Mother, Mother Ocean, I have Heard you Call

Seeing your family and old friends is so good for the soul. Welcome to a special double edition of the Scheu Family Blog as first Ann spent a week in Florida and then I followed suit and did the same. Ann was further up the coast at Panama City Beach and I was down the coast at Treasure Island at the old Sand Pebble. I hadn’t been back there in many, many years to stay. We got to talking and the best we can figure is that we were last down when Abby was 2, so that would’ve been 2001. Matt was playing with Austin and Luke wasn’t even born yet. The last time I was on a vacation by myself was for Spring Break back in college with Paul and our Phi Delt brothers in Daytona in 1990 and then in 1991 we went to North Carolina, I think. And the last time the four of us were together for a family vacation was probably in 1987 or ’88 when we went up to Wisconsin to White Birch. This has truly been good for the soul to get back together again…
It all started off last Monday with Ann in Florida for her staff retreat. Abby turned in her track uniform and had tap dance practice. Amy and Baili brought her home. Matt had lifting and was sad that wrestling season finally ended. Luke had basketball camp after school and his baseball game was cancelled due to severe weather and heavy rains. Abby made us all pizzas and ice cream.
Tuesday was a nice, warm, sunny day. Matt had lifting again and Abby went to softball practice and jazz dance at Dixon Dance studio. Luke had all-star baseball practice. Meanwhile, down in Panama City, Ann and the girls had a great day that started with a beer on the beach and ended at Dick’s Last Resort for dinner – fun!! It was Election Day and so we voted in the primary in the morning and the boys took a Polar Pop down to Gigi at the courthouse that evening. I was amazed at how small of a crowd there was – there was only a handful of people for the results.

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Matt had the night off on Wednesday night from football and Lukey had his first league game of the year. Matt & Abby helped the team and Matt did a good job of taking videos for me – thanks bud. Luke went 2-3 with a single, double and a strike out. He batted lead off and scored two runs. The coach felt really bad for throwing a 25’ fastball that bounced to Lukey on his last pitch, throwing down his glove in disgust. He played 1st base and had 2 unassisted outs and 5 assisted putouts. He switched to 2nd base in the last inning when we had a big lead. The Sox blew out the Cardinals, winning 14-0 after 4 innings. It started to rain pretty good just as we were leaving the park and headed to El Reparo for dinner. Matt drove us out there and I was a little nervous with him driving in the rain but he did great. It stopped while we were eating and we saw an amazingly bright double rainbow! Thanks to the margarita the size of Luke’s head that I had with dinner, Matt also drove us home (and did a much better job, may I add). 😉

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Matt was back to lifting for football with two sessions on Thursday. Luke had all-star baseball practice cancelled so we played catch in the front yard for an hour out in the front yard. The little guy has a hell of an arm! I packed for my surprise trip to see Mom. Abby had softball practice and is looking great at first base! We tried to watch American Idol but we were all so tired that we fell asleep on the couches. I spoke to Barb, Ann, Mom B, Mom O and Gigi who all got there flowers and were very appreciative. I like this new florist, Teleflorist that utilizes local florists. Luke & Abby got Ann’s Mother’s Day presents ready and did a nice card for her on Sunday when I would be gone.
Matt had leadership academy for football before school on Friday. I dropped off the kids, tied up some loose ends at work and headed up to Indy to catch my flight down to the sunshine state to surprise Mom for Mother’s Day. Thanks to Rob, Sharon and Dad – but especially my little buddy Robby – for putting this altogether for me. What a great idea!! I caught an adjoining flight in Atlanta and Rob & Sharon picked me up in their new jeep at the Tampa airport. We laughed that this was the first time I had ridden a plane without my Mommy or wife. 😉 We came back to the Sand Pebble and ordered Gigi’s pizzas. We drank quite a bit that night…hell who am I kidding, we’ve been drunk all week! LOL! We went to the beach and jumped in the Gulf, played some Frisbee and caught some rays before coming up to cool off in the pool. We stayed up a little late but had a great time catching up. Meanwhile, back in Indiana, Luke had a baseball game where he went 2-3 with a double, triple and a K. He played 1st base again and only had one error as he learns how to play the position. He is using my softball glove and loves that he can catch just about anything in that big thing! The Sox won again, 11-1 and are now 2-0 overall in the league!

