Last week I was going to address what I called one of my first days/weekends of normalcy since Hurricane Harvey, the COVID-19 pandemic, the big freeze, and our big rain event, but it was the week before the 20th anniversary of 9/11, so that obviously took precedent.

Two weekends ago was the first full weekend, since COVID-19 reared its ugly head, in which college football stadiums were filled to capacity.

I didn’t receive my photo credentials for Texas A&M home football games this year, due to SEC (COVID) restrictions regarding the number of press folks allowed on the sidelines, but it was still great, mentally, to see full stadiums once again.

If you’re a sports fan of any kind, you know all about the cancellation of complete seasons in 2020, or severely limited capacity in stadiums.

Who will every forget the cardboard fans with piped in crowd noise.

That had to be for the players, because on TV it just looked goofy.

The impact of empty stadiums on players was huge, with many of them the focus of interviews about what it was like playing in front of a full stadium again.

Every second year college athlete experienced a true game day atmosphere for the first time, and many of them looked like they had hit the field for the first time … due to crowd impact.

I gave my wife a week’s notice that I had an appointment with my recliner and television, which would last all day Saturday, Sept. 4, and well into the night just in case I wanted to catch the games played on the west coast.

I basked in the normalcy of it all.

This past weekend I did something else I used to always do.

I played golf.

I joined a friend of mine for the Member/Member Tournament at Rockport Country Club.

In another sign of normalcy, we finished dead *** last in our flight, after narrowly securing the coveted second-to-last position after Saturday’s first round.

That, too, was another sign of normalcy!

After the first round I ran home to catch my Aggies on TV. They were playing Colorado, but the game didn’t air until after the Ohio State vs. Oregon game, because Oregon was about to pull off a big upset on the road.

By the time my game hit the tube, our starting quarterback was knocked out of the game with a leg injury, and his replacement, who hadn’t played a down in a real game since 2019, was not doing well.

Another sign of normalcy.

In the end, however, my Aggies pulled out the miracle win. I’ve watched a lot of Aggie football in my life, and I’ve never seen a game in which literally everything went wrong, but we still managed to win.

Hopefully that’s a new trend in Aggie football, replacing what was once normal.

Saturday night I took in Rockport Little Theatre’s (RLT) production of M*A*S*H in the RLT’s new home in downtown Rockport.

My wife and I enjoy RLT productions, so that, too, was a little bit of normalcy.

Early Sunday morning I took my wife to the Corpus Christi airport to catch a three-leg (Corpus Christi to Dallas to Amarillo) flight.

As she was soaring through the air, finally coming to rest for a multi-hour layover in Dallas, and as I was rising to golf greatness in the second round of the golf tournament, albeit half asleep, the tropics decided to heat up.

I called my wife to talk about the weather, and after a brief discussion, prior to my nap, she made the decision to cancel her meeting in Amarillo, dropped the Dallas to Amarillo leg of her flight, and booked a return flight to Corpus Christi Sunday night.

Instead of picking her up Monday night, I ran back across the Harbor Bridge for the pick up Sunday night.

The good news is she was able to meet up with our oldest daughter and two of the three Frisco grandchildren for lunch at an Italian restaurant in Dallas.

The abrupt change in plans worked out well because our oldest daughter celebrates her birthday Sept. 15 (this edition’s publication date).

On the return trip, my wife had another long layover at Houston Hobby, which is one of the biggest negatives of flying in and out of Corpus Christi. Unfortunately, on such short notice, another meal, but this time with our youngest daughter (and Galveston grandchildren), didn’t work out.

That would have been a story to tell later in life:

“Remember the day Nani flew to Dallas and Houston in one day just to eat a meal with you?”

My wife spent 15 hours either in an airplane, at an airport, or in an Italian restaurant Saturday afternoon, but spending unscheduled time with one daughter, and two grandchildren, made the cancelled and rerouted business trip worthwhile.

When I picked her up at the airport Sunday night I asked, “Are those the same clothes you were wearing when I dropped you off at the airport?”

Not funny, apparently!

I’m now sitting in my office late at Sunday night pounding away at my keyboard, getting as much work done as possible before Tropical Storm Nicholas (or possibly Hurricane Nicholas) drops by.

I hope dodging hurricanes doesn’t become the norm. I’m ready for another 47-year break between hurricanes (Celia in 1970, Harvey in 2017).

With us living in Rockport, and youngest daughter and family in Galveston, any storm that threatens the Texas coast has a high probability of affecting one of our families.

I’ll never understand why, but I thought about that while standing in a sand trap last weekend.

Until next week, have a good week!

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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