Marching in the Rain

Tonight was Friday night football, and for the Carl Junction Bulldogs, it was homecoming. It has poured rain all day, cancelling the town’s homecoming parade. But the weather didn’t delay the game or dampen the enthusiasm of the fans. We just accepted that it was raining. 

Greg and I met our daughter Elissa and son-in-law Josh at the stadium. I had three folding seats to protect us from the wet bleachers. Josh graciously stood, gallantly holding an umbrella over his sweet wife. 

The band stayed dry inside the school until two minutes before halftime. But they weren’t going to let a little rain stop them from performing. 

The Marching Bulldogs presented an excellent halftime show, playing a patriotic medley in four parts. I admire this hardworking group. I know from conversations with my grandson Dayan that the band members put in many hours of practice, meeting early before school. 

The band will soon be marching in fall and holiday parades and competing in area competitions. These halftime performances allow the band to hone their skills while entertaining the crowds. 

I was so proud of Dayan and the Marching Bulldogs. Their dedication is showing. And their commitment as well. It requires more effort and concentration to play well in cool, rainy weather. In spite of droplets pelting their faces and challenging conditions that can affect the musical instruments, the band gave a powerful performance that drew whoops and applause. 

I am very aware that Dayan only has a few more halftime performances left as a Marching Bulldog. His senior year is well under way. I will be there for all his performances, throughout the year, rain or shine. Go Bulldogs! Go Dayan!

            Rain can’t dampen my enthusiasm either. 

Catch the Marching Bulldogs’ performance HERE 

Historic Moment

School began this week across the area and tonight the first Friday football games were played at local highschools. Carl Junction had their first home game, against fierce rival Webb City. When the Bulldogs are home the marching band provides the halftime entertainment, along with support for the football team with rousing songs during the game. 

Home game, marching band…that means this Yaya was on the sideline, cheering for the Bulldog team and the band as my grandson Dayan marched onto the field. 

This first game was huge. The rivalry between these two local schools is friendly and intense, which created a record breaking attendance this evening at the Bulldog Stadium. 


At the half, the score was Carl Junction 10, Webb City 0. And the Marching Bulldogs took the field. I loved watching the halftime performance. The band performed World War II, Remembering an Era, expertly moving together across the field as they played. The band then brought the crowd to its feet with the Bulldogs Fight Song. It was an excellent halftime show! 

When the football game began again, it was obvious the Bulldogs were all business. They only allowed the Webb City Cardinals one touchdown. As the second half ticked down on the clock, the energy within that stadium soared. Last year, Carl Junction lost to Webb City by one point, in the last seconds of the game. The Bulldogs were not about to repeat that situation

It’s been 39 years since Carl Junction won in a football game against Webb City. Many of the players’ parents weren’t born yet the last time CJ claimed victory over WC. Fans were on their feet. There was cheering and screaming and thunderous applause. I was part of that, carried along by the wave of excitement. 

Yes, it was a high school football game. And it was a historic moment, not witnessed before in the lifetimes of most of the crowd. 

The Carl Junction Bulldogs prevailed, winning their opening home game, 23-7. 

What a fun evening. I’m proud of the Bulldogs, both the football team and the marching band. They gave their best tonight, and much deserved celebrations were rampant after the game. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to witness a game that will be talked about for years to come. 

Go Bulldogs! Have a great rest of the year. 

Watch the wonderful halftime performance HERE


Day 291: Sweetest Day

sweetest day

This is another holiday that I had never heard of, before this year, even though it has been in existence since 1921. Created by a group of confectioners in Cleveland, Ohio, the day was designed to increase the sale of sweets on the date originally set aside for Sweetest Day, October 8.

Called the Sweetest Day of the Year Committee, the group of candy makers distributed more than 20,000 boxes of candy to newsboys, orphans, the elderly and the poor on October 8, 1922, aided by several movie stars of that era, including Theda Bara and Ann Pennington. By the 1930’s the Confectioners Association had launched a movement throughout the candy industry to rank Sweetest Day up there with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

Although the holiday has not become as popular or well known as those other special days, Hallmark and American Greetings both have lines of cards devoted to Sweetest Day, with about 80% of those being romantic in nature. Now the day is always celebrated on the third Saturday of October. It is still a day to share sweets with the sweet people in our lives. This prospect made it a day to celebrate, for me!

sweetest day cake

Today presented many opportunities to spend time with some of the most important people in my life and partake of several sweet treats, since it is a day to indulge, after all. Grandson Dayan and the Bulldog Marching Band competed in Rogers, AR for their final competition of this semester. I joined Greg, daughter Elissa, her fiancé Josh and grandson Jonathan for a trip to AR to watch the Bulldog Marching Band perform. We began the trip by filling the car up with gas, and small sweet treats from the convenience store. After the band completed their routine we joined Dayan, the band members and family members who had also made the trip for a celebration of the wonderful year that the band has had with…..cake! How appropriate for Sweetest Day. On the way back to Joplin we stopped for an early dinner at Dairy Queen and finished up the meal with mini blizzards.