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We were up fairly early on Saturday as Mom & Dad and Mary Jane & Dave came to Rob & Sharon’s condo to wait for their week 19 units to become available. We really surprised Mom – God I wish I had a video camera running – the look on her face was priceless! She took a double-take and then we both started crying – it was a very special moment. When the time came, Rob & I got everybody moved in and Rob had us drinking Bloody Caesars early on. They were smooth – thanks Dave! We ended up in Mom & Dad’s condo, playing cards where Rob & I dominated the euchre games. We ended up down at the beach and in the Gulf of Mexico for a little while where we played some Frisbee and then came up to take a dip in the pool, drank some beers with the gang and had some more Gigi’s pizza with Mom & Dad and Dave & Mary Jane before ending up back down at the tiki bar where we had some Apple Pie ‘shine. That’s when the “tsunami incident” occurred and the advent of the moniker ‘Tsunami Tommy’ came in to being, thanks to George!

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Sunday was Mother’s Day. We met up with Mom & Dad and Dave & Mary Jane and went out to Island Way Grill for brunch in Clearwater. It was amazing spread!! We ate for 2 hours! They had everything – including a sushi bar, pasta bar, waffle bar, omelet bar and sliced meat bar where they made your food to order. It was very busy, making it difficult to get around inside and to get in and out of the parking lot – thank goodness for valet parking! This was a very upscale place and was a neat experience. We did some shopping for supplies for the week and then came back and played some Frisbee with Rob, Mike and Cassie. Rob and I drank Gin and Tonics, Bloody Caesars and even B & B with cigars – very cool. We had a good time on the beach and on the pool deck. We ended up getting security called on us twice that night while drinking beers with George, who was able to smooth things over with Oz the security guard and was thereafter known as the Don of Week 19! 

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We were up early again and back at it in Monday. Rob, Sharon and Mom & Dad really wanted me to stay until Friday so I spoke to Dennis who said he could cover things at work, Ann said she could cover things at home and Kevin allowed me to do whatever I felt was appropriate, so I ended up cancelling my flight for Tuesday and pushed it back to Friday to stay with Mom longer. I’m sure glad I did…we had a very nice time together. I touched base with Mom & Dad for a while before hitting the beach with Rob again. Again we got lots of sun, drank a few beers and thru disc until early afternoon. I think I got a little too much sun but came back up and had fun at the annual Week 19 welcome back party. We had a great time; the highlight for me was a dedicated song to Mom & Dad – Unchained Melody – as first Mom & Dad danced then Rob & Sharon danced – turns out it is both of the couples’ songs. Rob danced quite a bit and even got Mary Jane & Dave got in to the act! All of our group came out to the party, including Rob, Sharon & I, Mom & Dad, Dave & Mary Jane; George, Bob & Jackie, Mike & Rose, Courtney & Cassie, Mike’s son Austin and George’s niece and her friend Jamie & Holly. Rob cooked an awesome meal down on the grill that was highlighted with some great burgers and guacamole – yum…very good! We called it an early night after all the sunshine and punch at the party! The live entertainer did a good job and everyone had a fun time. Meanwhile back up north, Matt had lifting, Abby had tap & Luke had a baseball game where he had 2 homeruns and did really good at 1st base with no errors!! WOW!!!

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Abby had her first softball game on Tuesday where she went 1-2 at the plate with a single, walk and a ground out. She had several putouts at 1st base with no errors but lost by 1, 6-7. She ended that event and went right over to the Dixon Dance Studio for her final jazz dance practice. In the middle of all of this, Luke had all-star baseball practice as they prepped for a big tourney this weekend and Matt had lifting for football. Meanwhile at the Pebble, we slept in a little, woke up to mimosas while Mom went to dialysis. We said good-bye to Mary Jane & Dave, who went home. We met up with Mom & Dad afterwards in 405 and talked for a while, bringing up several old memories before heading down to the pool deck where we watched movies with Bob & Jackie and the boys took a dip in the pool and soaked up some sun. I had a bit of a sunburn from yesterday and Rob has what looks to be sun poisoning so we stayed off the beach during the early afternoon – as it was much hotter today and the sun was not much of a friend. While Dad was lying down, Mom surprised us by walking up on us down below. With the construction of the 2nd elevator at the Pebble, you currently have to walk all the way around the front and come to the back by the shuffleboard court. So this was a good walk for Mom to come on her own. She was so proud of herself. Later, we played some euchre with Mom & Dad and went out to eat with them at Sea Hags – where they have very good seafood chowder and maji maji.  Rob and I got their signature drink that came in a fishbowl. It was made for two, so they brought us 2 straws! LOL It was a little gay, but since Mom & Dad were there, we figured it was OK. Ha! Ha! We came back to 306 but ended up back downstairs again until late.

