The Bocce and the Ball

About a month or so Bocceback, I was invited to join a couples Bocce Ball team.

It’s what I love, in addition to the lake, the quiet and the views, about this community.  Being half of a couple is not a detriment to much of anything.

Still, I hesitated.  I had never played the game and, even in my salad days, athletics were never a strong suit.

Then I learned the name of the team: Debocceries…and that they had landed in last place last season, and probably the seasons before that.  No one could actually remember and didn’t really care.

Could work.

I agreed to attend a wine ‘n cheese strategy meeting prior to the season opening.  Introductions all around, a glass or two or three of wine, lively converstion and then the strategy from our captain.

I’ll be handing out calendars as soon as I get them.  I’m not making reminder calls.  You are on your own.  Just show up when we’re scheduled.

More wine. More stories.

Yep, this could work.

The first match — three games — came a few weeks later. My next door neighbor was playing on the adjoining court and sauntered over to both greet and reprimand me before our games began.

You’re drinking water?  It’s illegal.  You need a drink.  Or two. And what are you doing on their team and not ours?  

You didn’t ask me. 

You should have known.  There aren’t that many Italians around.

I’m not Italian. You are.  I’m Spanish.

Latin.  Close enough.

With that, the games began. My partner went first while I watched.

Then I picked up one of the two rather hefty balls, walked up to the line, eyed the little white target ball that we were supposed to get as close to as possible and rolled the ball down the green.  Both of the darn balls just snuggled right up to the target Pallino, looked back at me and winked.

Hot damn.

In one of the first times in Deboccery memory — remembering, of course, the consumption of wine, beer and other assorted libations — we won the match.

Our captain declared me a ringer. I wasn’t so sure; beginner’s luck and all.

Last night, we played our second match against a much younger team. It was 50 degrees — an unexpected cold snap — and we were all freezing.

Once I warmed up a bit, my cute little bocce balls just seemed to weave their way through all the others to get as close as possible to the Pallino.

They were probably freezing and just seeking warmth from huddling with one another. Nonetheless, they added to our score.

My youthful opponent, a young man with flowing blonde hair, kept looking at me and demanding, How do you do that? That’s impossible to do. Tell me how you do that.

I finally relented. 

Practice from years of throwing erasers at students.

He believed me. Never batted an eye.

English teacher?

Yep.

We English teachers must have some reputation.

Although it makes for a good story, I’ve never thrown anything at a student, tempting though it may have been. I opted more for the long, silent mom-glare, which meant that within seconds, everyone in the class was staring at the offender, who became very attentive, very quickly.

Better than coating the room in a cloud of chalk dust.

 

 

Recipes for a Summer’s Day Re-Post

IMG_0811

Mixed Bricks Quilt

Mix together one summer afternoon with an old rocking chair and one well-worn quilt.  Add a breezy summer novel, a lazy overhead fan and tall chilled glass of freshly squeezed lemonade. Enjoy!

IMG_0814

Basket Weave Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Gently scatter two or three teenage girls (or women who are young at heart) over one  well-loved quilt. Place at  the base of a meandering moss-covered stone staircase. Mix in blue skies, a couple wispy clouds and one large shade tree.  Marinate well.  Watch dreams take flight.

IMG_0804

Scrappy Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Add one large friendly quilt to a park bench at the edge of a well worn path. Settle in one retired gentleman with his morning cup of coffee. Newspaper optional. A perfect start to any new day!

IMG_0800

Nine Patch Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Begin with one vintage quilt. Add deep plum colored geraniums.  Top with a trotting horse weather-vane.  Allow to simmer until one large black cat settles in for an afternoon nap.  Yawn…

IMG_0799

Disappearing Nine Square Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Mix one well-tended herb garden, one clay pot overflowing with hot pink geraniums and a bird bath filled with sparkling clear water.  Add a dash of a bright charm pack quilt to spice a lazy summer morning.  Yummy!

