At the very back of our yard is a cement pad. It used to be the floor of a garage back in the 70′s. The guy who built the garage built it with a flat roof, which is fine if you live in California, but not so much in Wisconsin where it can get loaded down with four feet of ice and snow. The roof eventually caved in and it was torn down long before we bought the house. The sturdy 30′ x 50′ cement pad remains however, and we’ve built a shed on it that houses all of our outdoor equipment and our humble little battered aluminum fishing boat and trailer. We’ve also put up a freestanding basketball hoop that we picked up for free off the curb one early morning. Three cheers for curb-surfing!
Tonight after dinner we all went outside. Richard was pushing Abby on the swing, and Jess was doing something in the playhouse. I started noodling around by myself on the pad, shooting hoops. I really suck at it. Not as badly as I suck at geography, but I get maybe one out of six shots from the free throw line, and the rest bounce off into the yard and I have to go 25 feet to get it. So I started playing a game with myself, where if I made the basket, I got to try again, but if I missed, I had to dribble and jog around the pad before I could try again.
After a few minutes the kids noticed what I was doing and came over, and we all started playing my new game, which I called the Swish Run game. When you don’t make the basket, everybody yells “Swish!” and you dribble-jog around the pad and then have to keep dribbling in place, in line, until your turn again. (Also, according to Richard just now, “swish” is actually the term used when a basketball is thrown so cleanly through the hoop that it just “swishes” the net. My only defense is that in middle school gym class I once kicked the soccer ball into MY OWN TEAM’S GOAL. Instead of the cheers I was expecting, my team was eerily still and silent. In their silence I had a moment to reflect that the goalie HAD looked alarmed and incredulous, and that’s when the light went on. I have never had a wealth of sports knowledge.) In the ineptly named Swish Run game, you also have to dribble the ball using alternating hands for every bounce. The more rules the better!
We had SO MUCH FUN playing our dorky little made-up game. Ohmygosh. Abby was “the littlest Taft”, Jess was “the biggest little Taft”, I was “the little big Taft”, and Richard was “the biggest Taft”. Abby was even throwing hoops, and she actually made a couple! We all cheered for each other, and waited our turn patiently, and dribble-jogged (badly and erratically, more bouncing-and-chasing than dribbling) around the pad for 45 minutes, and it felt like 15. A great cardio workout, heaping bunches of family fun and laughter and cheering and clapping, and it didn’t cost a penny. I love my family!
It was 85 degrees out today. Want to see a picture of us in the backyard 17 days ago?
How crazy is the weather this year?!