This is the time of year when I find myself having to exhibit more self-control that I really care to.
Fall is my favorite season. I love the smell in the air, the colors on the trees, the coolness of the mornings and the warmth of the late afternoon sun.
My love of baking always kicks into high gear during the fall season. There's so many tasty things you can bake with apples, cinnamon, pumpkin, zucchini, and chocolate!
Something else that returns is football season. Sigh. I love football. I understand football. Two years ago, I could tell you nearly anything you wanted to know about Troy Smith and his Buckeye teammates. I watched the Draft, for Pete's sake! I was furious that Troy was a 5th round pick! I love the Colts. I love the Packers. (well, the whole Brett Favre thing was a little dramatic even for me, but still...)
I didn't grow up watching football. Actually I didn't grow up watching anything, because we didn't have a television when I was a child. I don't mean we didn't have an antenna on our home. I mean, we did not own a television set. Television was the enemy. Anyone in our circle of influence - private Christian school and conservative church - who had a TV was accused of heading down the slippery slope at best, and shunned by the ultra-conservatives of the pack at worst.
The first experience with football that I recall was when I was about 12 or 13. My parents were divorcing, my mom was working full time, and it was Thanksgiving. My older sister and her husband were going to spend the holiday with his parents, so they took my little sister and I along for the weekend. We packed up my brother-in-law's little diesel Rabbit, crammed the four of us in tightly, and off we went to Cincinnati.
We spent Thanksgiving day at Grandma Bea's home, perched on a steep hill in some holler in southern Ohio. I barely remember what the house looked like, but it seems like it was small, and the living room where the TV was located was dark paneling and slightly claustrophobic. The meal was superb. It was the first time I'd ever had dumplings with Thanksgiving dinner. I thought that was weird, but it tasted good!
Grandma Bea was married to a man named Forrest. Forrest and my brother-in-law watched football on a small TV set with a grainy picture. It might have even been black and white. I sat and watched with them, mostly out of boredom, but it planted a seed. 4 hours away, unbeknownst to me, my future husband was probably doing the same thing. His family had only recently become football fans also, due to he and his siblings having the mumps and being unable to leave home for a while, yet needing entertainment. Little did we know at that age!
Fast forward almost 30 years. I now have 6 children in my home. Where in the world would I find the time to watch football? We're always playing catch-up with something, but we're never finished. I'm not the type of person who can turn on the TV and keep it playing in the background while I do other chores. If I'm watching a show, I don't want to miss one word. If I'm watching a game, how can I effectively cheer or scream about a bad play if the game doesn't have my full attention?
I know myself. If we had our television hooked up, or had our DISH reinstalled, I would sit down on Saturday at noon, and wouldn't get back up until time to go to bed Monday night. I would waste Thursday evening in the same fashion. I would create high blood pressure for myself, and I would embarrass my children when their friends are over because I would be screaming at the television. I would traumatize my 2 year old, and terrorize my baby by coaching from the couch.
I've mentioned before what lengths we have to go to, to be able to watch the Michigan/Ohio State game. We can't miss that! And our church usually has a Superbowl party, so we're safe there.But for the remainder of the season, I just have to pretend like I'm all feminine and ladylike and cultured enough to simply be appalled that grown men beat themselves up like that. (I won't even begin to discuss my fetish with professional wrestling!)
So we don't have TV. Oh, we have TVs in our home. Probably 5 or 6. Some are in closets. Some are in the kids rooms with VCRs. But we don't have outside influence. It isn't good for my health. And it's the only way I get anything done from September to February.