Follow Me to the Senior Center – Girls, Girls, Girls!

By Carl and Jo Ann Hauser
No, we won’t be talking about a Las Vegas act! Something much more exciting: my family reunion. In fact, my family reunion in Kansas City was so action-packed, we might get two articles out of it! I will warn you, though, I’m about to become politically incorrect.

My oldest grandchild who is twelve happened to be in a fast-pitch softball tournament for girls fourteen and under. The tournament took place the same week as our reunion. We’ve always been big baseball fans, so we were excited to see her and her team play! My son Kyle was one of the coaches, as well.

The girls were really on top of their game, with good pitching and timely hitting. They won their first three games. In the fourth game the other team had one heck of a catcher. In the first two innings she had tagged out three players at home, got another one out in a run-down, and threw a player out trying to steal third. My son was the third base coach, so when the second inning was over, I asked him (in the nicest possible fatherly way), “Why do you keep trying to steal and take extra bases on that catcher? She’s really good.” He said with some frustration, “I’m not; the girls keep running through my ‘stop’ sign.” My casual response was, “Oh well, they’re just being girls.” My daughter-in-law Tabitha, who is married to my other son, was standing beside me. She immediately whirled around, and with a stern look said, “You must have meant, ‘they are just being kids, not just being girls.’” I was really taken back, but within a second I responded, “I’m sure that’s what I meant.” (Good recovery, right?) In the space of a few seconds I had managed to offend both my son and my other son’s wife. Aren’t reunions fun?
My oldest son Brian and his wife Tabitha are missionaries. Both are very soft-spoken; in fact I have never heard her so much as raise her voice. She is one of the most kind-hearted women you could ever meet, and very smart. Having five kids of her own (my grandchildren, three boys, two girls), needless to say, I took her words seriously. So, I began to ponder the question: “Were they just being kids who happened to be girls, or were they being girls?

When I was playing little league baseball, way back in the fifties, we got a $2 tee-shirt, a $1 baseball cap, and, if you were lucky, a new pair of jeans to play in. The girls’ uniforms for all the teams, regardless of age, were more like a fashion statement. Colorful shirts of green, pink, orange, red, and purple with matching white pants, trimmed in their team colors. That doesn’t sound so bad, right, ‘til you get to the $100 designer backpacks in their team colors. The player numbers and names were embroidered on them. Would you believe a good baseball bat is now $100?! Right before the start of each game, the girls would make a circle, arm over each other’s shoulder, swaying back and forth, singing a chant. It was very cute. (I know, politically incorrect statement) So, let’s review what we’ve learned so far: 1) Family reunions can be dangerous; 2) I’m a male chauvinist; 3) Girls dress nicer than boys; 4) Any negative comments you might have, please direct them to Jo Ann (‘cause she’s a girl). Tune in next month for part two. We will answer all your questions, like, will any coaches get thrown out of the game . . . will the girls quit running through Kyle’s ‘stop’ sign . . . will I be able to answer the big question and stay out of trouble with Tabitha . . . or will she give me a well-deserved lecture?

I’d like to finish by talking about one girl in particular, and I should be able to stay out of trouble. Kathy Swope, who has been our Executive Director at the Senior Center for over fifteen years, has taken a new position with the Juvenile Justice System in Torrance County. If you have lived in Cloudcroft very long, you probably know Kathy. She has meant so much to this community, not only because of her work for Seniors, she is also the founder of The Sacramento Assistance Program, which has helped those in need, no matter what their gender or age. At her initiative the Senior Center distributes food through Roadrunner Food Bank the first Wednesday of every month. Through her fifteen years of service the Senior Center was able to acquire its own building. We serve lunches Monday through Friday, provide meals to the homebound, and home-making services. We also provide transportation services, taking our Seniors shopping and to doctor’s appointments. She has kept us funded and growing in the best and worst of times. Kathy and her staff care for our Seniors beyond anything you could imagine, while keeping their dignity intact. Thank you, Kathy, for all that you’ve done. May God bless you and Jimmy in your new home and with your new job.
Marrianne White is our new Executive Director. She had been our Financial and Program Manager the past several years. She, too, has great skills, compassion for her Seniors, and will do a wonderful job.

Besides a nice lunch with friends (please call in your reservation by 9:00 in the morning), join us to play bridge on Tuesdays and Thursdays at about 12:15, and play Farkle after lunch on Fridays. Do check out our fabulous website at www.mtnseniors.com, designed and maintained by Marty Ware. God bless you all!

PS We were stopped in the TX panhandle on the way to the reunion . . . we had a headlamp out . . . go figure.