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Abby earned her first junior high letter at the track awards banquet out at the coach’s house on Wednesday night. The poor thing couldn’t even stay late enough to actually receive the award, having to leave early before the presentation in order to get back in to town for her second softball game of the week. Abby went 1-1 with a single, walk and scored a run but lost again 4-3 and is now 0-2 for the season. At the Sand Pebble we hit the beach and the cocktails early in the morning and had a long day. I loved the mostly overcast skies as it made it a little cooler out on the beach where we played a lot of Frisbee, had some Petron margaritas and spent a lot of time in the cooler and the Gulf – the water was perfect in both!! The girls decided to make a pyramid and did a pretty good job of it. However, the boys then decided they could do it as well. They got good coaching from the ladies on how to make it but not on how to get back down. Poor Rob was at the top and fell twice straight on hit back. Afterwards he said, “I thought the sand would be softer!” He was still sore when I left on Friday. Mom and Dad were watching from 405’s balcony and Mom said she had to stop watching after the first one. Rob wasn’t the only casualty of the day. Austin is a surfer from the east coach and can do the boogie board pretty good as well. Cassie wanted to try it and sure enough, she wiped out pretty bad, making her knee bleed pretty badly. We were out there for several hours, even when it sprinkled – but had to come up when it started pouring and lightning. We made the best of it by having a tiki bar party. Mom & Dad came down and we played euchre at the bar until the tiki hut started leaking – and this is the new one. We played upstairs for a little while before Mom & Dad turned in so we came back down and played some pool, listened to Rob’s Week 19 2012 playlist on their awesome Bose system that plays the iPod. It has served us very well this week. We were a little loud and were having a blast until Oz ran us out again. We swear it was a full moon tonight as there was drama everywhere. However, it seemed to all work out and despite the drama (do doubt fueled by all the cocktails everyone had today), everyone ended the evening on a good note.

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Matt went to school early on Thursday for leadership academy and stayed late for lifting – both for next year’s football season. He has really dedicated himself to the football program and got signed up for Anderson College football camp early next month as well as the IU wrestling camp this summer. Should be very cool for him!! Luke had all-star baseball practice and Abby had her final choir performance at the annual Spring Arts Festival. I took it easy today, prepping for my return back to reality tomorrow. I slept in while Rob & Sharon hit the beach early. Mom and Dad came back from dialysis and we had lunch in 405 with them. It was quick and easy as we ate up most of the rest of the lunch meat and cheese. Rob made another batch of guacamole that was gone before we were done. It is really good – Ann needs to get the recipe. I spent the day with Mom and Dad. Rob & I helped Dad write a letter. Rob received notification that his union transfer was accepted and so he will likely move down at the start of next month. In preparation, he and Sharon have been house hunting these past two weeks, off and on. They are so excited and Mom & Dad are equally looking forward to it as well. Now if I can just talk Ann in to it once the kids are out of school… Mom had a little slip when we walked down after lunch, but she seems no worse for the wear. She has several bruises and cuts where she has fell over the past weeks…poor thing. They laid down and I kicked back in their condo, waking them when it was time to go out to eat for our last hurrah. One of Mom’s favorite places to go is the Salt Rock Grill. Rob arranged to get nearly all of our group to go out with us. Everyone but Bob & Jackie were able to make it that evening. I had the surf and turf early bird special – that’s when you know you are old when you start looking for the early bird specials! LOL!! During dinner, Dave made a speech about some of the fun times we’ve had recently. One of the stories was about George last year when he fell on the beach and blamed it on “tornadic activity.” :0) Dave made up a cute picture that he took down at Monday’s party when George, Dave and Rob all mooned the crowd. The caption read, “Now we know where tornadic winds come from!!!!.” It was great! This comes on the heals of last year’s Monday party when Dave grilled brats and lost track of his flame, completely incinerating them to the point of them being inedible. Mom & Dad (I think) got him a plaque that read on the front, “It’s not burnt, it’s blackened” and on the back it had a picture of Dave with his plate of brat cinders. George, ever the good guy, tried to eat one and exclaimed, “I’ve tasted better charcoal!” Ha! We ate so much at that our planned hot tub party that night got poo-pooed and everyone stayed in their rooms for the first time this week. I was happy with it – I really didn’t want to fly hung over anyhow! So Rob, Sharon & I spent a quiet night in the condo, watched an absolutely gorgeous sunset (best of the week!) and called it an early night. The sunset melted in to the Gulf that evening and was a perfect way to wrap up this wonderful week I’ve spent with the family and friends. We were hoping to see Idol, but ended up missing it when we went down sit a spell and talk with George – the lone pirate this night. Perhaps Ann & I can watch it together tomorrow night when I get home. I got all the pictures from everyone’s memory card this week and will compile a CD when I get home and mail them down to Rob who will distribute them to our fellow Week 19-ers.

