So my sister, 2 nieces and three grand nieces (I'm not old; they start young in the country) were here this weekend and we had a great time.
Jaime and Annie (the nieces) played in a statewide, womens' league softball tournament in a nearby town. I was excited to see them. I'm a bad aunt and never get down to see their games at home anymore.
Jaime (mother of the grand nieces) was a softball phenom in high school and Annie just finished up her phenom high school career.
As Rachael (grandniece #2) informed me just before the first game began, there are only two softball parks in their region untouched by one or more of her mother's home runs. Between that and the legendary stuff of Annie's career, I was prepared for greatness. I settled in to watch the mayhem.
Unfortunately, the mayhem was metered out by the other team. We were, quite literally, crushed. But onto game two, I said. Annie had straightened Jaime's hair the night before. She was probably having trouble getting used to it. They'll come back. I was sure of it.
While Jaime and Annie both had some pretty spectacular plays, they were few and far between. And the next team's shortstop couldn't seem to miss a ball. Jeff Reed couldn't seem to miss her, but that's another story...
Neither Annie nor Jaime were in stellar moods, but dusty and bloody in Jaime's case, they limped back here to Chez Reed and we had a fine time once the play-by-plays were done and the girls had put their softball shame behind them.
By Sunday, Annie was crowing that they weren't the first team bounced from the tournament. "Uh, how exactly is that?" I asked. "You played back-to-back games and it was double elimination."
"We had a bye," she chortled. "So there was a team out when we'd just lost our first game."
It's amazing how a night's sleep can help you spin...
The little girls and Jeff had big fun with squirt guns. It's amazing how much fun you can have with a little water on a hot day.
After dinner, we managed to take a walk to the new Fresh Market grocery around the corner from our house. I'm not sure what I was expecting. Yes I do. I was expecting a grocery store. It was all the news because the former occupant of its space was an old grocery that was a Broad Ripple institution. David Letterman bagged groceries there and old timers in the neighborhood will tell you stories of how the owners of it would let you take your groceries home and come back with your wallet those times you ran off without it and other great folksy tales like that.
I was just happy to have a place to pick up milk on the way home from work. I'd been meaning to check it out when it opened, but I just hadn't. So we walk in.
The entry way -- like the rest of the store -- has wide planked hardwood flooring, and classical music is drifting on the air-conditioned wind. It's like you walked into a miniature greenhouse with beautiful cut flowers everywhere.
Beyond that, you walk into an array of produce and candy and wooden barrels filled with all sorts of flavored coffee beans. Fresh fish and meats shimmer off in the distance. A rainbow of produce spills out from bins in between.
"Oh, Mommy, look!" says Alison, grabbing my hand and leading me down the candy aisle.
It's like the Olson's General Store from Little House on the Prairie meets Nordstrom-for-food. Gumballs and jelly beans and all kinds of hard candies are laid out with the own little scoops, just begging kids to dive in. Somehow Alison restrained herself, although she inspected each one of the candy jars, looking for her favorites.
"We've hit the jackpot. We should shop here every day!" she said.
Donna checked out the prices. I was afraid to. Sprinkled in between the fancy brands of dark chocolate and imported whole Portuguese almonds covered in white chocolate were some Pepperidge Farm cookies that retail for $3 or so at Kroger. Here, they were $6.
I don't think we'll be shopping there every day. We're going to have to really like you to buy dinner there.... Although it is beautiful.
Jeff borrowed Donna's truck for a Costco run this morning and has fallen in love with it. It seats six easily and apparently has more room than even his long legs need. It also has XM radio. I'm not going to tell her that he nearly wrecked about 7 times while tinkering with the thing...
"It had six baseball stations. Six! And that's just when I stopped counting," he said.
Maybe when gas comes back down to $3 a gallon he can have one of those beasts...