My husband Dave had tried the game of pickle ball once or twice before coming here to Arizona but now he’s joined a community league and he plays virtually every day for two hours or more. He wasn’t sure about investing money in a pickle ball paddle till he knew if he really liked the game. Our Steinbach friend Ric who spends half the year here in Arizona came to his aid . Ric wasn’t using his pickle ball paddle due to an athletic injury and said Dave could borrow his. Dave contacted the local pickle ball coordinator on-line and the first week we were here he hit the courts. I love hearing his stories about the various players every time he comes home. He is making lots of new friends from all over Canada and the United States and is really having fun. The other night he actually went to a sports store to look for a paddle of his own to take back home. A couple from Winnipeg plays regularly in his Arizona group and they have invited him to join a league in St. Boniface that meets at a facility not too far from our home. Dave doesn’t really need another sport to get involved in but there is not doubt he’s a life-long athlete as the shots in this post attest to. I had to take them through the wire mesh around the courts but I think they still give you a pretty good idea of just how much he’s enjoying his new sport. Other posts……….
Category Archives: Sports
The art gallery was closed! We took the train into Phoenix yesterday to visit the art gallery in the afternoon and attend a Phoenix Suns game in the evening. When we arrived at the front door of the art gallery the information on the door said CLOSED MONDAYS. Why hadn’t any of us thought to check that? Many art galleries, including the one in Winnipeg are closed on Mondays. But wait! Were those people inside the foyer? Yes! Were those ticket agents behind the front desk? Yes! Were the doors open? Yes! It was Martin Luther King Day in the United States and in honor of the holiday the gallery was open to the public.
We had a wonderful afternoon at the gallery including a lunch in the gallery restaurant The Palette and a tour that introduced us among many other things to the work of celebrated African-American artist Kehinde Wiley.
At the Suns game in the evening they were also honoring the holiday. Quotes of Dr. King’s ringed the stadium, a special video during the game paid tribute to his legacy and another showed the Phoenix Suns visiting the new African-American History Museum in Washington DC. Various players were interviewed about what their visit to the museum had meant to them. The game opened with a few words about Martin Luther King Day shared by player Alan Williams whose mother currently serves as the first female African-American chief of police in Phoenix.
We had a good Martin Luther King Day!
The alarm rings just after six. We are on vacation. Why are we getting up so early? Right! My husband Dave has a ball game at 8:30 am. It is a forty-five minute drive away. We need to get dressed, stop for coffee, leave enough time to be sure we can find the diamond and be there early so he can warm up. I am going along because after Dave’s doubleheader we are off to the airport to pick up my brother who is arriving from Winnipeg.
My husband Dave joined a slow pitch ball team for our two months here in Arizona. Many of his teammates participate in the same summer league as he does in Manitoba, although some of his fellow players are from other provinces. During the game I sit with another player’s wife who is from Edmonton.
There is a large slow pitch league here in the Phoenix area for seniors who love the game and want to play year round. In fact Dave tells me there are so many different opportunities to play ball here that some of the guys on his team have games practically everyday. Dave is just playing on Tuesdays but he does have a couple of weekend tournaments as well. We witness a beautiful sunrise as we drive to the ball park inside a huge Trailer Resort that boasts a state of the art diamond. Dave tells me the diamonds here are pristine, in much better shape than any he plays on in Winnipeg. I have a nice visit with two other women who have come to watch our team play. They give me tips about good places in the area to shop and eat. The sun is warm and I have fun trying to take some good photos of Dave through the wire fence. He has a couple great hits and does a dramatic dive but just misses a catch in the field. The other guys compliment him on his fast running and I hear them calling him DavieD a baseball nickname I have heard hundreds of times since I have been watching him play ball now for over forty years. After the game we have time for breakfast together before heading to the airport. It’s not so bad getting up early even if you are on vacation.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is all boarded up these days. There are surfboards, skateboards and snowboards on view in our Boarder X exhibit. The works by indigenous artists get you thinking about our relationship to the environment and other people in new ways. The bright surfboards in the photo above come from Australia and were created by artist Vernon Ah Kee. They have aboriginal rainforest designs on the front and use the colors from the Australian aboriginal flag. On the back of each surfboard are black and white portraits of Vernon’s relatives. Only half of their faces are shown. The colorful surfboards are surrounded by texts that were chanted during race riots in Sydney Australia in 2005
You can stand in front of this cityscape of Winnipeg for a long time finding new and interesting things in it. It was created by Roger Crait, who was a passionate skateboarder as a teen and young adult. To me the wings on the planes and insects look like painted skateboards and there are skateboards hiding in other places too. Both skateboarding and painting are activities that require lots of practice if you want to become skilled at them.
I had some elementary school students in the art gallery this week and I gave them a whole variety of felt shapes to make designs of their own in Jordan Bennet’s style. They came up with some pretty creative stuff. There’s a fascinating trio of pieces related to snowboarding. First this digital photograph by Mason Mashon where the tiny snowboarder surveys the route ahead and…..
and then these two pieces Sky Blanket and Clouds by weaver Meghann O’Brien.
Skateboard-Kayak- Flip- Roll.
Boarder X brings together elements you might not think have lots in common but you’ll be excited to see how they do and you’ll find lots of personal connections of your own as you walk through the exhibit.
On the long weekend we went golfing in Pinawa and Lac du Bonnet with our friends Rudy and Sue. I don’t keep score when I golf. I’m there for the visiting and the scenery. And some of the scenery on the Pinawa Golf and Country Club course and the Granite Hills Golf Course was gorgeous.
I also discovered this really cool sundial in Pinawa across from the hotel where we spent the night. It was designed in such a way that you could learn a lot about eastern Manitoba by walking all around it.
I golf for the scenery and the visiting.
One of the legacies my father-in-law left his family is a true love for the game of baseball. In these last few days as we’ve gathered to mourn Dad’s death many of the stories we’ve told revolve around Dad’s passion for the game. Dad was an excellent player himself, a good hitter and savvy infielder, skills that some say could have taken him to the major leagues. He coached baseball and he even started a Sunday afternoon baseball league for kids in the large church where he was the Sunday School superintendent. After a full day’s work in the tomato field the five boys in the Driedger family were never too tired for an after supper ball game.
Trips to a Tigers game in nearby Detroit were an annual treat for Dad and his sons, and they went early to line up along the field during batting practice hoping for a chance to catch a foul ball or a home run ball. When our sons were small a Tiger game with Opa was also a special treat during our visits to Ontario.
This love of the game was inherited by subsequent generations. My husband Dave and his brothers all played ball for many years as adults. Most of the Driedger grandchildren love the game too. Both our sons played baseball right through highschool and one even worked for a time as an umpire.
And now the love of the game has passed to yet another generation. On Thursday night after our family had spent more than seven hours at the funeral home greeting the hundreds of people who had come to pay their last respects to Dad, we arrived back at my brother and sister-in- laws’ house to make the final arrangements for the funeral the next day. It was getting dark, but Nash, one of Dad’s great-grandchildren called out to my husband Dave, “Uncle Dave you want to play catch?” What could Dave say? So Nash went to find a ball and gloves and in the twilight he and his great-uncle tossed the ball back and forth in the backyard.
I think Dad would have smiled to see them.