Thanksgiving Day is over, but there is still so much for which to be thankful. For example, the weekend before Thanksgiving Day.
Sammie and I, along with their other grandparents and Aunt Stacia, joined our stinking cute Playl boy grandchildren and their parents in the Smokies. Grayson and his Mt. Juliet Golden Bears joined 400 youth league teams from all over to compete in the Rocky Top Football Tournament. All of G’s games were played in an unbelievable sports complex surrounding Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. Seven fields in all!
Their first two games were on Saturday. They won in the morning and lost in the afternoon. The Bears were exhausted in the second game. So were fans and family members. Also, the traffic in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge was worse than usual.
Sunday afternoon, in their final game against a team from Illinois, they came out on top. Final score 36-6. That was our favorite game of the tourney; not just because we won but also Grayson had his best game of the weekend.
Parking places were scarce, and the game was underway when we arrived at the field. As Nahnee, Aunt Stacia, and I approached, we realized that our team was doing something big; one of our players had just crossed the 50-yard line and was headed down the field. Wait! What?! That’s Grayson! He made it to the opposing team’s six-yard line before being cut off by the safety at the sideline, just short of the end zone. Turns out it was a 54-yard scamper - the longest of the day. On defense, G had two quarterback sacks, three tackles for loss in all.
It was a great game but not only on the field. At one point, I was called on to return to the car for a blanket and jacket. On the way back to the stands, I spoke to a gentleman who returned my greeting with, “Hello young man.”
Young man! He looked to be a grandfather himself. I stopped, turned around and thanked him.
“For calling me a young man. I’ll bet I’m older than you are.”
He said I would never know. Then we stood and talked for a few minutes about the world, politics and religion - long enough that Sammie was worried that I might miss the start of the second half.
After Rocky Top, the boys came to Bristol for a few days, while their parents returned to Nashville. We had to share with other grandparents, but we had them long enough to cheer us up...and wear us out.
At Cracker Barrel, Anderson made a great contribution to our time together. Out of nowhere, he looked at my sweetheart and said, “Nahnee! Aunt Stacia’s 40-something...and you’re still in good shape.”
Then he smiled a stinking cute smile that lit up the restaurant.
I choose to believe his “you” in “you’re still...” was a “y’all are...” and he was including Papa.
Anyway, as I write these words we are about to embark on a four-hour trip, in the car, with G and A, to Mt. Juliet for Thanksgiving. I’m sure our trip will be entertaining. And I am so very thankful for grandchildren who think we are still in pretty good shape. What a blessing from God!
Let’s be thankful every day.
--Steve Playl, columnist, college Instructor, former pastor, and hospital chaplain, be reached by email at email@example.com
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here