One-Liner Wednesday – An Old Man’s Reaction

Walking Maddie through the park when there are games being played on one or more fields, is a bit of a challenge. I’m usually focused on keeping her moving, with her head up and looking forward. That takes a ton of effort. Maddie doesn’t like people being behind her. It doesn’t matter if they are right behind her, or in the next block – if she can see them, they are a threat. She also doesn’t like the idea of a soccer ball being kicked, but not to her. She really doesn’t like it when people park on her path (the one that we walk on).

But, she really wanted to go into the park. To remind me, she did that lean-against-my-leg thing, as soon as her front paw touched the entrance driveway. I tired pushing back – I wanted to avoid the crowds – but Maddie was having none of it.

So, in addition to keeping her focused, I had to avoid the moms and dads who were running late (both games were underway). These fall into two camps, unhappy and looking for a parking space, and unhappy and looking for a discharge point. The kids are even more unhappy – they’re late, they didn’t get to start, the coach will be mad. Maybe they’ll have to stay and put the balls back in the bag. I don’t know, and I don’t know why, but there doesn’t seem to be enough happiness at these events.

Anyway, 250 words in, I guess it’s time to get to the one-liner. This is from a woman who turned in front of Maddie and me, close enough to cause Maddie to bark at her and for me to be startled. The van windows were down. She heard me complain, which would have been my one-liner, if I had a less family friendly blog and if I hadn’t heard:

If you don’t stop complaining about your socks, I’m turning this car around and you’ll be sitting next to me in church instead of playing soccer.”


Playing the Old Card

I’m going to play the old-man-card. I remember when going to church wasn’t a threat, it was a promise. A promise we kept with Jesus – every week. At least that’s how it was explained to me. Our church only had one service, and if you wanted to do something on Sunday, the answer was: “as long as it’s after church…”

I also remember when my brother slipped his glove over the end of a bat and walked to his Little League games. Unless my dad was coaching, a ride wasn’t guaranteed. I remember walking with him sometimes, because “go with your brother to his ballgame” was free babysitting. I remember riding my bike to the local park to play pick-up games with the neighborhood kids. No adult supervision required.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. You can follow this link to see the one-liners from the other participants. The event described happened several weeks ago.

Today’s gallery includes some additional fall foliage photos. Just enough to remind me that this is the best time to be in New England. There are also two (very short) videos for the Maddie fans. One is from four years ago, when Maddie first discovered autumn leaves. The other is from this past weekend, when she confirmed that she still likes them.

Maddie Pup

Maddie last weekend


  1. The park (is lovely but) does look kind of crowded. Glad Maddie at least got to have fun with the leaves.
    Sometimes I can’t help wondering if the purpose of team sports for kids is to teach them how many different ways there is to be pissed off…
    Have a wonderful Wednesday, Dan. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The videos of Maddie in the leaves made me smile. So playful, like a small child…

    I also never had the option to play a game instead of going to church on Sunday. I was never told about “promises,” it was more along the lines of how sinful it is to not be there. I remember wanting to be somewhere else a few times, especially during the Latin masses of long ago and the incense that came along with it. It’s funny how today it’s an entirely different story on Sunday…how much I really want to be there.

    I wonder if that kid stopped whining about the socks…

    Liked by 1 person

    • If he had been a little younger, he might have been asking the meaning of “what that man said…”

      I heard about the “promise” that my parents made when I was baptized, and then once I accepted that, it was all over. Until I got a job that required me to work on Sunday. That’s when that single service started to work in my favor. But, you’re right about how our perceptions change over time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha! Maddie marches to the beat of her own drum. 😀Black squirrel!
    I’m sorry, kids are SO spoiled these days. My boys were few among the (younger) parents I worked with who actually rode the bus to school. It was like a travesty to school. I remember having fun on the bus cuz I spent the first 6 years of school walking a couple miles to school-in rain, freezing or brouning temps. And my Mom had a car!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. At least you don’t have to use a treadmill as long as you have Maddie. :-) Yes, when I was younger my two feet got me where I needed to go or I rode the city bus. And, definitely nothing got down until after Church. Those were also the days when only the talented played sports and everyone didn’t get a trophy. Right or wrong? I do know the reality is we aren’t all good at everything and that’s life. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our town is so small, Judy that I can’t imaging driving to this park from at least half of the neighborhoods. And, since the kids aren’t bringing any equipment, why can’t the ride their bike? Half the parents don’t stay for the game, they just drop the kids and zoom out. They’re the reason I don’t like to take Maddie in the park on those days.

