Football, Flowers, and Sprinklers

It’s Sunday. A fairly nice one. The thermometer reports it’s 72 outside and 71 inside. Frankly, I think it’s a bit warm in side and have seriously considered doffing my Sunday best (I went to church) and replacing them with shorts and a T-shirt. Or, perhaps, some summer jammies. But, no, we’re expecting company later in the day and I don’t want to embarrass anyone by being dressed inappropriately.

The company we expect live in Las Vegas, and are linked in a family manner to Jewel. One is her daughter, and there’s grand daughters, and grand dogs. They picked Jewel up this morning and carted her off to Seaside for a day at the coast. I suspect there will be a little shopping tossed in there since there are outlet stores in the vicinity. Since Jewel’s gained a whopping 5 lbs since coming to live with us she probably needs a whole new wardrobe. I’ll be curious to see what she brings home. That won’t be for a while.

Friday night was a highly promoted football game between St. Helens High School and Scappoose High School called the 7-Mile War. It’s a traditional rivalry that’s been going on forever, even back to when my much older brothers were in High School. That’s a long time. I don’t have any stats to share as to who normally wins the battle, but Friday night St. Helens put a country boy whoopin’ on Scappoose, beating them 41-21, or something like that. We went early because the crowd was expected to be big, and it was. The game wasn’t until 7:00 pm but we got there at 5:30 pm to some rock and roll music that sounded pretty darn good. Turned out to be Bart Hafeman and The Hit Machine. This is a well-known band here in the Great Northwest so it was special. Making it specialer is that Bart is a Scappoose Boy, a Local Boy, who made it good. Anyway, we found some seats three rows from the top of the stands right on the 50 yard line and there’s Bart and the Boys rockin’ out on the track in front of us. I’ve known about the band for years, and have seen Bart many times at different venues (like the Columbia County Fair), but have never heard them play. It was a treat because they play pretty much everything. Even stuff I like. Amazing. If given a chance, you should go see them.

Now, back to the game …

Scappoose and St. Helens are in different leagues but they play each other every year to keep the war alive. Just for fun. The stands on both sides of the field were filled and there were many more lining the fence surrounding the field. There were even people in lawn chairs sitting in their driveways across the street from the stadium area. What fun. Being near the top of the stands allowed us to enjoy the full benefit of the screams of joy when St. Helens did something good, which they did often. In my personal experience, the noise level was worse than that we’ve experienced at a Portland Trailblazer game and the Blazers are down by one, theres 2 seconds to go and Lillard hits a 3-pointer. That’s really loud. Friday night was louder. And really invigorating.

Complicating our presence at the game was the fact that both Diane and I graduated from Scappoose High School, but our children and grandchildren went to, and are going to, St. Helens schools. So, we sat amongst the St. Helenonites. I figured, yes, we graduated from SHS which entailed a 4-year obligation, but we’ve been associated with SHHS far longer, like since 1989. So, I was OK with betraying my old school. By doing so I wound up on the winning side.

Demonstrating the team spirit of both school, all the cheer leaders from both sides joined together in the field at halftime and did an obviously well rehearsed routine.

img_0504 It was a terrific gesture and made all of us proud. Then all of the youth program football teams and small versions of cheer leaders were introduced and filled the field. There’s a bunch of them so I suspect there won’t be any shortage of football players and cheer leaders for many years to come. There was also a tribute to all the public services when members of the sheriff’s, city police, paramedics, and firemen were introduced. In case you were wondering, everyone was standing, just as they did for the national anthem before the game started. That makes me proud, too.

This was today – another ho-hum Oregon sunrise.


Here’s Panzee displaying her newest trick. She flops around on the yard for a bit, then gets flat on her back and just stays there for the longest time, her impression of a raccoon that’s been laying beside the road for a few days in the hot sun. She must have seen it on TV because I don’t recall ever coming across one while she was in the car with us. Gonna have to start being careful what she watches.


Finally, I spent pretty much all day yesterday working on our in-ground sprinklers. They all worked, to some extent, but not quite as good as they should. So I decided to make them all work correctly. I have, after all, a large box of new replacement sprinkler heads that were left by the previous owner and it’s time to use some of them. I managed to replace the obviously broken units, then started trying out different sprinkler nozzles to see which ones give the best coverage without spraying into a bedroom or bathroom window that someone forgot to close before turning on the sprinklers. That happens. Fortunately, Diane’s side of the bed is the wet one when that happens.

Jewel has been instrumental in the resurrection and transformation of our adequate yard into one with lots of color provided by things deer don’t eat. She spends the better part of each day outside uncovering botanical treasures that we didn’t know we had, and adding more that we had no idea we needed. The result is wonderful and we know we’re going to enjoy her efforts for many years to come. But, what I’ll personally probably remember most, after her efforts in the fall and winter, is the sight of her tending her plants will be the sight of her like this …


She found it at Jilly’s Boutique in downtown St. Helens. She professes that she needed the hat to keep her ears warm on chilly days. The image on the front is a skull so I think it’s more a statement about a previous life style. Whatever the reason, it fits her personality and will, I’m sure, keep her ears warm.

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