The Epistle of Q — Chapter Fifty-Three (Part E)

Isn’t it great that Grandkids can help us be humble?

I say this because during their autumn break, we visited the three American Grandkids who live in the Greater Phoenix Area (Chandler to be specific). They are a fun bunch of kids, although they are growing at a rate that suggests the term young men may soon be the proper appellation.

The agenda, as usual, was somewhat fluid but with a couple of key events programmed in:

Got to see the LA Dodgers dispatch the AZ Diamondbacks in Game 3 at Chase Field. We went with the twins. It’s a wonderful ballpark — has a retractable roof to help keep out the heat!! When we got there the roof was closed, but by game time the temperature had cooled enough that they opened it. Wonderful setting: great baseball, great seats behind/above the LA dugout, great company to enjoy it all with (and I thanked my son-in-law afterwards, because they were his seats that he gave up!!).

Also was able to take in the AZ State Fair — haven’t been to a State Fair I don’t think since I was in grad school at the U of Minnesota. But such an event hasn’t changed much except the rides are more techno-savy; that doesn’t impact me anyway, since I am a no-ride kind of guy (maybe that is why girls never wanted to go to the fall fairs with me in high school…!!). At times we let the guys do their thing (especially go on rides and try to win prizes, which they did) — allowed me to sit in the grandstand and watch the 1/4 midget-racers practice while I enjoyed a reasonably drinkable US craft beer!! I did take one ride — the largest ferris wheel in the world was there. Very impressive views, especially of the sunset from the top of the rotation. Only disappointment was during the visit to the agricultural sector — lots of animals but next to no cattle, especially dairy — was hoping to watch a milking competition or at least try some local ice cream!!

Another day put in some time in a corn maze… lots of fun and this time Grandpa actually won — don’t ask me to explain how the contest was set up. Just trust me that it required a good deal of patience and trying to anticipate where the “quiz stations” were located, let alone how to interpret the questions. It was very hot though and one bottle of cold water didn’t last long before it was warm and then empty.

We played Top Golf which is a high-tech golfing range…nothing more needs to be said except that Grandpa didn’t do so well…in fact, I was humbled by the athleticism of everyone else in the competition.

We didn’t go to a movie this trip, but we did stop at numerous DQ’s and other ice-cream vendors.

We also had some time just throwing the football around out on the street. It wasn’t long before it was obvious that an intersection had been passed. I used to be able to show them a few things with the football — no more, in fact at times they had to be gentle with their Grandpa so that I could even catch their throws. And run for a pass — haha, very funny — I am now the perfect example of the “statue of liberty” play, as long as the thrower realizes the statues do NOT move. It was enjoyable to play with them, but it also was a stark reminder that I best not try to be too reminiscent of my high school and college days.

This was especially evident when they took me to their local gym. Before they went for their session with their trainer, there was some warm-up time. They suggested we go to the gym for some basketball throws…again, this was a moment of renewed understanding. My shots had great looks to them, with a sense of finesse — one small short-coming, the swish was the ball hitting the mesh from the outside of the rim. And when I did hit the rim or the backboard, it was something akin to Trump trying to compliment someone — the ball just came back to me without hitting the mark. I was glad when they said unto me, “Grandpa, you can go do your own workout now because we have to meet our trainer!!” The workout went quite well; of course, there were just machines — I had no one watching me…

I’d talk about the flights home, but I’ve already wrote to United Airlines about that… needless to say it was not pleasant — blame it on the fires near San Francisco…

But it was a good trip. Got to watch the boys play some hockey which is always special, even if it is only at practice — there is considerable talent within that household. As well, I’ve learned not to bring up my high school heroics on any sports platform at any time. And, I will be more circumspect about my meager golf skills. I may even try to lose a little more weight and try to grow a little taller, although I think both those goals are simply old-age fantasies…