December 23, 2012. Because Christmas is in 2 days, I thought it would be appropriate for me to include a couple of Christmas pictures of Allison. Clearly these were taken years apart. While these pictures have no bearing on this segment of the story I just wanted to share them with you.
This next part of the series will be about Allison’s Girl Scout Cookies sales and Allison’s time as a jock. Because the kid is away with her family visiting with the son-in-laws family in Virginia, Allison will not have prior approval/review of what I say in this chapter, I may like my freedom and not seek her approval in the future. (just kidding Allison) (NOT!!)
In part 5, I spoke of Allison’s artistic ability without a picture to back up my claim. Now for you viewing pleasure, here is a signed copy of one of her many masterpieces. I hope you love it as much as I do. I know that in some folder in some drawer there is a file of pictures that Allison created during her golden years. Now on to the subject of this post.
Master at Work, an Allison Original
As parents we wanted Allison to have the complete childhood experience, and being honest I didn’t want her to want for anything. Yes I spoiled her. Yes I was easy in many ways. And for sure Allison had me double wrapped around her little finger. But as part of the process of being spoiled she had to have all the experiences.
She had the Chuckie Cheese Birthday, she had a Busch Gardens Birthday, and a wide variety of other birthday events tailored to and for her. But we also made her responsible for herself, and she had chores she was responsible for (I am not saying she did them), just that she had them. She also had clubs and events outside of school and home that she took part in. Later during her HS years, besides all the sports and choir events she had a part time job. Her schedule was completely full.
During elementary and middle school Allison was involved in the Girl Scouts. She actively took part for about 5 years. She earned numerous badges and some honors, and she did a masterful job of conning her parents into selling Girl Scout cookies. During Allison’s 5 years of involvement in the Girl Scouts, Steph and I were the Girl Scout Cookie Parents for 3 years. And while the troop she was in, never sold the most, the troop did a great job. Allison when door to door in our neighborhood, and she took part in all of the stand in front of the grocery store events. She had the speech down pat. Also, she had the looked nailed (pictured here in her uniform).
Cookie selling Girl Scout
And just look at that smile, wouldn’t you just buy 4 or 5 boxes right away. So many folks did. And she had parents that took that tri-folded cookie form to work for her, heck one time I even brought her in the office to visit my friends and co-workers. She did very well, and really, Girl Scout Cookies sell themselves. One year between Allison, Steph and I, we sold over 1000 boxes, the troop that year sold close to 5 thousand. It was fun and drew us together with a common goal. By the time Allison moved on to high school her interest in Girl Scouts was fading, and Steph and I had done our civic duty being the Cookie Parents. Allison did not pursue the Girl Scouts into her high school years. But she gained un-measurable experience being a Girl Scout.
I do apologize it seems that the action photos of Allison partaking in sports are with the art she created during her artistic years. I will most likely find that folder sometime after I have completed this series of posts.
Allison was a talent in many sports. She started taking part in team sports in youth bowling. As a family we had gone bowling together from time to time, and during this time frame I was an active league bowler. After Allison’s 1st week she was hooked. Each Saturday morning Allison and I would head to the bowling alley. Her league started at 9am, I was an active fan, and an active coach for her. Allison learned fast, and did very well. Allison threw a natural breaking ball, and had some power for a young lady. It was a joy watching her, she would get so excited when she got a strike, and she did it fairly often. She also did a little dance when she got a spare. Allison league bowled for 3 years, and as she moved into HS she moved on to High School sports.
During her 4 years in HS she played JV Basketball, Field Hockey, and Lacrosse. She was extremely good in field hockey and lacrosse. Later she made the lacrosse team as a freshman at Mary Washington College. Keep in mind that while she was taking parts in these sports she was also actively involved in HS Choir and had a part time job. Allison was an outstanding athlete, basketball was not her strongest suit, and she only played her freshman year. But damn if she didn’t enjoy and excel at field hockey and lacrosse. I attended every possible game I could, and I practiced lacrosse with Allison. We would stand in the backyard, and I would have my ball glove and she her lacrosse stick. I would throw a baseball, as hard as I could, from 30 or 40 feet away. I would throw at her body, her feet, her head, and all points in between. And she would catch 99 percent of my throws, and whip it back at me, I have no idea how fast I threw the ball, but it couldn’t have been more than 60 mph. But that ball came back at 100 mph, and I didn’t catch it as often, and thank God Allison didn’t throw directly at me or I would still have bruises. Allison’s HS team did very well, and was in fact the league Champion a couple of years. They also made it thru a couple rounds of the state tournament once. Allison was aggressive and smart, and she was pretty dang quick, not fast, but had a great 1st few steps, and that is always important in sports. Allison had similar success in field hockey. And like lacrosse Allison was a starter. She started every game, and played almost every minute. If it weren’t for injuries she would have been the Cal Ripen of her field hockey and lacrosse teams. But injuries seem to plague her. In both her junior and senior years’ injuries to her wrist and ankles kept her out almost half of the lacrosse season. But she was so good that even only playing half to 2/3’s a season she was managed to make the all-conference team. She far exceeded any athletic achievement I ever accomplished and I was quite proud of her, and still am for that matter. She carried these abilities into college and as a freshman made her college team. But again injuries sidelined her, and she found that being a great student was more important to her than being a great jock, another of her decision’s I applauded.
One final story before I wrap this up. Allison and I would attend AAA baseball games (in Woodbridge VA) on a fairly regular basis. As a family Allison, Steph and I, would attend Baltimore Orioles games, and a couple of times Allison and I when by ourselves. On one such occasion Allison and I when to watch the Orioles vs. (who cares). It was the bottom of the 8th inning, and the Orioles were down 8 to 1, with one out. I said lets head home kiddo so we can beat some of the traffic, and we made our way to the parking lot, into the car, and on the road before the end of the inning. We turn the radio on, and listened to the game on our way home. At night, without traffic it takes about 45 minutes to drive from our home in Alexandria VA to the Orioles Park at Camden Yards. We listened to the entire 9th inning on the radio, the Orioles scored 9 runs in the bottom of the 9th to win 10 to 9. The game ended just as Allison and I were pulling into the garage. Allison was so excited during the inning, and it was really great how the O’s had come from so far back, to win. As the crowd noise faded, and the announcers calmed down, Allison turned to me and said “Dad we are never going to leave a game early again!!!, and we didn’t.
I think I will be wrapping up this series of posts with part 7. I will talk a bit about her dating through high school, and whatever else comes to mind.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my post. As always your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Again thanks – Bill
This Document has NOT been Daughter approved