During this past summer, as I recovered from my Achilles surgery, there were few high moments. Mostly I look back at it as a blur of intense exhaustion, strenuous hopping and surprising pain. But thanks to our great friends the Cashmans, there was one summer memory that I will treasure forever, though I wasn’t even there.
Greg and Peg Cashman took Amanda and Jake – along with their three kids - to the Yorktown Grange Fair. Like most country fairs, there were rides, livestock shows, cotton candy and carnival games, with the requisite swindler behind the booth.
The "One in and Win" basketball shoot caught Jake’s eye. Jake prides himself at being a pretty good basketball player, but mostly he was excited to see that one of the prizes was a giant stuffed panda and he had to win it for Amanda – lover and collector of all things Panda. He paid $2.00 for one shot and missed. Then he paid $5.00 for three shots and missed. Apparently the hoop was made of rubber and the balls just bounced off. The trick was to get a “swoosh.” Amanda told him it was okay and that they should just go on the rides. But Jake was determined (as Jake is). They would be back.
After the nausea inducing round-up, the giant slide and the ferris wheel, they were back. Jake handed the man the five dollars for three more shots. And wouldn’t you know it, on the 2nd shot, he got a “swoosh” -- and a truly giant panda!
Rob and I wish we were there to witness the fist pumping, jumping up and down and squeals of joy, but we got an incredible recount when the kids arrived home. Their faces were alight as they painted a thrilling picture, and my heart was full. “Jake is my hero,” Amanda said. And then my heart swelled.