The Retiree November 1, 2017

It's been busy around here for quite a while. We missed summer; that storm on June 11 gave us enough to do for July and August. And September, too. And our St. Lucians were in and out for a month and a half, dropping Grandkids at three schools. And Wife had an operation, and we re-carpeted a room, and Grandson signed up for football. That last item really capped things.
Grandson knows how to eat. He has grown to be any high school line coach's dream. Football to him was played with a round ball on the island where he grew up. He was a goalie when he played soccer. Running was not his strength, according to his sisters.
A new sport in a new country with new kids in a new school; lots to absorb. He's a foreign student, but doesn't look it. The other foreign students at St. Croix Lutheran High School speak English as a second language, and have yellow or brown skin. He looks and sounds like a kid from Anoka with a slight island accent, but inside he's just as foreign as the others.
We showed support by attending as many games as we could, even though he didn't play much. Home games were about 65 miles away. Some away games are really away.
Publicity at his school needs work. We were told that a game in Highland Park, St. Paul, would start at seven, so we got there early. It was rescheduled to start at four. We saw the team bus leave as we drove up. With two big cities to visit on the way home, we made a tour of Grand and Summit Avenues, universities in both cities, Mississippi parkways, downtown skylines, cathedrals, and sports venues.
Another game was at home. We got to the field in time, and wondered why the game started half an hour late. The players appeared young. Grandson's number didn't appear. We sent several notes and pictures back to St. Lucia where his parents had gone. Nobody could explain his disappearance, although numbers 78 and 71 looked a lot like him with their helmets on. After the third quarter we asked the scoreboard operator where number 70 was. He said that game had been moved and the one playing was a grade behind. We checked two other fields on our way out. Their games had finished. We saw neighborhoods in South St. Paul that we never knew existed.
Finally Grandson's team played Patrick Henry, my old high school. The day was sub-tropical but windy. We prepared for Minnesota, with blankets to sit on and extra sweaters. As the sun set, a cold front blew in. The evening became arctic. St. Croix fans out-numbered Henry fans about three to one, and became much noisier as St. Croix increased its lead and people with any sense went home. Grandson was put in the game with four minutes to play. I couldn't lose, cheering for both sides.
Overall, we saw more high school football than we had seen since we were in high school. Also we saw more of the Twin Cities than anyone since Father Hennepin. We'll be smarter next year.

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