Yes it’s here… that time of year when I am REALLY tired of winter but spring is still a long way away. I find myself not only looking at the spring fashions wishing it were warm enough to at least wear a short sleeve shirt but longing for Masters week. In this part of the world, we begin the countdown to Masters pretty early for several reasons. First, it is the official beginning of spring to all of us in the Augusta area. Second, tons of people rent their house out so they have to get it Masters ready. Meaning the house looks like it is going to be photographed for a magazine (reason #4,563 why we don’t rent!!) And third, it is spring break.
Yes, you will NEVER EVER hear of a spring break in the Augusta area occurring any time other than Masters week. Now to those of you not steeped in Masters tradition, that means our spring break always starts on Monday following the first Sunday in April because Masters ALWAYS ends on the second Sunday in April (more than you ever cared to know? You’re welcome!) The good news about this is that you can plan your spring break years in advance resting in the knowledge that it WILL be that particular week. The bad news? It is so hard to wait that long for spring break. Especially when your college kids are enjoying an early March spring break.
For years we stayed in town for Masters week because, uh, I worked there and taking vacation that week was really frowned upon by the establishment. WHAT?!?! This past year, Tim and I had tournament badges so I REALLY wanted to get to go as just a normal person (I admit, it’s a stretch for me to be normal but I gave it my best shot.) So hubby and I have been torn this year, should we stay or should we head out of town??? Naturally, there are tons of fun things to do in town Masters week but there are also about a million extra people. That’s the rub, stay and play with a million of my closest friends or get out of town and enjoy peace and quiet… hmmmm… it really is a harder decision than you can imagine. And when we decide, I’ll be sure and let you know.
You ever notice that no one sets out to start a tradition? It just happens. We have a couple like that which just happen to revolve around Christmas. Years ago when the kids were little we would always be on the road Christmas Eve (since both our families live in Carrollton and we lived in either Atlanta or Augusta.) Therefore we found a restaurant that was always open and always convenient. Waffle House. Since my husband is naturally a giver, we also adopted the tradition of playing Santa to another family there by paying for their meal and we try to leave a VERY generous tip for our server (at least $3.00… I kid, I kid.) Always looking for teachable moments when the kids were little, we always let them help decide which family we would play Santa for (yes, some years we have paid for two families since nothing says Christmas like the kids fist fighting in a Waffle House!!) and we never fail to be blessed seeing the surprise on the other family’s faces!
Another tradition that has just recently developed is having soup with Tim’s sister, Robin, and her family over the holidays. Some years at our house and some years at hers. It’s fun because it’s family and it’s easy!! Who doesn’t have time to throw together a pot of soup, a salad and some cornbread?!?! We also enjoy getting to look at someone besides each other (just living the truth people.) Years ago the boys wanted to stay home on Christmas to play with their toys but in their vast maturity (I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing…) they are more open to getting out of the house and mingling with others. Plus it allows Tim and Rick (Robin’s husband) a chance to sneak a nap in the recliners since Robin and I are undoubtedly talking in another room.
Yes, it is hard not being with all of your family on Christmas day but some family is way better than none! Besides…it is way more fun to clean the kitchen with someone else. What?!?! Yes, you’re right, it is way more fun for someone else to clean the kitchen but my “maid money” is now being used to fund Georgia Tech and Furman. Merry traditional-making people!
We all have our reasons for loving fall. My reason? College football oh how I love you!! I am not a die-hard fan of any one team in particular although my heart typically lies with southern colleges. The same cannot be said of part of my family. My oldest, a Georgia Tech grad, truly bleeds the crimson of Alabama mixed equally with the gold and green of Notre Dame (Yes the national championship game of 2013 was simultaneously the highest high and lowest low for him!) My youngest, currently at Furman, is a Georgia BullDawg through and through riding the roller coaster of big wins and close losses. Then there is my husband, middle son and me. We can only be described as being of an entirely different breed, we are simply HUGE fans of all division one college football. While we tend to lean one way or the other in every game, our “loyalty” can change from week to week depending on the matchup. You see we are unique in that we never felt the need to pick just one team.
Now I realize I lost some of you when you read “football” but when you are the mother of 3 boys and married to a former high school athletic director/coach, football in the fall is just what you do. For more years than I can remember, every Saturday morning from late August until mid-January started with all of us in the Reeve family hurrying to get our chores done so that at 10:00am on the nose, we could be sitting in our chosen spot in the den ready to watch ESPN College Game Day. That was the start of 12+ hours of football if we were lucky enough to have a full schedule of games that day. We’d spend time with our Saturday Augusta Chronicle Sports section carefully mapping out which games we would watch and what channels they were on. There was always creative channel changing and commercial juggling to get in all the big games. We’d find ourselves on different sides of the field some games and those were some of the best games to watch because our pride was on the line!! (and yes, there were days I felt a medal was in order for keeping the peace. Nobel Peace Prize Committee feel free to call)
These days the boys all reside in different states during the school year and the one thing I can count on is tons of messages flying back and forth during the games. Who doesn’t love group messages for all the smack talk?!?! I miss watching the games with a full house but then I console myself by thinking of all the money I save because they now buy their own snacks. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some football to watch. I plan to fully enjoy every second of every game from now until the BCS Championship game after which I shall begin the countdown to the 2014 season.