I don't know about you, but for some reason the Thanksgiving holiday seems to be a little ahead of schedule this year. Maybe it's just because time flies a little faster as you get older, or maybe because Nov. 22 is a little earlier than usual for the actual holiday. At any rate, it's next week.
I've heard some rumblings that the two oldest boys who live in Columbia, Mo., and both work in the golf business, will be off and are planning to head this way for a good meal and lots of football on TV -- two of the things Thanksgiving offers besides a chance to reflect on our blessings.
I've also heard that the granddaughters, their mother and "Grandma B" are planning to visit with Aunt Leah in Morrilton over the holidays, so there's some doubt whether the granddaughters will ever make it to Blytheville this go-around. It's a couple of hours closer from Columbia to Morrilton than it is from Columbia to Blytheville to Morrilton, so they will probably take the shortcut down there and maybe on the way home.
That's the way it goes sometimes when you've got scattered family sort of close but not close enough to make a routine trip out of it. Something's got to give.
I do know My Dear Sweet Sainted Wife has plans to confiscate Alexandra and Leah-Bo for a couple of weeks over the Christmas break, so there is that to look forward to.
And although Christmas is more than a month away from Thanksgiving, to me it will seem like a day or two so I won't have all that long to wait.
That is, if Alexandra wants to break away from her friends for that long.
Now that's she's 8, going on 16, it's like she's all grown up or something.
Thus is the way of the world.
My tendency in picking teams to root for during basketball season has always revolved around Memphis, and that's solely because that's where I was back in 1974 when the (then) Memphis State Tigers lost in the NCAA final game to (mostly) Bill Walton and the UCLA Bruins, who were in the middle of their championship run under coach John Wooden. If I remember right Walton hit 20-of-22 shots and scored 44 points, all without a single dunk -- dunking was against the rules back then (thanks, Lew Alcindor).
In 1974, I played pickup basketball religiously and kept it up for another 20 years or so 'til I just got too old to get up and down the court.
But my favorite team has always been in Memphis.
The Tigers are ranked 17th, so they should be pretty good, but their TV schedule is weird and it's hard for me to keep up with what channel they're on.
As for the Grizzlies, they're always there to TiVO and it only takes about an hour to watch a recorded game.
That leaves me plenty of time to read stuff like "Silence of the Lambs," which I just finished for the second time -- the first being 20-plus years ago.
I read it in one Sunday morning bathtub session and one nighttime Sunday Night Football session (I don't pay any attention to the football 'til something interesting happens).
That book will make you wonder about things a little bit, but I couldn't put it down except for a windy afternoon of golf Sunday.
The movie was good, the book was better.
Anyway, right now, the Memphis Grizzlies are my top favorite. After a relatively easy win on the road at Oklahoma City Wednesday night, following a blow-out of defending the NBA champ Miami Heat at FedEx Forum Sunday night, the Grizzlies are 6-1 and looking good for the long haul.
A couple of key injuries might mess them up, but barring that I give them a pretty good shot to make it to the Western Conference finals, anyway. Their bench has been awesome.
Bench play is not quite as important in the playoffs, but it's everything during a regular season when you're playing three games a week.
But then optimism for my favorite teams has always been a weakness of mine -- that, and creepy books like "Silence of the Lambs."