Books, Bowling & Finding Family in the Most Unexpected Places

It was a very full weekend!

Friday evening found me curled up in my favorite recliner with a book I couldn’t put down. It was Sarah’s Key by Tatiana DeRosnay and I picked it up based on a coworker’s recommendation. The story revolves around Sarah Starzynski, a young French Jewish girl who, in 1942, was arrested along with her parents and thousands of other Jewish families who were held in inhumane conditions for several days at the Vélodrome d’Hiver in Paris before being transferred to Auschwitz. Before Sarah could be taken from her home, she hid her four-year old brother in a secret cupboard in her bedroom wall and locked him in so the police would not find him. She was sure she would be back home by the end of the day to set him free again. The story surrounds Sarah’s fight to get back to her brother as she realizes the police have no intention of letting any of the Jewish families return to their homes.

The story was riveting and heart-wrenching, and as I said, I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I highly, highly recommend this book!

Saturday night we returned to our couples’ bowling league after having had a break for the holidays and missing a week due to Kacey’s out-of-town volleyball tournament. It was fun to see everyone again, and I bowled well, surpassing my average pretty substantially all three games. (We still lost, however, as our partners were absent this week and we had no substitutes to take their places.) One of the other couples, Dan and Bonnie, asked if we wanted to join in their poker game. I see people playing cards while bowling all the time, but this was a first for me. There were seven of us playing, a dollar per game per person in the pot. Dan explained that as soon as you bowled your first strike or spare, you could pick up your hand and draw a card. Then for each subsequent strike or spare, you got to draw a new card and discard one. The winner of each game would win the pot. And in spite of having a full house and a straight, I wasn’t able to win the pot either time. But the bigger surprise, as I found out when I picked up my very first hand, is that we were playing with porn cards! Soooo, I was slightly shocked but amused, none the less. I kept my hand safely tucked in my back pocket so as not to offend anyone who might see. One of the guys was studying the cards and adding commentary. “That looks like it hurts… THAT looks interesting!… This one? Maybe not…”

Sunday morning came too soon and we were off to one of Kacey’s volleyball tournaments. We didn’t have to go far, just across the border to Hudson, Wisconsin. But it was an early start as the girls had to be there at 7:15.

As soon as we found our way into the building, I ran into Terrie, the wife of one of my cousins, Johnny, neither of whom I  see often enough. We were totally surprised to see one another. Neither of us had any idea the other’s daughter was involved in this level of volleyball. Terrie was on the board of the group that was running the tournament, so she was busy keeping things running smooth all day long. We stopped to talk several times during the day and when I saw her daughter, Jessica, who I was sure wouldn’t remember me (she didn’t) I introduced myself and explained how we were related. Jessica was sweet and told me her dad had been at the tournament but had left. But, he was going to be back again later. I told her to be sure to tell him his cousin wanted to see him if he had a chance. When he returned, Johnny came and found us and we enjoyed a nice talk during some down time between games.

But the best part of the day was the fact that our girls finally pulled off a win and came home with some medals! They had to fight hard for it and that made their victory so much sweeter. Of course, this was the one time I didn’t bring my camera along, so the best I could do was a couple of camera-phone snap shots of the winners!

It had been an exciting and fun day, but a long one, and we were glad to get back home.

22 thoughts on “Books, Bowling & Finding Family in the Most Unexpected Places

  1. Medals are always good. Way to go team. It’s fun supporting the kids in their various sports/activities, but I really don’t miss the 0 dark thirty start times and dragging them out across town before dawn on the weekends.

    And just exactly were does one find porn playing cards? You sure run with a different crowd at times.


  2. Congrats to Kacey and her team on their win. My daughter played volleyball her first 2 years in high school. It’s a tough sport.

    How nice that you had the chance to visit with your cousin and his family. Small world.


  3. Congrats to Kacey and her team! Always a good thing to win and get medals too boot! And the running into your cousin and his family -really cool!
    The book sounds quite interesting and I’ll have to tell Mandy about it too so she can keep an eyeball roving about for it. Not that I need any more books as I have a stack of about 15 books I bought almost 2 years ago and still have yet to delve into them! Sheesh! About 5 years ago, those books would never have sat for a month much less almost two years! I am really getting old I guess.


  4. I definitely want to read that book now! And, Im SOOO excited the Girls WON and got to bring home medals!! That’s wonderful!

    But I think anyone who makes it to a game by 715am? Deserves a friggen parade! Man that’s EARLY!!!!


  5. As a native Pole, I grew up reading many books about Holocaust and World War II. One that made the biggest impression on me was a collection of short stories by Zofia Nalkowska “Medalions”. I don’t even know if it’s been translated into English, but would guess yes. There’s a story called “A Man Is Strong” (my translation) that describes inhuman circumstances of Jews trying to escape the Nazis. That story broke me at first, but then it hit me – the strength we all have, and the might of our instinct to survive. So powerful.

    Congrats to your girls. Good job on the medals!


  6. Well if this ever becomes a movie, you could write the trailer! Luring, yet no spoilers!

    I once played with porn cards, except if you won, or was it lose… you had to do what was on your last pulled card.

    YEAH KACEY! Funny you met up with them, but great!


  7. Terri –

    You lead such a colorful life it wears me out just reading about it! But I suppose 20 years ago I was traipsing around the country with my daughter’s dance team, running marathons and coaching soccer. Yikes! It’s just that I’m getting old.

    Nice post, youngster.

    Bud aka Older Eyes


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