Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tales from the Tailgate

After missing Clemson's homecoming because of my broken ankle, I was ready to get back to God's country for another football weekend--thankfully, accident free this time. I won't say it was without challenges, but we came, we saw, we limped around, and it was a good weekend for all.

You know you're setting off on an adventure when you strap your knee scooter to the back of the car and head off on your merry way:

We got to Clemson Friday afternoon around 5:00. Clearly, we needed to grab some ice because it was happy hour. Which has taken on a whole new meaning for me now.

On the rocks, indeed. After resting up a while, we grabbed some dinner at the local Mexican restaurant and then headed to the (very awesome) Clemson-themed Super Bi-Lo to pick up a few last minute tailgate supplies. Clint admits he was dreading how long it was going to take me to hobble around the store, and I wasn't exactly looking forward to putting more mileage on my ankle, when he spotted the motorized shopping carts. I'll confess that I've pretty much always wanted to take one for a spin, but being the consummate rule follower that I am, I never thought I would get the chance.

But there I was, cruising around Clemson on a wild Friday night (or, as my friend Nick and the caption winner of the week so aptly put it, "boot scootin'"). To answer your question, yes, it beeped when I backed up. I wanted to do a doughnut or two, but my sensible husband was afraid it might tip over and leave me with a broken arm as well, so we erred on the side of caution.

Saturday morning arrived and it was game day--and military appreciation day, at that. Clemson had asked fans to wear purple to show their support for the military, so of course we planned accordingly. What does one wear for a "purple out" when sporting a walking boot and coping with a broken ankle? A "Bad to the Bone" shirt, of course. (A lady passing by who turned out to be an orthopedic nurse was particularly a fan.)

Add a little alma mater bling to the ol' boot, and I was good to go.

The weather was sunny and gorgeous, and it was great to be out and about, spending time with friends in my most favorite of places.

What with my injury and all, I didn't bring quite as much to the tailgate spread as I typically do (more like crackers and cookie cake this time), so these girls were a Godsend showing up with a delicious buffet for us all. I get by with a little help from my friends, thank goodness.

Come game time, I knew there was no chance I could climb the stadium steps to our seats. Our group headed off to Death Valley, and Clint and I stayed behind to watch the big-screen set up at the tailgate next to us. That crowd was getting a little rowdier than we were up for (it sounded like a Jerry Springer episode over there), and we started pondering if it was possible to ride the scooter to the Esso Club to join the game day crowd there. While it's downhill going, it's uphill coming back, and the thought of it was a little daunting.

Luckily for me, one of the athletic department parking volunteers happened by on his golf cart and empathized. He told us that he wasn't supposed to cross the highway to take us to the Esso, but he had been through a knee replacement and knew what it was like, and would take us anyway. On the ride, this adorable man told me he is an 87-year old farmer, and that recovering from knee replacement surgery was "like a vacation." He explained that riding a "little old stationary bike to nowhere" was the easiest work he'd done in quite a while. I love the Clemson family.

We joined the enthusiastic crowd gathered around the televisions in the Esso parking lot and watched the Tigers roll over the Syracuse Orange 54-0. Like I mentioned, it was military appreciation day, which Clemson does like no other, so sadly we missed plenty of pomp and circumstance by not making in to the actual game. Here are a couple of pictures the University shared of the revelry:

Nothing gets the game started on the right note quite like your mascot parachuting into the stadium. 

Halftime featured a 21-gun salute to honor fallen soldiers. 

Meanwhile, we had plenty of company and quite a crowd watching along with us over at the Esso. Our tailgate squad left the game at halftime and came over to join us.

A couple of super extra strength ibuprofen and an ice pack aside, it was a great day. Mercifully, I was able to score yet another golf cart ride back to our car, and managed to get myself a hot shower before falling into bed around 9:30. It wasn't a typical game day, but it worked just fine.

Last, but not least, Clint snapped this photo of me on my motorized cart. He said I should caption it "riding off into the sunset," and so it seems like a fitting way to end this week's post. 

Happy trails to you...until we meet again....

1 comment:

  1. Your sense of humor is still in tact, I see! :P


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