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Friday was the earliest we’d been up this week, rising before 6. I got all packed and cleaned up and headed down to Mom & Dad’s condo to meet up with them and spend my last few hours with them. We ended up going out to eat in St. Pete’s at an old haunt, Beverly’s La Croisette where they have amazing biscuits & gravy and Dad & I split a side of corned beef hash that rivaled Miller’s up in Rolling Prairie from my youth. We had a good talk and made plans to meet up again next week 19 for Rob & Sharon’s wedding. We said our tearful good-byes and I thanked them for an amazing week. Rob & Sharon brought me to the Tampa airport where we met up with some nasty rush hour traffic. Thankfully we left plenty early and I found myself with over an hour waiting at the terminal – which I would much prefer over the alternative. It was a smooth flight and I had plenty of time to stop in to work and touch base with Dennis and Scott for about an hour. I missed a lot and have several things to follow-up with next week. I am so thankful to have the people at work that I do. I surprised the kids by picking them up at Mom & Sandy’s house (Ann had led them to believe that I would be in later). Luke and Abby both hugged me for what seemed like 5 minutes. We came home and I finally got to see my wife in nearly two weeks. We caught up real quick while the kids got changed and we headed out to the ball diamonds. Gigi was just bringing Matt home from football camp where he had been helping all week, it turns out. He came in and fell asleep. I went with Luke and Ann went with Abby as they had games at identical times (both a blessing and a curse). Luke’s team looked great, scoring 15 runs in 4 innings and invoking the mercy rule. Luke went 3-3 with a single and a pair of homeruns! He now has 4 for the year and the team is off to a great start. However good they looked offensively is nothing compared to what they can do defensively. That is where these boys shine. Luke did great at first base again. In fact the entire infield is really gelling this year. They again turned a double play and nearly had two others. Luke scored 3 runs, had 1 assist and 5 putouts as the Sox beat the Angels to keep their unbeaten streak alive. Meanwhile back up on diamond 4, a different situation was occurring. Abby walked twice and struck out once, complaining of her knees. She played all over the place, including new positions like 3rd base and right centerfield. I know the coach is trying to figure out a way to win with this team, but this didn’t work too well and they lost again, 10-4 and are 0-3 on the year. We woke up Matt and went out to El Reparo for dinner. Matt surprised me by having mowed the lawn, which is one less thing I need to do this weekend now; it looks really good, thanks buddy! Then over at Mom’s, Deanna did the same thing for me. Ann and I had a good time catching up and drinking margaritas. The kids had a few stories to tell as well. Matt drove us home and the kids played basketball while Ann & I relaxed and swapped stories that we couldn’t talk about earlier in front of the kids. We watched a couple shows and fell asleep on the couch…ahhh, it’s good to be home…

