I like University of Texas football and all and I did enjoy last week’s win against A&M even though with 2 minutes left to go I said I would never watch football again because it might give me a heart attack. I got over it quickly, though, as the football sailed through the uprights as the clock ticked down to zero and we won. Hook ’em Horns.
University of Texas women’s volleyball is different. The stage is smaller. You can see the players up close. You can sense more directly the speed of the serve and the nearly instant, rock-solid response of the defense. The hitter strikes the ball with such force and speed, you have to watch closely or you will miss it. Cheerleaders cheer. The band plays. Sparkles and I went to a game last month and it was a pretty sweet time.
(OK, we did get there late which is how we got these not-so-special, general-admission seats with the less-than-perfect view. And we had to leave early due to attention span issues. But it was still a pretty sweet time.)
Besides my awe at the sheer athletic ability and the team spirit and determination on display, I enjoy the games in another way too.
I grew up in the time when men played sports and women cheered from the sidelines most of the time. Now women play too – strong, powerful women. (In this case, they are also very tall.) I’m not sure how often this happens, but I’ve seen men from the UT swim team show up in their speedos to cheer on the women. I get a kick out of that. Here is a video of their excitement after ANOTHER win against Texas A&M a while back.
Texas is burning. There are wildfires west, north and southeast of Austin. There are fires in fifteen other Texas towns. Thousands of acres of land and hundreds of homes are burned. For a map of active fires, click here.
Sunday started off as such a good day. Blue Eyes was working on our outdoor speakers. The kids and I were outside too and there was an amazing breeze. It was less-than-crazy-hot for the first time in months. We must have said it a hundred times, “We love this breeze!!!.”
We didn’t know until later that the high winds and the long-time drought created perfect conditions for wild fires to start all over Texas.
I imagined the city dancing in the streets on our first day of cooler weather. Now we are just trying to figure out how to help. Here is the Central Texas Red Cross link. They are a good place to start. These blog sites, Free Fun in Austin and Food Good Laundry Bad, have good information.
If you are in a town or neighborhood affected by the fires, know that all of Texas is thinking about you and sending you good thoughts and wishes.
The logo at the beginning of this post is from the Texas Bloggers for Fire Relief. If you are a blogger and want to provide information to your readers about helping and/or join the linky, click here.
I have the diaper bag, shoes, snacks and sippy cups in the car, along with one favorite blanket for Sparkles and one for Buttercup. I pick each of them up from their beds, all floppy, dreaming still, and put them in their car seats. They wake up and I tell them we are going on an adventure to find the bats and the sun. We tried this before, and they have been asking about it, now it was a super sweet and very early morning surprise.
We see the bats come home from the Austin American Statesman viewing area. Sparkles and Buttercup laugh because the bats’ poop stinks. We talk about how the Moms stay out all night getting food for their new babies.
We sit down on the Congress Bridge to watch more bats and see the pink sun ease over the horizon as row boats glide by. (This activity is best for kids who can sit close and sit still, because it is a busy bridge.) Sparkles tries to understand how the bats could have been over her head while we were on the grass and then under her feet while she was on the bridge.
My girls love routine and novelty. Do you know what I mean? Routine organizes the regular parts of our regular days, but now and then we do something different and it is exciting just because it is different. It was fun to leave the house in the dark, stay in pajamas (well, the girls anyway) and watch night turn into day just a little at a time. I’ll remember this super sweet and very early morning for a long time.