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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


Self Awareness

Shortly after we moved here I found myself eagerly volunteering for my children’s school. My first opportunity to serve came during the school’s auction. I was helping set up all the merchandise that had been donated.

At one point, I came across a golf ball that had been gingerly set underneath a goblet. I didn’t know what to make of it.  Was the goblet part of the auction or was it protecting the golf ball? So I picked up the goblet to take a better look at the golf ball. There was a name scribbled on the ball. Okay, so it must be a famous golfer or someone of the like. And that’s where I should have just put the ball back under the glass and walked away. But instead, I found myself turning to the other people in the room with the ball held aloft and in a very innocent voice I asked…

“Who’s Bill Self?”

A deathly silence met my question. The president of the board started to shake his head while looking at me, “No, no, no, you did not just ask that question did you?”

“Oh, sorry, should I know him? Is he a famous golfer? I don’t know many golfers.”

Then the silence turned to muffled chuckles, “How long have you been gone from Kansas?”

“Nine (long, lonely, yearning, miserable) years.”

As it turns out, Bill Self is the head basketball coach for our beloved Kansas Jayhawks. I hadn’t a clue. For me to admit that in a public place, was, well, not good. I’m surprised I’m not living in exile right now.

It reminded me of when we moved to St. Louis and people insisted on having conversations about baseball with me assuming I cared deeply about the St. Louis Cardinals. Women especially, they would start talking about the game, the players, and the errors. I thought they were joking. Surely, all these women were not this passionate about baseball. Didn’t they want to talk about gardening, decorating, shopping, cooking, books, movies, sewing, religion….anything besides baseball? No. They didn’t.

I found myself in conversations about spring training, exhibition games, trades, quality starts, earned run average, slugging percentages. I learned to nod my head in agreement and throw out the name LaRussa to appear that I cared.

I was coaxed to games by well meaning people. I usually took a good book, magazine and insisted that I have a hotdog and soda before the first inning was over. If my husband dragged me to the game I would beg to leave by the end of the fifth inning, “Please, can we go now? I’m hot. I’m full. I’m done reading. I’M BORED! Please, can we go? I’m going to die if I have to stay here one more second! PLEASE, TAKE ME HOME!”

I endured the long seasons. I learned to avoid the die hard fans in fear they would hand me tickets or ask me what I thought of the pitching line up. I escaped baseball conversations by mentally escaping to a land full of flowers and trees and bunnies and cows, I’d begin my safe mantra, “Uh-huh, Uh-huh, LaRussa needs a haircut, Uh-huh, Oh, I know, yes, LaRussa is a genius, yes, Cardinals, LaRussa…..”.

Just when I had learned several key player’s names and positions, we moved back to Kansas.

Now, I have to endure unending conversations about college ball. It’s all about Mangino and football, Bill Self and basketball. Jayhawks, Jayhawks Jayhawks!

There is no escaping sports!

Oh, well. It could be worse. You know what? At the school auction there was a baseball on the silent bidding table. I picked it up and it was signed by Ozzie Smith. I didn’t have to ask who he was, I even bid on the ball for my husband, but lost…it sold for $40.00, I don’t think many people knew who he was. But the Bill Self ball, that sold for hundreds of dollars and everybody in the room knew who he was……even me. I hope they don’t change coaches for awhile.

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