I was so pleasantly thinking of telling you all about the wonderful Christmas parade we attended tonight. In this small town of 14,000, there was the most charming parade. Five full marching bands, one with 20, yes 20, tubas. Not plastic marching ones either, full ice cold brass on a very chilly Dec. evening.
Then there were the many military youth programs that went marching by. (I saw the four man Civil Air Patrol color guard and had fond memories.) The ROTC and other military branches had masses of youths marching in formation. Then there were all the cheer leading squads, each with probably 40 members, dressed in dresses that severely challenge the age of consent in these parts. (Remember, it was so cold my dear wife abandoned the parade for the warm of the bookstore, even though they were throwing more candy than I ever saw in all the Hartland, VT old home day parades combined.) There were classic cars, fire engines, tractors, and lots of floats. It just kept going and going, with the square and the streets leading in and out packed with happy people, both the parade walkers and the watchers waving back and forth to each other, shouting Merry Christmas, and scattering for candy.
I couldn't quite contain my excitement when I saw Smarties raining down on the front row, and must have yippeed or something. Of course I was mature enough not to dive to my knees and scramble for them. (I only did that for the tootsie rolls, and only after my wife had abandoned me.) But a grown teenage boy, complete with scruffy face hair and an adolescent girl to impress, handed me a handful of those Smarties. I was very touched.
And this is what I wanted to share with you all, one more joy I have discovered down here.
But then we scooted over to the First Baptist gym, where I play basketball with some fellows from work and that church on Monday nights. Alexe came this time, (her record is one show, one skip, and now one non-playing attendance) and she did some inconsistent cheering. I had a lot of fun, playing some decent games. Most of my focus is on getting up and down the court somewhere not too far behind whoever I'm guarding, and that usually provides enough amusement to keep my mind off who's winning.
Since Alexe will most definitely point this out later, she was asking to go home, and I insisted on staying for one more game. The local season is coming up, and the guys from work and I need to start playing as a team. So we set the teams up, work chaps against church chaps, and had a good game going.
Then I went up, I came down, and my ankle went POP.
Very, very loudly. And my goodness, does it hurt. I could have sworn it was broken. My first thought was, I just broke my body. I've never broken my body before. But oh, the pain. I was dragged off the court so the game could continue, (good fellas) and watched my ankle swell as a friend ran for ice. I was still marveling at the amounts of pain when a nice fellow came over to sit with me and told me about the dread of hearing the POP, of feeling it in realms where you aren't supposed to ever direct your conscious thoughts.
Turns out I most likely have a sprain. He did this last week, and was playing with us today. But his whole foot is bruised, down to the toes, and he's wearing a brace. (He put in the effort to consult a physician, so I'm not bothering with emergency rooms tonight. We'll see how the morning treats me.)
My darling wife dragged me to the curb, brought the car around, and helped me to the couch. She brought me water, I was parched from before the POP, propped my leg up, set the ice on it, and handed me my laptop so I could complain in a masculine way. Here you can't hear the whine in my voice.
Now she's waiting to help me up the stairs to bed, and she's not to pleased that we got home after 10. I'll let you know how long it is before she starts in on the "I told you we should have gone home." I won't count the one she said minutes after it happened.