Saturday, December 30, 2006

High School Basketball

Photos courtesy of Brian Wallace, used with permission

High school basketball is rather like Christmas; it gets me through a dark and dreary part of the year. Walking into the brightly lit gym, with the pep band playing, is like entering another world. Youth rules. Kids rock. Looming old mountains and foul weather stay outside and I spend a few hours with the vibrant energy of hard working teenagers. Songs like "Smoke on the Water" and "Surfing USA" blare out from the balcony and ring in my head for days.

Mostly I come for the basketball. I really love the game. Originally I went along with some friends of mine who had a freshman son playing on the varsity team. One year our exchange student, Leonardo, was a member of the stunt team and I had a quasi-parental reason to go. But I don't really need a reason beyond a simple enjoyment of the show.

Our high school teams have done well over the years, winning both boys and girls state championships several times. One boy from Juneau made it to the NBA and is racking up double doubles this season for the Utah Jazz. This year two of the seniors, one girl and one boy, have already committed to playing Division I college ball. It is gratifying to see such fine results of the all out effort and commitment these kids make to the game.

Each year some of them graduate and move on. Former players appear in the stands every season, home from college for Christmas break or home from the war. Wedding pictures are printed in the newspaper. I hear from parents about jobs and babies and medical school and all the things that people do after high school. Their years on the basketball team or the dance team, playing in the pep band or cheerleading do not define these students now or in the future but they are shaped by putting their young hearts and minds to this work. They mostly look like kids having fun and the faces of their parents and fans look proud.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sleds and Skis

Ray and Jamie Ray found a sled and some ski passes under the Christmas tree so we have had some winter sports days this final week of winter break. The sledding resulted in a skinned wrist, a cut lip and a broken strap on the new sled but the helmet was there when Ray's head crashed into a tree. Santa's workshop replaced the sled (Costco) and the scrapes and spills were quickly forgotten. The sledding hill is close by and Ray and Jamie will want to go back as soon as there is some more new snow.

Eaglecrest Bus There is a bus that goes directly to the ski area on weekends and school holidays. It leaves from a mall about half a mile from our house and only costs $5 round trip. Parents ride free. Yesterday's load of passengers ranged in age from 13-16 with the exception of Ray and his old mother. It was a pretty fun ride and was certainly no slower than driving ourselves. We ended up riding back down with some friends who live nearby. It was Ray's call; I rather liked the bus.

Ray on the Bunny Hill

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Kids and gifts in the morning; food and friends in the evening with lots of time on the telephone throughout the day with family from far away. That's the Christmas report.

Not our house

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Where's Dad?

"Where's Dad?"

When Katherine or Ray would ask that question, I used to answer. Now all that is required is a pause, and they answer themselves.

"He's at the hangar."

Yep, Dave is usually at the hangar. He originally bought the hangar to house the airplane but it serves more purposes than storage. It is a workshop for his projects and a place where a lot of other guys in trucks drop by with advice and their own plans to discuss. Yesterday, Dave and Pete replaced the landing gear on our 172, changing out the big tundra tires for stock wheels.

Last week the motorcycle got new tires, a jack for the snowmachine needed to be modified and the new lift for working on the bike had to be assembled. There is always something to do at the hangar.

There is a bar/restaurant in town called The Hangar. Sometimes we joke about Dave being there instead, drinking beer or ogling waitresses, but that wouldn't amuse him for long. He could be getting something done at the airport.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Traveler's Socks

Here are some Traveler's Socks that are going nowhere. The pattern is from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush and I like the finished product very much. I just don't like the traveling stitches. It is tight, niggly knitting and it makes my hands unhappy. The project sits on the table and waits. I give it a glance and leave it there. It must be time to change directions.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Husband Socks

Socks for Dave, modeled by me. This is the worst week of the year for daylight so I was lucky to get a photograph with natural light. These are knit with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn (color charcoal) on US 1 needles. No real pattern...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sweetheart Queen

All the chatter about the dance died away overnight around here and I almost forgot to post my own high school pictures. But what's another few days when the photos are 30+ years old?

Most of my closest friends in high school were not the type to go to a formal school dance. Many of my friends, in fact, were kids I knew from my neighborhood and they went to the "other" high school. My boyfriend would never have gone to a prom; he didn't even wear a shirt under his graduation gown. I'm surprised he actually graduated. As a group, we were more likely to cut school and go swimming up in a nearby canyon. Drinking on the weekends, drugs, cigarettes, driving around - these were our recreational activities, not wearing pastel dresses and tight shoes.

But it was important to me to be friends with all kinds of people. I really liked the jocks and the geeks. The kids in my French class were funny and the drama and band students were creative and spontaneous. I knew everybody in the school and said hi or smiled to almost everyone I passed in the hall.

I didn't go along with all of the rebellious behavior of my partying friends. Both of my parents smoked and I thought it was disgusting. I kept my grades up because it seemed like it might be important later on and it didn't really require much effort. I had plenty of time outside of school for fun.

I was surprised my senior year to be elected Sweetheart Queen for the Valentine's Day dance. It never occurred to me to turn it down. It was so kind of the other students to select me. My boyfriend wouldn't go with me so I went with one of our friends, John Marsh. His face was bandaged because he had been out the night before with a carful of our drunk friends and they had smashed into a tree. Nobody was seriously hurt.

I sewed my dress for the dance. I was making a statement by doing something unexpected fashion wise and I really was grateful not to have to worry about spaghetti straps and a strapless bra. It was my one and only fancy dance in high school. For the weekend of the senior prom, I went to a friend's lakeside cabin where I rowed a boat and hung out with two other dateless girls. They were kind of sad about it but I thought it was a fabulous place to be. I have really been more of a loons and moonlight type of person all along.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Prom Dresses I Have Sewn

Freshman - Snowball
Sophomore - Prom
Senior - Snowball
Last night was "Snowball", a fancy dance at the high school. Katherine likes to design her gowns; I get the construction part of the projects. She would be satisfied with a masking tape hem and safety pins for the final fitting, so she is an easy person to please. My sewing standards are a little higher than that and the girl looks good in a dress, so all of the outfits have been successful.
Shoes, hair, make-up, jewelry, self-tanner, flowers, undergarments, swing dance lessons - Katherine takes care of all that. There was no date (a guy?) so her dad did the driving on snowy roads. Nine to midnight - three hours of fun.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Socks with Clocks

From the book Folk Socks, by Nancy Bush, this is the sock version of Stockings with Clocks, a design "inspired by the country stockings found in many parts of Europe". They are made with Lang Jawoll yarn in Oatmeal on US 1 needles.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


It was too cold to be outside for awhile this month so I resolved to go check out three of the local gyms. I only managed to walk in to one and I didn't last long. I don't think I am a gym person. Besides the weakness of the overall atmosphere, the $150 membership fee and the fact that I have to drive somewhere to exercise put me off. I was glad when the temperature rose to 20 degrees. I strapped on the snowshoes and have been back out in the fresh air. The first day I was breaking trail and up to my knees. It has been progressively easier since then and way better than that gym.