Because we had not seen our grandchildren, Matthew and Jessie, at any of their sports events since school started, we traveled to Lewis Center last Wednesday morning for two days of school sports.
The first night was the Worthington Christian varsity basketball game where Jessie is a cheerleader for the Warriors.
We arrived at West Jefferson early enough to catch most of the JVees play, too. Back in Lamont's basketball playing days, the younger team was called the reserves. Not so anymore, I learned.
It is ironic, but I can go past a town or a certain location I have seen before and deny ever seeing or driving through it.
On the evening to West Jeff, in the dark, in the back seat of the van, we passed a baseball field with nary a sign to identify it, but I announced that it was a baseball field where I had been before.
Lamont had not seen it well as he was on the opposite side of the van but Jay vehemently denied I had ever seen it. The reason for this was because we went with Darin to see Jackson play a Little League game in the summer. Jay was not there. So I was right.
The Warrior crowd was in a quiet mood that night, despite the fact they were winning. Therefore, Jay and I did the hand clapping and foot stomping that the cheers required. One cheer called for shouting out "red" and then "gold," the school's colors. I understood red quite well but I thought the next shout was "go," rather than gold.
The cheerleaders shout of warriors sounded much like bullion to me, if there is such a word. Jay just shook his head at my antics, but we had lots of fun being the only clowns in the crowd.
On Thursday, Maggie, the youngest grandchild, came over to Jay's for the day because she had no kindergarten class. I learned all about Bella and Rosie, two adorable, white and fuzzy dogs from a library book she read to me. She read another about a birthday party and another about animals. Maggie declared to be tired of reading, and I had to read the fourth book to her.
She is a whiz at putting puzzles together. She and Cameron, a 4-year-friend, put a large floor puzzle of the solar system together in quick time, another of Dora the Explorer and a long train carrying numbers and merchandise were the other two.
Amber, who is a college student at Capital University and did not attend until later in the day, drove me to a department store where I had to make an exchange. When trying on a pair of jeans, I tried to slip one leg into a pair of jeans while standing on one foot and fell over to a padded stool that was in just the right place in the dressing booth. The stool slipped, and I went down on the floor, unhurt, but laughing in embarrassment. Is a grandmother supposed to act like that?
Matthew's Worthington Christian eighth-grade basketball game was played the next night. Because of running out of time, we went through the drive-through of a fast food place and took chicken sandwiches and french fries into the school, where they have tables set up for a cafeteria.
We had a McCoy gathering, with the exception of Matthew, because he was with his team. Steve McKay, the McCoy neighbor who is very interested in the sports of the McCoy kids, joined us at the table. And Matthew wasn't left out of the food. We bought a box of "just out of the fryer" doughnuts for him and to pass out to his team.
Matthew, the least tall member of the team, is fast on his feet and handles the ball well, despite his lack of height. Notice that I did not mention the word "short" once. My 14-year-old grandson is proud of being taller than me but wants to hurry and add a few more inches.
I still cringe when I see a player get knocked to the ground or floor. I wrung my hands when my boys played sports, and it is even more agonizing now that I am a grandmother. Or to see a professional player get hurt. It happened to Matthew twice, but I merely winced and watched him get up and shake himself off and go on.
By the way, the young Warriors won their game as well.
It had started to drop a few snowflakes, as Amber and I went to the department store and when we came out, there was about 1 inch of snow. It then stopped when we went to the game, but coming out of the school, snow was falling fast and furious, and the wind was blowing.
Instead of heading down I-70 to Smithfield, we decided to camp out in Jessie's bedroom again. The sweet gal gives up her room each time we stay overnight. She sleeps on a pull-out trundle bed in Amber's bedroom instead.
Coming home the next day, the pavement was clear, but watching the 11 p.m. news, we saw many wrecks on the same highway. It's good that we did not decide to stay a few more hours.
Ozzie was overjoyed to see us, but a little stand-offish, as if to punish us.
Lamont's brother, Larry, took care of him during our stay in Lewis Center, even took tending to our pet for another day in good stride.
Do you have trouble sleeping? I received an e-mail some time ago reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links too little or too much sleep with chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, anxiety and obesity in adults. Nearly one-third of all Americans suffer from sleep disturbances, it was noted.
The CDC's suggestion for a natural way to gain sleep is by drinking tart cherry juice, a natural source of melatonin. It is said to reduce the severity of insomnia and increase overall sleep efficiency.
It must sound like I am a walking health encyclopedia - do people even use them anymore - but I found some remedies for stomach stress in the Prevention magazine that might be helpful, too.
If you ate too much: Sip fresh lemon-balm tea.
If you are bloated: Drink hot water with lime.
If you have indigestion: Chew a handful of fennel seeds.
If you feel nauseated: Try ginger slices.
If your stomach is in knots: Try valerian root extract. This root has been around since Hippocrates' time and can lessen anxiety and nervous tension. There are fewer side effects and less drowsiness from this extract that is either in capsules or tablets than other medicines, it was noted.
I have learned from the AARP magazine that equilibrium declines with age and can contribute to trips and falls.
To increase your balance, try standing on one leg a few times a day. Hold for 20 seconds and switch legs. After mastering that, stand on a towel to make the surface beneath your feet uneven and stand on one leg. When that is accomplished, do the exercise with your eyes closed. This is probably what I should have mastered before trying to stand on one leg to put on a pair of jeans.
My getting out and about will continue next week when I am invited to attend the Harrison County Farm Bureau membership campaign.
It will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Thompson's Restaurant. There will be good food, always; door prizes; and cash for those bringing in a new member to the membership kickoff. These people are so good at getting new members. Their campaign only lasts a week or so, and they have everything sewn up.
We are well into the 2014 now, but our church bulletin had 12 tips for a beautiful life in 2014 in last Sunday's edition. Thought you might like to see how a few of these could change your outlook on life.
1. Take a 10- to 30-minute walk each day and while you walk, try a smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3. When you wake up, pray to ask God's guidance for your purpose today.
4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and less food that is manufactured in plants.
5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli and almonds.
6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Invest your energy in the positive present moment.
8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed-out credit card.
9. Life isn't fair, but it is still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything.
11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)