Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In Great Spirits

The Swim Team had their end of the year party, and as usual, it was almost as much fun as just swimming.

The rain was supposed to be over by 5pm, which was our scheduled start time.  When i got over there a bit after 5, it poured as one more cloud decided it would like to add to the fun.  The kids didn't care, and swam in the rain, since there was no lightning.  It didn't last long.

The dinner menu was what you usually feed a passel of kids and younger siblings and the attendant parents and grandparents who show up -- hot dogs, sloppy joes, chips, a couple of fruit plates to pretend we are worried about nutrition, and enough sugary cakes, cupcakes, cookies and sugary drinks to make a fly die of happiness to see.

This included the home made cake baked and decorated just for the occasion.

Candy decorated cake.

 When the food was served, the children swarmed out of the pool like land sharks, devouring much but we had so much everyone got plenty.  My favorite part at this point is watching the youngest children, just walking and toddling, milling around.  They go up to mom, who hands them a cookie to keep them quiet while making a plate.  Then they go up to dad, who absently hands them something from his plate, usually a couple of chips or a small bite off of his sloppy joe.  To an older sibling, who gives them a juice pouch or a bite of cake.  Walking unsteadily with their booty, they mill around nibbling wherever they can get a bite, and my favorite thing is to shadow a couple of them and watch them do it.  It's hilarious when you aren't the mom and don't have to try to get them to go home and go to bed after all that!

When we thought the eating was over and no one thought they could hold any more, one family brought out a snow cone maker, and the swarm started again!

When every cone was slopping juicy syrup over a sticky hand, it was time to sit and give out the awards.  Everyone gets a medal, and a specially decorated cup with more sugary treats in it (as if they needed it by now, but many kids dive right in anyway).  Then there are the Senior awards, for the 18-year-olds who won't be back on the team next year, unless they come as junior coaches (which many do).

There are trophies for the girl with the most points for the season, the boy with the most points for the season (team ranking is based on the points earned by every member of the team, we came in 4th in the league this year, and we are about half the size of most teams).

The ten and under group also have one girl and one boy who win a trophy for their spirit of dedication to the team, for being always willing to do an extra lap, or not mind that s/he gives up a turn to another, or just generally having a spirit of good cooperation with the coach.

Elevens and up get a trophy, too, called a Spirit Trophy.  In their case, the criterion are a bit more stringent.  It's the girl and boy who not only cooperated, but who gave up their time to help tutor younger swimmers, who jumped up and ran to help, who never balked at being asked to do something for the good of the team.

Little Girl was the girl Spirit Trophy winner for the eleven and up group.  Since she hides every time she sees me with a camera, a friend got pics of her, but for privacy, i'll just post a picture of the trophy.

Little Girl's Trophy

The evening ended with the favorite activity of all:  the slippery watermelon contest among the older team members

Coach at the end of the diving board, holding a watermelon

A watermelon is coated in sun screen -- they used to use vaseline, but it gums up the pool pumps -- and the coach drops it from the diving board.  As the watermelon floats mid-pool, two teams line up, the whistle blows, and hilarity ensues as they jump in and each team tries to get it to their side of the pool and toss it up on the side.

There's an watermelon in there somewhere!

Amid cries of "no tickling!" and "get it! grab it!" they wrestle, pull, push, and generally spend about ten minutes tugging and yanking and trying to get it away from each other.  It is bedlam and it is fun and they obey the rule that you cannot actually hurt anyone or hold anyone under water.  They know that doing such a thing will get the game banned, and this is their favorite game.

It all ends when the watermelon is out of the pool and cut and consumed, and everyone helps clean up.

As they used to say in the society papers, a good time was had by all.

Today is

Air Conditioner Day -- the first modern electrical air conditioning unit, invented by William Carrier, began working on this day in 1902

Bregenzer Festspiele (Bregenz Festival) -- Bregenz, Austria (an amazing performing arts festival, through August 18)

Constitution Day -- South Korea

Feast of St. Kenelm -- saint mentioned in "The Nun's Priest's Tale" of The Canterbury Takes

Feast of the Clockless NowEver -- can't find any confirmation on what this one is, but it sounds like fun if i don't have to bother with a clock or schedule

Festival for Victoria and Virtus -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of victory and god of bravery in warfare)

Folkmoot USA -- Waynesville, NC, US (festival of international folk dance; through the 28th)

Gion Matsuri -- Yakasa Shrine, Kyoto, Japan (one of the largest and best Gion festivals)