IMG_0819

Disappearing Nine Square Baby Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Carefully stir one child’s antique red rocking chair with a well-traveled carousel horse and slowly add baby’s first quilt. Season sweetly to create wonder-filled memories.

IMG_0822

Log Cabin Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Gently blend two little girls, one small tea set and a rag doll with a country quilt. Slowly simmer for an afternoon filled with make-believe delight.

IMG_0820 (2)

Block Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Thoroughly mix one lake, three teenage boys and their tube floats.  Carefully spread over a quilt of Hawaiian surfboard and outrigger prints. Marinate well so plans will season. 

IMG_0816 (1)

Sixteen Patch Quilt

Gather one warm summer evening, a lake, a picnic table and large quilt.  Top with a basket of cold crispy chicken, green salad and crusty sour dough french bread. Serve with chilled white wine, ice tea or lemonade. Homemade apple pie or strawberry shortcake optional.

 

* The Project Linus Quilts were all made from donated scrap fabric provided through the Auburn CA/Whistle Stop Project Linus group.  The handmade quilts are being donated to the Sacramento Chapter of Project Linus, a member of the national non-profit, and will be distributed, along with other homemade blankets, to children in need ~ in hospitals, in foster care, homeless, or just going through a difficult time. 

See www.sacprojectlinus.org and projectlinus.org for more information.

Recipes for a Summer’s Day

IMG_0811

Mixed Bricks Quilt

Mix together one summer afternoon with an old rocking chair and a well-worn quilt.  Add one breezy summer novel, a lazy overhead fan and tall chilled glass of freshly squeezed lemonade. Enjoy!

 

IMG_0814

Basket Weave Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Gently scatter two or three teenage girls (or women who are young at heart) on one  well-loved quilt. Place at  the base of a meandering moss-covered stone staircase. Mix in blue skies, a couple wispy clouds and one large shade tree.  Marinate well.  Watch dreams take flight.

 

IMG_0804

Scrappy Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Add one large friendly quilt to a park bench at the edge of a well worn path. Settle in one retired gentleman with his morning cup of coffee.  Newspaper optional. What better way to begin a new day?

 

IMG_0800

Nine Patch Quilt (a Project Linus donation*)

Begin with one vintage quilt. Add deep plum colored geraniums.  Top with a trotting horse weather-vane.  Allow to simmer until one large black cat settles in for an afternoon nap.  Yawn…

 

IMG_0799

Disappearing Nine Square Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Mix one well-tended herb garden, one clay pot overflowing with hot pink geraniums and one bird bath filled with sparkling clear water.  Add a dash of bright charm pack quilt to spice a lazy summer morning.

 

IMG_0819

Disappearing Nine Square Baby Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Carefully mix one child’s antique red rocking chair with a well-traveled carousel horse and slowly add baby’s first quilt. Season sweetly to create wonder-filled memories.

 

IMG_0822

Log Cabin Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Gently blend two little girls, one small tea set and a rag doll with a country quilt. Slowly simmer for an afternoon filled with make-believe delight.

 

IMG_0820 (2)

Block Quilt (a Project Linus quilt*)

Thoroughly mix one lake, three teenage boys and their tube floats.  Carefully spread over a quilt of Hawaiian surfboard and outrigger prints. Wait for plans to season. 

 

IMG_0816 (1)

Sixteen Patch Quilt

Gather one warm summer evening, a lake, a picnic table and large quilt.  Top with a basket of cold crispy chicken, green salad and crusty sour dough french bread. Serve with chilled white wine, ice tea or lemonade. Homemade apple pie or strawberry shortcake optional.

 

* The Project Linus Quilts were all made from donated scrap fabric provided through the Auburn CA/Whistle Stop Project Linus group.  The handmade quilts are being donated to the Sacramento Chapter of Project Linus, a member of the national non-profit, and will be distributed, along with other homemade blankets, to children in need ~ in hospitals, in foster care, homeless, or just going through a difficult time. 

See www.sacprojectlinus.org and projectlinus.org for more information.