Monday, October 30, 2006

A Different Fall Classic

Hi, Pastor Hank with you today.

I've already talked about helping to coach little league baseball here in Kanner Lake. It seems I have an interest in throwing things around. In the summer, it is baseballs. In the fall, I start to divide my time between baseballs and footballs. I was always better at baseball. It is the national pastime, after all. There's just something about the crunch of leaves on the grass that pulls me to the pigskin during autumn.

I've mentioned my three girls in a prior post. I love my girls, and wouldn't trade them for anything. But they did have to learn a few things they may not have in another home, since I didn't have a boy. All of the girls were game enough to throw the ball with their old man. Not surprisingly, it was my youngest spitfire Andy who showed the most aptitude for it.

The older girls humored me for a little while, but soon found excuses to slip into the house to beg hot chocolate from Janet. Not Animal Andy. She always managed to throw herself around after our little Nerf when she was little. I tried to tell her the purpose of the game is to throw the ball, but she delighted in launching herself in the air.

Many times our chucking sessions involved a day when I was raking leaves into big piles, either at our house or the church. The game evolved into my sending the football sailing toward one of the piles, and Andy happily diving into the crunchy leaves.

The problem came when my baby girl got too big to keep deciduous diving with me. She was off with her friends, doing the school thing, or whatever that kept teen girls occupied. I'd get her maybe once or twice in the autumn, but not very often. However, I always kept a ball in my pick-up, just in case someone was up for a little game.

Turns out though, I was able to parlay this game into a little neighborhood outreach. You see, I couldn't help but throw a few balls into the piles of leaves, to keep up practice. Some boys were walking by the house and saw me chucking away one day. They thought this was amusing, and stuck around to watch. Well, I soon finagled them into catching a few with me. First I started throwing the ball to them. Then I asked them to make it more interesting by running routes. Then it was into the leaves. I never ran into a boy that could resist the temptation to dive for the ball. All I had to do is lead them a little with the pass, right where I wanted. They'd jump for the pigskin, and end up with leaves sticking to their hair or caps. Ha! Good fun.

I've had some returning friends this way, catching me each fall for a little leaf-ball. I think some have gotten wise to me, but there's always a new pack of boys running around that haven't figured out ol' Pastor Hank yet.

I still get Andy too, when she's back from college. I think you're never too old to fall into leaves. And Kanner Lake has some of the best around.

-- Hank Detcher

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
"Deciduous diving." Now that's a phrase.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 7:13 AM
Hey, Pastor, maybe you oughtta ask Jake to come over and help you rake some leaves. He's looking for things to do...
Posted by Anonymous burt laroy : 1:14 PM
Some of the most memorable pictures of my children are with their heads poking up out of leaf piles. When they got older we just used the leaf blower and were done with it...Then, low and behold, Grandchldren!!!
Posted by Blogger Mid Stutsman : 6:12 AM
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