King Letsie III's Birthday -- Lesotho

National Baby Food Festival -- Fremont, MI, US (in the hometown of Gerber Products, adults have a baby food eating contest and tots have crawling races, among other fun things; through Saturday)

National Peach Ice Cream Day

Petal-Hopping for Hopeless Cases -- Fairy Calendar

St. Alexius Day (Patron of Alexians, beggars, belt makers, nurses, pilgrims, travellers)

Wear Crazy Socks to Work Day -- at your own risk

World Day for International Justice

Wrong Way Corrigan Day -- anniversary of the flight of Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, who was supposedly heading for California from New York and ended up in Ireland instead

Yellow Pig Day -- mathmatics festivals at various universities, celebrating the number 17 and the yellow pig with 17 eyelashes, created by mathematicians Michael Spivak and David C. Kelly

Birthdays Today

Tash Hamilton, 1982
Mark Burnett, 1960
J. Michael Straczynski, 1954
David Hasselhoff, 1952
Phoebe Snow, 1952
Camilla Parker Bowles, 1947
Diahann Carroll, 1935
Donald Sutherland, 1934
Phyllis Diller, 1917
Art Linkletter, 1912
James Cagney, 1899
Erle Stanley Gardner, 1889
John Jacob Astor, 1763
Isaac Watts, 1674

Today in History

Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa are executed for being Christians, the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world, 180
Zhu Di, better known by his era name as the Yongle Emperor, assumes the throne over the Ming Dynasty of China, 1402
Catherine II (the Great) becomes tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia, 1762
Londoner Thomas Saint patented the first sewing machine, 1790
The first issue of Punch magazine was published, England, 1841
The Harvard School of Dental Medicine is established in Boston as the first dental school in the U.S, 1867
On the orders of the Bolshevik Party carried out by Cheka, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family and retainers are murdered at the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, Russia, 1918
The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, is sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; 5 lives are lost, 1918
An Armed Forces rebellion against the recently-elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain begins the Spanish Civil War, 1936
After being denied permission to make a transatlantic crossing, Douglas Corrigan takes off from Brooklyn to fly the "wrong way" to Ireland and becomes known as "Wrong Way" Corrigan, 1928
Disneyland televises its grand opening in Anaheim, California, 1955
An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations, 1975
The opening of the Summer Olympics in Montreal is marred by 25 African teams boycotting the New Zealand team, 1976
The F.W. Woolworth Company closes after 117 years in business, 1997
A tsunami triggered by an undersea earthquake destroys 10 villages in Papua New Guinea killing an estimated 3,183, leaving 2,000 more unaccounted for and thousands more homeless, 1998
A diplomatic conference adopts the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing a permanent international court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, 1998
South Korea develops a long range cruise missile, 2010


  1. Sounds like the best kind of event! a lovely cake. Best of all I liked your observations of the tiniest ones. I am sure that to them the whole thing was about the most exciting thing that had ever happened to them! Makes me smile to think of if :)

  2. All that sugar is soon burned with the sport of swimming. It uses up lots of energy and I will not one of those kids has a weight problem.

    I love when we get to peek behind the scenes.


  4. I love the watermelon game. That would be fun to see. Congratulations to Little Girl for winning that fine trophy.

  5. How fun. That cake is awesome too. I'm glad everyone had a fabulous time.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

  6. Jenny, it's a reminder that when you are a baby, everything is amazing, and we should look with wonder more often.

    Tabor, you are right, none of these kids really do, they burn it all off.

    Carla, i'm getting better at it, but i need to learn to use my digital camera instead of just the phone.

    Thank you, Stephen, and the game is such fun to watch.

    Sandee, i'm glad you came by, and hope your day is terrific, too.

  7. Sounds like your daughter won a great award. That's exactly why kids should do sports and fitness/skill comes in second. That watermelon contest looks fun, too. I love your expose on the eating habits of toddlers at potlucks, too. LOL. My son grew up grazing like that! The Clockless NowEver sounds like a book title.

  8. What a fun time--I could go for a sloppy Joe and a cookie. And I agree that people watching (or little kid watching) at those events can be a real hoot.

    Congrats to your trophy winner.

  9. Fun stuff. My sister once followed my younger son (aged 2 and a half at the time)around with a video camera at his brother's birthday party, The kid never stopped eating - either collecting from others as you indicated or by helping himself to treats from the table.

    How ironic that this was air conditioner day. This was the day mine up and died. And the guy who installed and who repairs it is in Cuba for a week. And we're having a heat wave... sigh!