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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Feels Like Summer!

Well, almost. Just being able to walk to and from church this morning without putting the hood up on my jacket felt like spring.

Late this afternoon, some Bradys and a couple of their cousins (I think) showed up to play soccer in the backyard. The yard was still half frozen, and to avoid hitting the composter we set the goals up on the snowy part. "Is this soccer or ice skating?" I asked.

"Maybe both," said the one in the red jacket. She wanted to be on my team, so we played girls against boys for a while (we had three on a side). It got pretty silly with all the slipping and sliding going on. There were a couple of times after a goal when we all just stood around laughing for about a minute before we started up again. They usually involved one or both of the older guys falling down on the packed, icy snow. They didn't seem to mind.

A couple of houses north, one of the guys was breaking out the grill. He must have used a bottle of lighter fluid, based on the giant plume of flame going up over there. "If there's barbecue and soccer, it must be summer," I called over.

"Want me to bring you some fire?" he asked.

"I think we're doing OK," I answered. The kids' cheeks were all rosy.

At some point we mixed up the teams--I got the two younger boys and the oldest boy took goalie for the other side with his sister and his cousin. We played for about 45 minutes, until everybody's coordination started falling apart, after they met their quota of falls or balls hitting them in the head or the face.

Julian came out the back door of his house and asked if I had the keys to the parking pad gate padlocks. I did. His dad's cars are still back there and he was going to work on one of them. He and his mom went to talk to his probation officer last week about getting permission to move to Indiana to work construction. I hope it works out for him.

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