Airborne soccer ball

Go, Sparkle Cats!                                                                                                  

On Saturday I had the pleasure of watching our little granddaughter run around a soccer field in Alameda, California with her team, the Sparkle Cats.  Although they were outscored by the Lemon Drops (the opposing team), the Sparkle Cats have definitely improved their skills and understanding of the basics of the game.   They no longer hug each other on the field while the game is in progress, as they did in Year 1.  They don’t rearrange their pony tails while the ball is in play (that was Year 2). This year, they actually kick the ball towards the goal and even pass to each other (as a last resort).

Our family has a history with that particular soccer field.  We lived in Alameda from1987 to 1997 and it was on that same field that the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989 was strong enough to cause our 8-year-old son and most of his soccer team to fall down while practicing for their upcoming game.  Sixty-three people died and 3,757 were injured in that temblor.  I will never forget walking to Alameda’s bay shore that night with my friend Morella and looking across the water towards where we should have seen the Bay Bridge with San Francisco behind it but instead there was only darkness.  In this place, at this time of year, the temperature, smell of the air and angle of the sun all bring back those memories.


Owl Butterly, Ecuador

On a different note, two of the most memorable images I have brought back from Ecuador are photos of this Owl Butterfly.  Held upside down by the young biologist, the butterfly looks like an owl— something potential predators would avoid.  Even more interesting, when turned on its side (as the butterly would be if resting on a limb or leaf), the left corners of the wings look quite a bit like snake heads.  Not bad, eh?

Owl Butterfly

Owl Butterfly

Have a good week!


Soccer ball photo by Slava Keyzman via Unsplash.



About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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