Archive for church

An interesting night Dashing: Play Misty for me

Posted in Odd with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2022 by macmystery

Back in November, in an effort to make a little extra bank, I started doing DoorDash. It made a lot of sense. First, the pay isn’t horrible. But second, and more importantly, I can do it any time I want to. I’m not locked into someone else’s schedule.

Anyway, with the app showing things were busy around Beaufort on Saturday evening, I decided I’d get a couple hours in and earn some extra money. But first, I needed to get food myself.

I tried stopping for a sandwich, but my first choice wasn’t doing anything but online orders, so I skipped it and went to Waffle House and had a double cheeseburger and a plate full of pickles.

While I was eating and reading Twitter on my phone, a woman came in. Probably about my age. Let’s call her “Misty.” Along with the cook and waitress, that made four of us there.

Misty placed a to-go order, and then sat in the seat next to me, despite an almost empty counter.

“Is it OK if I sit next to you?”


But her next question caught me off guard, though I feel like I rolled with it well.

“Can I have a bite of your cheeseburger?” she asked.

“It IS good,” I said, laughing. “Sure, if you want.”

I was looking at her as I started to slide the plate in here direction.

“No, no, no. I wouldn’t do that,” she said. “I just wanted to see how you reacted.”

But she succeeded in her goal of starting a conversation. And clearly, at least that, was what she was after. Turns out we grew up not far from each other outside of Atlanta.

If I had to say, I think she’d had a bit to drink. She repeated several times that she was married and had a child, and that “clearly” she was not “hitting on me,” and she didn’t make it a habit of “hitting” on people at Waffle House.

That’s sure not how it felt, though. And my server was finding this conversation humorous, letting me know with obvious looks.

At this point, she asked if she could have some of my pickles — I had a whole plate of them.

“Sure,” I said, sliding the plate toward her. She took several.

After the pickles, there was a dramatic shift in gears. She asked me if I was going to church tomorrow and if I wanted to join her and her family at church. I politely sidestepped that question.

Though she had paid for her to-go order, which was now bagged up and on the counter in front of her, she seemed to be stalling. I was finished and was paying my bill, and it sure felt like she was angling to leave at the same time as me.

I wasn’t certain I wanted to be in the parking lot with her, just her and I in the dark, so I stalled, as well. And I did it a little better than her. She left, and by the time I walked outside not two minutes later, she was gone.

Clearly, it’s possible it was a totally innocent interaction. But I’d be lying if I said I believed that, even if I didn’t know exactly what it was.

The next couple hours went well, and there were no strange interactions with unfamiliar women. But I did run into someone who caught me by surprise.

My last order of the night was a chocolate milkshake from IHOP. IHOP closes at midnight on Saturday night and the order came in to me around 11:45 p.m. But when I got there around 11:50, the doors were locked, and there were employees in sight.

I could, however, see the customer’s milkshake sitting with a straw on the counter.

As I walked down the front of the restaurant, looking through the windows hoping to catch the attention of someone in the hope of getting my customer’s milkshake, I was standing near a bench where all the rugs from out front of the restaurant were piled up.

Until I heard the pile snore.

Startled, I looked at what I had thought was a pile of rugs only to realize there was someone sleeping on the bench, completely obscured by a couple heavy blankets and a piece of luggage at one end.

I’m not sure how this person could sleep. The outside speakers at IHOP seemed to be at 11. Playing at the time was Iron Butterfly‘s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, a 17-minute rocker.

I’m not judging anyone from IHOP or blaming them for the loud music. It’s an uncomfortable situation, and I feel for any employees who have to address this person’s presence. And clearly, for him or her, it’s not the ideal place to spend the night.

The least someone could do, though, is turn down the music.

PS. Eventually, someone saw me and got the milkshake for me. I delivered it and headed home.

Sweet Caroline!

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2020 by macmystery


My niece Caroline is ready to step to the free-throw line.

Bah bah nah. That’s what come’s after Sweet Caroline, no?

If there’s any confusion, this  is most assuredly not about that popular Neil Diamond ditty. While I’ll admit it’s catchy, when you listen to the words, the song is actually quite creepy.

It is even more so when you consider it was allegedly written about a quite underage — barely even teenage — Caroline Kennedy. Think about that next time you’re singing along during the seventh-inning stretch at a shitty Boston Red Sox game.

Nope. This epic blog post is about Caroline, my niece, named after my mother, Carole.

Caroline is my sister Michele’s only child, born roughly a half a year after my own daughter, Ella. Unlike Ella, who is quite small, Caroline is big. Quite big.

I don’t mean this in a bad way. But she takes after her father in the fact that she’s tall. Quite tall. And getting taller.

At the ripe age of 11, she has already surpassed her mother in shoe size. I’m sure Michele welcomes this. It means she’ll no longer worry about Caroline stealing her shoes.

Problem is, it means she’ll be buying a lot more shoes. And the growing is far from over.

Caroline isn’t just big in stature, she has a big voice and it’s impossible not to notice she’s in the room. And issues with her ear she’s had since birth mean she’s sometimes unintentionally loud.

And my nickname for her? Lovingly, it’s Big Head.

But her size betrays her. When you’re with her, you feel like you’re in the room with another adult. It’s easy to forget, she’s only 11. Sometimes it’s tough to not be hard on her. Her size, unfairly, honestly changes your expectations.

But she’s a good kid. And something else she has that’s big — her heart.

Caroline has been playing church league basketball for a couple years now. I’ve managed to attend several games when in town.

Her coaches have tried to take advantage of her size — who wouldn’t. They want her to go to a spot, turn, and ask for the ball. When she gets it, they want her to turn and shoot. No dribble. Simply post up. There’s no one in her league who can contest her.

All this makes sense. The results? A few points — the games are low-scoring and her shooting has been suspect. And a lot of rebounds.

But not so many wins.

In fact, until last week … zero wins. Some close calls, but no bananas.

Basketball-wise, Caroline has some things to work on. I have told her a couple of times, the best thing she could do to improve is play as much basketball as possible.

There is a conflict, unfortunately. The things her coach asks her to do aren’t wrong. They are the things that give the team the best chance to win.

But she needs to improve her shooting, dribbling, passing, … and the mental aspects. And she won’t get better at those things if all she does is post up, catch the ball, turn and shoot. She can only get better at those things by doing them. She needs to play ball, a lot of it, and against kids her size, where she’s forced to do those things.

During this offseason, she made a decision to get more serious about basketball. A huge Clemson fan, she has made it her goal to play for the Tigers.

A realistic goal? Who knows. But she’s playing with a purpose.

She has actually gone and talked to the people who would be her coaches at the junior high and high school level about what she can best do to be ready to play for them.

Last week, I got the texts from my sister that I usually get during Caroline’s games. Except this time, they ended differently.

Trailing 5-4 late in the 4th quarter — with both buckets belonging to Caroline — a late score from the coach’s daughter gave her team a long-elusive 6-5 win.

Caroline finished with 4 points on 2-for-3 shooting with 11 rebounds and zero fouls.

“It feels good,” she texted me after her first win. “I played like I had a goal in life.”

I reminded her that her goal was good, but to be careful to enjoy the moment and have fun, even if the goal doesn’t work out.

“I know and I did but I still want to work on my goal.”


This week, Caroline and her team did it again. She scored 6 points — all on putbacks —  and her team won 8-4.

A winning streak. Who’d have thought it?

There’s really no point to all of this except that I love her. And some things seem to be breaking her way.

And there is no one happier for her than me. She, and her mama, deserve it.