Saturday, September 17, 2011

ACL Diary: From The Sidelines

Willow’s team is back in action and playing very well. Undefeated in their last six games, over Labor Day weekend in San Diego they earned a tournament championship and then won their first state league game of the season. Last night playing in the U-18 age group (a year up), they tied the current 1994 age group state champions in the TSA tournament.

Willow watched it from the sidelines.

Willow, in navy blue, watches with teammates

Our friend, Betsy Blackwood, who had her ACL reconstructed by the same surgeon as Willow, warned us that the hardest part about recovery is sitting on the bench while your teammates play—especially when they’re kicking butt without you. And that’s definitely true. But I gotta hand it to Willow, as she gets closer to the magical day on the calendar and her next appointment with Dr. Tucker, she handles it very well and truly supports her team.

Betsy Blackwood as an UALR Trojan
She’s been attending practices for several weeks; however, she can only warm-up with them. When they start drills, she puts on her running shoes and runs laps around the fields. Still in physical therapy twice a week, she continues to get stronger and stronger and has a goal to come back stronger than ever. We anticipate clearance for playing soccer to come very soon.

As for Betsy, she’s back on the soccer field with a scholarship at University of Arkansas, Little Rock. And from what I understand, she’s once again kicking butt!

Willow and Olivia show off their repairs
Willow’s other ACL buddy, Olivia Ortiz, a teammate for years, is also back in action after ACL reconstruction and she and her current teammates won their game in the TSA Tournament last night 2-1. 

(BTW: Livvy, we still have your ice machine and plan to return it; however, today I spoke with another former teammate of Willow’s who is undergoing ACL surgery in October, and I wonder if you’d allow us to loan it to her??)

Meanwhile, we are truly grateful for the support, empathy and inspiration Betsy and Olivia have given us throughout this process, and as we watch from the sidelines, it’s really good to know that there is indeed soccer after ACL surgery.

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Not In My Backyard

There are people who are supposed to be in my backyard. And then there are people who should not be there. By owning a resort on 45-acres of property with a sign on the main road directing traffic to it, I’m accustomed to keeping my eye on all who enter. Each time I spy a body, I ask myself, do they belong—i.e. are they registered guests? Are they visitors? Customers? Potential guests?

Or, are they trespassers?

We get our fair share of trespassers at Sandy Point Resort, particularly on hot summer days when the beach looks very inviting. Often I have neighbors call and ask if they or their kids can use our beach, and I explain that our facilities are for registered guests only. Mostly they understand—occasionally they are incredulous at my denial—and sometimes they don’t even bother to ask. They just show up with their beach towels.

Regardless, count “policing the property” one of many jobs of the resort owner.

I didn’t expect that to be part of my job in Tucson, however. But the other day I had a Halt-Who-Goes-There-Moment, and I’m still very uncomfortable about the whole thing and would appreciate some advice. Here’s what happened:

While working at my desk, which is located next to an enormous, blind-shaded picture window, I sensed movement—a body walking by. It was Friday around noon, so my first thought was that it was the pool lady. But I dismissed the idea because this was nowhere near the pool, or the gate she normally uses each Friday. So, I turned to the window and door behind me, and as the body rounded the corner I saw that it was no lady—pool or otherwise.

It was a very tall young man who was wearing nothing but green swim trunks and a pair of suede slippers. At a swift pace, he was moving toward the gate.

My instincts took over and I opened the door behind me, stepped outside and yelled, “Hey! What are you doing here?”

The green giant with wide-set eyes and close-cropped hair froze at the gate. “I heard a loud noise, ma’am—a bang—and I was just checking it out,” he said quickly. There was a hint of a southern accent.

“What?!” That made no sense to me. “Where?”

He reached across his tan, bare chest with his left arm and pointed to our guesthouse. “Right there,” he said.

I didn’t look in the direction he had pointed because my eyes already spied the red and yellow painted glass pipe and red Bic lighter in his right hand. I narrowed my eyes and seethed.

“Have you been smoking dope in my yard?”

“No, ma’am. No!” He cried. “I was over there in the abandoned house. He made a swirling motion.

“Right. Like I believe that,” I said with a scoff. “Listen to me, I know who you are.” And I called him by name.

“No! That’s not my name. That’s not me,” he said.

“Then what is your name?”

He gave me an alias—a name I’d never heard and frankly don’t remember. It didn’t matter to me. I knew who he was and am aware of his reputation. “Listen you,” I said, “get out of here right now and don’t come back. If I catch you here again, I’m calling the cops.”

“Yes, ma’am!” And then the half naked intruder on slipper-clad feet, fled into the desert. I exhaled with disgust, slammed the gate for effect and went back inside.

But it didn’t end there. Immediately I spotted him once again! He was in my backyard and dodging under the ramada of the guesthouse.

Now that really pissed me off. Not only did he lie to me about who he was, I had told him not to come back, and yet he was back in less than a minute. So, this time I went out a different door and yelled at him again.

“Hey! What did I say?”

He reached down and grabbed a dark blue shirt, pivoted and made his way back to the five-foot stucco wall near our pool equipment. As he scaled the wall, hurling his long limbs over the top, he called over his shoulder, “I’m sorry, Miss, I just needed to get my shit!”

Stunned, I stood there for a moment recalling the day I chased away a coyote from our yard who, moments earlier, had had my five-pound chihuahua in its mouth, and it dawned on me that this time, he had called me “Miss” rather than “Ma’am.”

I went inside and called 9-1-1.

By the time the sheriff arrived, the stoner slipper-boy was, of course, long gone. I gave the sheriff his name and said he had denied that’s who he was. And since I’ve had virtually no prior interaction with this kid, I wasn’t 100% sure my identification was correct.

But then I checked Facebook, and I tell you, it was like looking at a mug shot.

Now I am 100% certain that I know who it was smoking in my yard and most likely, about to go for a swim. Also, our suspicions as to the responsible party for leaving a half a case of beer bottles and bottle tops littered on the grounds and just outside the gate before we returned from Wisconsin have been greatly narrowed.

I’m not sure what my next step will be or should be, but I’m open to suggestion.

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