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September 1, 2012

Hello readers,  I’m a little blue tonight.  The man went to sea for a month this morning.  Kiwi’s best friend who stayed with us all of August went home this evening.  And I was supposed to be at an underwater hockey tournament this weekend.  I have really been loving my sport this summer.  We have been having practice twice a week in an outdoor pool during daylight hours which I can reach by walking 20 minutes along the seashore.  It gets no better than that.  And our teammates are awesome ~ they abide our atrocious Italian in order to learn from our lengthy, if sporadic, experience.*  They even seem to like us and include us in their society:  true hockey players.

This particular tournament is annual and local, the Parma Cup.  In past years, the weather has flipped from summer to fall ~read, cold front with rain~ within 48 hours of the tourney.  After is fine, but a close call.  Before is … there isn’t a word for what it does to me.  But this year they scheduled it for a week to 10 days earlier than usual, woo hoo!  I’m in!!  Then the weather forecasts began growing uglier and more threatening by the day.  But I was feeling strong and brave.  Most everybody else doesn’t die of discomfort.  Granted, most everybody else doesn’t turn the shades of blue and purple I do, but maybe that’s psychosomatic.  I worked on boosting my metabolism and carefully packed lots of fleece, extra towels, enormous umbrella, a wool hat.  I was going to muscle through and then win the party.

My back had other ideas.  Stoopid back.  It sent a warning shot over the… stern, if you will, early in the week.  Not a full seize, like a month ago, just a zing, a lingering zing that worried me when I thought of entering a cold pool a dozen times on Saturday, to play hard but never get really warmed up because the games would be too short.  I stretched it faithfully, perhaps to the point of soreness from good intentions.  The forecasts ~all of them~ remained anywhere from overcast and drizzling (it hasn’t rained here in 6 months) to thunderstorms.

But it was still summer!  Hot hot hot, my time.  Yet, on Thursday something snuck through.  The air was less torrid; the pool was definitely more chill; and the sun had the nerve to drop behind the horizon just before practice.  Nope, there went all my resolve.  Bugger.  If my back seized up, likely as not I would pass out… and wake up in hospital in Parma.  Who would bring me food, water, and toilet paper? Oh yes, public hospitals here do not provide much if any of these things.  That’s what your family is for.  Who but Mama could make you the food to make you well?  No, I could not risk that.  Or, at the very least, I’ve seen what happens to people who pass out at hockey parties.  There are always Sharpies in hockey bags.

So, I made the mature and responsible decision.  The webcams from up that way never showed the torrents and electrical excitement predicted, but the temperatures and apparent overcastness was enough to reassure me that it would have been more torture than fun.  I am a sissy.  But now, while the grown-up is satisfied and ready to settle down with a cup of tea and a book, the other part is gutted for not tearing up the dance floor tonight.

*Age & Treachery will always overcome Youth & Skill  ~Club Fred

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