Grandmama & PaPaw ran away on Saturday to attend the Ala. Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. Papaw was the High School Coach for one of the inductees back in the mid 80's. He used to tell Howard that once he became a famous football player, to send Coach two things...an autographed picture and a new truck to make up for the one he rode the wheels off hauling Howard and his buddies back & forth to football practice! Got the picture... but no truck! HA!!!
The whole weekend brought back so many memories of being a coach's wife and feeding whoever or however many boys PaPaw decided to bring home on any given afternoon...I never had any advance warning but I could always stretch supper to feed at least 2-4 more. Our children thought it was normal to have 6ft. boys sitting on the couch or around our supper table.
In fact, it was not out of the ordinary for Matthew & Mary Ellen to wake up and find one of the football players stretched out on our couch watching cartoons on a Sat. morning waiting for Coach to get up and Mrs. Coach to fix breakfast! I would wake up around 9:00 if not before and look in the living room to see how many I was cooking breakfast for on any fall Sat. morning. Coach Papaw would get up and he and his "other boys" would sit around rehashing Fri. night's game while I fixed breakfast. One of my extra 'boys" was usually good for cutting my grass or doing some odd job around the house, so I never complained. All have grown up to love & respect us and tell their children stories of eating at my house.
I used to fix lasagna every Thurs. Night for whomever scored a touchdown or had a part in making the score happen...amazing how even a lonely lineman can figure out his part in a touchdown when a free lasagna dinner is on the line. Not long ago, a young man of superior height/weight was helping me transport my ailing mother in an ambulance when he recognized me, gave me a huge bear hug, and told everyone on the medical staff " this woman used to feed me every Thursday night and she could make the best lasagna I ever ate". Note: Stouffer's had not invented frozen take out lasagna at that time so everything was made from scratch.
The memory of all the laughter in my house from those days of being a Coach's wife remind me of how PaPaw successfully negotiated the extra time needed to coach football to coincide with family time. Although our children were often called 'coaches rats" and grew up on a football field or outside a locker room, they were never a voice away from their Daddy's influence. Not only did the football players benefit from our "family time", our children watched their Daddy make men out of boys. I was just there to make sure everyone was fed & watered.
One of my best memories is receiving 2 dozen roses on a Thurs. (at the school where I taught special education), after football season was over, for no other reason than to say "Thank you for feeding my boys. I know it was hard work after you taught school all day. They love you & I love you."
That's why Grandmama still likes to run away with PaPaw every once in awhile!