Life’s A Ball

This past week Carl and I sponsored two coaches from Brittania Soccer at our home: Lizi Hamer and John Bunn. They were working with AYSO conducting soccer camps, and since your kid gets free tuition if you host a coach, Carl and I figured “why not?”. But I’ll tell you what: John and Lizi were two of the nicest college kids you’d ever want to meet. Polite, well-mannered, neat, clean, organized, helpful – they were wonderful. I really hope they get to do the camps again next year, because I’d love to have them back.

Mary was the daughter who got free tuition to soccer camp. Hannah’s not into sports, so she and I just kinda hung around while Mary learned soccer for three hours a day. She was in the morning camp from 9 to noon, so she wasn’t out in the worst heat of the day. Plus, her camp was at the Middle Amana soccer fields, with lots of nice shade trees and a couple of picnic shelters. Unfortunately, the afternoon camp was at the Belle Plaine High School, and Lizi and John had to suffer in the afternoon sun and humidity with only a little shade provided by some buildings that surround the football field. I felt bad for them, but they borrowed my big water cooler tank-thingy, so they and the kids had plenty of water.

When they first got here last Sunday, I took them for a driving tour to teach them the best way to get to the camps’ sites, and also to show them where they could get snacks and fuel and stuff. I also pointed out a few of the more interesting sites since I knew that area pretty well. Friday night I took them to the stock car races at Hawkeye Downs because they’d never seen a stock car race before. I also treated them to that unique American cuisine experience, race track food. Lizi and John got to meet Uncle Hep, Aunt LaReatha, Greg, and their friend Richard Blessing. We watched Greg race (super stocks class) but he didn’t fare too well. Poor guy. However the two Atkins drivers, Kevin Korsmo (sportsmen’s class) and Arlo Becker (modifieds class) won their races, so the night wasn’t a total wash.

The weird incident of the night happened during the Modifieds feature. Arlo (the Ageless Wonder – he’s in his late 60’s) had just taken over first place with a spectacular manuever, and I was (of course) jumping up and down and cheering (and making a total jackass of myself) when a guy from Arlo’s group came over and started talking to me. (I think he’d had a few too many beers.) I finally managed to get him to go away, but I was embarrassed. Lizi and John took it really well, though. I mean really well. They were so nice! Anyway, after the races were over I took John and Lizi down into the pit area (which is open after the races are completed) to show them around. Some kid was giving out plastic checkered flags, and I procured one each for the coaches. (Lizi got hers autographed by Arlo!) The Humor Moment of the night (earlier, between races) was when John met the C.R. Spirits Dance Team. They’d performed during one of the breaks, and afterward John and Lizi went down to get pictures. John told them he’d come all the way from England just to watch them dance, and the next thing you know all these scantily clad cheerleader/dancers were piled around John, smiling perky smiles and having their pictures taken with him. I was laughing so hard I almost fell out of the grandstand.

But it was a great week. Mary learned alot and, according to the coaches, progressed quite well. (Getting personal updates on your daughter’s progress is another perk of hosting the coaches. ) This week Carl is in Ames for his Dual Degree residency week, and I have to register the girls for school on Monday. However, Monday afternoon us girls are heading to Bettendorf to spend the week with my Mom (look out, here we come!) and I’m looking forward to that. My girls start school a week from Thursday. Where has the summer gone?

I think it went that way———–>

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