogs, so we said, “we are going to eat.” As we stepped off the elevator and started looking around, a very nice lady came up to us and asked if she could help us, and I asked, “Where are the concession stands?” She replied, “Oh, honey, you’re in a private club and can only eat here if you are members; I need to ask you to sit over there on the bench until 6:00 when an announcement will be made, “Doors Open,” at which time you may go on the elevator up to the next floor and you’ll find concession stands there.” We sat and tried not to giggle, but felt like two country bumpkins. Hey, it’s an experience.

We did make our way to the right section, up to row eleven, where we worried we might tip right over and roll down onto the floor if we weren’t careful. What did my sister think of the game? She got right into it; was one of the biggest fans, cheering loudly, and coaching, like any respectable basketball fan does. She had several suggestions for the coach, which she yelled out at times. Attending a pro game is impressive, with the size of the arena, the TV screens, cheerleaders; really fun.

On the last weekend Patty was here, we went up to Elkhart to visit our son and family, and on the agenda was another basketball game; this time it was Grandson Joe’s high school, and he would be playing in the pep band. Once again, Patty was into the game, calling the players by first names. How did she learn them so quickly? Again, she had suggestions for the coaches; she mainly thought Joe’s team took too long getting to the basket; I tried to suggest that it was the style of coaching, but she felt he ought to be able to see that; if not she could tell him. Don’t know if she changed her mind when they won or not. Of course, we all enjoyed watching Joe, the drummer, do his thing in the pep band.

No, it didn’t end there... Kyle and Shawn had arranged for all of us, including Shawn’s parents and Uncle, to go to the Notre Dame basketball game on Saturday. The students were away on break, so there were plenty of seats available, and the school was in need of a pep band, so guess who played? Yes, our Joe and the Elkhart Central Pep Band filled in admirably. If you happened to be watching the game on TV and saw a Leprechaun in a green hat with a red beard, that was our Joe. Watching a game in Notre Dame’s stadium is quite an experience; so much going on all the time. Again, my sister was calling the players by their first names and was right at the top of her game. One of my favorite sights was watching her and Hubby coming back from a trip to the concession stand; each with a big red frosty in their hands. I’ve never seen Hubby with one of those shaved ice drinks.

So, though she was not impressed with my dear Colts, I think we may have given our Sis a condition referred to as Hoosier Hysteria. We heard her telling folks back at her home place, “I saw a high school, a college, and a professional basketball game while I was down there.”

These three games were not on our list of things to do when we made plans for Patty’s visit; once again proving my belief that the serendipities of life are often the most fun.

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