Of Ropes & Rugby

Today was many things. It was April Fool’s Day. It was my son Flynn’s birthday. It was also Homecoming weekend at the university, which meant it was the day of the Inter-Society rope pull, and also various alumni sports events.

The rope pull is the big event of the year for the three remaining societies. Last year, Spencer’s society was favored to win, but they lost, much to their devastation. I did not witness their defeat, as I was out of town, but I sure did hear about it.

So today, Spencer wanted me to come even though he would not be pulling. He acted more as a coach for the guys who were doing the pulling. I was thinking—a tug of war. How long could it take? Surely not more than 30 minutes. So I agreed to go.

It was a spectacular sunny and breezy morning. It was quite a while before any rope pulling seemed likely, and then I found out that there would be several different match-ups, and a mandatory 20-minute break in between each one. During one of the breaks I had a very enjoyable conversation with one of my former professors, who has also taught 5 of my kids.

Two hours later it came down to the final pull between Spencer’s society and their arch-rivals.

4-1-17 rope pull

It was hard work, but in the end the other team was pulled into the pond and Spencer’s guys were victorious. Whew!

I barely had time to go home and eat lunch before returning for the alumni rugby game, in which Spencer was playing. By then it was very hot and sunny, and I had to get my silver umbrella from the car. I think I might have waited too long, though, as I have been plagued by a headache all afternoon and evening, and that is usually the first sign of sun poisoning for me.

But anyway, I persevered and watched the game, and was delighted when an old classmate of mine came over to greet me. Spencer played well and was called on to kick after three of the goals they scored, and got it through the posts every time. He’s a good kicker!

The current rugby team won but it was a good game. Afterward, as always, the team and the spectators gathered in a circle and sang the doxology together. It always makes me cry.

By the time the game ended, the afternoon was well advanced and my plans for the day had flown out the window—not to mention the fierce headache I had. It was a quiet evening, looking through old photos and watching a movie with Mercy and Daniel.

Parting Shot:

4-1-17 Flynn

The birthday boy, taken last month.

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