Wednesday, January 19, 2022

An Update On Life From the Far, Far North by Merri Maywether

This is Merri.

I have a quick update from our slice of the world. Our year started with a proud moment.  Montana State moved on to the Football Championship Subdivision. Don't ask me what it means. I just know from the excitement and numbers being thrown around that it was a big deal. It had been the first time in ten years the team had reached that level of success.

What made it even more exciting is one of the starting players came from our little school.

When we first moved to Sweet Grass, I substituted. To this day, I remember substituting for the phys ed class. The girls did not want to play, and they were pretty vehement about it.

We were playing kickball. I was like, c'mon, it's kickball. The kind with the red bouncy ball. And because it was too cold outside, we played inside the gym. The worst thing that could happen was we would lose. To emphasize the point, I volunteered to play.

Boy, was I wrong.

The girls added rules to the game. If the ball touched the ceiling, the kicker had to run laps. The teams had to switch after the other team accumulated ten points. There were others, and the boys agreed. That should have been my sign that I was in over my head. 

The boys were gracious enough to take the field for the first inning. Well, our first kicker hit the ceiling. The second girl got on first base. I was up, and I soft kicked it, so the boys would have to run in for the ball. 

It worked. Remember, one of these kids went on to play college football. The small space worked to my advantage. Until they had a handle on the ball. The kid that went on to be a college player threw that red bouncy ball so hard I saw my life flash before my eyes as it whizzed by my head. 

I stopped running to yell, "Hey, why would you throw a ball that hard at an old lady." 

These kids were competitive and clever. They replied, "Nice try. Thirty isn't considered old." 

My team lost the game. The girls gave me the "I told you so glare," and life went on. 

Three years later, the same kid that tried nailing me with a red bouncy ball got a football scholarship to Montana State. None of us were surprised. And all of us were proud. 

When the Montana State Bobcats hit a winning streak, we knew he had something to do with it. 

It also meant making football food. Chatter about recipes hit the aisles of our mercantile. When I heard the taco pie recipe, I had to make it, and I was not disappointed. It was so good; my husband volunteered to wash the dishes. 

As for the game–well, the team we played (North Dakota State) had won the past eight out of the ten championships. And our quarterback was injured and out of the game after the first play. 

Montana State may have lost the game, but it won a large chunk of admiration from a small town that is just south of the Canadian border. 

And now I'm not so bitter about losing that kickball game all those years ago. 


 p.s. Here is a copy of the taco pie recipe. May it bring you volunteers to wash the dishes too. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for putting a smile on my face. I enjoyed your comeback to the ball being thrown so close to your head. :)
    How fun that he went on to be a hometown football champ.