sweetest day blizzard

Back in Joplin I had the brief but sweet opportunity to wave at daughter Adriel as we drove by her house as she was preparing to go to work. I did get to call out, “I love you!” but did not get to share a sweet treat with her. After dropping Elissa and her family at their car, Greg accompanied me to son Nate’s house to pick up granddaughter Aubrey. Nate and Megan had friends over this evening and I got to have Aubrey for the night. That in itself is a sweet treat! We enjoy our sleepovers. After a short visit with Nate and Megan, Aubrey and I then picked up my sister Linda and met my mom and stepdad at Baskin Robbins for the last sweets of the day. Our merry little group gathered around a table and chatted as we enjoyed Aubrey’s stories and each other’s company AND….scoops of ice cream. Aubrey even topped her rainbow sherbet with gummy bears. Each of us had a different flavor of ice cream and offered each other sample bites.

After spending a bit more time with my sister at her house, playing school with Aubrey, who played the role of Teacher, my little granddaughter and I returned home to call it a night. We started the movie Frozen on the TV/DVD player in the bedroom and colored in a puppy coloring book for a few minutes before my little princess drifted off to sleep. What a full and fun day. I got to spend it with people I love and care about, who are very sweet and dear to me, which is the real intent of Sweetest Day. I missed getting to see grandsons Joey and Oliver and family in OK but I got to see, even if briefly, most of my immediate family today. I believe I’ll include this special day next year. I have many sweeties to celebrate!

sweetest day ice cream


Day 255: CJ Marching Band Takes the Field

CJ marching band 2e

Last Friday night strong thunderstorms moved into the area, cancelling the Carl Junction Marching Band’s first half time performance. Dayan and the band took shelter in the school, in hopes of waiting out the storm. Eventually they were sent home. Tonight, under an overcast sky and with much, much cooler temperatures, the Bulldogs football team took the field on time and the marching Bulldogs got their half time.

I was excited to be headed to Carl Junction again this evening. Although dark clouds hung low in the sky, and a few drops of rain sprinkled across the windshield, the forecast called for nothing more than drizzle and cool, fall-like temperatures. I traded in last week’s short sleeve shirt and lightweight jacket for a couple of shirts layered under a hoodie. Once I arrived at the stadium, I added a long raincoat that served me well in Scotland, and a pair of knit gloves! I was reminded of preparing for the annual Christmas parade, bundled up as I was. Once Greg and I found our seats, saved for us by Elissa, Josh and Jonathan, I also covered up with a heavy plaid throw. I was ready for some football!

The Carl Junction football team was ready as well, making touchdown after touchdown against Springfield Central. At the half, with a score of 48 to 8, the team took a much deserved break. Across the field, the 132 member marching band prepared to take the field. Dayan plays the tuba. He is a tall, muscular young man. When he joined the band, back in 6th grade, he tried out on five different instruments. Five instruments, I might add, that he had never played before. I was so proud of him for deciding to join the band and auditioning on instruments he had just picked up for the first time. As he so often does, Dayan inspired me with his courage and determination. He impressed the band teacher as well. He did so well that he was allowed to choose which instrument he wanted to play. The teacher, though, suggested the tuba. Dayan had the height and strength to carry this cumbersome musical instrument. Dayan agreed….and has become an excellent tuba player, most years qualifying for the regional honor band.

CJ marching band Dayan e

I watched for his tall form, carrying the tuba, as the band members marched toward the stands. I played in the marching band years ago, in junior and senior high. There is still that thrill of anticipation when I watch the band stand at attention, ready to perform. The Marching Bulldogs entertained us with two Latin songs, marching in formations as they played. I especially enjoyed the second song as the band broke into two groups, forming moving circles on the field. And of course, we all stood, infused with school spirit, as the band last of all played the Bulldogs Fight Song. It was an awesome first performance for the year. I was very proud of Dayan and the band and whooped and clapped to show my appreciation for all their hard work.

Dayan’s dad, stepmom, younger sister and baby brother were in the stands too, cheering the band on. We all had the opportunity to see Dayan, as half time wound down and the third quarter began, and congratulate him on an amazing performance. Elissa and I intend to get shirts made for the family that have Dayan’s last name of Reynolds on them and the statement, Here for the marching band. We enjoyed watching the football players too, who were victorious tonight with a 57 – 16 win. And happy to acknowledge that the band contributes to the team spirit, playing before and during the game, musically celebrating each touchdown, and they really shine during half time. I am proud to let everyone know, that I am here for Dayan, and for the band, and that I see them as important as well.

Check out the Bulldogs Marching Band Here