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We were up early for Luke’s all-star baseball tourney, called the Spring Swing, in our backyard (well, 60 seconds away at the park). They faced an Indy team in the first qualifier game and came out like gangbusters! Luke had a single, double and pop up to 3rd while playing in right centerfield. He didn’t have any fly balls but was able to get his hands on a couple grounders and actually got an assist on a ball that hit the fence and they threw out at third base on a perfectly-executed defensive gem! He also scored a run as the Stars won 16-6 in five innings! We had a long break in between games, so Luke & I went to Mom & Sandy’s house to trim and blow everything to make it look nice. We had a nice visit afterwards and Maryann has now officially retired. She isn’t even going back on Monday. Her office is cleaned-out, her keys turned-in, said her good-byes and hired her replacement. She is so excited, though she admitted it was harder than she originally thought it would be. I think it’s great for her and wish her a long and prosperous retirement! She more than deserves it. I took Luke out for ice cream afterwards at Dairy Point and we grabbed something for Matt as well. Meanwhile, the girls were going through rehearsals out at the high school for the big dance revue on Sunday. They were out there for several hours. Abby will be in four dances this year, including the opening number, her two competitive dances (jazz & tap) and then the finale as well. Ann bought our tickets and got everything squared away as far as plans for Luke, since he will have his 2nd tourney game during the revue and we won’t be there. Thankfully the team mom (Ann’s good friend, Cecelia), will care for Lukey in our absence. In the second game of the day, the Stars faced a very tough team out of Carmel that has been playing since November and had been previously undefeated this year. That changed against the boys this afternoon as they came out ready to play. Luke his what may have been the longest ball of the day – to within about 5 feet of the fence. Unfortunately it was too high and came up a little short of a homer and the left fielder made a nice play, catching it for an out. Luke reached base the next two times up – one with a sharp single to center and the other a fielder’s choice to the shortstop. The Stars played very, very well defensively again and that is what really made the difference as they won again 10-8. I believe Luke had the game-winning RBI with his final at-bat! He also scored another run but was forced at second in his final trip around the bases. A very good first day is something to be proud of for these boys who were still being beaten badly this time last year and now are the #1 seed going in to tourney tomorrow…but that story will need to wait until next week’s entry. I have so much to do already, that I will not be including any Sunday stuff. So you’ll have to come back next week to see who it all turned out for us.

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This week, we have four new videos and several from around the net that I wanted to share with you.

Due to not having the next batch of Waybacs completely scanned yet, I will only give you a taste of what’s in this batch – all old Scheu-side of the family ones from Aunt Judy’s uncle, a professional photographer. There are some lost classics that are just great in this coming batch. These will be featured again in the near future with more details, including dates and locations…but in the meantime, enjoy the preview…

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For our Shit that Luke Says section this week, it is not from his mouth, but rather that of his school teacher. He is a talker and we feel he is really not challenged in his school. He finishes his work early, gets board and talks to his neighbors – problem is they aren’t always done with their work. He has recently (since Mom has gotten sick) gotten more talkative and has been getting in more trouble – having to walk during In a note from his teacher, she stated, “He will usually catch himself when I look at him. He will stop and give the cute little smile as he is so proud of himself for stopping. He is so cute and always such a good boy, you can’t help but love him and smile!” Boy does he have her suckered! But I agree! LOL 😉
What a great two weeks it has been!! It was great to see everyone and Mom did great. I am so proud of Dad for sticking with her during these dark times. He is truly a special man that has obviously been a huge influence on me and my development in to a man. He took one for the team all week long and I know that it was hard, but the right thing to do and it means so much to Rob & I. It makes you appreciate all he has done for her during this year and would never wish it upon anyone. Mom is very lucky…in fact our family is very lucky to have him on our side. We love you Dad…and we love you, Mom. Keep strong – we are all so proud of you.
As always, thanks for keeping up with us this time out and we’ll catch up with you next time on the Scheu Family Blog. Until then, have a good one.
Later, Scheu

3 comments to Mother, Mother Ocean, I have Heard you Call

  • Uncle Robby

    What a great update Tom, very well written and brought tears to my eyes. We throughly enjoyed every moment spent together. I will never forget the laughs, tears, and moments shared throughout the week for the rest of my life. Perfect timing for a perfect vaction. Lets all just continue to hold mom up in our prayers and the healing power of the Lord to be with her and she can join us next year for Sharon and I’s wedding. Keep your chin up mom and never stop believing in yourself and the power of Christ in you. I want to thank everyone for making last week happen. It meant the world to all of us. I even got a bonus seeing Aunt Sharon before I left on Saturday it had been a long time. I just wish we all were’nt so scattered apart but that is what makes family so special, you can pick up right where you left off even as time has passed. Sharon and I send our love and talk to you all soon again.

  • David

    Dude – now that is an old picture of me!

  • Anonymous

    Your mom looks so HAPPY! Robby did an AWESOME job on getting everyone togeter! All I know it makes my heart SING with all the LOVE I see in the pictures/Video. Your mom looked like she was having a GREAT time, so VERY HAPPY and PROUD OF HER SON’s. Now for Ann does she ROCK or WHAT she kept you updated in the childrens lives WHICH IS AWESOME made video for you two to intergrade. All I can say is that you TWO work so well TOGETHER! You two did a GREAT JOB on the pics and video. Tom my prayers are with you, Ann and your family. Take care my freind. Pamela

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