Summer television seriously sucks, in my humble opinion, so I don’t watch much. But the other night I came across the ESPY Awards on ABC, an awards show for sports performance. In fact, ESPY stands for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly. Peyton Manning hosted and I find him a generally likeable guy, a retired quarterback and one of the elite Manning family, well known in American football. Dad Archie was a quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and brother Eli quarterbacks for the New York Giants. In fact, one of my favorite lines was about sibling rivalry, when Peyton said Eli couldn’t be there — because he’d told the folks at the door not to let him in 🙂
There was a lot of forced silliness and some real humor, too, but it was the touching moments that got me. A wonderful posthumous tribute to Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her tireless work to establish Special Olympics and help the world see what people with disabilities are capable of achieving. Former First Lady Michelle Obama was chosen to present the award accepted by Tim Shriver, who pointed out that much work is still necessary in achieving acceptance for all. A Kennedy/Democratic dig at the state of the U.S., I’m sure, but especially true for people with mental and physical disabilities.
And the Pat Tillman award, presented to U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Israel Del Toro, was incredible. If you don’t know or remember, Pat Tillman was an NFL player with the AZ Cardinals before giving up his professional football career to enlist in the Army after 9/11. He was an Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan by what turned out to be friendly fire. A horrific situation all around. A few years ago, the ESPY’s began honoring a military recipient with the Tillman Award. This year, it was Del Toro, who was burned horribly over 80 percent of his body after an IED explosion. He was given a 15 percent chance of survival and 100 percent disability from the Air Force. And what did he do? He became the first person to be allowed to re-enlist with that 100 percent disability and became a recruiter for the military and talk about his experiences. His acceptance speech was touching and the most memorable moment for me was when he said his biggest worry was that his young son would be afraid of him because of how he now looks.
So, yes, I think there are sometimes things worth watching on TV and this show really made a huge impression on me. Maybe other people were watching all the famous athletes, but I was thinking when I feel sorry for myself because I’ve had breast cancer and my hair and my figure are not what I’d like, you have my permission to gently slap me (just to get my attention!) and tell me to get on with life as so many wonderfully motivating people have!
It’s the season of summer festivals and we’re very big on them in the Midwestern part of the U.S. Friday marks the beginning of Independence Day weekend and many nearby areas will have huge celebrations. Chicago and the suburbs boast lots of music events and many things going on over Independence Day weekend. Not sure what we’re doing yet, but for sure it will include grilling and fireworks!
We also have our county and state fairs and I’ve gone to my share of those over the years. We often went to Wisconsin for their state fair or Summerfest music festival as the Illinois State Fair is in downstate Springfield, a much further drive. And the Milwaukee area is a nice size compared to driving into Chicago.
It’s all brought back fun memories of a time several years ago when my parents and their crazy little dog, Sparky, drove up to the Milwaukee area for a day trip to the state fair. Apparently they had planned to take the little terrier onto the fairgrounds with them but, not having checked beforehand, found dogs were not allowed. It was too hot to leave Sparky in the car, so they debated what to do and finally decided they’d take turns going onto the fairgrounds.
Mom went to the fair first, leaving Dad and Sparky resting under a shade tree by the entrance gates. Dad had his ever-present ball cap on, along with sunglasses, and he’d had a cup of water for the dog in case he was thirsty. Mom was horribly embarrassed when she returned and found people walking by the entrance had assumed the worst when they saw my sleeping dad and his dog and had been throwing coins in his cup!
Photo credit: Wisconsin State Fair
Okay, those are my excuses for not posting much lately. I go outside into the sunshine and I’m not motivated to write. I’m motivated to garden and pull weeds and maybe wash the windows or paint the little piece of trim above the front door. And go to the gym now that I’m finally getting over this frustrating sinusitis, the second time since chemo. Apparently my immune system will take some time to recover. I’m trying to eat well and work out regularly. But not write…
My fiction piece The Reunion is starting to bore even me, so I can imagine how you felt if you read it. It’s on hold for now. I’ve been reading a lot lately and some is for NetGalley, so I’ll need to post some reviews soon. If I get motivated….
My hair gets crazier every day. It’s almost two inches long now and thicker and white with some dark mixed in, especially in the back. And curly, like Mary’s little lamb curly. And what do people say to me who haven’t seen me for awhile? Oh, your hair is SO white or SO thick or SO curly!
No, really? I say this with a shocked look on my face and touch my head. My God, what happened? You know, we don’t have any mirrors at the house! Well, that’s what I’d like to say anyway. Then they tell me how cute it is. Uh, huh, sure. But no one is rushing out to get a really bad perm like mine. Or stop coloring and highlighting. The only good thing is the speed with which I can shower and get out the door. Blow drying doesn’t make a difference at all, so air dry it is…
But enough whining about me. 😉 How are you all?