      I was a little shocked to see games scheduled on a Sunday morning. I think it was a tournament.

      You’re so right about not all being good at everything. I am all for being inclusive, but sometimes they diminish the accomplishments of the kids who have talent and / or work harder.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A pox on the woman who cut you and Maddie off while making a turn. In fact, a pox on anyone who cuts off a pedestrian or cyclist. I want to shout at them ‘you are NOT the centre of the universe!!”. At least if they cut off another motorist, it is an equal contest if there is a collision 😡

    Maddie as young puppy in the leaf pile is just so damn cute … but I reserved my laugh for older Maddie whose exuberance shifted into 4th gear and pulled you into a run 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    • “A pox upon you” isn’t exactly what I said to the woman, but the sentiment of her not being the center of the universe is close. I’ve had people honk at Maddie and me for “blocking the entrance to the parking lot” and I’ve reminded a couple that “this is a public park for all residents!”

      Maddie still loves the leaves. I think she likes the crunchy sounds. When she first dragged me over, I thought she was going to the bathroom. After her first romp in the leaves, I took out my phone.


  6. One, a girl after my own heart, Maddie — I love traipsing through leaves, too!
    Two, bike gloves are smart.
    Three, don’t you love the way they look back at you when they run? It’s like, “You’re with me, right?” :D
    Four, all of my church attendance as a kid was voluntary, and not with family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Voluntary church attendance? Who’s a good girl, Joey’s a good girl. That’s very commendable.

      The bike gloves are good for so many reasons. One important one is that I can get her leash on and off over them. I can reach in my pocket and get my camera, turn it on and operate it. And, I can open the ziplock bag and get peanuts for the squirrels.

      Maddie always looks to check if I’m still there. She’s worse when Faith is with us. She checks constantly and then gives random kisses (that almost knock us over) for taking her.

      Thanks for the comment – crunch crunch crunch

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I still like leaves, too. Don’t you just love hearing them crunch under your feet? Maddie’s a beautiful dog. I’m a bit partial to Irish Setters. Guess it’s the Irish in me. Mostly, it’s that gorgeous red hair!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan,

    I guess I am consoled by the fact that despite all of our apparent progress the world remains a very strange place. I will skip the ‘apparent’ pun regarding taking soccer socks to church. It does put a new twist on ‘how I got religion’ on the way to soccer. Keep your old guy card handy – we can use them for coasters when we get to the bar. Now if we were having a beer now it still would not be too early. Strange always makes me thirsty. Then again proper hydration is a vital part of good health. So I guess in a strange way ‘strange’ is also vital to good health.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I grew up in the same way as you. If I wanted to do it, there was a good chance that I had to get there via my feet– or a bike. Your “as long as it’s after church…” line made me laugh out loud. That’s how Sundays went back then, when stores were closed on them… and dinosaurs roamed the earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I covered miles and miles on my bike, and in Pittsburgh, that was a tall order given the hills. You just reminded me of the fact that a lot of stores were closed on Sundays. As for the dinosaurs, I think I’m closing in on owning that label ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I had to laugh out loud when I saw the caption “Soccer mom’s and Dads” and the handicapped sign. I know it was not intended but given your opening I thought it quite funny. Thanks for the stroll and Maddie as a pup was precious.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Maddie had you on s run through the leaves, Dan. Great fall photos as usual! What’s with the mother’s church threat to her kid? Over socks? Really? Yay, not! for this mixed-up, modern mother. Church for me as a kid was like my second home! And it was right next door! We have a soccer field near my home, and have the same parking, talk to the kids scenario going on. Not so much “happiness” there either! Have a stellar Wednesday! 🌷 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Aww, I loved my baby Maddie dose tonight. 😘Thanks! She was so cute as a puppy bouncing in the leaves video. As a big girl, she sure got her Daddy to run with her through the leaves! Fun clips, Dan!
    Glorious skies! So true about church. It is special and should never be considered punishment. Sad to hear this.

    Liked by 1 person

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