This post was motivated from last night, when Kelsey Griffin’s jersey was retired for the Huskers. Since this was during my time at UNL, I wanted to recall the fun surprise that I got on December 20, 2006.
My present for the sixth night of חנוכה (Hanukkah) that year was in a cubical box, but had “Do not open until a specified night” implied on it.
So, I’ll give my journal, and a few photos. More photos are on my Facebook page.
Wednesday, December 20
*Cereal for breakfast… nothing too special
*The tournament had good, bad, and exciting matches
–>It’s much different to be 2-on-2 versus 1-on-1
*Instated Noah’s Courier Service and delivered something to Mom
*Went to Runza:
–>It was fairly slow up front for lunch
–>Keeping clean was not a problem today
–>I sort of like Joy to the World by Mannheim Steamroller
–>In the afternoon, I had orders of x10 and x12(!) $5 gift cards. At least we weren’t otherwise pounded…
–>until I stepped into the kitchen. I was in over my head trying to juggle THREE tasks, two of which I had never done extensively at all!
*Exaltation is stuck in my head
*Got home, finished the Tournament game, and checked HHC, and then…
I normally don’t switch from bullets to paragraph format, but I sure decided to tonight! At 1800-ish, I was about to help Casey with her calculus when the doorbell rang. Nobody went to get it, so I went. Unbeknownst to me, Molly had a camera hiding in the dining room. I nearly screamed when I opened the door—it looked like JELENA SPIRIC and CHELSEA AUBRY!! Indeed, it was!! I showed them to the kitchen, introduced them to my family (and Aunt Lori, Carly, and Emma were there too). I quickly went upstairs to change from my Runza polo to my “Tropical” Husker shirt. Of course, I also donned my hard hat.
The rest of the team showed up piecemeal, and something odd happened. When TK LaFleur came, she heard the dogs from outside and refused to enter. The rest of the team was marveling at them and petting them, but TK was afraid of getting bitten. Everyone tried to convince her that they would not bite (and even that she’s more vulnerable on the porch than in the living room), but to no avail. So, we ended the incident without incident by sending the dogs to the mudroom.
Then, I invited everyone to the tables. Kelsey, Jelena, Danielle, Nikki, and several others sat at my table, and the rest of them sat at the other table with my parents and everyone else. They were amazed with the dining room and our nice house. I later explained to them that our house was partially built with socials, parties, and other things in mind. Of course, it also accommodates our big family. Brisket, bread, kugel, mixed veggies, and latkes were on the line. I jumped in last.
They complimented me on the food, of course. While eating, I chatted about finals and inquiries into team socials. At my table, there were dreidel-spinning contests. Jelena, Danielle, and Kelsey got into them the most. I explained the game and also the Hebrew words נס גדול היה שם [ed: lit. “a great miracle happened there”]. I ate very slowly, because I enjoyed the conversations so much. I was certainly surprised (a good thing, too!)
After dinner, I led the team downstairs. Different players did different activities—Kiera liked ping pong, Danielle was the queen of the air hockey table, and there was a “marquee” team pool game—Kelsey and Ashley took on Cory and Yvonne. I caught most of the second game, when Yvonne and Cory rallied from 7-3 (balls remaining) or something like that. There were reactions to each shot, especially the “easy” misses (like missing a layup?)
In their Game 3, it was more even, but Kelsey got an easy 8-ball shot to clinch the match. During this time, I played air hockey against Danielle. It was even, but after I tied it 4-4, she soon scored on me to win 5-4. (I didn’t tell her there was a timer that had not run out yet, but that’s fine. I had fun anyway!)
I got the box that Mom wanted me to open tonight. It was the basketball—a Wilson “NCAA” ball. Not quite the adidas Superstar PRO that I would have liked, but it’s the next best thing. I had everyone sign it, but somehow I missed on getting Nicole Neals’ signature. I’ll have to make up for it at the game! Before they left, we got a group picture near the pool table, and Mom quipped, “Noah, you should go to the back so that you don’t hide anyone!” I didn’t get it at first, but when I did, lots of laughter followed.
Most everyone then let, but Kelsey and Danielle played a game of ping-pong. Kelsey hit a few tricky shots and took an early 6-3 lead, and that later became 14-9. Danielle hit quite a few errors, and she couldn’t come closer than 5. Kelsey won 21-10 (or something like that). I found out that Danielle also plays racquetball, so I’ll have to get her contact info. I might have to shore up on my skills first—I want to score off of kills and not errors!
After they all left, Dad brought up the pictures, and we chose the best ones. He touched them up and saved them to a memory card. It wasn’t that late, but I was exhausted from all the fun of the party! We later did Hanukkah, and then I crashed. Wow!
>>TO BE CONTINUED…
Today is the thirtieth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes four weeks and two days.