Shakespeare got it stuck in our brains, "Beware the Ides of March". The 15th of March--it is the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., the anniversary of the abdication of Nicolas II of Russia in 1917 A.D. Historically, it is a date foreboding gloom.
Yesterday, however, was one of the most delightful days of the year at our house! The thermometer topped 60, the children were in good spirits, we have two Italian girls visiting us for the week, our school day went smoothly and quickly, we traveled several miles by foot and on bikes in short sleeves under a blue sky and summer sun, and that was just the beginning.
Keith and I took the youngest four to the park where they renewed acquaintance with the playground and we tried out the tennis court. To our mutual surprise we both enjoyed it very much. After 30 minutes of warm up Keith suggested we keep score. My legs were already shaking and I was sweating and panting, but I said yes. We finished one set with him winning 6-2. Even with his just starting to overcome a rather severe attack of gout and playing the doubles lines on his sides I was unable to fare any better. However, we had numerous respectable volleys and I was never once shut out in a game.
Back when we first met in 1983 one of our first outings together was a tennis game at Christian Park in Richfield, MN. Strangely enough, it was early March. We were better matched then, in fact, we were both just better--although my decline is certainly greater. Eleven children and their care has taken a huge bite out of my game (which wasn't exactly stellar to begin with). We've attempted to play for years, with children in walkers on the free court and toddlers chasing balls and butterflies. But, by the time our oldest boys were old enough to really help with the younger ones there were just too many for them and it was easier to give one of them a racket to play against their dad. Yesterday worked! We even have hopes of continuing throughout the summer.
To finish the day we ate a picnic supper at the park, went out for ice cream, and spent the better part of an hour on the phone wishing Chet a Happy Birthday and catching up with all the news in his and Priscilla's life. Newlyweds, as would be expected, spend very little time communicating with their parents and we all enjoyed reconnecting around the occasion of his 21st year.
It's hard to imagine another better day, although the temperatures are supposed to be way above normal again today, the sun is shining in a clear sky, and Keith and I are celebrating our 26th Anniversary!