Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Tradition Like No Other

We've played tennis on Thanksgiving for many years, even up here.

"It's stout out there," I said. "Twenty-three degrees, wind chill of eleven."

"Not a problem," Eli 17.3 said. "I say we go for it."

I'd already been outside. He had not. This accounted for his optimism. Still, though, it's the last year before he goes to college, so I triple-layer Patagonia, with a winter jacket and gloves.

"I can't feel my face," I said.

"We haven't even gotten to the courts yet," Eli said. "You're still walking in from the car."

"Snow blind," I said.

We used to play in Austin in weather in the forties and brag about how cold it was later. Now we're only two degrees short of single-digit wind chill.

Still, though, it's tennis on Thanksgiving. Together. And it's always fun.

"I think if I wrap the Hot Hands around my hand, then put it on the racket, my hand will stay warm," I said.

Eli started laughing. He's not even wearing gloves. We're both carrying a Hot Hands hand warmer in our free hand (a previously unknown but significant advantage of one-handed backhands).

At one point, he came to the net. "Pass me," he said.

I did. Twice. "Two exits, no waiting," I said. He's about to say something smart, but I beat him to it. "You may be laughing, but your face is too cold to actually move, so I can't tell."

Later on, I hit one really, really good shot after a long rally. "I can't feel my face, but I can still feel my muscles," I said. Eli burst out laughing, then that was the catch phrase for a good shot from then on.

One hour of tennis in eleven degree wind chill. I even took a layer off.

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